Recent Product Updates

QPR subscribers have just received the latest database version (138) it is also live on Quotemonster, the changes in this version include:

* Cigna - new policy document 11/11/2020 -  rating changes applied

* Unimed - new policy document 01/08/2020 -  rating changes applied

* AA Health - new policy document nib366402 and nib366401 effective 01/05/2019 -  rating changes applied

* ANZ Life and Living - new policy document A0006 effective 31/01/2020 -  rating changes applied

* Momentum Life: - New policy document for Life 2633-MLPL2-PW 22/10/2020, New policy document for funeral 2667-MLF6-PW 21/09/2020 - Rating changes applied

* Revised view on: Medical - Treatment (overseas)


Cigna announce product enhancements, and more daily news

Cigna has announced that they have enhanced aspects of Income, Mortgage Repayment, Complete Disablement, Trauma and Premium Covers. The enhancements include changes in wording and benefits. The changes were made effective as of 11 November 2020. The changes are designed to give customers more flexibility during the claims process as well as allowing customers with a low-grade tumor or a listed progressive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease to claim.

“We’ve made enhancements to a number of definitions and benefits across our Income, Mortgage Repayment, Complete Disablement, Trauma and Premium Covers.

Among the changes is the addition of an alternative 10-hour disability definition to our base Income, Mortgage Repayment and Premium Covers. This will give your customers more flexibility when applying for a total disability claim.

The enhancements also include removing the severity requirements on the full Trauma benefit criteria, making it easier for your customers with a low-grade tumor or a listed progressive condition such as Alzheimer’s disease to claim.”

Below is a full list of benefit changes.

“We have made the following enhancements to our Assurance Extra Income Covers, Mortgage Repayment Cover and Premium Cover:

  • Adding an alternative (10 hour) Total Disability definition

Assurance Extra Income Cover, Mortgage Repayment Cover & Premium Cover

We’ve introduced an alternative total disability definition to our base covers where if an illness or injury causes the life assured to be unable to work more than 10 hours a week in their pre-disability occupation, they may still be considered for a Total Disability Benefit. Any income they’ve earned from working within these 10 hours, will be subtracted from the benefit amount payable.

  • Total Disability Benefit & Partial Disability Benefit –Removal of the 14 days & 7 days total disability criteria

Assurance Extra Income Cover & Mortgage Repayment Cover

We’ve removed the 14 days initial period of total disability criteria under our Total Disability Benefit, and the 7 days initial period of total disability criteria under our Partial Disability Benefit. This has improved the claim-ability of this cover, meaning the life assured is more likely to qualify for a claim payment.

  • Total Disability Benefit – removal of limitation for concurrent Mortgage Repayment Cover and Income Cover claims

Assurance Extra Income Cover

We’ve removed the limitation (added in April 2019) under all our Income Covers which reduces the Income Cover benefit after 6 months if the life assured is also getting a Mortgage Repayment Cover benefit for the same disability.

  • Recurrent Disability Benefit – Extending period of recurrence from 6 months to 12 months

Assurance Extra Income Cover, Mortgage Repayment Cover & Premium Cover

We’ve extended the period of recurrence to 12 months under all Assurance Extra Income Covers, Mortgage Repayment Cover and Premium Cover regardless of the selected payment term. Previously the period of recurrence had to be 6 months if a payment term of 2 years or 5 years was selected under Income Cover or Mortgage Repayment Cover.

  • Return to Work Benefit – adding an additional scenario for claim

Assurance Extra Income Cover & Mortgage Repayment Cover

We’ve added an additional scenario for claim, where, if the life assured has been accepted for a Vocational Retraining or Rehabilitation Benefit that resulted in them returning to full time employment or self-employment, they may now get extra financial support under the Return to Work Benefit

  • Premium Cover – Refund premiums paid during the waiting period upon acceptance of a Disability Benefit claim

Assurance Extra Premium Cover

Going forward, if a Disability Benefit claim has been accepted, the premium waiver would be applied retrospectively from the first day of the life assured’s disability. This means that at the end of the waiting period, we will reimburse any premiums paid in respect to coverage during the waiting period.

In other news

Does New Zealand really need four dispute resolution schemes?

Why do so many clients go without income protection?

nib: nib talks 2019/2020 results

 


Insurers set to pay assisted dying claims, and more daily news

Various insurers have confirmed that terminally ill customers who choose to undergo assisted dying will be eligible for claim payouts. Before the referendum AIA was the only insurer to state that it would pay if the referendum passed. Recently, Cigna has said that it would pay out if assisted dying became legal and customers decided to end their life. Jane Barron, Pinnacle Life spokeswoman, noted that customers with a terminal illness are entitled to claim if it has been stated by a doctor that they have 12 months or less to live; so those that would have an assisted death are already entitled to claim.

“AIA, New Zealand’s largest life insurance company, said it could still settle claims if ACT MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Act became law, but others were yet to settle on their stance at that time.

 

With preliminary figures from the Electoral Commission on Friday showing 65 per cent of New Zealanders voting in favour of the End of Life Choice Act, terminally ill adults with fewer than six months to live will be able to request assisted dying.

 

One of the life insurance companies contacted by Stuff this week, Cigna, said it would pay out if assisted dying became legal and policy holders took up the option of dying with assistance. Cigna chief executive Gail Costa said the End of Life Choice Act stated that a person who died as a result of assisted dying would be taken to have died as if assisted dying had not been provided, or have died from the terminal illness from which they suffered.

 

“Provided a policy holder who takes up the option of dying with assistance meets all terms and conditions, they will be entitled to claim.”

 

And Pinnacle Life spokeswoman Jane Barron said people with a terminal illness were entitled to claim on their Pinnacle life insurance policy if their doctor said they had 12 months or less to live.

 

“Therefore, anyone who is in the situation where they are considering an assisted death is already in a position to be able to make a claim.”” Click here to read more

Chatswood thinks it likely that all the providers of the best life cover will include payment on this basis, as they already make advance payments for terminal illness, which is decided on terms that probably include more cases that those envisaged by the End of Life Choice Act, based on modelling shared in our recent Quarterly Life and Health Sector review. 

 

In other news

FMA: FMA appointments reflect serious move into fintech space

Southern Cross: ProCare and Southern Cross join forces to enter virtual healthcare market

FSC: FSC Enjoys A Solid Year Of Growth Despite Challenges

Advisers Raise $12.5k For Fiordland Conservation Trust’s Kids Restore The Kepler


Science behind high Income Protection premiums, and more daily news

Recently we reported that Income Protection prices are on the rise as a result of the Australian market and COVID-19. New Zealander insurers are now being urged to amend processes and premiums before regulators intervene and introduction mandatory guides. Partners Life begun the conversation when revealing that it has increased IP premiums by 12% and made policy changes. Kris Ballantyne, chief marketing officer, has said that Partners wishes to offer affordable policies that customers can maintain for as long as they need. AIA and Cigna have both noted that they aren’t looking to introduce significant premium increases.  

“It took insurer Partners Life to break the silence last month when it revealed a brave plan to start publishing the content of discussions with the Financial Markets Authority.

 

In doing so, it revealed it lifted its income protection premiums by 12 per cent in the past year, and had made policy changes, including not allowing self-employed people to any longer select an “agreed value” of income to be covered, instead limiting cover to actual loss of earnings.

 

Partner’s Life’s chief marketing officer Kris Ballantyne said the company was a “first mover” on income protection, driven by wanting to provide policies they [consumers] could afford to keep as long as they needed it.

 

It was a big challenge as there were a lot of agreed value policies covering self-employed people, and owners of small businesses.

 

Neither of its two big rivals, AIA nor Cigna, was expecting to make such large premium increases, though AIA had stopped selling new policies in which the income covered automatically increased by 5 per cent a year.

 

AIA chief product officer Len Elikhis said that over time, “the insured’s benefits would creep up and approach the insured’s income”.

Shane Burdack, senior underwriting consultant as Swiss Re Australia highlighted that customers with significant wealth had very little incentive to return to work when on claim, resulting in increased premium prices.

“Swiss Re senior underwriting consultant in Australia, Shane Burdack, said that in New Zealand insurers gave little thought to the net wealth of policyholders.

 

Yet people with significant wealth – sometimes through investments, sometimes because of payouts from other insurance policies – had a low incentive to go back to work, and stayed “on claim” for longer driving up costs.” Click here to read more

  

In other news

nib: nib takes place among top 100 most diverse firms worldwide

Southern Cross: Southern Cross is offering members a $149 voucher when they join Snap Fitness on a minimum 12-month term

Southern Cross: Southern Cross is offering members 10% off the retail price of a monthly LES MILLS On Demand subscription

 

 

 


Results of FSC Financial Resilience Index, and more daily news

The FSC has released the latest Financial Resilience Index results. The latest results indicate that New Zealanders are still resilient and confident about financial matters. The index examined views on five indicators: financial confidence, literacy and preparedness, job security and wellbeing. 72% of participants reported that they feel reasonably, very or extremely confident in their financial standing.

“The latest round from the FSC’s Financial Resilience Index shows that despite the last six months being one of the most challenging periods in recent history, New Zealanders have remained remarkably resilient and confident when it comes to financial matters.

The Financial Resilience Index is a major tracking survey of New Zealanders’ views on five key financial resilience indicators: financial confidence, literacy and preparedness, job security and wellbeing.

“The responses in early August show that after initial uncertainty Kiwis remained resilient throughout this unprecedented period, from the introduction of Covid-19, to living in lockdown, right through to the return to alert level one,” says Richard Klipin, FSC chief executive.

“Despite these dramatic changes, New Zealanders continued to have incredible financial confidence, with around 72% of respondents still feeling reasonably, very or extremely confident when it came to their finances.”

The index found that although there is underlying anxiety, New Zealanders remain resilient. The FSC’s findings differs from the key findings of Cigna’s COVID-19 Global Impact Study, which highlighted that the majority of its 20,000 participants have a pessimistic view on their financial position.

In other news

Cigna: Cigna Parenting Survey 2020 found that 36% of parents surveyed had a will but no life insurance

FMA revealed that full licence provisions would be released mid-November  during FSC conference

Financial Advice: New board members announced at Financial Advice NZ


FSC Session: Insurance - Accelerating the Customer Agenda. What Needs to be True?

The FSC Generations conference is well underway. Yesterday I attended numerous sessions but thought I would write up some key highlights from the session 'Insurance - Accelerating the Customer Agenda. What Needs to be True?'

The session was hosted by Mark Banicevich and had a star-studded panel including Gail Costa, Nick Stanhope, Don Allerston, Clare Bolingford, and Russell Hutchinson.

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The reason for the session was to discuss what needs to be done going forward to meet the customers needs when it comes to life insurance. Three areas in particular featured a lot throughout the session: Affordability, Complexity and Trust. Below are some key points discussed:

  • Personal risk insurance exists to support Kiwi families – that is why we are here. But too many New Zealanders have no or not enough insurance. Only 38% of respondents from recent research have life insurance.

  • Customers all have different needs, so they need to work with an adviser to meet those needs as it requires time and knowledge to understand life insurance. They need to understand differences in products across the market. 

  • Trust is also extremely important to customers. Technology has also become more important, due to lockdown. Digital experience is also very important, we need to adapt and evolve as an industry.

  • Advice builds trust and confidence. Customers need predictability, they want assurance insurers will deliver on their promise. They expect flexibility and customisation – that is where we should be moving to.

  • The advisers are not a growing number, we need to bring more advisers into the industry. They tend to operate to their own client base.

  • It would be useful to find out how many Pacific island and Maori advisers there are. Do we currently have enough to influence the market to different ethnicities?

  • As an industry we need to find new customers via platforms that suit them. We need to build more engagement – things customers are involved in they tend to remember well.

  • Clients’ income is dropping but premiums are increasing significantly. How do we address that CPI is increasing at 1.5% but premium percentage increases are now regularly up in the double digits. We need to be conservative with pricing, so we are around long term to be able to pay claims. Automation will help bring costs down. There is an assumption that life insurance is too expensive without people even looking into it, how can we change this? 

  • We need to get in early with educating on life insurance – teach kids at school, what are financial products? Help them raise discussions and make decisions.

  • COVID-19 has already made the industry different – some of the trends we need to take from it are technology, digital, or still face to face meetings. We should let me the consumer decide and we respond to their needs.

  • The FMA asks to just do the basics well. The processes are not always there to achieve customer satisfaction. Embed a culture that is more customer eccentric. There won’t be a dramatic shift from the FMA, what was set in the code and conduct review is it.

  • Conduct risk management needs to be elevated to the same level as financial risk management for the customers sake.

  • We need to demystify the products and get a clearer customer understanding. We should come together and create centralised terms across the industry to help with customer understanding and to build trust.

  • There are numerous giant companies like Amazon who have made a move into the insurance industry – are we saturating it?

  • The pace of change has to be more manageable. We need to be better at data and insights – we currently tend to live off older information. We need to keep pace with changing needs and demographics. It is a continuous journey, it is not a one quick fix.
  • The expectations of customers is increasing, people are more time poor. Convenience is a huge thing, but we also know the value of advice. In the future we may move to a more streamlined online advice.

  • We need to use tools to assess health and wellbeing and assist with advice on how to improve these such as smart watches and apps.

Overall, all the topics discussed throughout the session such as price, simplicity, engagement, wellness and technology were all customer focused so it will be interesting to see what the future holds - it looks hopeful.

 

 

 

 


FSC Generations: Accelerating the customer agenda. What needs to be true?

Session title

Accelerating the customer agenda. What needs to be true?

FSC Generations conference - 3.30pm on Tuesday 13 October. 

Session content

The customer agenda isn’t going away. If anything, relative to other industries and global practices, New Zealand’s insurance industry is facing into expectation and experience headwinds that will test even the most imaginative. So how can the industry step up to the plate and deliver meaningful strides forward? Is it necessary even? Or are we already doing enough in the shadow of the FMA’s thematic review?

This year’s panellists:

  • Gail Costa, Chief Executive Officer, Cigna Life NZ

Gail has led the Cigna New Zealand team through a period of growth and change since returning home in 2018. With over 18 years of executive experience with the company, Gail has held CEO positions in Turkey, Hong Kong and Europe. She also led the New Zealand business from 2003-2013.

Prior to joining Cigna, Gail was the General Manager Operations for Royal Sun Alliance Life Insurance. She has also held finance, marketing and operational positions at Colonial Mutual Life, New Zealand Council for Educational Research and AMEV Life. Gail is a qualified accountant and holds a bachelor degree in Commerce and Administration from Victoria University and a Diploma in Direct Marketing from the Institute of Direct Marketing, London, UK.

  • Nick Stanhope, CEO, AIA

As CEO for AIA New Zealand, Nick is proud to lead a passionate team of over 1000 people with the goal of making New Zealand one of the healthiest and most protected nations in the world. With over 28 years of experience in the financial services sector, Nick has held a diverse range of senior leadership roles in New Zealand. Nick was most recently CEO of Sovereign for two years. Prior to this, Nick held a variety of senior leadership roles at ASB Bank Limited. These included Executive General Manager of Wealth & Insurance and other key roles across business banking, retail specialist services and corporate banking. At the beginning of his career, Nick spent seven years at NCR Corporation, including three years with AT&T. Nick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and is a Board Member of the Financial Services Council of New Zealand. Born and raised in Auckland, Nick is married with two daughters. He is passionate about health and wellbeing, and in his spare time is a keen cyclist and gym goer. He has also competed in triathlons and Ironman events.

  • Don Allerston, Financial Services Executive

Don describes himself  as a customer first thinker - before it became fashionable; the result of over 28 years’ experience in and about the industry both on and off-shore. Indeed, far from being institutionalised as a result of his time in financial services, Don has chosen instead to constructively disturb our space for what he sees as the continuing need to press for experience-first change beyond traditional perspectives.

Prior to spending 8 years on the Asteron Life and Fidelity Life executive teams, Don has occupied senior roles with some overseas blue-chip organisations including AMP UK Financial Services, British Airways, AXA and Royal and Sun Alliance. A self-confessed ‘overseas souvenir’, Don married his Kiwi partner in Wellington back in 2005 before migrating from the UK in 2010. He became a New Zealand citizen in 2016.

  • Russell Hutchinson, Principal, Chatswood Consulting

Russell Hutchinson, is a director at Chatswood Consulting Limited and runs the management consultancy. Russell is also a co-founder and director of Quality Product Research the company that runs www.quotemonster.co.nz. Through extensive domain knowledge of the marketing challenges for life and health insurance lines of business

Chatswood offers specialist management consulting business for insurers and larger adviser businesses. Russell believes that good decisions are built on good information and good options. His work includes product development, distribution strategy, advice process, and digital projects. Russell writes regularly on industry issues at www.goodreturns.co.nz, in Asset magazine, and at www.Chatswood.co.nz on personal insurance products and wider financial services sector issues.

  • Mark Banicevich, Industry Engagement Manager, Partners Life

Mark is Industry Engagement Manager at Partners Life, and his role includes developing strategies to help financial advisers transition to the forthcoming advice regime. Previously, Mark worked in intelligence at the Financial Markets Authority, where he drove the project reviewing replacement business in life insurance, which won an innovation award from the NZ Institute of Intelligence Professionals. Mark also teaches strategic management accounting at The University of Auckland Business School, and runs an International Taekwon-Do school.

Why you would attend

The line-up of panellists provides professionals in the industry the opportunity to gain a better understanding of potential changes needed to stride as far forward as possible in the future to withstand any challenges or do they believe we are already doing enough.

Benefits of attending:

  1. Independent industry expert insights
  2. A look into the future of insurance in New Zealand
  3. Discover if we as an industry are doing enough based on the FMA’s thematic review

Cigna looking to enhance adviser channel, and more daily news

Cigna New Zealand CEO Gail Costa recently said that the insurer would be focused on developing its adviser channel. With approximately 30% of business coming in via advisers, Cigna is looking to enhance its network and relationship with advisers. These changes come as a result of Cigna’s acquisition of OnePath and Cigna’s identification of the important role advisers play during this time.

“Cigna New Zealand recently appointed a new general manager of distribution, and CEO Gail Costa says the company’s focus will be on growing its independent adviser channel over the coming months.

Costa says the adviser channel saw significant under-investment from OnePath Life, which Cigna acquired back in January of this year. She says Cigna is now looking to grow its network and relationships with advisers, especially given the increased importance of financial advice to customers hit by the recession.

“Roughly 30% of our business currently comes from independent advisers,” Costa commented.”

Although Cigna is looking to develop all channels, the immediate focus is on the adviser channel as Cigna believes that New Zealanders need independent professional advice.

“We want to grow all our channels, but we see the real opportunity in the adviser channel as it’s the dominant one in the market. We really do believe that people need good, independent advice in terms of insurance - that’s why we’re going to be prioritising that particular arm.” Click here to read more

In other news

It's time to talk about mental well-being in insurance

Hunters v gathers in the new world

FMA: FMA tells online investors to do their homework

FSC: Money & You part 3 survey closes next week


AIA introduces claims management service, and more daily news

AIA has announced the launch of AIA 360, a free claims management service that is on offer to eligible IP customers. AIA currently spends over $1.1 million annually to assist customers on disability claims and has 26 case managers assigned to 1,300 cases.  This averages to 45 cases for each case manager. Chief Customer Officer Sharon Botica has said AIA is able to improve processes and offer better support with AIA 360.

“The insurer is launching AIA 360, which is described as "a personalised end-to-end claims experience providing support, guidance and rehabilitation."

The programme will be available to eligible income protection claimants and is offered free of charge.

Currently the company spends more than $1.1 million a year helping people on disability claims. It has 26 case managers looking after 1,300 rehabilitation cases.  This is about 45 cases for each case manager.

"We keep these numbers low so we’re able to provide a good level of individualised and tailored care and support to each customer," AIA chief customer officer Sharon Botica says.

She says the programme will provide support and guidance throughout the claims journey.”

Advisers will be able to offer customers support during the digital claim process. Although the service is currently being offered to those making IP claims, AIA is looking to expand the service offering in the future.

“Botica says will the company is trying to digitalise many of its processes, DI claims management requires the personal human-to-human touch.

"People are in a very vulnerable position when they claim," she says.

Botica says advisers will be able to give clients comfort that if they have to make a DI claim, there is a full service to support them.

360 Care will give clients confidence at claim time, she says.

360 Care is an evolving claims experience that will be available to more claimants in the future.” Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: David Haak appointed as new General Manager – Distribution

Professional IQ: Advisers find “unexpected benefits” from completing Level 5

Strategi: AML compliance update webinar

FMA: World Investor Week live Q&A webinar

FSC: Financial Services Council  Annual General Meeting 2020

Partners Life: transparency, trust & the right thing to do webinar


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