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COVID-19 modelling reference

Overview of modelling done for government decision-making on the level four restrictions due to the pandemic can be found at the link below.

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/03/31/1106913/new-modelling-shows-scale-of-covid-19-threat

Another report often quoted in the news can be found at this link.

https://www.tepunahamatatini.ac.nz/2020/03/26/suppression-and-mitigation-strategies-for-control-of-covid-19-in-new-zealand/

We think this is an important foundation for the discussion about modelling. Other data sources used in the development of our model, include:

Based on the above, we have been working on a model for COVID-19 impacts on life insurance claims. We compared the outputs for our model with the approaches taken here and found sufficient accord that we are comfortable that our model is generating reasonable outputs. Subscribers to our quarterly life and health report will receive a copy of the model. 


IP ratings under review

Product scores for income protection products are under review. We need to consider how to take into account temporary measures being applied to contracts with some disablement components - IP, Trauma, and TPD - such as the recent restrictions being applied by Partners Life. In the meantime, you need to familiarise yourself with what those restrictions are and whether they apply to the cases you are submitting. We have a schedule of COVID-19 impacts available for subscribers in the quarterly life and health review, which will be issued today. 


Most trusted sourced of financial advice revealed

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s report has found that New Zealanders are more likely to seek financial advice from family and friends at informal gatherings. People reported that their friends and family were the most trustworthy source, followed by accountants. The good news for financial advisers is that as people get older, they understand the value and importance of professional financial advice. Click here to read more


AIA; Business continues and adviser support

Here is the latest news from AIA in regards to keeping business operating and continued support to advisers:

Our workforce
To help protect our people and best support you, in line with Government direction, we will:

  • reduce the number of people in our offices for essential services only, and
  • transition the rest of our people to working from home.

Our service to you
As we transition our people to remote working, there may be impacts on our service levels and the way we provide services to you. We will work hard to minimise these impacts and we ask that you please support us by: 

  • Limiting calls to our Contact Centre to urgent enquiries only by instead using one of the following alternative channels
  • Reducing contact to our Claims team by limiting calls only for essential and urgent claims
    • Delays may be experienced as we move our teams to work from home; we thank you for your patience while we transition our teams to work remotely as much as possible
  • Using our eApp instead of paper or emailing through customer applications
    • When you email a paper proposal to us, it requires multiple handovers between different teams. We expect that paper proposals, even those emailed, will take longer than usual to process.
    • The eApp bypasses this issue and significantly speeds up the submission processes.
  • Internal replacements from AIA Real and Sovereign TotalCare Max to AIA Living can take longer to complete than processing new applications submitted via eApp
    • Wherever possible, please consider deferring like-for-like replacements to AIA Living

Our external providers
We are working closely with our service providers to ensure that we can continue to provide key services, including medical information.

For the safety of our Health Screen nurses and Claim Case Managers, all visits have moved to phone based. We are also working with our reinsurers to assess our ability to obtain medical information to support our underwriting and claims processes.

We are open for business
We remain open business and will do our best to support you to assist your existing customers and protect new customers seeking insurance.

We are continuing to monitor developments and at this stage there are no planned changes to our AIA Living product range.

As noted above, delays may be experienced as we move our teams to working from home and we thank you for your patience and support during this time.

 


AML procedures during self-isolation

The Department of Internal Affairs advice to ADLS is as follows.

March 2020 – Response received from Department of Internal Affairs to the ADLS Property Law Committee’s Query concerning AML customer due diligence in view of COVID-19 published, as follows:

If a reporting entity is unable to conduct customer due diligence (CDD) because the customer or client is in self-isolation due to Covid-19, then the following points should be considered in dealing with the situation:

  • A reporting entity may trigger exception handling procedures provided that the customer demonstrates that they are unable to comply with the requirements under Part 1 or Part 2 of the Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice (IVCOP) 2013 (click here).
  • Reporting entities are recommended to document the customer's circumstances.
  • It is possible for a customer to be verified through electronic identity verifications (Part 3 of IVCOP).
  • Reporting entities may complete delayed verification (under section 16(3) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009) provided the following two criteria are met:
  1. Verification of identity is completed as soon as practicable; and
  2. ML/TF risks must be effectively managed through procedures of transaction limitations and account monitoring or through other appropriate risk management procedures.

Fidelity Life: Working on helping those customers in hardship

Here is what Fidelity Life have to say about helping customers facing financial hardship during this time:

We’re working hard on a package of practical retention initiatives designed to meet customers' needs. We’ll confirm the details with you as soon as we can.

But in the meantime here's some clarity on what we can do right now to support customers dealing with hardship:

  • Premium holiday option - up to 12 months on select Life, Survivor’s Income and TPD covers
  • Leave without pay option - up to 12 months on select Income Protection and Monthly Mortgage Repayment covers

Retention tools - on a case by case basis our Retention team can help customers with making up missed payments, reinstating cover or a premium freeze or temporary hold

Click here to read more. 


Partners Life: Underwriting for COVID-19 financial risks

Partners Life are remaining open to new business during this uncertain time of COVID-19 but have announced a number of restrictions to IP, MP, and TPD, while placing a minimum 6 month stand-down for eligibility for Premium Holiday and Policy Suspension claims. Stating ‘As soon as we are able to remove these restrictions for new business, we will contact those advisers and clients affected directly to review and/or remove these restrictions for any policies issued during this interim period.’

Here is more information:

  1. No new Loss of Revenue Cover or Variable Loss of Revenue Cover benefits will be issued. The cover will be deferred.
     
  2. No new Agreed Value benefits based on Income will be issued. This includes Income Covers, Mortgage Repayment and Household Expenses benefit which are to be based on income. Indemnity Loss of Earnings Income Cover will be offered as an alternative by way of Offer of Terms.
     
  3. MRC and HEC based on actual mortgage repayments and expenses will still be allowed.
     
  4. Disability benefits of any kind will have a Mental health exclusion applied by way of Offer of Terms. This includes lump sum benefits which cover disability such as TPD, Trauma Cover and Hybrid Business Benefits.
     
  5. Disability benefits of any kind will have a restriction for disability first arising while a life assured is unemployed or is on a period of leave without pay. This includes lump sum benefits which cover disability such as TPD, Trauma Cover and Hybrid Business Benefits.

    These lives assured will instead be considered an Occupation Class 5 immediately they stop work rather than after the usual 12 month period. This restriction will be achieved by way of an Offer of Terms.
     
  6. All new policies to be issued will include a minimum 6 month stand-down for eligibility for Premium Holiday and Policy Suspension claims. This restriction which will be achieved by way of Offer of Terms.

Partners Life - Naomi Ballantyne talks about change

In a video message Naomi Ballantyne has provided an update on various changes due to the current COVID-19 crisis. This message covers premium increases, premium suspensions available for current clients, changes to what is offered to clients in the pipeline, over-ride for financial advice providers, comments on rumours shareholder and reinsurer pressure. and about  and an encouragement to take decisions, even in an environment where one has imperfect information. https://player.vimeo.com/video/400462246 


Insurers encouraging advisers operating remotely

Most of the people I know have had a very busy few days - apart from those that were already in self-isolation. The small business buyer wasn't at Pak N Save - they were at PB Tech. Not everyone is at the same place in their journey of digital transformation, and this week is a rough one for those that have more manual processes. For them, as for all of us, digital provides a welcome slice of good news.

Start with your basic hardware set-up (a reasonable laptop or desktop computer, a decent internet connection, microphone, camera, good chair, a good room in which to set it all up). Perhaps you already had an extensive home rig - and you just had to plonk the work laptop down on the desk. But maybe you've been busy with family and the pieces are in boxes taken from work over the last few days. You might want to check out some of the shots of home set-ups that people are sharing online to get some ideas. Here are two great links: 

https://refuge.nolayingup.com/t/show-us-your-rona-rig-wfh-set-up/24073

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/global-traders-creating-the-ultimate-work-from-home-rona-rigs

I particularly like the ones that show innovation, with things like computers squeezed into odd spaces, some DIY to get desks and screens that work well, and so on. The hardware, the physical office set-up in space is just the tip of the iceberg, however. It's the software, the tools, the process and the attitude you bring that makes the difference. 

Here digital has some great news for you - even if your software set-up is minimal, it doesn't matter. Digital can be adopted and improved well during your isolation - services can be set-up, signed up, and learned purely online. If you haven't done this before, you can get help online. Your tech support people will be delighted to help you - remotely, of course. Insurers have already got a wide range of online tools covering quoting, needs analysis, application, and underwriting. Quotemonster is operating - usage is up about 20% - so you can do needs analysis and write SOAs. 

There are also lots of online resources and a blizzard of emails from insurers about how cover works (normally for existing clients), how underwriting will work during this period (some restrictions on available product and some additional underwriting rules and processes), and how claims and administration work with most teams operating from home (its a bit slower, and call volumes are higher).

If you can offer a reassuring message to clients, I expect it will be gratefully received. If you can reach out to prospects and the wider community, some will doubtless respond.