Partners Life new claims platform live and more daily news

Partners Life and Fineos announced that Partners has moved onto the new claims platform, from their media release:

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FINEOS Corporation (ASX:FCL), the market-leading provider of group and individual core systems for life, accident and health insurance, today announced that Partners Life has become the first life and health insurance company in New Zealand to go live on the FINEOS Platform. The FINEOS Platform is a purpose-built end-to-end SaaS core platform for life, accident and health insurers.

The Partners Life and FINEOS partnership replaced the insurer’s existing system with FINEOS Claims, giving Partners Life unparalleled operational and customer service benefits. The FINEOS Platform includes a market-tested, pre-configured business and regulatory content pack for the region known as FINEOS LISA (Life Insurance Solutions Australasia). Internally, the company will experience improved risk controls and claims management workflow covering life, TPD, trauma, income protection and medical products.

More daily news:

A New Zealand writer, Nicola McDougall, has a best selling personal finance book in Australia, The Female Investor.

Register with FANZ to hear from Tony Alexander next week giving an economic update

Cancer treatments not funded by Pharmac in New Zealand are covered in this Stuff article - always a good reminder about the value of private medical cover


Resolution Life acquires superannuation business

In Australia, Resolution Life has acquired a substantial superannuation client base from AIA. From a New Zealand perspective this underlines AIA's Australasian commitment to focus on the life and health business. From the media release:

'Resolution Life Australasia has agreed to acquire AIA’s Superannuation & Investments business for an undisclosed amount, describing the move as one that will “strengthen” its market presence...

S&P Global ratings says the proposed acquisition will improve Resolution Life’s scale in the Australian market and drive operational efficiencies.

“The purchase supports our assessment of the insurer as a closed-fund consolidator – a stronger business model than that of a pure run-off,” the rating agency said.

AIA says the assets it has agreed to sell were purchased as part of its acquisition of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s life insurance and investments business known as CommInsure Life. Australia CEO and MD Damien Mu says the sale reflects AIA’s intention to focus on its core business of life and health insurance and wellbeing services. “Post the integration of CommInsure Life, we commenced the next step of our transformation journey, through which we will create a simpler, faster and more connected AIA,” Mr Mu said.'

Link: https://www.insurancenews.com.au/life-insurance/resolution-life-agrees-to-buy-aia-super-business

In other daily news:

  • Only 14 of 26 insurers working with advisers in Australia accept digital signatures
  • Can you produce a statement of advice in under two hours? That's what's required according to some Australian advisers in order to be profitable in that market
  • Would you like to participate in a benchmarking project to understand how your business compares to others (anonymously) in terms of key financial metrics? if so, contact us.

 


Australia: AIA Group considers Australian legacy products, and more daily news

It is being reported that AIA group is considering selling legacy life insurance products in Australia.  Resolution Life is reported to be the possible purchaser. AIA Group and Resolution Life have not commented. Manuel Baigorri and Harry Brumpton of Bloomberg report:

“Asian insurance giant AIA Group Ltd. is considering selling some life insurance legacy assets in Australia as part of its strategy to streamline its portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.

Closely-held Resolution Life has emerged as the likeliest buyer for certain policies related to AIA’s acquisition of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s life insurance business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A transaction could help Hong Kong-based AIA raise a few hundred million dollars, they said.

AIA has been working with a financial adviser on the disposal, which had also drawn interest from other bidders including private equity firms, the people said. Considerations are still ongoing and no final decision has been made, they said.

Representatives for AIA and Resolution Life declined to comment.

AIA bought CBA’s life insurance business in a A$3.8 billion ($2.7 billion) deal announced in 2017, marking the most ambitious foray beyond the company’s core markets in Asia at the time.

Resolution Life focuses on the acquisition and management of portfolios of life insurance policies, according to its website. Since 2003, it has invested more than $17 billion of equity in the purchase, reinsurance, consolidation and management of life insurance firms. It has operations in Bermuda, the U.K., the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.” Click here to read more

In other news

nib: clients that sign up for either an Ultimate or Easy Health policy using nibAPPLY before 28 February 2022 will be given two months free, after they’ve paid for their first month

AdviceFirst: Brent Hunt promoted to Head of Wealth Management Advice

From Good returns: Did your client understand your advice?


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

20 Dec 2021 – An exposure draft of Australian legislation titled “Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Bill 2021: Licensing exemptions for foreign financial service providers” was released for consultation, with submissions closing on 12 Jan 2022. https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2021-231877


Consumer issues: access to advice harmed by increased compliance costs for advisers

Following our recent blog on Australia's financial adviser numbers readers interested in the subject you might want to have a look at the report and the article posted on investmentnews.co.nz: at http://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/parliament-calls-for-advice-price-check-more-regulation/ I considered commentary on the link, but I think you cannot do better than simply reading the article. I feel for advisers in Australia. Although the quality of advice review has the right terms of reference, it is incredibly difficult to roll-back regulation with the scope that exists in Australia - there are too many people committed to the choices made over the last few years I worry that little substantial change will be made and it is ordinary consumers that will be the poorer for it. For those that want to dive deeper, here is the link to the report of the FEC: Briefing from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Financial Markets Authority on the outcomes of the Australian Royal Commission into banking - New Zealand Parliament (www.parliament.nz)


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

In Australia the numbers of financial advisers continue to shrink rapidly - we regularly report on this, but here are more news stories on Australian adviser numbers, with three links as follows:

https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/how-many-advisers-will-be-there-2022

https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/over-2000-advisers-left-industry-year-date

https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/adviser-losses-disappointing-not-unexpected

With adviser numbers down by more than 10% in the last year, and many predicting that thousands more will exit over the coming year, there is growing concern in Australia that legal and regulatory settings are wrong and may already be restricting access to financial advice to the wealthy. 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

  • Private health insurance statistics

https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-quarterly-private-health-insurance-statistics-for-september-3

  • Life insurance statistics

https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-statistics-for-september-2021


Australia: ASIC's guidance around Records of Advice

ASIC has released guidance around the use of Records of Advice (ROAs). You can find the guidance at this link, including some examples of ROAs. I draw your attention to the example insurance ROA at this link. These should not be considered a direct guide to meeting regulatory requirements in New Zealand, of course. Working through the detail you can see how much more prescriptive and detailed the ASIC approach is - and consequently how much easier it would be to fail to meet some aspect of the specific guidance while arguably doing a good job of meeting the principles of our Code and licence requirements. They can, however, be considered some useful context and give ideas about how to meet those principles in practice.


Financial Advice NZ awards, and more daily news

The Financial Advice NZ awards entries are open until 17 September 2021. The awards will include five award categories, with a total of 16 awards on offer. The categories include:

“SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION AWARD - The individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the financial services sector, going above and beyond to champion or enhance the profession. - This person does not have to be a member of Financial Advice NZ. - There is an opportunity for one award for this category.

OUTSTANDING ADVISER AWARD - Recognises members who help New Zealanders achieve financial wellbeing through providing an outstanding financial advice service and who exhibit professional excellence. - There is one award per financial advice stream for this category.

RISING STAR AWARD - Recognises the brightest new talent in advice among members in their chosen field of financial advice. - There is one award per financial advice stream for this category.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORT PERSON AWARD - Recognises members who demonstrate exceptional adviser support and ongoing commitment to the financial services sector. - There is one award per financial advice stream for this category.

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD - Recognises members who have made a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of people in our communities in respect of financial wellbeing. - There are three awards in this category.

While there are five award categories, there are 16 awards to be handed out over the night with multiple awards for different advice streams. ” Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: Cigna Live to be held on 20 August at 10am

Partners Life: Expressions of interest for September New Adviser Training Course now open

AIA: AIA named as one of Top Insurance Employers 2021 winners

Suncorp: Suncorp's profits take 17% hit

Russell’s piece on Good returns: Adviser opportunities have never been better

Financial Advice: free Money Week webinars

Adviser Voice: TAL enters into share sale agreement to acquire Westpac’s life insurance business alongside an exclusive 20-year strategic alliance - Australia


Australian financial adviser numbers dropping fast

News reports show a drop in adviser numbers in Australia close to 15% in just one year, perversely leading to increased ASIC levies for the remaining advisers to cover ASIC costs. https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/asic-levy-increase-due-declining-adviser-numbers

These costs must, of course, be passed on to consumers. But the real impacts will not be on the relatively wealthy clients that continue to get financial advice, it will be borne by the many consumers that can no longer receive good advice. They will struggle in an increasingly complex financial world. A divide will widen between the more literate and numerate who will be able to DIY and those who lack the skills or inclination who will tend to lead more financially precarious lives due to lower savings rates and fewer options. Access to advice must always be a consideration.

I have not checked because my concern is mainly New Zealand, not Australia, but perhaps one of my readers who is more across that jurisdiction can pull the relevant impact statement that was inevitably prepared and find what was said at the time. Did they assume a 15% decline and believe the change worth it? Or did they underestimate the impact of change?