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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

28 Feb 2022 – RBNZ advised that it is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its liquidity policy for registered banks, with submissions closing on 14 April 2022. This first consultation paper sets out the proposed issues and scope for the review. It also contains the principles proposed to be used to guide the review and decision-making. RBNZ intends to issue at least three more consultation papers as part of the review, with the entire review spanning approximately three years. The second and third consultation papers will seek feedback on a number of fundamental issues related to liquidity policy, with a fourth consultation paper expected to contain the proposed final liquidity policy text. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2022/02/feedback-sought-on-liquidity-policy-review

Asteron Life pricing update - live on Quotemonster now

On Friday 25th Asteron Life announced to advisers some changes which will go live on Monday 28th February.

Premium rate reductions are included in the changes. While we have some more detailed analysis to conduct the summary is that from age 50 up there are life rate reductions of between 9% and 13%.

Asteron's announcement also includes:

"Aside from the rate changes, the other exciting piece of news we have is an extension of our Best Doctors offer to even more customers. Currently Best Doctors is only available to our Income Protection customers, and select legacy product customers; we’ll be extending this to customers with Trauma cover as well."

The rate changes have been made live on Quotemonster now.


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

24 Feb 2022 –The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) sought feedback on the draft Insurance Contracts Bill that will make changes to improve insurance contract law, with submissions closing on 4 May 2022. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultation-on-exposure-draft-insurance-contracts-bill/

24 Feb 2022 – IRD sought feedback on its draft long-term insights briefing, “Tax, foreign investment and productivity” with submissions closing on 14 April 2022. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2022/2022-02-24-draft-ltib-consultation

24 Feb 2022 – Commission for Financial Capability announced an awareness campaign aimed at inspiring young people to learn about money as part of Global Money Week, 21 – 27 March. https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/global-push-to-get-young-people-thinking-about-money/

When Consumer becomes anti-consumer

Sonnie Bailey at Fairhaven Wealth has written the article that needed to be written on Consumer's coverage of life insurance. When I read this article I particularly resonated with this line:

"I’m consistently disappointed with Consumer when it talks about insurance."

I believe a lot of financial advisers would agree, along with many in the insurance industry, and many clients that have had good claims paid or felt the limitations of insurance products bought on, say, price alone. Some advisers would put it less politely. My concerns have been such that I wonder about the value of their other research - what technicalities about which I am unaware, are being missed? The article is significant, an 18 minute read, but excellent on every point. Every time Consumer writes about insurance I think I shall write a detailed review of their stance. Now, I don't need to, as Bailey has written it for us. Do read it.



Fidelity Life offer farmers temporary premium wavier, and more daily news

Fidelity Life will be helping farming customers affected by the flooding on the West Coast and the top of the South Island. Farming customers can apply for a temporary three month premium wavier. They’ll then be able to apply for a waiver for a further three months.

“New Zealand’s largest locally owned and operated life insurer Fidelity Life is again helping its farming customers affected by flooding, this time on the West Coast and the top of the South Island. 

From today, Fidelity Life customers who are suffering financial hardship due to the impact of the floods on their farms can apply to have their premiums temporarily waived* for three months, with the potential to extend for a further three months, without affecting their insurance protection.

Fidelity Life Chief Customer Officer Peter Doherty says the company is all about protecting New Zealanders’ way of life and has a responsibility to look after its customers, particularly in tough times.

“Farmers and growers in the West Coast and Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough districts are doing it tough following the recent floods. They’ll be facing issues like shortages of livestock feed and crop washouts, placing financial stress on their businesses.”

Fidelity Life has a close partnership with specialist rural insurer FMG, and together the two companies have a history of supporting farmers. 

In 2015 Fidelity Life made a similar offer to its dairy farming customers who were hard hit by a fall in the farmgate milk price, and in 2018 premium relief was offered to farming customers impacted by mycoplasma bovis. In 2021 the company stepped up to help flood-hit customers in Canterbury.

Peter says flood-hit West Coast and Top of the South farmers with Fidelity Life policies should contact their financial adviser for information about the offer or contact Fidelity Life on 0800 88 22 88 or customerservice@fidelitylife.co.nz.

Any other Fidelity Life customers facing financial hardship as a direct result of the floods are also encouraged to get in touch with their adviser to discuss how Fidelity Life can help.

“It’s important for the financial security of their families and their businesses that farmers keep their insurance protection in place, even when times are tough. This offer is a small thing we can do to help our customers get through this event”, Peter says.

In other news

Southern Cross: Keep calm and carry on (how to build your mental resilience)

From Stuff: Dying cancer patients say they are waiting too long for diagnosis, treatments

Important notice about our Youtube Channel

Dear Quotemonster users, 

We apologise to those of you that have been trying to access our Youtube videos, only to receive a notification that "our channel no longer exists." 

Due to a technical issue, our page has been cancelled but don't worry as we are in the process of creating, and re-uploading all our training videos. 

If you would like us to individually email you any videos, until our new channel has been made live, please feel free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz

Happy crunching! 

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, December 2021 diary released with no financial services sector related meetings noted in that month. This is perhaps surprising, given the concerns around the CCCFA, likely next round of consultation on insurance contract law review, and the release of the proposed income insurance scheme with likely substantial impacts on the total temporary disablement insurance market work $400M+ per year. However, it has been summer, perhaps as an industry we have all been a bit keen on enjoying the good weather. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark

FSC International Women's Day celebration, and more daily news

The FSC has announced that the FSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee will be hosting an International Women’s Day celebration in association with Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission. The event will be headlined by Hilary Barry and will also include Jane Wrightson, Nadine Tereora, and Gen Mora.

“The FSC is delighted to invite you to a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day and to launch an exciting new campaign we are running in association with Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission.

Featuring a keynote from one of NZ's favourite TV personalities Hilary Barry along with a panel of incredible wāhine:

  • Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson;
  • AA’s first female CEO Nadine Tereora; and
  • Mental health advocate Gen Mora.

Hosted by FSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs Kristy Redfern and Tracey Cross, and AA General Manager Ana-Marie Lockyer, this is a lineup you don’t want to miss, so register now.”

In other news

nib: nib Group has committed $20,000 in funding its Footprints partner Plan International Australia to help with the Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami

MAS: Force of Nature

Southern Cross: The energy behind the energy: taking care of the Unison team

Financial Advice: How credit and affordability reports can enable a better customer experience and a more informed consumer

Fidelity Life moves more policies onto Tahi, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that the next phase of integrating policies onto Tahi has begun. Platinum Plus, Platinum Plus Level and Mortgage Protector policies renewing from April to October have begun to be moved to the new policy management system. Please see below for policies that are excluded in the move onto Tahi.

“Late last year we launched our new policy management system (Tahi). Up until now Tahi has held only new business and a small subset of policies with a May anniversary.

We're now excited to share that on Monday 21 February, we'll be taking the next big step in the phased roll-out which involves moving Platinum Plus, Platinum Plus Level and Mortgage Protector policies renewing from April through to October, to Tahi.

Taking a phased approach has given us the opportunity to test and learn, and ultimately ensure a seamless experience for you and customers.

So what does this mean for you?

Access to systems over the weekend.

From 3pm Friday 18 February until 9am Monday 21 February, Adviser Centre will be offline for updates.

Although Apollo will still be available for illustrations, any applications submitted over the weekend or any saved in-progress eApps will only be able to be viewed via Adviser Centre from 9am Monday 21 February

Policies moving to Tahi.

From 21 February existing policies with a renewal due in April, May, June, July, August, September and October will have been moved to Tahi except for the following:

  • Policies that are paid from a consolidated direct debit.
  • Policies with direct debit or credit card payments due 15 - 18 February.
  • Policies with proposals or applications for alterations in progress.
  • Policies on claim.
  • Policies in arrears.
  • A small number of other policies for various reasons.

The reason the above are being excluded is to ensure pending proposals, alterations and payments are processed without delay to ensure the customer is not impacted.

Viewing policy details under the Tahi tab.

Under the Tahi tab in Adviser Centre there’s a policy/customer report where you’ll be able to see the details of your policies that have been moved to Tahi. Simply click on the policy number in the report to see a summary of the policy, including details of the customer.

New reporting tools just got a whole lot more useful!

Under the ‘Tahi’ tab you’ll find details of your ‘new’ new business submitted from 15 November and all existing policies that have been migrated (as outlined above).

The new reports available under the ‘Customers and policies’ tab provide you with a range of insights and will help you to better manage your customers, find opportunities within your book and track your business performance. 

A reminder of what’s new and different:

  • Proactively engage with customers around upcoming events with a calendar view of a few of the key milestones in a customer’s policy – things like special events increases, renewals, cover expiries, level term continuation options.
  • Understand what your product mix looks like across your book and discover opportunities and gaps with our cover opportunities tool.
  • Easily access information on whether a customer has an exclusion on their cover, or if they’ve missed paying a premium, understand why etc.”

In other news

nib: nib NZ announced its results for the six months to 31 December 2021

(1H22) with premium revenue up 11.2% to NZD$151.4 million while the underwriting result of NZD$10.2 million reduced 15.5% on the same time last year (1H21: NZD$12.1 million).

From NZ Herald: Regulators will show more muscle this year, directors warned

Gen Re: Celebrating a Lifetime of Reinsurance Relationship