Cigna non-medical limits enhancements, and more daily news

Cigna’s new non-medical limits for the Assurance Extra and Business Assurance product suites have been introduced. This change is looking to make the underwriting process and getting cover easier for customers.

“As part of these ongoing improvements, I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow – 1 July, we will release new non-medical limits for our Assurance Extra and Business Assurance product suites.

We understand that the process of getting medical tests as part of the application process can be time consuming. These new limits reflect our commitment to looking out for our customers by making it easier to be processed through underwriting and get cover. The new limits will be applied to any new business currently in underwriting with us."

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In other news:

FANZ: Financial Advice is looking to open registrations for the 2020 Financial Advice New Zealand Conference soon

AMP: Business Hub: AMP's Blair Vernon on the death of the office cubicle

FMA: FMA publishes Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectations

FMA: FMA publishes NZX Obligations annual review


Product database updated

The QPR database has been updated and version 136 has been issued to subscribers and all changes are now live on Quotemonster. This version of the database includes the following changes:

Pinnacle Life policy wordings updated:

IP version 16/10/2018

Life version 01/12/2019

Funeral version 23/01/2019

Trauma version 01/12/2019

- no rating changes

 

Cigna business wording 11/05/2020 updated and rating changes applied. Revisions to ratings:

- IP/MP:

Future Insurability + Redundancy max entry/exit ages for Cigna

Pregnancy Premium Waiver Gender for Cigna

Insurable Income - SE rating for Partners Life

Insurable Income Salaried + SE amount score review

- Trauma:

> Diabetes Mellitus Adult definition, min age and amount score for Cigna

> Multiple Sclerosis definition review


Daily news update: overview of main points from CoFI select committee hearing, and more stories

Insurance and industry associations representatives shared their views on CoFI during the select committee hearing held on 10 June 2020. Participants included, Cigna head of legal Michael Burrowes, AIA general counsel Kristy Redfern, Financial Advice New Zealand CEO Katrina Shanks, Partners Life chief legal, risk and conduct officer Rebecca Sellers, industry expert David Whyte and Anna Black Fidelity Life chief risk officer.

Michael Burrowes head of legal said that the bill was a good idea but was rushed and complex. Michael and AIA general counsel Kristy Redfern both suggested that the bill be delayed. Kristy highlighted that unlike Australia, New Zealand had time to get the bill right. She also warned that the reform was affecting the mental wellbeing of advisers, which could lead to New Zealanders becoming even more underinsured.

“Michael Burrowes, head of legal at Cigna, said the bill was a good idea but there had been a lack of consultation with the industry for what would be a substantial and important regime. The result was rushed, complex and lacked the appropriate clarity and detail.

He and AIA general counsel Kristy Redfern called for the bill to be delayed until FSLAA had bedded in.”

“Redfern said changes to commission rules in Australia had affected the availability of advice and given that New Zealand was underinsured already, that outcome should be avoided. She said the threat of significant reform was affecting advisers’ mental wellbeing. “It’s more important than ever that any additional regulation is fit for purpose and doesn’t create unintended consequences and anxiety.”

She said, because there was no evidence of widespread misbehaviour New Zealand had time to get the bill right.”

Katrina Shanks shared Financial Advice’s concerns as well as saying that it was hard to understand the implications of CoFI as a lot was left to regulations. Katrina also highlighted that that unlike other sectors, the power to prohibit incentives was very strong. Similarly, David Whyte said that it was unclear if advisers were caught by providers’ fair conduct programmes.

“Shanks said Financial Advice NZ had six main concerns: the bill’s power to regulate sales incentives, no definition of “fair”, confusion over whether financial advisers are included in fair conduct programmes, the definition of intermediary, the claims process, and the timing of the bill’s enactment.”

“David Whyte, speaking on behalf of a group of sector participants including Financial Advice New Zealand, the TripleA Advisers Association and Wealthpoint, said the drafting was confusing because it was not clear whether financial advisers were caught by providers’ fair conduct programmes.”

Rebecca Sellers, chief legal, risk and conduct officer at Partners Life highlighted that incentives played an important part in the livelihoods of many advisers. While Anna Black Fidelity Life chief risk officer said that the outcome of CoFI needs to increase customer trust and ensure sustainability

“Partners Life chief legal, risk and conduct officer Rebecca Sellers said incentives played an important part in the livelihoods of many businesses and were a matter of substantive policy that should not be delegated to regulation – though committee member and Labour MP Duncan Webb asked AIA how the rules could be kept up-to-date with a changing industry if they were not in the regulations.”

“Anna Black, chief risk officer at Fidelity Life, said the outcome of the bill needed to increase customer trust and ensure sustainability of the industry over the long term. “Pausing is appropriate.”” Click here to read more

In other news:

Commerce Commission: The Commerce Commission:  announced that it has finalised the criteria it will use to assess whether a lender is “fit and proper” under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act

Partners Life: Partners Life sponsored the filming for Fight For Time, a story of the Pink Dragons

FSC: FSC 2020 Awards will be held at the FSC Generations Conference Gala Dinner

FSC: Generations Conference earlybird tickets now available

FSC webinar: Introduction to Generations webinar

FSC: FSC’s partner Voices of Hope will be the charity partner for the 2020 Conference


Daily news update: Senior management restructure for Lifetime Group, and more stories

Lifetime Group have announced that they are making several strategic changes that will see a change in their business focus and senior management team. Peter Cave has said that because Lifetime is looking to focus on the team based in Christchurch, GM of advice Jon O’Connor will be leaving at the end of June. Aaron Bowkett will be leaving his role at Apex to take on Jon’s current role. Sarah Fawcett is set to join Lifetime as the new chief financial officer.

“Managing director Peter Cave said the business had been through significant restructuring over the past 18 months and the next phase of that would see Jon O’Connor leave his role.

Lifetime wanted to focus on the team in Christchurch and centralise the senior management team there to be geared up for the future, he said.

O’Connor is based in Tauranga.

O’Connor said he would finish up in his role on June 30 and he was still deciding what his next step would be. He is to be replaced by Aaron Bowkett, who is currently with Apex Advice.”

Although Lifetime moved from an independent-contractor model to an employee model when Camelot and Lifetime merged, the group has seen a 20% drop in adviser numbers in the last 12 months.

“Peter Cave, managing director, said the strategy adopted after the merger was to pursue an employee model, to best position the group for the new licensing regime.

Lifetime had had an independent-contractor model before that.

“We also implemented our ‘advice for life’ client engagement philosophy during the same period.

“The objective was to position the adviser team for the future and invite those that wanted to come on the journey, to adopt the changes.”

But he said the net result had been the loss of some advisers.

“We have experienced just over 20% reduction in our adviser team over 12 months, made up of those we didn’t offer contracts to; those that left with their clients to set up their own businesses; and those that either retired or left the industry.” Click here to read more

In other news:

Cigna: Treena Jordan joins Cigna as Product Manger, specialising in business products

Why advisers should use handwritten notes, texts and mail


Daily news update: CoFI submitters areas of concern, and more stories

There have been many submissions on the topic of CoFI. AIA, Cigna, Fidelity Life, Partners Life and AMP have shared their views in regard to the implications CoFI will have on advisers, commission as well as the scope of COFI and the time needed.

Fidelity has stated their concern for potential adviser issues and customer confusion relating to advisers having to comply with different fair conduct programmes. Gail Costa, CEO of Cigna, has said that because of CoFI, advisers could end up preferring one provider's conduct programmes to simplify their compliance obligations, causing a conflict of interest. Partners Life have said that advisers should not be caught by the bill at all. While AIA have said that advisers that were not licensed under FSLAA should be the only ones affected by CoFI.

“While submitters voiced support for the overall intention of the bill, all raised concerns about how it has been drafted.

Significant concern related to how advisers will be dealt with under the bill. There is a carve-out for financial advice providers, but not necessarily for individual advisers, in its current form.

That could mean all advisers had to show compliance with the financial advice providers’ conduct programme, as well as meeting their own obligations under FSLAA.”

When discussing commission, Fidelity said that CoFI could create uncertainty and affect participants’ ability to plan for the future. Nick Stanhope has said that change in commission, will create very high levels of regulatory risk.

“Submitters were concerned that the bill left open the option of regulators introducing new rules for commission structures, without any legislation change being required.”

Another area or concern was the scope of CoFI. AMP stated that they were concerned that being considered a financial institution would increase costs. And Partners Life has said that there is a risk that CoFI is going to create an uneven playing field. KiwiSaver customers would have protection through the bill if they were with a bank but not through a fund manager.

“Many submitters were worried about the scope of the new bill. Some said it was too broad – AMP Wealth Management New Zealand said it was concerned about being included as a financial institution – the cost of licensing would affect its ability to keep costs down. The Securities Industry Association said it seemed that NZX trading, and advising market participants, had been inadvertently captured as intermediaries.

But Partners Life said there was a risk it would create an uneven playing field – a customer would have protection through the bill if they were in KiwiSaver through a bank but not through a fund manager.”

The last area that has created mass concern is time. Nick Stanhope has said that FSLAA should be given enough time to be implemented before more regulations are introduced. David Ireland, partner at Dentons Kensington Swan has also expressed his concern saying that CoFI hasn’t gone through the same level of consultation as other significant regulatory changes.

““No consultation draft was released for public feedback, with no opportunity to debate the outcome of the one round of consultation on the issues paper released last year. The outcome is a bill that provides a framework for a new regime, but with many of the details not fully formed and with many uncertainties as to scope and practical application.

“Conduct licensing is complex. A new regime as significant as this one ought not to be rushed through.”” Click here to read more

In other news:

FSC set to host Reserve Bank on CEO Roundtable 11 June 2020

FSC to make oral submission to the Finance and Expenditure CoFI 10 June 2020

FSC: Big Trends in Tech, Innovations and Investing Webinar to be held 9 June 2020

FSC: Get In Shape Advice Session 2 webinar with Karty Mayne and David Greenslade to be held 12 June 2020

BNZ: OMNIMax and BNZ work together to help BNZ customers get the most out of KiwiSaver


Product database updated

The latest version of the QPR database (V135) has been distributed to subscribers and uploaded onto Quotemonster. This version includes the following changes:

  • New Cigna personal policy wording effective 11/05/2020
    • Minor rating change to:
    • Trauma - cancer definition, child trauma option amount score
    • Life - terminal illness definition
  • Remediation to:
    • Partners Life's Mental Health Limitation (in IP)
  • Term cover policy 02/18 now rated in Westpac Mortgage Protection

Daily news update: Cigna price changes introduced, and more stories

Cigna has made price changes to a number of products. The range of the changes are detailed in the table below. You can tell from the variety of changes that this is a complete repricing exercise - not merely an increase or decrease of a blanket percentage. Some prices will be much more competitive. Some segments are being increased. The only way to know for certain, is to do a comparison for each life. That's why a price comparison across the market is vital if you wish to offer help to clients seeking the most competitive products. Quotemonster still offers free price comparisons for financial advisers with an FSP number and an email account. 

YRT Life

11/05/2020

From -12% to +8%

Level Life

11/05/2020

From -24% to +1% Non-Smokers & Female Smokers, from -17% to +8% Male Smokers

Trauma

11/05/2020

From -13% to +10% Non-Smokers & -3% to +15% Smokers

Level Trauma

11/05/2020

From -16% to +10% Non-Smokers, -16% to +18% Smokers

Income Protection

11/05/2020

From -1% to -2%

Mortgage Protection

11/05/2020

From + 5% to +25% Female, from +7% to +20% Male. As per discussion, indexation was previously offered free for the first year.

In other news:

AIA: Mentemia, a mental wellbeing app, is now part of the AIA Vitality program.

AIA: Clients can get one month’s premium free when they apply for a new eligible AIA policy between 5 March 2020 and 31 May 2020 and have the policy issued by 31 July 2020.

Partners Life: The automatic COVID-19 Mental Health exclusion that was applied to disability and business risk benefits has been replaced with more targeted and specific underwriting processes.

Partners Life: Clients who had the automatic mental health exclusion applied will have it replaced with an emergent mental health exclusion.

Partners Life: Underwriting restrictions 2020


Temporary commission boost from Cigna

It has been announced that Cigna plans to double the commission of advisers during June and July. This announcement comes after the Government stated that all New Zealanders need to have access to independent financial advice. The increase in commission payments will be made out in recognition of the efforts of advisers during Level 4 and Level 3.

"“Life insurer Cigna has announced that it will be doubling service commission payments to its insurance advisers for the months of June and July 2020.

Chief executive Gail Costa said the doubled payments are intended to recognise the effort insurance advisers have put into helping their clients over the past several months as the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, all while making adjustments to their own businesses.  She says the financial support should help them keep on top of any personal financial difficulty, and will help them carry on assisting their clients as they rebuild their lives.

The announcement was made following the Government’s statement that New Zealanders should continue to have easy access to independent financial advice." Click here to read more

In other news:

Fidelity Life: Covid-19 – all you need to know

How hard has it been to write new business during COVID-19?

Budget delivers for stricken advisers, FMA

Industry welcomes wage subsidy extension


Cigna unveil product enhancements and new quoting software

Cigna has unveiled their new quoting software that allows advisers to generate quotes in real-time. Additionally, Cigna is looking to improve Assurance Extra, Business Assurance, Business Extra, and Agribusiness Extra product suites.

“Cigna New Zealand has rolled out a new online quote tool for its insurance advisers - the first in a series of planned improvements to help advisers work more efficiently.

CEO Gail Costa says the tool will allow advisers to obtain quotes in real time, giving them access to Cigna’s most up to date plans and pricing. It will also allow them to access both personal and business products at the same time.”

Gail Costa provided further insight about the software by stating that:

“This is a new kind of technology used for quotes, and it is an intuitive tool that uses all of the latest user experience ideas,” she explained.

“It also plugs into the medical database, and this makes it much easier for advisers to get accurate quotes for their clients, and also identify any other benefits they may need.”  Click here to read more

In other news:

Australia: ASIC cracks whip on three financial advisers

Suncorp: Suncorp reveals results and pandemic hit

Back to the office on Thursday (if you want)

Advisers complain about narrow rebate time limit

FMA: Cyber-resilience in FMA-regulated financial services


Cigna: Product enhancements and new online quote tool

Cigna has announced product enhancements and a new online quote tool effective 11 May. 

The product enhancements will include new level term options to give customers more certainty when it comes to the amount of premiums that they will be paying, and some competitive new rates.

The new online quote tool is said to be simple, fast and intuitive to use. Online training sessions will be available two weeks prior to the launch. They will also supply a video training guide and additional support material.