Quality Product Research: addition of specific injury insurance rating

Specific Injury Cover is of great benefit in circumstances where ACC or other insurance policies do not provide sufficient financial protection. Although it presents as a succinct product (or optional benefit), it offers a comprehensive injury cover at an affordable price. It may be the case that this product appeals only to a particular market niche, but we believe that its benefits and features are of considerable value and should therefore be included within our rated products’ suite.

We have a draft comparison of those insurers who offer this product but are yet to release this publicly, pending data to support our ratings.

We invite you to join us on this rating process as we greatly value your input and feedback on changes we make to our platform. We are looking at gaining further insight into this product and would really appreciate any data that you are able to share with us from experience. We are especially keen to gain a better understanding of:

  • The most claimed benefits within Specific Injury.
  • The most claimed fractures.
  • The features that are claimed more than once.

It would be of considerable assistance if you are able to provide us with relevant data and claims information.

Once we have received and reviewed all the feedback, relevant information and data from the Insurers we have communicated this to, we will publish a preliminary rating report for you to review.

Please note that at this stage, the rating framework we have formulated for Specific Injury Cover can change depending on the information we receive from those insurers who wish to participate in this exercise. The finalised ratings will subsequently be published and be available to view on Quotemonster.

If you're interested in being involved in this rating, have had a client with a claim, or are an expert in this field please email us on researcher@qpresearch.co.nz 

We look forward to your assistance and input with this rating exercise and thank you in advance for your participation and time.

Fidelity Life promises 24 hour turnaround and more daily news

This morning an adviser who writes a lot of business with Fidelity Life asked me today what I thought of their administration. My answer was to point to Fidelity's new promise, Fidelity Life is promising to issue new standard policies within 24 hours of receiving an application, or they will waive the policy fee for the first 12 months, which clearly outlines their intent to deal with administration effectively. More from Fidelity Life on this below:

Sub24 launches today and will run until 30 June 2022.

Fidelity Life Chief Insurance Officer Kath Johnson says the campaign aims to ensure cover is in place for customers as quickly as possible.

“At Fidelity Life we’re all about giving New Zealanders certainty to live a more rewarding life.

“With Sub24 we’re challenging ourselves to turn around standard applications efficiently so our customers can get on with life knowing they’ve got protection in place for the things that are most important to them.”

The Sub24 promise applies to applications for new policies that can be processed under standard underwriting terms, and where no additional medical or financial information is required.

If Fidelity Life can’t deliver on its promise, the policy fee will be waived for the first 12 months.

Full details about Sub24, including terms and conditions, can be found on Adviser Hub.


More daily news:

Seth Godin talks about the value of offering 'half-baked' ideas as the key to stimulating creativity in teams - getting input on something that is not perfect or even fully formed makes it clear you are genuinely seeking creative input (not merely endorsement) which encourages others to take creative risks which enable truly great work.

Join Financial Advice New Zealand as they explore how to get the most out of Xero (worth it, Xero has been a big help to Quotemonster.

Techweek22 kicks of on Monday 16th - review the calendar and see what you want to dip into.

Check out NZsearise maps for a heads up on likely sea level impacts - we're seeing one area regularly flooded that was not in the past near us (little shoal bay) what fascinated me was the impact of geology in combination with rising sea levels in the modelling.

Assisted dying service data reporting and more daily news

The first data report from the assisted dying service has been issued. Although future reports will cover a three month period, the first one covers slightly longer because the start date for the service was not aligned with a quarter end - so it covers 7 November 2021 to 31 March 2022. In summary, this is what has happened: 

Between 7 November 2021 and 31 March 2022, 206 people applied for assisted dying. As at 31 March:

  • 59 people were still in the process of assessment or preparation for assisted dying
  • 81 people did not continue the process (due to being ineligible, withdrawing or dying of their condition)
  • 66 people had an assisted death.

In September of 2020 we estimated that the End of Life Choice Act could see around 240 people use the service each year. It is probably too early to say with any accuracy based on only one quarter's numbers whether that estimate is a good one. However some of the wilder ideas about usage are not yet supported by the numbers.

For more information check out the Ministry of Health's data page on the subject.

More daily news

  • Waikato-Tainui has partnered with Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) to offer health insurance to its 14,000 kaumaatua and help facilitate better health outcomes for its tribal members
  • Fidelity Life has appointed three senior business development managers to co-ordinate the work of the others: congratulations to Gary Binnie, Michelle O'Connell, and David Telfer on their appointment
  • AIA reports that Bill Lisle, AIA Regional Chief Executive, and past Director and Regional Chief Executive for AIA Australia and NZ from 2017 to March 2022 has died.


Fidelity Life announced Toitū carbonreduce certification and more daily news

Fidelity Life are celebrating Earth Day with the announcement of achievement of Toitū carbonreduce certification. As more clients are interesting in aligning their purchases (including advice) with their values and concern for the future of the environment it will become increasingly important to be able to talk about the suppliers of financial products and their commitment to the same goals. While insurers tend to have relatively low carbon footprints relative to their size in financial terms, and so they have not yet been very actively questioned on their green credentials, we think it only a matter of time before the question is more common. From their media release:

To celebrate Earth Day today New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer Fidelity Life has formalised its commitment to a lower carbon future with the achievement of Toitū carbonreduce certification.

Fidelity Life Chief Customer Officer Peter Doherty says achieving Toitū carbonreduce certification is an early step for Fidelity Life on its sustainability journey.

“As the largest locally owned player in New Zealand’s life insurance industry, our customers, people, partners, shareholders and the wider community expect us to step up and help the country meet some big challenges, like climate change.

“Our initial sustainability focus is Kaitiakitanga and, for us, this means protecting the environment just like we protect our customers. It’s still very early days - moving into our new 6 Green Star building recently was our first significant stake in the ground, and now achieving Toitū carbonreduce certification formalises our commitment to a lower carbon, more sustainable future.”

Toitū’s carbonreduce programme is certified to the ISO 14064-1:2018 global standard and involves measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and committing to a reduction target.

Fidelity Life’s total net GHG emissions for the year ended 30 June 2021 were 503.41 tCO2e (tonnes of CO2 equivalent). It aims to reduce emissions by at least 38% by 2030 through focusing on areas including work-related transportation and the company’s supply chain.

More daily news:

  • Cigna's Gail Costa is hosting a Cigna Live Adviser Event with David Downs as guest speaker on 28 April, registration link.
  • Compliance Refinery is running a session on the psychology of the complaint, registration link.

Have a great ANZAC weekend


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.


Partners Life explain new MUM feature, and more daily news

Recently Partners Life held webinars explaining the features of the new Client Access to Personal Statement feature on the online underwriting platform MUM. For future reference, Partners Life has published a video explaining the new functionality and demonstrating how it works.

“Thank you to everyone who gave up their valuable time to attend the webinars introducing our new Client Access to Personal Statement (CAPS) feature for our Online Application - MUM (My Underwriting Manager).

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. The ability for your clients to pre-complete their underwriting disclosures prior to your meeting can save time at the kitchen table and may reduce the need for multiple client visits.

For advisers who are dealing with 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.

During the process you can view how your clients are progressing with completing their personal statements, and you can also jump in at any stage should they need assistance.

If you were unable to attend the Webinar session and would like more information and a demonstration on how it works, please click on the link

In other news

Fidelity Life: Tahi policy migration happened on the weekend of 26/27 March 2022

Fidelity Life: International Women’s Day 2022

International Women's Day 2022 from Fidelity Life on Vimeo.

Fidelity Life announce podcast series, and more daily news

Fidelity Life have announced the launch of a new podcast series that will help advisers grow their businesses. There will be 17 podcasts covering record keeping, continuing professional development, cyber risks and referrals.  The podcasts will be available for advisers on Adviser Hub.

“A new podcast series designed to help advisers build high performing businesses and drive great customer outcomes has been launched by Fidelity Life.

The podcasts feature content from Fidelity Life’s Building Better Businesses programme and cover topics including record keeping, continuing professional development, cyber risks and referrals. 

Fidelity Life’s Head of Solutions and Services Trecia Brown says the podcasts give time-poor advisers an easy way to consume relevant and useful content.

“There’s never been a busier time for advisers, whether they’re helping customers, working towards full licencing or managing their businesses around COVID-19 – it’s all go!

“Our new podcast series brings great content to advisers in a convenient, snackable format, and is another way we’re delivering growth and performance solutions to our valued business partners.”

The series comprises 17 3-5 minute podcasts and is available for Fidelity Life advisers on Adviser Hub.

To celebrate the launch of the series, the record keeping podcast has been made freely available to all advisers, including those without a Fidelity Life agreement.

Trecia says the record keeping podcast is recommended listening for all advisers: “The podcast provides key pointers for creating and maintaining records, which is a standard condition for licensing.”

Click here to listen to Fidelity Life’s record keeping podcast.

Fidelity Life’s Solutions and Services team connects advisers with the best possible tools in the areas of business consultancy, digital solutions and professional development.”

In other news

World Sleep Day will be on 18 March

World Oral Health Day will be on 20 March

[Obituary] Insurance industry trailblazer Chris Coon dies

RBNZ: RBNZ plans to life company on-site inspections

FMA describe a licensing journey


Fidelity Life ratings announced, and more daily news

AM Best announced that Fidelity Life’s A- financial strength rating was under review after the upcoming purchase of Westpac Lie was announced last year. AM Best has confirmed that Fidelity Life’s A- rating will remain. Fidelity Insurance’s Standard & Poor (Australia) Pty Limited lowered after the sale, although Fidelity Insurance will be rated by AM Best going forward.

Fidelity Life and its newly acquired subsidiary Fidelity Insurance (formerly Westpac Life) have both received A- (Excellent) financial strength ratings* from ratings agency AM Best, following the completion of the $400 million acquisition earlier this week. The outlook for the ratings is stable.

According to AM Best the ratings reflect each entity’s respective ‘very strong’ balance sheets, adequate operating performances, neutral business profiles and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Fidelity Life has maintained an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best for 26 consecutive years. The rating had been under review since July 2021 when the acquisition was announced.

Fidelity Group Chief Financial Officer Simon Pennington says: “These ratings are important information for our customers – including our customers from Westpac Life - because they provide an expert view of our ability to pay their claims.”

Fidelity Insurance has had its Standard & Poor (Australia) Pty Limited rating lowered from A+ with a negative outlook to A with a stable outlook, reflecting its ownership change from the Westpac Group to Fidelity Life. From April 2022 Fidelity Insurance will only be rated by AM Best."


 In other news

Financial Advice: Me and My Money: Katrina Shanks, CEO, Financial Advice New Zealand

Otago University: Mortality declines in Aotearoa NZ during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic


Fidelity Life announcements on future of company

Fidelity Life made two announcements regarding the future direction of the insurer. The first announcement was focused on the completion of the sale of Westpac Life for $400 million. As part of the sale Westpac life will be renamed Fidelity Insurance, and Westpac will distribute Fidelity Insurance products for the next 15 years.

The second announcement is regarding Ngāi Tahu Holdings coming on as as a shareholder. Alongside NZ Super Fund, Ngāi Tahu Holdings played a significant role in the purchase of Westpac Life. As part of the acquisition Ngāi Tahu Holdings took a $140 million (24.9%) stake in the insurer.

"Westpac Group has today announced it has completed the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business, Westpac Life, to New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer, Fidelity Life, for NZ$400 million.

As part of the sale, Westpac Life has been renamed Fidelity Insurance and entered into a 15-year life insurance distribution arrangement with Westpac NZ. Under this arrangement, Westpac NZ will distribute Fidelity Insurance products to its retail customers for the next 15 years."


"Fidelity Life has officially welcomed Ngāi Tahu Holdings as a new large shareholder following the completion of the New Zealand-owned life insurer’s $400 million acquisition of Westpac Life.

Fidelity Life’s largest shareholder the NZ Super Fund and Ngāi Tahu Holdings funded the majority of the acquisition, with Ngāi Tahu Holdings taking a $140 million, 24.9% stake in the life insurer."

Fidelity Life offer farmers temporary premium wavier, and more daily news

Fidelity Life will be helping farming customers affected by the flooding on the West Coast and the top of the South Island. Farming customers can apply for a temporary three month premium wavier. They’ll then be able to apply for a waiver for a further three months.

“New Zealand’s largest locally owned and operated life insurer Fidelity Life is again helping its farming customers affected by flooding, this time on the West Coast and the top of the South Island. 

From today, Fidelity Life customers who are suffering financial hardship due to the impact of the floods on their farms can apply to have their premiums temporarily waived* for three months, with the potential to extend for a further three months, without affecting their insurance protection.

Fidelity Life Chief Customer Officer Peter Doherty says the company is all about protecting New Zealanders’ way of life and has a responsibility to look after its customers, particularly in tough times.

“Farmers and growers in the West Coast and Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough districts are doing it tough following the recent floods. They’ll be facing issues like shortages of livestock feed and crop washouts, placing financial stress on their businesses.”

Fidelity Life has a close partnership with specialist rural insurer FMG, and together the two companies have a history of supporting farmers. 

In 2015 Fidelity Life made a similar offer to its dairy farming customers who were hard hit by a fall in the farmgate milk price, and in 2018 premium relief was offered to farming customers impacted by mycoplasma bovis. In 2021 the company stepped up to help flood-hit customers in Canterbury.

Peter says flood-hit West Coast and Top of the South farmers with Fidelity Life policies should contact their financial adviser for information about the offer or contact Fidelity Life on 0800 88 22 88 or customerservice@fidelitylife.co.nz.

Any other Fidelity Life customers facing financial hardship as a direct result of the floods are also encouraged to get in touch with their adviser to discuss how Fidelity Life can help.

“It’s important for the financial security of their families and their businesses that farmers keep their insurance protection in place, even when times are tough. This offer is a small thing we can do to help our customers get through this event”, Peter says.

In other news

Southern Cross: Keep calm and carry on (how to build your mental resilience)

From Stuff: Dying cancer patients say they are waiting too long for diagnosis, treatments