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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. 


nib: responds to COVID-19

nib have sent out a media release on how they are dealing with COVID-19. Including these options:

MEDIA RELEASE

nib New Zealand (nib) today announced a member support package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said the health insurer had an important and critical role to play in helping Kiwis through this challenging period.

“With our country in lockdown many of our members confront profound uncertainty and the threat or reality of unemployment particularly. We are doing as much as we can to help them maintain their cover and more broadly, stay safe and healthy,” Mr Hennin said.

nib’s support package includes:

  • Ability for eligible existing members who are experiencing financial hardship to access special premium relief*.
  • Ability for eligible existing members who are experiencing financial hardship to suspend* their health insurance policy and premium payment for up to six months.
  • Automatic increase of pre-approval validity to six months meaning members do not need to reapply for pre-approval if they experience delays to hospital treatment.
  • Ability for existing members to increase their excess (payable upon hospital admission) to the maximum allowable level under their policy without needing to be re-underwritten if they choose to reduce their excess as their financial situation improves**.
  • Expanded coverage* for chest, lung, kidney and bladder or other treatment related to conditions caused by COVID-19 across all levels of hospital cover (including Basic Private Hospital Cover, Mid Private Hospital Cover and Mid Private Hospital Cover Plus where currently excluded) at no additional cost.
  • Cover for GP or specialist consultations that need to be conducted via video or tele-consultation due to COVID-19*.
  • Our specialist health management and emergency assistance team, nibAssist, will be available 24/7 for members who require immediate COVID-19 medical and non-medical health support. 
  • Help for members navigating COVID-19 by publishing across our various channels (including nib.co.nz) information on their cover, how to minimise infection risk and related matters.
  • A $1 million donation from nib foundation and nib to support charitable initiatives assisting the community across New Zealand and Australia during the pandemic.
  • Offering up to two weeks paid special discretionary leave for all nib Group employees (permanent, fixed-term or casual) who are impacted by COVID-19.

Members are encouraged to contact us to discuss available assistance.

*nib support package will be available for existing nib members (as at 31 March 2020) to access for initially a three month period, with this to be reviewed prior to 30 June 2020. Policy terms and conditions still apply. Members must have GP or specialist cover under their policy to apply for the relevant tele or video conference benefits.

**Members must apply for the excess reduction within six months of the end date of the Government mandated stay at home period


Most trusted source 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