The FMA has confirmed a list of essential financial services, worked out in conjunction with the council of financial regulators in a recent statement:
The Government has confirmed that financial services are essential services that will continue operating when New Zealand moves to level 4 in its COVID-19 response.
The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) has consulted with the Government to provide detail on those financial services that should be considered essential services. This includes all financial institutions and suppliers or providers to those entities that are essential to ensure continued operation of our financial system and access to this system for all New Zealanders.
The detailed list includes specific inclusion for suppliers where they support essential operations, including the importance of those involved in claims:
Access to medical records through doctors’ surgeries
Psychologists, counsellors etc. (mental health claims)
Access to medical laboratories for medical tests
Private hospitals and associated staff/professionals
Access to external medical specialists.
This will be a great relief to insurers and their clients. While we all expect that health resources will go first to saving lives, while there is capacity to provide help with claims, it is important. Some clients depend on claims payments these for their livelihood. Even for clients that are not on claim, confidence in insurers is an important component of confidence in the financial system.