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Accuro announces digital partnership, and more daily news

Accuro CEO Lance Walker has announced that Accuro has partnered with Optimation, a digital technology solutions provider, to develop a system to support innovation, efficiency, and a provide faster and more personalised digital customer services. Walker has said that the system will allow Accuro to better support new and existing members as well as helping to ensure future product implementations are more efficient. The new system will be at the center of the daily operation of Accuro, including managing policies, onboarding new members, choosing and changing plans, pricing, processing preapproval and claims, and providing services to members. The new system will help to minimise manual processes.

“According to Accuro chief executive Lance Walker, the company has teamed up with Wellington-based digital technology solutions provider Optimation to develop a new system to support innovation, efficiency, and provide faster, more personalised, digital customer services.

“As a not-for-profit cooperative insurer we are focused on delivering great customer experiences for our members and ensuring that our processes and technology enable that,” says Walker.

“This new system will allow us to better support our new and existing members and future proof us so that adding new products and services and responding to changes in the market is quicker and easier.”

The policy administration system is at the heart of Accuro’s day to day operations, including managing policies, onboarding new members, choosing and changing plans, pricing, processing preapproval and claims, and providing services to members.

“One of the real benefits we are targeting is a reduction in manual processes, which limits the ability of our team to focus on added value member servicing, and can impact on processing time and accuracy,” says Walker.” Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: Due to a global outage of Salesforce.com access to Adviser Hub, Quote and eApp was unavailable

Strategi: AML/CFT Refresher Training - Online classroom

Strategi: Financial Advice Providers: how a CAR can keep you moving

Counting the cost of COVID-19 and what to do about it

A great piece of writing at this link. It highlights both the global total of excess deaths and what to do about the pandemic. Between 7m and 10m more deaths have occurred than the world would have expected based on past trends. This is likely to be a truer total toll (so far) from the pandemic than official figures for deaths from COVID-19. That is because many deaths occur without a formal diagnosis and are therefore not recorded as such - especially in poorer countries. It also highlights that the countries hit earliest were those with high levels of international travel (which fed some conspiracy theorists) but has now spread across the poorer (and less connected) world, where it will kill many more people. 

Partners Life announce Client Engagement Team, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced expanded scope of service of the Client Engagement Team. The team was established to help advisers with customer retention and payment regulation. Recently Partners Life has decided to offer training and support to ensure the team becomes the first Nominated Representatives for Partners Life. The team will be responsible for providing customers with support regarding pricing issues and policy retention. The team will offer customers quotes for alternative Partners Life products and other retention options such as Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions. Partners Life has made clear that advisers will be involved in the process. Advisers have the option of opting their clients out of this service. Advisers that have opted out of the current services of the team will automatically be opted out.

“A few years ago, we established our Client Engagement Team to assist our advisers with customer retention and arrears. To date they have done a fantastic job!

Throughout this time however, the team have had very little scope to have truly constructive conversations with clients due to the limitations of the type of financial advice they could give.

With the recent legislative changes, we have identified an opportunity to provide the appropriate training and support to our Client Engagement Team, enabling them to become the very first Nominated Representatives for Partners Life. This means they can begin to have robust conversations with our clients regarding affordability issues, while also being able to discuss all possible options available for the clients to keep their cover in place. This can range from providing quotes for alterations or discussing other retention options within our Partners Life products, such as Premium Holidays or Policy Suspensions.

The team will be limited to discussions around affordability of select Partners Life products only, and we will ensure we involve you as our client’s financial adviser. We will refer your clients to you in the first instance and keep you involved in all communications. In fact, if you would prefer that we don’t have these conversations with your clients, then you can choose to opt out of this offering.

Our Nominated Representative service will replace the existing arrears management service our Client Engagement Team currently offer. If you have already actively opted out of the existing service, you will automatically be excluded from the Nominated Representative service and will need to advise us if you wish to now be included in the Nominated Representative service. All other advisers will automatically be included in the new offering, and you will need to advise us if you wish to be excluded.” Click here to read more

In other news

AIA: Policy letters now available through SovLink and Insight

mySolutions: from 1 July 2021 all qualified commissions (FAPO) payable by all the major insurers to be bundled into adviser commission package. They have also made a strong commitment that they will not become a FAP or 'compete' with advisers. 

Financial Advice: Getting Back to our Regions

Financial Advice: Bring in the Experts - Economist Tony Alexander - Budget Update






Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance industry - updated

12 May 2021 – Government announced its next steps to reduce merchant service fees that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay by introducing a Retail Payments Systems Bill later this year to:

  • require reductions in interchange fees as soon as possible
  • enable direct intervention by the Commerce Commission using a broad suite of powers to regulate different participants in the retail payment system
  • introduce a disclosure and reporting requirement to enable the Commerce Commission to monitor the retail payments system.

    We think this of great interest - as with several other discussions, including FMA comments on 'reasonableness' of fees for managed investment schemes and comments from     government coalition partners calling for rent controls, there seems to be a far greater willingness to contemplate direct intervention in markets. While we all like to think we are     reasonable people, the difficulty is forming a common view around what is reasonable. The marketplace has some powerful built-in stabilisers that usually work quite well. My view is     the regulation supporting the operation of the market is preferable. 


A copy of the Cabinet paper, and the submissions received, can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website at the following link: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/business/competition-regulation-and-policy/retail-payment-systems/

12 May 2021 – The Privacy Commissioner welcomed the signing this week of a memorandum of understanding with the UK’s Information Commissioner establishing a framework for cooperation between the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Information Commissioner’s Office for cross-border cooperation and to foster international collaboration. The framework sets out broad principles of collaboration between the two regulators and the legal framework governing the sharing of relevant information and intelligence between them but excludes the sharing of personal information.


12 May 2021 – The RBNZ published an analytical note titled, “An overview of the distributional effects of monetary policy - Low interest rates - who are the winners and losers?” https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/analytical-notes/2021/an2021-05

Quality Product Research: Health Insurance - major review process commenced for Exclusions (feedback closure 30/05/2021)

Following on from our correspondence in mid-March, if you wish to submit any feedback or claims experience to assist us with our review on Medical Exclusions, please do so by 30 May 2021. We appreciate the feedback we have received so far and look forward to creating a new model which will also be posted for feedback in the next few weeks.

AIA introduce AIAHub Learning, and more daily news

AIA has announced that AIAHub Learning is set to be introduced.  AIAHub Learning is intended to provide resources and help advisers keep their knowledge and skills up to date. AIA noted that AIAHub Learning has been designed to enable advisers to develop competency, knowledge and skills as well as providing a place to record all professional development activities and understand all learning requirements.

“AIA is committed to providing you with the best tools and resources to provide an outstanding financial advice service.

To help you deliver this service to your clients, and keep competence, knowledge and skill up-to-date, we are excited to introduce AIAHub Learning.

AIAHub Learning is designed to:

  • Assist you to develop and maintain your competence, knowledge and skill for the financial advice you give.
  • Provide you with a system to record your learning activities.
  • Communicate with you around your AIA learning requirements so that you can continue to focus on delivering good client outcomes.”

Click here to register

Introduction to AIAHub Learning

In other news

From Good returns: [The Wrap] You can feel the change. But is it good?

Cigna: Christine Laverty appointed as National Strategic Alliances Manager

Asteron Life simplifies policy transfers, and more daily news

Asteron Life has announced that policy transfer between advisers or to FAPs is now simplified. Advisers will no longer need to complete specific forms or send through a copy of the Sale & Purchase Agreement. Instead, advisers will need to inform their BDM who the seller and purchaser are, when the transfer will happen, and whether it is a full or partial transfer of policies. Asteron Life will send a Notice of Transfer for both parties to sign and return.  Asteron Life has highlighted that all transfer requests need pre-approval. The pre-approval will be issued when an adviser states their intention to transfer policies.

“We have simplified our process for transferring client policies to another adviser or FAP. Our new process means there are no specific forms for you to complete, and no need to send us a copy of the Sale & Purchase Agreement between the two parties. Please discard any existing Sale & Purchase or client transfer forms you might have on file, as these will no longer be accepted. 

Going forward, you only need to contact your Business Development Manager/Consultant with the following information:

  • who the two parties are (seller and purchaser);
  • when the transfer is to happen (minimum of 7 days’ notice required);
  • whether or not you are transferring all of your client portfolio or only some specific clients (in which case you’ll need to tell us their full name and policy numbers).

We will then send you a Notice of Transfer for both parties to sign and return to us to action. 

A reminder that all transfer requests do need our pre-approval. We can confirm our approval when you first advise us of your intention to sell/transfer clients to another Adviser/FAP.”

In other news

ASB: Head of Financial Advice Competency

Vahry Insurance: Julia Vahry has been selected in New Zealand as one of the most outstanding young professionals

Accuro: Accuro is celebrating its 50th anniversary

Gen Re: Finding a Way Forward for Disability Income Insurance in Australia - Considering the Financial Aspects of Product, Underwriting and Claims [Part 4 of series]

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

10 May 2021 – Privacy Commissioner stated that reported privacy breaches doubled after new Privacy Act took effect. https://privacy.org.nz/publications/statements-media-releases/reported-privacy-breaches-double-after-new-privacy-act-takes-effect/

5 May 2021 – The Financial Markets Infrastructure Bill completed third reading in Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93550/financial-market-infrastructures-bill



Partners Life share Customer Outcome Matrix update, and more daily news

Partners Life has released more information on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM). Partners Life has implemented the system changes that allows full automation of the process. From 10 May 2021, advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL. Although bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021, Partners Life has said that they aim to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting on any upcoming bonus commission changes.

“We have communicated regularly on the progress we have made on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM) and are very excited to announce that we are now implementing the system changes to ensure the full automation of the process. This means that advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL from Monday 10 May 2021.

We have always maintained that we have wanted to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting prior to any Bonus Commission changes coming into effect, allowing you sufficient time to review your own reporting and to be able to understand the feedback and how this relates to your engagement and servicing of clients.

Please remember, as previously communicated, bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021.”

In other news

Asteron Life: to celebrate underwriting rules on AsteronConnect, weekly draws will be running from 6 May – 4 June. Winners will receive $200 to use at local restaurants. 

Asteron Life: draft e-Apps which are completed but not submitted by 9pm 9 May 2021

will no longer be visible in AsteronConnect as some of the questions are changing

Asteron Life: AsteronConnect  webinars will be held on Monday 10 May, 3pm-4pm and Thursday 13 May, 9.30am-10.30am