Fidelity Life launches ‘Mark It’, a marketing and communications resource, and other news

Fidelity Life has launched Mark It, a marketing and communications resource to help advisers better connect with customers - includes how-to-guides, communication templates and educational content.

Mark it will include how-to-guides and communication templates designed for a range of customer life cycle scenarios, as well as educational content about different types of life insurance for customers’ changing ages and stages.

All Mark it content is written in plain English. New tools and content will be added over time, with the aim of helping advisers provide useful, educational content for customers.

More daily news:
RBNZ raises OCR 2%
Terrance Coe believes delay of NZIIS commencement is sensible; ACC should use TPA's for optimal results
Opposition criticises Income Insurance Bill

Budget allocates $60 million to establishment of NZIIS and delays implementation to 2024, and other news

On 19 May Finance Minister Grant Robertson presented the Government’s Wellbeing Budget, allocating $60 million to support the continuing development of the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme (NZIIS).

The amount will fund the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to undertake preliminary work to establish the systems and operational processes for a new levy-funded income insurance scheme.

The proposed implementation has also been pushed back from 2023, with Robertson saying

“There is considerable work to get the scheme up and running, and it is now expected that it will be operational in 2024.”

Insurance Business spoke to Deloitte NZ tax partner Robyn Walker, who said

“The sensible decision to not rush this through means that the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme may become a significant matter for voters to evaluate as we head into Election 2023.”

More daily news:

Dispute before ombudsman about income earned while on claim for income protection insurance policy

Members of TripleA Association to vote whether to wind up association

Entries for Insurance Business's Top Insurance Employers 2022 close 27 May

In Finder’s RBNZ survey, 100% of experts predict OCR increase in May

And a bit of light humour from xkcd here

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

17 May 2022 – Second reading of the Data and Statistics Bill completed in Parliament.

18 May 2022 – FMA released a report titled “Value for Money Industry Report” highlighting that Fund managers’ inconsistent performance measurement and cost of fees reduces benefits to investors.

Consumer magazine on mental health underwriting and more daily news

In April, Consumer Magazine published an article on the underwriting of mental health conditions. My thoughts on the article are below:

Positives: the article is a good vehicle for the complaints levelled against the insurers, relying mainly on the Beyond Blue report from Australia and some good personal stories from applicants.

Problems: while calling for fairness, it fails to explore in detail how underwriting is done, what is meant by unfairness, or the complex issue of fairness to other policy holders and the effect on them. There is no exploration of the economics of underwriting or how the proposed changes would affect the market. There are serious issues to consider in the underwriting of mental health problems, as there are with many others. One the one hand questions are criticised for not being personalised enough, on the other hand they are criticised for being too ‘invasive’. There does not appear to be a clear idea of what good looks like.

As a publication meant to enable consumers to make better choices about products and services to acquire, I was left wondering, as a consumer, what this article was suggesting - it seemed not to guide consumers either towards or even away from any specific product but could easily put off applications from people with mental health problems, when in fact a lot of cover is available for them, and a lot of good work is done in underwriting to enable insurance to work for the whole risk pool.


More daily news:

  • Financial Advice New Zealand is running a licensing workshop with the FMA on the 27th
  • The FMA is also running a licensing event supported by Partners Life and Fidelity Life on the 5th of May - details here.
  • FANZ also has the details of a member survey on adviser attitudes towards the government proposed income insurance scheme - 23% support the idea, while many are undecided or would prefer a scheme in partnership with industry (more like KiwiSaver).


Fidelity Life introduces new claims information and more daily news

Fidelity Life has released lots more claims information. I love good claims information and this has much to commend it: an overall claims paid percentage (93%), a release of process information, summary statistics (including average age of claims) and case studies. From their media release: 

At the heart of the new content is Fidelity Life’s claims promise, which sets out the standards of care customers can expect at each and every interaction during their claim.

Other useful content includes a step by step guide to making a claim, information on the most commonly claimed conditions and why not all claims are accepted, and videos with real customers sharing their claims stories.

“This new material, written in plain English, aims to give customers clarity on what they can expect when it comes to making a claim, and provide reassurance that we’ll support them during this often stressful time”, says Peter.

The new claims content can be found on Fidelity Life’s website, along with another recent content initiative: Insurance 101.

More daily news:

  • Would you like to check out the new Quotemonster website? Give us a call to get access now
  • Consumer has published an article on how mental health issues are underwritten
  • Goodreturns has a survey of advisers on the government-proposed income insurance scheme Link.


Quotemonster is hiring: Customer Service Support

Quality Product Research has helped crunch over 10 million insurance quotes over the last ten years via Quotemonster. We are now the leading platform in New Zealand for Advisers to quote and research the Life and Health insurance market and are looking to welcome a new Research Support member into our close-knit team based in Birkenhead, Auckland. 

You will work between 20 and 30 hours per week, alongside various other departments within our company encompassing a range of responsibilities. This role would suit someone who has an exceptional and professional level of customer service to our customers to ensure we are always providing a high level of customer satisfaction. 

Click here to find out more and to apply.

When Consumer becomes anti-consumer

Sonnie Bailey at Fairhaven Wealth has written the article that needed to be written on Consumer's coverage of life insurance. When I read this article I particularly resonated with this line:

"I’m consistently disappointed with Consumer when it talks about insurance."

I believe a lot of financial advisers would agree, along with many in the insurance industry, and many clients that have had good claims paid or felt the limitations of insurance products bought on, say, price alone. Some advisers would put it less politely. My concerns have been such that I wonder about the value of their other research - what technicalities about which I am unaware, are being missed? The article is significant, an 18 minute read, but excellent on every point. Every time Consumer writes about insurance I think I shall write a detailed review of their stance. Now, I don't need to, as Bailey has written it for us. Do read it.



Life expectancy calculators

We are reviewing life expectancy calculators as part of our forthcoming quarterly life and health report. These calculators provide estimates of expected balance of life duration. They are commonly used in well-being applications, as well as retirement income planning consultations, and by people who are just plain curious to know. We have a few favourites and will be comparing the features, statistical underpinnings, and output produced in a feature coming up for our regular institutional sector report subscribers (along with a major feature on the new income insurance scheme proposed). If you have used a life expectancy calculator or would like to let us know about any experiences you have had with them please do drop me an email or call, or call one of the team Ed Foster, our resident data scientist is handling the details, but you are welcome to talk with either of us.

Partners Life announces changes to COVID amendments, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that the temporary amendments to Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions will be reverted back. Below are examples of when customers are eligible for Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions.

“On the 17th August 2021, we extended our financial assistance offering to assist clients who may have been financially impacted as a result of

COVID-19 restrictions, so that they could have the best chance of retaining their valuable cover in the longer term.

With the country having moved into the ‘Traffic Light’ settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework and with Level 4 Lockdowns behind us, we feel the time is right to revert to the original criteria for Premium Holiday claims and Policy Suspension claims, as documented in the policy wordings.

For your reference, below is a brief summary of when your client may qualify for a Premium Holiday claim.

If the Life Assured undergoes any of the following:

Redundancy; or Bankruptcy; or Leaving paid employment to become a full-time caregiver to a spouse, de facto partner or Civil Union partner who for the first time requires such care as a result of an illness or injury; or Leaving paid employment to become a full-time caregiver to a Dependent Child who for the first time requires such care as a result of an illness or injury; or Death of a spouse, partner or child; or Natural Disaster where the event affects a life assured’s ability to undertake their usual work and where interruption is likely to last more than thirty days; or Any other event Partners Life agrees to, at its sole discretion

For Policy Suspension claims only:

Employer approved leave without pay; or Employer approved parental leave; or Overseas travel; or Tertiary Education”

In other news

Financial Advice: Key changes to the Privacy Act 2020 and what it means for your business

Astreon Life: Suncorp announces half-year results

Asteron Life: Suncorp NZ leader on inclusivity and making insurance products fit for purpose

Partners Life introduces new personal statement functionality, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that advisers will be able to send clients secure links that allows them to complete their personal statements as part of the underwriting process. Advisers have the ability to track progress and can assist at any stage. Clients can access this function from 7 February.

“Introducing the ability to send your clients their Personal Statement to complete!

This new functionality allows you to send your clients a unique, secure link to complete their personal statement in their own time, on their own device. This ability for your clients to pre-complete their underwriting disclosures prior to your meeting can save time at the kitchen table and reduces the need for multiple client visits.

For advisers who may be selling to clients in a different geographical location, this assists you in providing clients access so that they can complete their own personal statement, enabling a smoother end-to-end advice and application process.

You will be able to track how your clients are getting on with completing their personal statements and can jump in at any stage should they need assistance.

We’re excited to show you how it works and have prepared a training video demonstrating this new functionality from an adviser and a client’s perspective.

We have also prepared a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document to answer any questions you may have. Click here to read them.

In other news

World Cancer Day is on 4 February

Fidelity Life: Congratulations to Annette Lewis who is appointed as the new Head of Propositions

Partners Life: Partners Life will be hosting webinar sessions to give a live demo of the new personal statement functionality on 9 February 10am – 11am and 15 February 1pm – 2pm