« October 2020 | Main

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

30 Nov 2020 - Reserve Bank invited feedback on scope of the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act (IPSA) 2010 and associated Insurer Solvency Standards, releasing two consultation papers, with submissions closing on both papers on 18 Feb 2021. The Reserve Bank will be hosting a webinar to discuss the consultations on Monday 14 December. To express your interest in participating, email rbnz-info@rbnz.govt.nz Link to the announcement at https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-invites-feedback-on-scope-of-insurance-act-and-structure-of-solvency-standards

26 Nov 2020 - Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) today announced a merger into one single organisation under the Financial Services Council banner from 1 December 2020, creating a membership association of close to 90 organisations. https://www.fsc.org.nz/site/fsc1/201126%20Health%20Funds%20Association%20of%20NZ%20to%20merge%20with%20the%20Financial%20Services%20Council.pdf

26 Nov 2020 – IRD tax policy website included information and a link to the Minister of Revenue’s speech to CAANZ on 19 Nov 2020, outlining the Government’s tax priorities in the short term. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/keynote-address-chartered-accountants-australia-and-new-zealand-conference

27 Nov 2020 - NZX confirmed plans to create an Information Technology (IT) working group that will include leading representatives from across the capital markets’ technology ecosystem. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/364053

27 Nov 2020 – Privacy Commission website included a new post on transitioning from Privacy Act 1993 to Privacy Act 2020. https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/transitioning-from-the-privacy-act-1993-to-the-privacy-act-2020/


AIA enhance AIA Vitality, and more daily news

AIA has announced the addition of a new benefit to AIA Vitality. Customers will have the chance to earn an Apple Watch when weekly physical targets are reached. This change is intended to motivate customers to increase physical activity. To have the chance to earn the Apple watch customers will need to enter into an interest-free loan agreement to ensure upfront costs are covered. Once customers enter to agreement, AIA contributes to monthly repayments, if physical targets are met, customers will not be required to pay anything. Len Elikhis, chief product and vitality officer, has said that this new addition to AIA Vitality will offers significant value to customers.

“AIA recently launched a new benefit for its AIA Vitality customers, and is giving them the chance to earn an Apple Watch for reaching weekly physical targets – an initiative it says will be a strong motivator for customers to increase their physical activity.

 

To earn their Apple Watch, customers must enter into an interest-free loan agreement to cover the upfront cost. AIA then contributes to the monthly repayments, and if all physical targets are reached, the customer ends up paying $0.

 

Len Elikhis, chief product and vitality officer says the initiative offers “significant value” to the AIA Vitality membership base, which has been growing steadily since its launch.”

 

Elikhis noted that the new initiative is intended to make the Apple Watch Series 6 more accessible as well as encouraging members to achieve goals. 

“The Apple Watch Benefit is another example of the significant value AIA Vitality is providing for our members,” he concluded.

 

“The aim of the benefit is to make it easier for members to access Apple Watch Series 6 to further encourage our members to achieve their physical activity goals.” Click here to read more 

In other news

AMP: AMP Capital insider flies into top job

NZFSG: NZFSG Makes New Appointment


Fidelity Life wins top culture award, and more daily news

The Technology team at Fidelity Life was awarded the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards. Dan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer, has said that the award is a reflection of the team’s strong culture. Wilkinson noted that culture was the first thing Fidelity Life invested in when beginning its transformation journey. Fidelity Life has said the award represents the five-year transformation strategy in place.

“Fidelity Life’s Technology team, led by Chief Technology Officer Dan Wilkinson, was presented with the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards, a celebration of the best of the best from New Zealand’s technology community.

Dan says the award reflects a strong, above-the-line culture right across the business.

“Our culture is the foundation for every single thing we do at Fidelity Life. It was the first thing we invested in when we started our transformation journey and it’s what gets our people out of bed every day to do the amazing things we do.

“When your culture and strategy are aligned, you will win”, says Dan.

The award represents further progress on Fidelity Life’s bold five-year transformation strategy, which is built on the idea of reimagining life insurance for New Zealanders and aims to deliver sustainable growth.

Key transformation projects include Project Watson, a $25 million investment in a new technology platform due for completion in the second half of 2021; and moving to a brand new 6-star rated green building in Auckland’s Fanshawe Street planned for September 2021.”

In other news

From Insurance Business Mag: Is it OK to give clients gifts?

RBNZ: Reserve Bank Response To Letter From Minister Of Finance


Recent Product Updates

QPR subscribers have just received the latest database version (138) it is also live on Quotemonster, the changes in this version include:

* Cigna - new policy document 11/11/2020 -  rating changes applied

* Unimed - new policy document 01/08/2020 -  rating changes applied

* AA Health - new policy document nib366402 and nib366401 effective 01/05/2019 -  rating changes applied

* ANZ Life and Living - new policy document A0006 effective 31/01/2020 -  rating changes applied

* Momentum Life: - New policy document for Life 2633-MLPL2-PW 22/10/2020, New policy document for funeral 2667-MLF6-PW 21/09/2020 - Rating changes applied

* Revised view on: Medical - Treatment (overseas)


Industry associations merge

The Health Funds Association of NZ will merge with the Financial Services Council from 1 December. Congratulations to the FSC and HFANZ on concluding the merger. In an increasingly complex environment, driven by regulatory change, technology, and consumer choice, it makes sense to have a single, stronger, industry advocate capable to looking across the wide range of issues in common facing the sector. 

From the media release: 

Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and the Financial Services Council (FSC)
today announced a merger into one single organisation under the Financial Services Council
banner from 1 December 2020, creating a membership association of close to 90
organisations.

In a major milestone for the sector, the merger brings together Health Insurance with the
Life Insurance, KiwiSaver, and Investment industries and will place a focus on achieving
good customer outcomes, ensuring sustainability of the sector, and lifting standards and
professionalism from a single, stronger voice.

Rob Flannagan, Chair of the Financial Services Council said, “The merger is a great
opportunity to bring the health and life insurance industry together under one roof and
focus the efforts of our joint members on the important issues of the day, and most
importantly of all, driving better consumer outcomes.”

Len Elikhis, Chair of HFANZ, said “The Health Funds Association of NZ members represent
80% of the health insurance sector and has a rich heritage of over 30 years.

“The private health insurance sector supports 1.4m New Zealanders to meet their health
care costs. We believe that a well-balanced and integrated health system is key to achieving
great patient outcomes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their significant contribution
and we look forward to playing an active part within the Financial Services Council,”
concluded Elikhis.

Richard Klipin, CEO of the Financial Services Council said, “Coming together to build a
stronger association is exciting and important for protecting the health of Kiwis.

“With a bigger, stronger and larger organisation of around 90 members, this merger will
focus our work in the sector and create a stronger voice that will help shape the future
financial wellbeing of Kiwis,” concluded Klipin.


Quotemonster is looking for a General Manager

Alan Rafe has decided to step down as CEO and Quotemonster are now looking to hire a General Manager. This role suits an aspiring leader with a substantial part of their experience in life and health insurance product development, claims assessment, or underwriting. If you are interested, or know someone who might be please use this link to apply. 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

24 Nov 2020 – The Law Commission published its report titled, “The Use of DNA in criminal investigations”. The report’s recommendations include replacing the current law which the Commission states is neither comprehensive nor future proofed. Hon Kris Faafoi, Minister of Justice, acknowledged receiving the report and stated that the Government will now consider the report’s 193 recommendations. https://www.lawcom.govt.nz/our-projects/use-dna-criminal-investigations?#1627

24 Nov 2020 – The Police Financial Intelligence Unit published “The Suspicious Activity Report for Oct 2020. https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/fiu-monthly-report-oct-2020.pdf

25 Nov 2020 - NZX announced the permanent establishment of a Technology Committee to provide specialist governance oversight of the role and use of technology in executing NZX's strategy. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/363847

20 Nov 2020 - South Pacific Central Bank Governors' committed to cost effective remittances https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/south-pacific-central-bank-governors-committed-to-cost-effective-remittances

24 Nov 2020 - Reserve Bank response to letter from Minister of Finance (on housing) https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-response-to-letter-from-minister-of-finance  Also note this link containing a link to the Minister’s letter to the RBNZ https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-review-housing-settings

25 Nov 2020 - New Zealand's financial system supported by health, fiscal and monetary policy responses (November 2020 Financial Stability Report) https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/new-zealands-financial-system-supported-by-health-fiscal-and-monetary-policy-responses

 


Southern Cross awarded gold for COVID-19 response, and more daily news

Southern Cross has been awarded gold in Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards in the health and travel insurance categories for the support offered to members during the pandemic.  This is the fourth consecutive that Southern Cross has be awarded gold in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards health insurance category and second consecutive year that it has been awarded gold in the travel insurance category. Southern Cross has credited it’s focus on supporting members during the pandemic as the main reason for being awarded gold.

“Southern Cross has been recognised for the way it has supported customers during an extraordinary year by winning gold in both the health and travel insurance categories in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards.

The awards are facilitated every year to determine which New Zealand organisations have delivered the most outstanding customer service. Consumers rate organisations on personalisation, understanding, simplicity and satisfaction.

This is the fourth consecutive gold for Southern Cross Health Insurance (SCHI) and the second in a row for Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI). Both organisations come under the Southern Cross brand, and are businesses united by a not-for-profit ethos helping Kiwis look after their health and wellbeing.

Southern Cross maintained this award-winning customer service throughout the pandemic by focusing its efforts on supporting customers in ways that would have the most impact.”

Louise Waterson, Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest, noted that challenges faced in 2020 reflect the importance of focusing on customer service. Waterson said Southern Cross achieved excellent customer service.

“Louise Waterson, Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest, said the challenges of this year have highlighted the importance of delivering excellent service to customers.

“For another year, Southern Cross has achieved such excellence, and continues to raise the benchmark of what outcomes customers of health and travel insurance can expect. Only the highest standards will do when fulfilling the health and travel needs and concerns of their customers and their families. New Zealanders appreciate the skill, professionalism and compassion shown by Southern Cross – all of which makes for a winning business strategy. Congratulations,” she said.”

In other news

FMA: Guide for providers of Financial Advice Services – an introduction to Full Licence requirements

From NZ Herald: Son of killer Kiwi dad Rowan Baxter who murdered wife Hannah, 3 kids is suing her parents - as a substantial life insurance payment is disputed due to intestacy

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life is urging advisers to complete the licensing questionnaire before the end of November to ensure new business is accepted and commission is paid