Database version 14.8 is now live!

It has definitely been a big year for the Quotemonster team! 

We have recently released an updated version of the QPR database to Quotemonster which contains the following updates: 

  • New policy document versions for Accuro, AIA Private Health, ANZ Bank, and AA Health 
  • Research ratings for ASB Private Health are now available 
  • Minor reviews in Income and Mortgage Protection for Offsets, Dependent Leave without Pay, and Partial Disability amount score  
  • Minor reviews in Trauma for Survival Definition, Trauma Buyback, Cardiac Arrest, and Coma 
  • Full re-rates in Trauma for HIV, Benefit Payment, and Loss of Independence 
  • Minor reviews in TPD for Special Events and Benefit Definition over 65 
  • Minor reviews in Medical for Exclusions
  • Full re-rates in Medical for Mental Health, Second Opinion, Grief and Funeral Support, Network or Market Price Limits/UCR, Product Flexibility, and Loyalty Benefits 

Quality Product Research: Medical – proposed rating for Product Flexibility

Introduction

Recently, we read an article on Risk Info NZ about Accuro removing their time restriction for members, and former members, who want to make a claim on their policy. This led to us to review if medical providers impose a time limit to their claims. Many insurers have reported that although this clause is present in their wording, they do not enforce it at claims time, however our stance is that we have to rate based on the policy document.     

If you would like to have a read of the article, please click here

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Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Quality Product Research: Medical - Major review process commenced for UCR Limit

Introduction

Medical insurance is one of the most hotly contested areas of product comparison. Adjustments are made frequently to our Research to keep up with changes, however it’s still a complex and difficult product to compare. Following a challenge by a rated company to our methodology for assessing UCR/EMP/network limits, it’s time we reviewed the method of how insurers apply UCR Limits and have therefore started the process of a major review of this item.

Theme of review

We would like to begin by renaming the item from “UCR Limits” to "Network or market price limits/UCR"

Our review seeks to categorise and evaluate the impact of the following:

1) No requirement to use specified providers/network and no UCR/EMP

2) Requirement to use specified providers/network

3) UCR/EMP applied to all costs (including specified providers /network)

4) UCR/EMP applied to only non-network costs

5) UCR/EMP applied only specific sets of costs (e.g., overseas)

Review process

We will begin by alerting insurers of our plan to review, including the five points above anticipating they will respond with which applies to their product with appropriate references to their policy document.

Once all required information has been collected, we will make the appropriate changes to our database and share our new rating on our social platforms for further feedback.

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Database V14.6 now Live!

Our updated database is now live on Quotemonster and reflects the following changes:

Changes to Research include:

  • New policy documents and minor rating changes for Accuro and Unimed
  • Asteron Life's new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Cignas’ new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Income and Mortgage Protection product weightings have been updated (for more details click here
  • Definition reviews for:
    • Aplastic Anaemia - Trauma
    • Critical Cancer & Booster (AMP only) – reflecting the difference between the base and plus range
    • Peripheral neuropathy- Trauma
    • Diagnostic tests – Medical
    • Imaging – Medical
    • Product flexibility – Medical
    • Support & Allowance – Medical
    • Inflation Adjustment (Partners Life Income and Expenses only)
    • Offsets – Income protection
    • Partial Disability – Income and Mortgage Protection

Changes to Quotemonster include:

  • The option to add a 50% benefit loading to health cover – initiated by your feedback
  • Family Protection Research now available for AIA, Cigna, Fidelity Life and Partners Life
  • Spring cleaning for our Research ratings:
  • Optional items that are not included in the score are shown as 0*

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  •   If an insurer does not have an item (but others do) this will be shown as a dash (-) for their score

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  • A legend has been added to our Heat Map report once generated

Leg

  • Rate changes for the following companies:
    • nib (effective 1 October 2021)
    • Unimed (effective 1 August 2021)
    • AIA Private Health (effective 1 November 2021)
    • Southern Cross (effective 1 November 2021)

Please email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Crunching!


Quotemonster – Quoting any life insurer with any medical insurer

If you’ve noticed that an insurer tends to drop off when you’re quoting a package that includes medical cover, then we’d like to share a tip with you!

One of the most important features on Quotemonster is your “Settings” screen – as well as being able to set up your default occupation codes, Research report settings (whether you prefer our standard or star ratings, benefit overview or heatmap reports), user settings and security, the settings is where you can select your default product basket.

We highly recommend selecting your basket when you first create a Quotemonster account however you can alter this at any time.

Some of the major insurers like Fidelity, Cigna or Asteron do not offer a health insurance product so you can link them to a health provider which will them allow them to show up in your quotes.

Happy Crunching!

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The medical insurers and life insurers included in the FMA's Fire and General Insurers report - UPDATED

The following health insurers were included in the FMA's Insurance Conduct and Culture: Fire and General Insurers Update:

  • Accuro (HSWS)
  • nib
  • Police Health Plan
  • Southern Cross
  • Unimed

The following life insurers were included in the report: 

  • DPL Insurance Limited (which offers both fire and general and life insurance)
  • Booster Assurance Limited

Given the report is on conduct and culture the issues are not fundamentally different whether the cover offered is life, general, or health. However, it is worth pointing out in case you were unaware of the inclusion. 


FSC announce conference early bird tickets, and more daily news

The FSC has announced that early bird tickets for September’s ReGenerations Conference are now available. The FSC has highlighted that the conference will include three different workstreams and six pathways to allow attendees to hear key up-to-date information relevant to their specialities. It has been announced that the conference will also include political, industry and keynote speakers. 

 

“EarlyBird ticket sales for the FSC's flagship conference are now on sale. Great content drives great conferences and we have a stellar line-up of political, industry and keynote speakers which we will be releasing over the coming weeks.

 

The conference is structured to include three different workstreams and six pathways across the two day event, giving everyone an opportunity to hear key up-to-date information relevant to their speciality and challenge how we deliver insurance, investments and KiwiSaver to consumers.” Click here to register

 

 

In other news

Accuro: Not-for-profit insurer Accuro celebrates 50 years in business

From Good returns: Slow to adapt and fixed in our ways - the problems with life cover

Russell’s piece from Good returns: Let's give TPD a second look

FSC: Get in Shape: Session 16 - Client advice process and documents


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


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]


Accuro on how COVID-19 impacted the industry, and more daily news

Accuro CEO Lance Walker has shared insight on how COVID-19 impacted the industry. Walker has noted that Accuro saw higher than usual levels of policy suspensions and lower claims during the second quarter of 2020, then higher claims towards the end of the year. Regardless, Walker highlighted that Accuro remained resilient because of the business continuity process in place. New business sales has been described as remaining at good levels during the initial COVID-19 period in 2020 and continuing into 2021. Walker has said that there has been very strong direct sales for individual policies and strong growth in group sales. Accuro has concluded that there is now a heightened awareness of the benefits of health insurance.

“The insurance industry took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic last year, with many insurance providers and their people forced to quickly adapt to the unstable environment and address emerging risks.

Now that New Zealand has largely eradicated the pandemic, Accuro Health Insurance (Accuro) chief executive officer Lance Walker shared with Insurance Business how it impacted Accuro and the health insurance sector, the current challenges in the industry, and how to address risks.

Walker (pictured), who joined Accuro as a CEO during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, said the pandemic’s most immediate impact was that hospitals were not performing elective surgeries during the lockdown. As a result, Accuro saw lower claims during the second quarter of 2020, then higher claims towards the end of the year.

 

“We also saw higher than usual levels of suspensions due to financial hardship – although most of these are now reverting to paid policies,” Walker continued.

Despite the impacts of the pandemic on the sector, Walker shared that Accuro remained resilient, thanks to its business continuity processes.

“Like many organisations, the COVID-19 lockdown was a live test of our business continuity processes, and the team came through that with flying colours,” he said.

“We were able to conduct business remotely from day one with minimal impact on our levels of customer service (our levels of customer satisfaction remained above 90% for the 2020 year). This remote working model has continued post-COVID-19, with many of our team now choosing to work from home from time to time in line with our flexible working policies.”

Accuro’s new business sales also remained at “good levels” through both the initial COVID-19 period in 2020 and continuing into 2021.

“In particular, we have seen very strong direct sales in the individual space and strong growth in group sales,” Walker said.

“Our conclusion is that COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the benefits of health insurance – both for individuals and employers (who are even more focused now on employee health and wellbeing).”  Click here to read more

In other news

From Good returns: If in doubt - disclose

From Good returns: Aussie advisers: Not keen on digital advice

Professional IQ: Claim v circumstance seminar