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Financial Advice NZ members licencing progress, and more daily news

Financial Advice CEO Katrina Shanks has said that most members are now linked to a FAP. Although there are some members that still need to make changes, Shanks said that members understood what was required of them. Shanks has said that she is encouraging companies who are ready to apply for their full licence, saying that the sooner advisers apply the better.

“Financial Advice New Zealand (FANZ) chief executive Katrina Shanks says she's pleased the vast majority of the organisation's members are now linked to a financial advice provider (FAP) and that the work put in by FANZ to help its members get across the line has been worthwhile.

Shanks says apart from a couple of members who thought they had linked themselves to a FAP but had not, "...everybody seems to be relatively comfortable that they are on the register".

'We had a couple of phone calls after the event, but we worked those out.

"There is still time to contact the companies office and make the required changes...they will have to work through the process of deregistration and can't just do it all straight away."

Shanks says that on the whole FANZ members understood what was required of them.

She says FANZ won't know exactly how many members have dropped off until the end of this month, "but it will be very few".

"This process was relativity simple, obviously the fifteenth of March wasn't the end date in terms of licensing - now we move into the full licensing process and have two years to do this, but that time will go very quickly."

Shanks says FANZ knows some organisations who are ready to apply for a full license and she encourages them to "...get it done and dusted".

"The sooner you apply for the full licence the sooner you can put all of this behind you."

Overall, she says it's been pleasing to see members were prepared for the change and understood the requirements.” Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: Canterbury flooding support offered to advisers and customers. Those affected are encouraged to contact the Customer Care Team on 508 464 999

Cigna: Jozac Hillary from RMA Financial won the $1000 business kick-start prize at Cigna Live

Cigna: General Manager David Haak noted that advisers found the new eApp easy to use

From Insurance Business Mag: Are insurers investing in the wrong kind of cybersecurity?

Cigna: Multi-benefit discount extended until 31 October 2021

FSC: Get In Shape Webinar Series: Session 17 


Professional indemnity update

Curated risk has a great update on the professional indemnity market and a good contact form so that you can get an assessment and quote if you are in the market for professional indemnity cover options. Please check it out at:


Also at the bottom of the page links to a Risk Evaluation which is a fact find document and allows Curated Risk to give advisers options for their professional indemnity and liability programme.


nib announce launch of new health cover option, and more daily news

nib has announced the launch of a new health cover option, non-PHARMAC Plus, that is designed to offer members more access to potentially life-saving treatments not currently funded by PHARMAC. Members will be able to access treatments that are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered according to Medsafe’s guidelines. Non-PHARMAC Plus is now available through adviser and group business channels. Members can add the cover to new or existing hospital cover. There is no waiting periods if members choose to add this option. Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member annually. nib CEO, Rob Hennin, has said that non-PHARMAC Plus was developed to offer members more flexible and affordable options. Through non-PHARMAC Plus members have access to new unfunded medicines. When future treatments for critical illnesses become available, members will be covered.  non-PHARMAC Plus covers the cost of using non-PHARMAC treatments in private hospital or at home up to six months after being admitted to hospital and any drug administration costs once a claim is accepted.

“Leading health insurer, nib New Zealand (nib), has today launched a new health cover option to provide Kiwis with greater choice and access to potentially life-saving treatments not publicly funded by PHARMAC – the government agency responsible for deciding which medicines are subsidised as part of our public health system.

The new add-on cover, non-PHARMAC Plus, is available from today through nib’s adviser and group distribution channels with members able to add to their new or existing hospital cover.

Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member per year, allowing members to choose the level of cover that best suits their health needs and budget.

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said the non-PHARMAC Plus option was developed in response to a growing need for cover that provides members with greater choice, affordability and flexibility when it comes to modern medicines.

“New Zealand’s public healthcare system is often recognised for the level of care it provides, but we’re also ranked as having the worst access to funded modern medicines of the 20 OECD countries,” Mr Hennin said.

“Without funding, these medicines can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, placing Kiwis who are already under significant stress dealing with an illness, with the added financial burden of paying for treatments out-of-pocket.

It’s why we’ve introduced this add-on option which is designed to better protect our members’ health by making potentially life-saving treatments more affordable and accessible,” he added.

nib’s non-PHARMAC Plus option provides cover for all medicines that are not funded by PHARMAC, are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered in line with Medsafe’s guidelines – not just cancer treatments.

“The great part about our non-PHARMAC Plus option is that the add-on benefit also enables our members to ‘future-proof’ their cover so that when new unfunded medicines become available to treat critical illnesses, they’ll be covered for it,” Mr Hennin said.

“As these advancements in medicine innovations continue to take place, advisers will play a critical role in educating and informing the public of the various health cover products in market to help support their clients’ long-term health needs,” he added.

The benefit covers the cost of these medicines where nib has accepted a claim for treatment and where the non-PHARMAC drugs are used in a private hospital or at home for up to six months after being admitted to hospital for treatment. The benefit also covers any drug administration costs. Additionally, there are no waiting periods if members choose to add this option to their policy.”

In other news

Financial Advice NZ: Dunedin roadshow to be held Tuesday, 29 June – 9:30am to 12pm

Financial Advice NZ webinar: Update from the FMA, unbundling Full Licensing, and Consultation on Financial Advice NZ Constitution

Financial Advice NZ: Professional Ethics Workshop

Grieving: stage theory challenged

Research challenges the popular stage theory of grieving: 

"Grieving is not a stage-like, sequential, orderly, predictable process across time. Bereaved people do not (and should not expect to) go through a set pattern of specific reactions. Grief can involve complex, fluctuating, emotional reactions (sometimes experienced as a ‘‘roller coaster’’). There are different patterns of ‘‘normal’’ (as well as complicated) ways of grieving. Patterns vary greatly in terms of specific reactions, time-related changes, and duration of acute grieving period. There are large individual/cultural differences in reactions to loss. There is no sound scientific basis for Kübler-Ross’s stages."

The research recommends that those teaching on grieving or offering support for those grieving should explore some of the other research and models. More information at this link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0030222817691870 

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

18 June 2021 – MBIE published a response to the review completed by PwC on the Research and Development Tax Incentive. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/research-and-development-tax-incentive-pwc-report/

18 June 2021 – NZX announced four appointments to the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for a three-year term, including John Dixon QC, Pip Dunphy, Dave Roberton and Rachael Newsome. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/374147

17 June 2021 – APRA released annual life insurance supplementary statistical tables and biannual life insurance institution-level statistics for December 2020. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-supplementary-statistical-tables-and-0

17 June 2021 – FMA update released including comment on:

  • Research results on KiwiSaver switching during COVID-19, which showed a high level of switching among young people.


  • Gillian Boyes, FMA Manager Investor Capability, has written how the new research points to different ways KiwiSaver providers may better support investors when uncertainty next hits world markets.


  • Financial advice update: Focus shifts to full FAP licensing, with a link to the licensing Guide and application kit


  • Financial statements - extension to filing requirements


  • Auditor regulation and oversight plan 2021-2024


  • Lender responsibilities - information sheet update


  • Class exemption - Catalist issuers making 'same class' offers and small offers


  • Class exemption - Employee share purchase schemes


17 June 2021 – RBNZ advised it had finalised bank capital rules and improved the format of banking rules. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/06/reserve-bank-finalises-bank-capital-rules-improves-format-of-banking-rules

15 June 2021 - New research released by the Financial Services Council (FSC) revealed the rise of the digital investor; micro-investing platforms and technology. https://www.fsc.org.nz/bulletin_display/x_blog_code/2150.html

16 June 2021 - Office of the Privacy Commissioner web post advised of its proactive approach to remind and warn individual organisations of their statutory responsibilities under the Privacy Act 2020, including three recent examples. https://privacy.org.nz/blog/opc-sends-warnings-to-organisations-to-get-it-right-next-time/

16 June 2021 – RBNZ advised of its updated shared Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy with the Minister of Finance, including adding debt serviceability restrictions to the list of potential tools available. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/06/debt-serviceability-restrictions-added-to-policy-toolkit

Cigna makes several new appointments, and more daily news

Cigna has made several appointments. Distribution General Manager David Haak has said that the new appointments highlight a number of things including Cigna’s commitment to ensuring customers have access to independent financial advice, Cigna’s growing market presence, and Cigna’s commitment to offering advisers quality service. Karen Smith is the new Distribution Operations Manager. Danielle Penberthy is the Auckland Business Partnership Manager team. Ian Greig is now part of the Christchurch Business Partnership Team. Christine Laverty has been appointed as the National Strategic Alliances Manager.

“Cigna distribution general manager David Haak says the appointments reinforce the company’s commitment to ensuring New Zealanders have access to quality, independent financial advice.

“This expansion reflects Cigna’s growing presence in the market and will help us to continue providing advisers with a market-leading service offering, Haak says.

The new team is made up of Karen Smith, who joins Cigna from AIA/Sovereign as distribution operations manager.

Smith is a well-known and respected face in the industry with more than 22 years of experience and will head up Cigna’s behind-the-scenes support for advisers.

Danielle Penberthy joins the Auckland-based business partnership manager team from Insurance/Mortgage Link and previously Fidelity Life.

Danielle brings over 19 years of industry and sales experience to Cigna.

In the South Island, Ian Greig joins the business partnership team from Asteron and will be based in Christchurch.

Greig has 30 years of experience in financial services, adviser and sales manager roles.

Christine Laverty has been given the newly created role of national strategic alliances manager. Laverty will work closely with dealer and corporate groups as well as new business opportunities.

“Partnering with advisers through high-quality, personal relationships, service and support is our top priority here at Cigna," says Haak.

"I’m proud to say no matter where you are in New Zealand you can be confident a member of our talented team will be by your side when you need us."

All appointments are now active in their new roles.” Click here to read more


In other news

From Insurance Business News: Women in Insurance: How have equal opportunity policies developed?

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life steps up for Canterbury farmers

Partners Life: Partners Life Product Launch 2021 with Steve Wright - General Manager Professional Development webinar #1 on 1 July at 9.30am

Partners Life Product Launch 2021 with Steve Wright - General Manager Professional Development Webinar #2 on 5 July at 10.30am

Partners Life announce new products, more daily news

Partners Life Chief Marketing Officer Kris Ballantyne announced two new products, Income and Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma Cover. These new products were created based on the belief that insurers need to be sensitive in regards to pricing and affordability. The new IP product is designed to be an option for new and existing business. The cover is 25% cheaper than similar existing products. The Moderate Trauma Cover sits between the existing standard trauma cover and severe trauma cover. The cover is approximately 20% cheaper than other trauma covers offered.

“At a recent conference, Partners Life chief marketing officer Kris Ballantyne gave advisers an overview of their new products - Income and Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma Cover. 

He told attendees that insurers "...need to be sensitive toward pricing and affordability for customers as prices go up".

"The truth about income cover is that the claims experience is declining fast for a number of reasons and has been for some time.

"Some of these reasons are self-inflicted wounds from insurers like ourselves...for example, mortgage repayment cover not offsetting ACC allowable income.

"This makes no sense objectively, but it's a good competitive edge. So it happened and everyone followed [and] that's a position we've created as an industry."

Ballantyne says in Australia the issue has become so bad that industry regulators have stepped in and started to mandate "...what products can look like, what products can be and how products are going to work".

"It is one of the worst product designs I have ever seen in my life, it actually offends me as a product person.

Ballantyne says some companies are taking steps to fix the problems with income cover such as better underwriting and raising prices to maintain profitability.

"The better long term solution is that we as an industry define how we are going to fix it rather than it being dictated to us."

Partners Life's response is the introduction of Income and Expenses Cover that Wright described as a disability income-style product with the key difference being it's about 25% cheaper than similar products already in the market.

"It also has an ability to account for household expenses as a loss of earnings paid position.

"But the definition of DI will change after one year to a reasonable occupation definition - by way of suitable experience and training - you get 80% of that same income.

"That's a way we protect against those long-lasting claims that start as one thing and transform into another.

He says the new product is an option for both new business and existing business as a retention strategy.

The second product launched is Moderate Trauma Cover, which sits between standard trauma cover and severe trauma cover.

"Trauma is going to keep getting more expensive, severe trauma has stayed more or less the same, but the gap between the definitions is widening."

Ballantyne used the example of the definition of cancer in trauma claims.

"It looks like the cancer definition on trauma requires malignancy, it requires spread - it doesn't.

"We are paying full trauma claims of hundreds of thousands, or in some cases millions of dollars, on stage zero cancers which are asymptomatic and shouldn't even be treated from a medical prognosis point of view.

"That is crazy and is only going to lead to more and more claims dollars being paid out and that price going up and up in the future."

Ballantyne says the severe trauma definition sits at stage four and stage three cancer where treatment is likely to fail.

"Where moderate trauma cover sits at stage two, at the point where it has spread, and does show malignancy and requires some form of treatment."

He says the Partners Life product will be about 20% cheaper than trauma cover offered today.” Click here to read more

In other news

Asteron Life: Suncorp NZ invests in a technology-enabled workforce

mySolutions: mySolutions recently formed a partnership with Prosper Group

FSC: 13 days left to get EarlyBird tickets

Strategi: AML/CFT Refresher Training - Classroom

AIA Vitality campaign launches and more daily news

AIA has announced the launch of an AIA Vitality campaign to encourage advisers to share their AIA Vitality experiences. AIA has noted that the campaign is designed to support adviser businesses and amplify health and wellbeing. Chief Partnership Insurance Officer Sam Tremethick has said that AIA is aware of countless AIA Vitality stories and would like to hear more personal stories from advisers and clients. Advisers have the opportunity to share their stories and go into the draw to win a day with one of the AIA Vitality ambassadors. Ambassadors will offer their services throughout the day. Advisers are able to enter the draw until 9 July 2021.

“AIA New Zealand has launched a campaign encouraging its advisers to share their experiences with AIA Vitality, the insurer’s flagship programme.

The campaign’s winners can spend a day with one of the programme’s three ambassadors: Dame Valerie Adams, former All Black Ian Jones, and wellness advocate Jess Quinn. The ambassadors will support the winning advisers in their business for a day, taking part in various activities, such as speaking at a business event, participating in a team activity, or supporting a community project. 

According to AIA NZ, the competition is its way to further support advisers’ businesses with a creative concept, as well as broadcasting its message of health and wellbeing for all New Zealanders. Entries are open until July 09, and can be submitted through the AIA NZ website.

“There are so many amazing stories out there that bring the AIA Vitality journey to life,” said AIA NZ chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick. “We know of advisers who have seen significant mental and physical benefits since joining the program, and clients who’ve shared their own positive personal experiences. We’d love to hear more of these, and how together we’re making a difference in people’s lives.” Click here to read more


In other news

nib: clients that have stopped vaping and/or smoking tobacco for more than 12 months, can apply for non-smokers rates

Russell’s piece in Good Returns: The tale of two claims - The media's perception of insurance


Quality Product Research: Medical - major review process commenced for Medical Amount Scores (feedback closure 30/06/2021)

Following on from our correspondence in mid-April, if you wish to submit any feedback or claims experience to assist us with our review on Medical Amount Score, please do so by 30 June 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.