Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Agreed Value Income Protection: Occupational Retraining

Introduction

We continually review the ratings of all our benefits and have renamed “Occupational Retraining” to “Vocational & Rehabilitation Support”. Our intention with this review is to make clearer the difference between the features in readiness for more detailed research reports that are in development. Better describing the current variations and recognising that early intervention has the ability to prevent a client’s disability from escalating further and reduces more severe complications that may lead to a long-term claim – a positive outcome for the client, insurer, and employee.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items 

Irsme

Notes

The monthly payment limit differs between insurers, however the necessity to offset is a similar feature. The major insurers (aside from Fidelity) offer coverage for Childcare Assistance, which is likely to be claimed more often than some of the other expenses. Partners Life receives a deduction for “benefit not available for all payment periods” as they do not offer their “Vocational and Retraining benefit” for payment periods which are less than 2 years. Similarly, AIA reduces their monthly payment to 6 months with 1, 2 or 5 year benefit periods. Fidelity is the only insurer that will not pay out the full benefit until the insured has returned to paid work (minimum of 20 hours). AIA, ASB and Partners Life are the only insurers that clearly offer assistance either during or after the waiting period - an important feature, as early intervention can significantly affect the length of a claim. 

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 Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Agreed Value Income Protection: Rehab and Home Modifications

Introduction

Following on from our previous post on “Vocational and Rehabilitation Support”, we have also reviewed “Rehab and Home Modifications” and renamed the item to “Home Modifications and Equipment”.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items

Equip

Notes

The biggest variation can be seen in the monthly benefit limits. AIA and ASB have limited their payment to 6 months while Partners Life uses a tiered approach (the monthly payment reduces in line with the payment term).

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 Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Partners Life product launch webinars, and more daily news

Partners Life is running webinars focused on the launch of the Income and Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma Cover. The webinar will be facilitated by Steve Wright, General Manager of Product and Professional Development. In the webinar Wright will discuss the new products and how advisers can use the products to offer better solutions to clients. Wright will also cover enhancements to current products with a focus on the Private Medical Cover. The sessions will run for 90 minutes. The first webinar will be held 1 July at 9.30am and the second webinar will be held 5 July at 10.30am. Attendees will need an account to access the sessions and will have the ability to ask anonymous questions.

“Please join Steve Wright, our General Manager of Product and Professional Development, at one of the two webinars listed below. Steve will explain the details of Partners Life’s new disability and trauma products, and how advisers can use them to create solutions for clients. The webinar will also explore important enhancements to our existing products, in particular Private Medical Cover.

The webinar will run for approx. 90mins including questions and answers.

Following on from the webinar, advisers will have the opportunity to complete product accreditation on these new product developments via the Partners Life academy, thereby providing evidence of their continued professional development.”

In other news

Partners Life: Expression of interest for Evince training open

Suncorp NZ: How Suncorp NZ revamped its response to vulnerable customers


New Asteron Life Chief Financial Officer, and more daily news

Suncorp New Zealand has announced that Andrew MacFarlane will join as the new Chief Financial Officer in August. MacFarlane will be responsible for providing strategic oversight and monitoring of financial, actuarial, investment, capital and reinsurance for all of Suncorp’s businesses, which include Vero, Asteron Life, AA Insurance and AA Money. Jimmy Higgins, Suncorp New Zealand CEO, has said that MacFarlane’s experience will be invaluable for Suncorp.

“Suncorp New Zealand has appointed Andrew MacFarlane (pictured) as chief financial officer, effective August 02.

MacFarlane will join Suncorp from ANZ, where he spent 25 years holding several senior finance roles in areas such as its institutional division, retail bank and tax, and product management and strategy. Most recently, he was chief financial officer, group functions for ANZ New Zealand.

In his new role, MacFarlane will provide strategic oversight and monitoring of financial, actuarial, investment, capital and reinsurance aspects of Suncorp’s businesses in New Zealand. These businesses include the Vero and Asteron Life brands, as well as AA Insurance and AA Money, which are joint venture partnerships with the New Zealand Automobile Association.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins said MacFarlane’s extensive industry experience will be invaluable to Suncorp’s business.

“I’m delighted to welcome Andrew to the Suncorp New Zealand leadership team,” said Higgins. “His experience of the financial services markets in New Zealand and Australia, coupled with his leadership within high performing businesses will be invaluable for Suncorp New Zealand as it continues to transform its business, while delivering great customer outcomes.”  Click here to read more

Andrew MacFarlane

In other news

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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

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AIA appoints new BDMs around the country and more daily news

High performance was a central theme in the appointment of several Business Development Managers. Tim Coltman, Anna Corbin, Rakesh Masalawalla, and Hannah Anderson have all been appointed as BDMs.

Tim Coltman has been appointed as the Southern BDM and will be responsible for servicing advisers based in the lower part of the South Island from Timaru and Dunedin through Central Otago to Invercargill.

Anna Corbin is the new Lower North Island BDM. Corbin is based in Wellington and is responsible for servicing advisers in the Whanganui, Wairarapa and Wellington areas.

Rakesh Masalawalla is based in Wellington and will be closely working with key advisers in the Wellington region.

Hannah Anderson has been appointed as the new Christchurch BDM. Anderson will be responsible for looking after the wider Canterbury region. Click here to read more


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In other news

AIA: Laura Holyoake has been appointed as an AIA NZ Vitality Coach

Asteron Life: is promoting its level to 100 option

Partners Life: seeking to find a new 'middle ground' with trauma and income protection products that are sustainable

XY Adviser: are promoting how to maintain deeper client relationships at scale

 

 


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Coma (Trauma)

Introduction

Following on with our recent theme of revising ratings, we have reviewed Coma, re-assessing the item based on modern definitions.  A rarely claimed on benefit, yet significant coverage in the media when the insurer decides not to pay out.  

Below are the proposed items for Coma.

Coma

Notes

Momentum life is the only provider that requires the insured to be in a coma for 96-hours, while Westpac uniquely requires a permanent neurological deficit. Three insurers, Fidelity, Pinnacle and Westpac specifically exclude medically induced comas and a similar definition is observed in the use of life support systems and response to internal and external needs.

Few insurers continue to use the Glasgow Coma Scale in their definitions – here is a quick overview of what the scale demonstrates https://medictests.com/units/glasgow-coma-score

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 Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Massey University announce Financial Capability Practitioners certificate, and more daily news

Massey University has announced the launch of the microcredit certificate for Financial Capability Practitioners (level 5). The course was created by Massey University’s NZ Financial Education and Research Centre (Fin-Ed Centre) and will be delivered by the Research Centre. Those that successfully complete the course will be provided with a Massey University Financial Capability Practitioner 10 credit micro-credit certificate. This can be go towards an individual’s on-going CPD requirement. The micro-credit requires individuals to undertake 100 hours of allocated learning and practice time.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding national and international trends in financial capability and wellbeing
  • Current practices and models for delivery of financial capability
  • Ways to review clients’ current capability and progress during the course
  • How to apply principles of adult learning in the practice of developing financial capability
  • A model for embedding financial capability in current practice vs traditional ‘bolted on’ model
  • Personal financial management techniques and skills to facilitating learning about them.

Click here to find out more

In other news

Partners Life: Financial Security Questionnaires no longer required

Fidelity Life: Melissa Cantell - more than meets the eye

Asteron Life: Three insurances to consider when you start a business

Gen Re: A Mental Health Claims Dialogue

Fidelity Life: Senior Product Manager role advertised

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Fidelity Life: research insights 

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AIA to join Relief Run, and more daily news

AIA NZ has announced that employees will be joining the Relief Run, a global initiative for those in India affected by COVID-19. AIA NZ alongside AIA Australia will contribute $30,000 to World Vision’s COVID-19 India crisis appeal. Employees will also complete 5km near the AIA House on 9 June 2021. AIA NZ CEO Nick Stanhope has said that it is important AIA joins this movement.

“AIA NZ are joining their Australian colleagues in the global initiative Relief Run, as the trans-Tasman business contributes $30,000 for the people of India devastated by COVID-19.

On Wednesday 9 June, the AIA NZ team will be running or walking 5km around the Smales Farm precinct in Takapuna, Auckland, and encourage participation from anywhere in the world.

“This is a global virtual event so anyone can take part from wherever they are,” says Nick Stanhope, AIA NZ CEO. “The scale of the tragedy in India is devastating, and we have family members, friends and colleagues directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. I feel it’s important we join this movement, and take this small step to make a difference.”

Australian AIA Vitality Ambassador and endurance athlete Samantha Gash is the co-creator of Relief Run, which last year raised more than AU$1 million in support of Australian bushfire relief efforts. Locally the Relief Run will be supported by AIA NZ Vitality Ambassadors Dame Valerie Adams and Ian Jones.

“It’s great to be able to get involved in supporting my fellow AIA Vitality Ambassador Sam Gash, and the Relief Run,” says Ian Jones. “I know the funds raised will have a big impact on the relief effort in India, and will undoubtedly save lives.”

All funds raised by Relief Run will go towards the World Vision’s COVID-19 India crisis appeal, which is sourcing equipment and supplies including beds, oxygen concentrators, food vouchers and tents for temporary COVID-19 care centres.” Click here to read more

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In other news

AIA: $597m in claims was paid in 2020. This includes COVID – redundancy, income protection and death claims

MAS: MAS is sponsoring the ILANZ: In-house Lawyers Young In-House Lawyer of the Year award

Asteron Life: Jacques Van Heerden joins Asteron Life as BDM

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Asteron Life Trauma Benefits webinar, and more daily news

Asteron Life is holding webinars on 27 May at 2pm and 3 June at 9.30am. The webinars will be focused on Trauma Benefits. Today’s webinar will be run by Kirsten Young and next week’s webinar will be run by Crush Huston. During the webinar, both Kristen and Crush will go through how each benefit work individually and when combined. Advisers that want to attend are encouraged to contact the Asteron Life Business Development team.

“I would like to extend an invitation to you for our upcoming webinar on Trauma Benefits. This webinar will cover:

  • Trauma Recovery
  • Continuous Trauma
  • Major Trauma
  • Early Stage Cancer
  • Early Stage Trauma
  • Cancer Cover
  • Kids Cover

Join Crush Huston or Kirsten Young as they showcase how each of these benefits work on their own, as well as together. To attend one of our two sessions, please find the date and time below which works best for you, then click the link to add the invite to your calendar.”

In other news

Cigna: Nicolette Luke finalists for the MAS - Medical Assurance Society Young In-house Lawyer of the Year Award 2021

Southern Cross:  Account Manager – SME

From Insurance Business Mag: Are insurers vulnerable to cyberattacks?

AIA: Group Pricing Specialist role advertised

Asteron Life: Northern Busines Development Manager role advertised