In a recent newsletter we mentioned that we were in the process of developing a one page personal risk plan summary for Advicemonster (our system for fact-finding, needs analysis and producing a statement of advice). If you would like to see our draft of this development - please email one of the team at email@example.com
20 Oct 2021 - The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill was read a first time and referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Parliamentary Select Committee with report back due by 19 April 2022.
20 Oct 2021 – Department of Internal Affairs issued a reminder regarding AML/CFT obligations following release of the “Pandora Papers.” https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-Reminder---Pandora-Papers
20 Oct 2021 - The third reading of the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament.
20 Oct 2021 – FMA media release outlining its expanded role as a result of the passage of the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/climate-related-disclosure-fma-responsibilities/
Oct 2021 – External Reporting Board released a consultation on climate related disclosures focused on the proposed Governance and Risk Management sections, Aotearoa New Zealand Climate Standard 1: Climate-related Disclosures (NZ CS 1)., with submissions closing on 22 November 2021. The Board is also working on the proposed sections for Strategy, and Metrics and Targets and intend to issue those for consultation in March 2022. https://www.xrb.govt.nz/extended-external-reporting/climate-related-disclosures/consultation-and-engagement/governance-and-risk-management-consultation-document/
20 Oct 2021 – The Financial Professional Services Trading Advice Transparency Bill was introduced to Parliament as a member’s bill, proposing to prevent financial advisers who recommend that a third party take over the management or disposal of a business or its assets from performing such a function themselves. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_116381/financial-professional-services-trading-advice-transparency
We have scheduled the following training sessions for November & December!
Make the most out of your time at home or refresh your knowledge by joining one of our sessions below:
Quotemonster Basic (Introductory session - great for new users or for a refresher)
- Wednesday, 10 November 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
- Thursday, 25 November 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
- Thursday, 16 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Quotemonster Deep Dive (great for advanced users who use Quotemonster on a regular basis)
- Thursday, 18 November 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
- Thursday, 9 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Advicemonster (great for those who would like to learn more about our Statement of Advice (SOA) subscription)
- Thursday, 4 November 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
- Thursday, 2 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Please feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the session you'd like to attend and we will organise to send through the zoom link
Fidelity Life has announced the creation of the Solutions and Services team. The team will be led by Trecia Brown in her new role of Head of Solutions and Services. The Solutions and Services team will be responsible for delivering advice solutions, professional development, and the Building Better Businesses programme.
“Fidelity Life is transforming its support for advisers with the creation of a new team delivering solutions across the areas of advice (including advice-tech) and professional development, as well as an expansion of the company’s market-leading Building Better Businesses programme.
The new Solutions and Services team will be headed by the widely experienced Trecia Brown. Drawing on her 30-year career in financial services, Trecia steps up from her current position as Head of Professional Development to become Head of Solutions and Services.
Fidelity Life Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan says Fidelity Life is on a mission to deliver best-in-market support to advisers.
“We’re making great progress with our customer-led transformation, and that includes expanding our adviser and partner propositions so together we can help more New Zealanders get the benefits of insurance protection.
“Our new Solutions and Services team recognises advisers’ needs are constantly evolving as the broader business environment changes. Taking our cues from a range of stakeholders including customers, advisers and regulators, as well as from emerging technologies, our intention is to help advisers stay one step ahead,” says Bronwyn.
One of the first cabs off the rank is a new video series specifically for financial advice businesses and designed in conjunction with well-known business and leadership coach Jennifer Myers.
“Working on your business is just as important as working in it, and this new video series will help advisers build and maintain a resilient business,” says Trecia.
“As well as covering key topics like setting business goals, identifying target markets, and building your personal brand, we also look at finessing advisers’ softer skills which are often overlooked as an essential ingredient to running a successful business.”
Meanwhile, Fidelity Life’s Building Better Businesses programme is also set for further expansion, with new modules in the pipeline including business diagnostics, behavioural economics and benchmarking.
Today’s announcement follows the unveiling of Fidelity Life’s new look Strategic Alliances team last week and continues the momentum of the firm’s customer-led transformation.”
In other news
Cigna: pay later option available on eApp for customers that have been referred for further underwriting
Financial Advice: Financial Advice submitted on the Advertising Standards Authority Consultation on the new draft Financial Advertising Code
FSC: 5 sleeps until ReGenerations Reimagined
October 15 is Global Handwashing Day
World Food Day will be on 16 October
World Osteoporosis Day will be on 20 October
Fidelity Life has revealed that the underlying profit for the year ended 30 June 2021 was $22.5 million. Fidelity Life has identified an increase in net premium revenue, strong new business, less policy lapses, and expense management as key drivers. CEO Melissa Cantell has said that she is pleased with Fidelity Life’s achievements and is looking forward to the future.
“Fidelity Life’s core business continued to perform well in the 2021 financial year as it boosted transformation spend and remained resilient against the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Underlying profit for the country’s largest locally owned life insurer for the year ended 30 June 2021 rose to $22.5m from $20.3m in 2020. Key drivers were a $6.1 million uplift in net premium revenue off the back of strong new business, fewer than expected policy lapses and robust expense management.
The company paid $130.8 million in claims to its customers compared to $139.7 million in 2020.
Total comprehensive income fell to $4.3 million from $17.9 million in 2020, reflecting a total of $9.3 million invested in key transformation projects (net of tax), including the firm’s new technology platform and the proposed acquisition of Westpac Life. In addition, a sharp rise in government bond rates had a $7.3 million impact (net of tax).
Chair Brian Blake said the $400 million Westpac Life deal was one of the most significant events in the company’s history and, once completed, would see Fidelity Life welcome Ngāi Tahu Capital as a major shareholder alongside the NZ Super Fund.
“As well as strengthening our New Zealand-owned credentials and providing greater access to capital, having two iconic New Zealand investors on our share register sends a strong signal to the market about the quality and potential of Fidelity Life.”
CEO Melissa Cantell, who started at Fidelity Life in January 2021, said she was pleased with the firm’s achievements and was looking to the future with confidence.
“We’ve worked hard this year and put strong foundations in place. We continued to invest in our transformation, while at the same time delivering an underlying result which shows our core business of providing life insurance to New Zealanders is performing well.
“Looking to the future, there’s a lot to be excited about as we work towards our aspiration to reimagine life insurance. Completing our technology build and the game-changing acquisition of Westpac Life will be key, as will ensuring we maintain our relentless focus on our customers.”
In other news
In response to increasing demands to accept electronic signature services Partners Life has announced that they will begin accepting documents with electronic signatures that are submitted through a range of e-signature services. Partners Life may request further information if a submitted document doesn’t clearly show the electronic service used. Additional information may include the document’s audit trail to ensure one of the approved services have been used.
“We have received an increasing number of requests regarding the acceptance of electronic signature services. Electronic signature services provide a safe, auditable means for clients to sign documents digitally.
We can confirm we will accept documents signed using the following services:
If a submitted document does not display the electronic service used, we may request further information, such as the document’s audit trail, to be certain it was signed using one of the approved services. Please note Memorandum of Transfer forms cannot be signed using electronic signatures and we still require a physical signature on these forms.”
In other news:
FSC: ReGenerations Reimagined will begin on 19 October at 3.30pm
6 Oct 2021 – Law Commission launched a review of the law relating to adult decision-making capacity and published the Terms of Reference that will guide the review. This may have a bearing on how you identify and help clients that may be vulnerable in some way, some disabled clients, as well as those of you that may work with very elderly clients. There will be a public consultation process in 2022 and an intent to report to the Minister of Justice by the end of 2023. https://www.lawcom.govt.nz/media-release/law-commission-review-law-relating-adult-decision-making-capacity
6 Oct 2021 – MBIE announced that Government is seeking feedback on creating a Digital Strategy for New Zealand, with a closing date for feedback of 10 Nov 2021.
7 Oct 2021 – The Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a paper setting out the position of the Office on how the Privacy Act regulates bio-metrics. https://privacy.org.nz/publications/guidance-resources/biometrics-and-privacy/
An insurable event is one which can be defined, measured, and is uncertain. Uncertainty is crucial. Things that are certain cannot be insured. Another feature of an insurance contract is asymmetrical information – we know general risks – like how likely cancer is – the insured knows specific risks – like how their health is. We have an obligation to each other, defined in law as utmost good faith.
But of course, you know all that.
Some people don’t, and some of them are actively working to break down the essential elements of the insurance process. One of those is the right to underwrite. We need to defend that. If a person knows that they are much, much more likely to suffer a critical illness such as cancer, they will be much, much more likely to seek insurance. This anti-selection causes headaches for both insurers and everyone else in the same risk pool: people with normal risks who end up paying over the odds for their cover. Pricing for risk is vital. Does this make me heartless about the problems of the person who is far more likely to develop cancer – not at all – I am glad to contribute to the costs of their care and support them, as we do through our health service and welfare benefits if they are needed. But some people believe private insurers can be compelled to cover people without pricing for the risk to the general good of all. I wish this were the case, but if we do compel insurers to take uninsurable risks, we are likely to see insurance enter a swiftly downward heading spiral: as costs rise the healthier and wealthier lives head for the exit, relying on higher savings and family to help. When that happens the remaining pool must be re-priced higher, which in turn makes the cover un-affordable for all but the worst risks. Then the risk pool fails – and no one has cover. A valuable risk sharing tool is lost.
If the aim is to destroy the insurance industry, depriving millions of a valuable risk sharing tool, the best way to do that is to deny the right to price risk. That takes all sorts of forms: the most common we have heard of recently is that we should not be able to price for mental health risks, or that we should cover cosmetic procedures in health, or that policies should always return the whole of the premium paid, or that we can’t ask all the questions we need to when underwriting, or that it is okay for the insured to withhold medical information. We must always push back against the idea that each of these would be a cost-less decision to take and would not harm other New Zealanders. Each would have consequences. Things that are certain - or very nearly certain - like events in the past or inherited conditions which emerge in later life, are not suited to insurance. As a society we need to look after people who suffer in this way - and that is probably the role of government, not insurance.
Of course, when it comes to underwriting, insurers could do more around education. Looser underwriting rules may have an adverse claims impact. Most clients cannot know that. Material non-disclosure is not very common, normally it’s a genuine mistake. Mistake or not, some of the non-disclosure can be driven by fear or shame. Being clear about the benefits of underwriting can help reduce these a lot - as can smart question design.
In other news
AIA has announced data can be passed from Iress’ Risk Researcher tool to AIA’s Quote Builder and eApp. Click here to read more
Health insurer nib has replaced the free travel insurance cover feature that was part of Ultimate Health with some additional mental health coverage. Details are to come.
Not vaccinated yet? Click here to get it done: https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/
Southern Cross has revealed that spinal fusions was the most expensive surgical claim in the year to 30 June 2021, with the most expensive claim costing $222,000. Radical neck dissection surgeries were the next most expensive claims. The three most common claims made were for cryotherapy procedures (34,000 claims), excisions of skin lesions (31,000 claims) and minor surgery performed by a GP (26,000 claims). In the year ended 30 June 2021, Southern Cross paid more than three million claims valued at $1.12 billion.
“Surgery for bad backs has topped the list of most expensive surgical claims funded by Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) in the year to 30 June 2021, with the highest individual claim coming to $222,000.
Eight of the top 10 most expensive claims paid by New Zealand’s leading health insurer were for spinal fusions - surgery which permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the spine – with four claims topping a whopping $200,000.
Southern Cross Chief Medical Officer, Stephen Child, said that the expense and volume of these claims demonstrate the value and benefits of health insurance.
“Whether you require expensive surgery such as spinal fusion, or if you are one of thousands needing a more common procedure, such as the removal of a skin lesion, Southern Cross members can have the assurance they are covered for unexpected events.”
The next two most expensive claims were for radical neck dissection surgery, which involves the removal of cancerous tumours, with each claim totalling more than $150,000.
Child said spinal fusion is a highly complex procedure and therefore can be very costly.
“Spinal fusion surgery is a very serious procedure that’s typically performed by an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Often it involves the implantation of extensive metalware and artificial bone, which results in additional cost and expense.”
Southern Cross is a not-for-profit Friendly Society which operates solely for the benefit of members. For the year ended 30 June 2021, it paid more than three million claims valued at $1.12 billion
When looking at what were the most common claims paid by Southern Cross, the highest by volume was cryotherapy procedures (34,000 individual claims), followed by excisions of skin lesions (31,000) and minor surgery performed by a GP (26,000).
Cryotherapy breaks down skin lesions or skin abnormalities at the site through freezing. A skin excision procedure involves the cutting of abnormal tissue away from healthy tissue.
Colonoscopies, which look for signs of bowel cancer and investigate causes of pain, bleeding or changed bowel habits, were the fourth most commonly-funded procedure, with 23,000 claims paid by Southern Cross.
“Given the high incidence of skin cancer in New Zealand, it isn’t surprising skin lesion removal is one of the most common procedures we fund,” Child said.
Although the individual claim costs can be high, Southern Cross Health Society’s Affiliated Provider programme has helped to dampen rising healthcare costs, achieving more than $220 million of savings for members through the programme since 2012.”
Top 10 most expensive individual claims in FY21
Radical Neck Dissection
Radical Neck Dissection
Top 10 procedures by volume in FY21
Number of procedures funded
Cryotherapy of Skin Lesions
Liquid nitrogen treatment to freeze and destruct an abnormality.
Excision Skin Lesion
Cutting out abnormal tissue away, usually related to cancer.
GP minor surgery
An exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
An injection or shot of medicine into the eye.
A test to look at the inside of the nose, the throat (pharynx) and the voice box (larynx).
Biopsy of Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue
A procedure to remove cells or skin samples from the body for laboratory examination.
Cataract extraction and insert IOL
Removal of cloudy lens in the eye and replacement with artificial IOL (intraocular) lens.
Gastroscopy (+/- Biopsy / Polyp)
A procedure to examine the upper part of the digestive system.
Removal of Teeth
In other news
Effective Monday, 27 September, Asteron announced a series of product enhancements to their personal range. Asteron Life has announced that changes have been made to expiry ages for Trauma Recovery Cover. The new expiry age for both standalone and accelerated benefits has increased from 75 to 85. Additionally, the expiry age for Continuous Trauma and Trauma Reinstatement benefit have increased to 75, and the maximum entry age for Asteron Life Trauma cover has increased to 70. Robyn Bartlett, Asteron Life Product Manager, has noted that the changes are a result of focusing on flexibility and usability for both advisers and customers. As part of the change, Astron Life has also:
- Added premium holiday benefit and premium and cover suspension to business insurance policies
- Added a new lump sum specific injury benefit
- Made changes to its Major Trauma ratios
- Changed the definitions for seven conditions in its Trauma policies for new and existing customers back to 2004
- Updatied policy wordings for various benefits including grief support and financial planning
“Asteron Life has announced changes to expiry ages for Trauma Recovery Cover, as part of a suite of product enhancements it has released this week.
For its standalone and accelerated benefits, the expiry age is lifting from 70 to 85. Some other benefits including its Continuous Trauma and Trauma Reinstatement benefit will lift to age 75.
Robyn Bartlett, Product Manager at Asteron Life, said that flexibility and usability have been the core values that have driven the range of enhancements the company is releasing.
“We have heard from advisers that they value being able to give their customers choices when it comes to building a package of insurance cover to suit them,” say Bartlett.
“Increasing the expiry ages of our Trauma recovery packages gives advisers and customers increased flexibility to put together insurance that will give them peace of mind in their unique circumstances.”
The maximum entry age for Asteron Life Trauma cover will also be extended to age 70.
Bartlett said that providing a valuable Trauma cover that would create great outcomes for customers was a big focus for the insurer.
“Trauma cover is one of the most valuable products for our customers at claim time,” she says.
“As well as updating the entry and expiry ages, we have also made changes to the definitions for some conditions, including the updated cerebral aneurysm definition being a direct result of compelling customer feedback.”
In 2018, Asteron Life released its Continuous trauma benefit, which remains the only benefit of its kind in the market in New Zealand. Continuous Trauma is an optional benefit which gives customers Trauma cover that they can claim on up to three times for unrelated events, even immediately after they have made a claim.
“With things like Continuous Trauma and our latest enhancements, we’re working to create a robust Trauma that will give customers peace of mind over the long term, and improve the ability of customers to make a claim when they need to.”
The changes to the expiry age take effect this week, and existing Trauma policyholders’ expiry ages will be automatically extended.
As well as changes to its Trauma product, Asteron Life has released a number of other product enhancements including:
- Adding premium holiday benefit and premium and cover suspension to business insurance policies
- Adding a new lump sum specific injury benefit
- Making changes to its Major Trauma ratios
- Changing the definitions for seven conditions in its Trauma policies for new and existing customers back to 2004
- Updating policy wordings for various benefits including grief support and financial planning
These and a suite of other changes are live in Asteron Life’s system this week.” Click here to read more
We will keep our users on Quotemonster in the loop as to when these ratings will be made available on our quoting platform.
Please feel free to send through any information or feedback to email@example.com
In other news:
Financial Advice: Katrina Skanks had a global meeting with Financial Planning Standards Board, to plan for the World Financial Planning Day
FSC: ReGenerations Reimagined will begin 19 October. All ticketholders will be given all access passes for the new schedule