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]


Partners Life share Customer Outcome Matrix update, and more daily news

Partners Life has released more information on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM). Partners Life has implemented the system changes that allows full automation of the process. From 10 May 2021, advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL. Although bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021, Partners Life has said that they aim to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting on any upcoming bonus commission changes.

“We have communicated regularly on the progress we have made on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM) and are very excited to announce that we are now implementing the system changes to ensure the full automation of the process. This means that advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL from Monday 10 May 2021.

We have always maintained that we have wanted to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting prior to any Bonus Commission changes coming into effect, allowing you sufficient time to review your own reporting and to be able to understand the feedback and how this relates to your engagement and servicing of clients.

Please remember, as previously communicated, bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021.”

In other news

Asteron Life: to celebrate underwriting rules on AsteronConnect, weekly draws will be running from 6 May – 4 June. Winners will receive $200 to use at local restaurants. 

Asteron Life: draft e-Apps which are completed but not submitted by 9pm 9 May 2021

will no longer be visible in AsteronConnect as some of the questions are changing

Asteron Life: AsteronConnect  webinars will be held on Monday 10 May, 3pm-4pm and Thursday 13 May, 9.30am-10.30am


Asteron Life underwriting enhancements, and more daily news

Asteron life announced that as of 5 May 2021 enhancements have been made to the Underwriting Rules Engine (URE) within AsteronConnect. Asteron Life has said that the implementation of these new rules will mean more new business applications will be issued immediately through AsteronConnect.

Changes include:

  • Improvements to straight through acceptance rate for both advisers and customers
  • More assessments and acceptance of mental health conditions
  • More acceptance of Covid-19 related answers

“At 9pm on Wednesday 5 May we’re making some enhancements to our Underwriting Rules Engine (URE) within AsteronConnect. With these enhanced URE rules, more new business applications through AsteronConnect will be able to be issued immediately.

Some of the key changes you will notice are:

  • The Straight Through Acceptance rate for Advisers & customers is being improved - including both standard and substandard outcomes (exclusions, % loadings and combinations thereof).
  • More Mental Health conditions will be assessable and accepted by the URE, rather than referring to an Underwriter.
  • We are enabling more Covid-19 related answers to be accepted through the URE, especially
    1. For employee applicants requesting income protection.
    2. For self-employed applicants impacted by Covid-19 related trading restrictions.
  • For applicants not currently receiving a Government Covid-19 wage subsidy or other business income support and not working in the hospitality, travel, tourism or the international student education sectors.
  • For applicants with intended foreign travel plans that do not require a 14-day quarantine period upon their return to New Zealand. 

Advisers using paper applications will still need to complete the Covid-19 supplementary questionnaire when applying for cover.”

In other news

Russell’s piece in Good returns: Sharing is caring - consumer data rights for the advice sector

RBNZ: The Future Is Māori

Strategi: top tips for FAPland

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Quality Product Research: (Inbuilt) Child Trauma – Part Two 

A reader has queried whether QPR takes the sum insured into account in our Research Ratings.  And the answer is yes, we do consider the amount paid by each insurer. In fact amount paid are a vital part of a value-based assessment approach - and something we capture much better than simple feature lists of benefits do. 

In trauma insurance, some companies pay the full benefit for an item, others only make a payment of 10% or 20% of the sum insured because the condition was not severe enough to warrant a full payment. Our score is varied according to how much would actually be paid. In the scenario for Child Trauma, we have a claims amount of $100,000 and calculate how much would be paid out by each insurer.  

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Furthermore, based on adviser feedback we have corrected our ratings to reflect the fact that Asteron does include the option to convert their child cover to adult trauma at age 21. Interestingly, if the parent is on Trauma Recovery (TR) and considering converting their child cover to TR with Early Trauma they are required to complete an application. 

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


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Benign Brain and Spine Tumour

Introduction

The World Health Organisation states that 130 different types of brain tumours exist. A benign brain tumour is a non-cancerous growth in a distinct area of the brain. The survival rates for patients with benign brain tumours are higher than others, however this depends on the size and location of the tumour within the brain.

Proposed sub-items

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Notes

There are some noticeable differences between insurers such as whether partials exist, or if the spinal cord or tumour on the pituitary gland is covered. We have tried to make the sub-items clearly demonstrate the variation between insurers.

Why is this important?

Although QPRs weighting of this item is low, it would be of high interest to those that have a family history of brain cancers. With a lot of insurers now having specialised cancer products we would like to ensure that our rating is relevant. 

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


Asteron Life SME insurance index 2020 findings, and more daily news

Asteron Life’s insurance index 2020 provided insight into the insurance-related decisions made by SMEs. The index illustrated that the number of SMEs with multiple life insurance cover decreased when compared to the findings of 2019, with 38% of SMEs having only one life covered in 2020 and 32% of SMEs having only one life covered in 2019. The index highlighted a decrease in SMEs seeking advice from financial advisers and insurance companies and an increase in independent navigation. The findings of the index conclude that SMEs that received advice were more likely to have a broader range of cover. Of the SMEs that sought advice from advisers, 89%  had life insurance cover, 50% had IP cover, 66% had trauma, illness, cancer cover and 50% had TPD cover. Of the SMEs that didn’t receive advice, 88% had life insurance cover, 27% had IP cover, 43% had trauma, illness, cancer cover and 27% had TPD cover. Click here to see all findings of the 2020 index

 

In other news 

Russell’s piece in Good returns: Data versus human

FMA: Insurance Business "ANZ admits to misleading customers about credit card insurance"

 

 


Asteron Life on dealing with compliants, and more daily news

Asteron Life has notified advisers that it would like to know when a customer compliant relating to the insurer is brought forward. Asteron Life has said that this presents an opportunity to improve services. Asteron Life has prepared a shareable information sheet about the steps to support clients through their complaint process.

“If a client has a complaint, we want to know about it because we see it as an opportunity to put things right and improve our service for the future.

We take complaints seriously, whether it’s about our products, services or something else. Our established complaints management process - which meets regulatory and industry code of practice obligations - ensures we put the client at the heart of everything we do. It also means we are able to acknowledge and respond to a client complaint in a timely manner.”

Since you work so closely between Asteron Life and the client, you may end up being the recipient of a complaint about Asteron Life. So our team can do everything they can to resolve it, we have put together a simple one-page guide on how you can support the client and report the complaint. The guide includes an outline of how to spot a complaint, how to deal with a complaint and who to notify at Asteron Life.

This document is not for clients, but rather an easy process for you to follow. Please feel free to share the guide with your colleagues who may also receive complaints from clients. If a client would like to know more about the complaints process they can visit the Asteron Life website or call us on 0800 737 101.”

In other news

Financial Advice: Financial Advice and The Ethics Conversation to offer virtual Professional Ethics Workshops

From Insurance Business Mag: How will a vaccine impact the availability of travel insurance?

 


Asteron Life appoints new CEO, and more daily news 

Suncorp New Zealand has permanently appointed Jimmy Higgins as CEO. Since the departure of Paul Smeaton in July Higgins has been the acting CEO. Higgins joined Suncorp Group in 2008 and has had various roles within the company. Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston has said that Higgins is highly experienced and has a deep understanding of the industry.

“Suncorp New Zealand has today announced the appointment of Jimmy Higgins to the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective today.

Higgins joined Suncorp Group in 2008 and has held a range of senior and executive positions across its Australian and New Zealand insurance businesses. Prior to being appointed acting chief executive, he held roles in the New Zealand business as CFO and executive general manager, claims.

Before joining Suncorp, he was a Chartered Accountant specialising in audit and forensic accounting.

Suncorp Group chief executive Steve Johnston says Higgins is a highly experienced financial services executive with a deep understanding of the insurance industry and New Zealand insurance market.”

Higgins noted that he is proud to be part of Suncorp New Zealand and that he is excited to lead it towards the future.

“Higgins says: “Our business is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of Kiwis and I’ve always felt very proud to be a part of that.

“Suncorp New Zealand has gone from strength to strength in recent years and I’m excited to lead a team of truly passionate people as we shape our business for the future and continue to deliver more for our customers and intermediary partners.”” Click here to read more

In other news

nib: Putting Health into Life and Work Seminars to be held at North Harbour Stadium on Tuesday 20th October from 9:00am - 11:00am

nib: Putting Health into Life and Work Seminars to be held at Riccarton Park Functions Centre on Thursday 22nd October from 12:00pm - 2:00pm

Regulator on poor processes and bad outcomes

Income protection: Lessons from over the ditch


Extensive commission changes and another new agency agreement

Several companies have updated commission terms and one has a new agency agreement: 

  • AIA - has ended temporary extra commissions that were part of a limited-time offer
  • Asteron Life has rejigged initial commission, and added a temporary extra, as well as extended aggregator override. 
  • Fidelity Life has ended new business commission on indexation increases
  • Partners Life has issued a new agency agreement giving additional powers to manage expected conduct obligations. Possibly the most interesting addition is a new section which requires an adviser whose client wishes to be served by another adviser to negotiate the sale of the renewal commission - or have it switched, with compensation paid by Partners Life if they cannot agree. 

More details are available to subscribers to the commission comparison report. 


Asteron Life upfront commission enhancements, and more daily news

Asteron Life has announced that upfront commission rate will be 190% effective October 5 2020. The decision for this change has been credited to working towards sustainability by ensuring more New Zealanders can access independent financial advice. Asteron Life has announced that it is offering a temporary 10% Covid-19 support in addition to upfront commission changes, which means upfront commission will total to 200%. This additional support is set to be reviewed at the end of June 2021. A summary comparison is available for subscribers to the Quarterly Life and Health review and much more detail in the Quarterly Commission Comparison. These have just been published to subscribers. For subscription information please contact Kelly Pulham or Russell Hutchinson. 

In other news

Cigna: General Manager- Distribution role being advertised

Fidelity Life: Sharecare October Eat More Greens Diet Challenge launched

Fidelity Life: Sharecare October Stress Relief Challenge launched

Fidelity Life: information about Centr^, personalised daily digital health and fitness program by Chris Hemsworth can be found in Sharecare

Kiwibank: Senior Conduct Manager role being advertised

nib: Mental Resilience webinar