Southern Cross on working from home, and more daily news

Southern Cross has published the findings from the 2021 Southern Cross Health Insurance – BusinessNZ Workplace Wellness Survey. The survey respondents were from all over the country, with 14% of respondents based in Auckland, 13% based in Wellington, and 13% based in Canterbury. The survey has revealed since the COVID-19 pandemic began 34% of organisations surveyed reported that they are more open to the idea of employees working from home, even outside of strict lockdowns. The survey highlighted that 73% of organisations reported that employees felt isolated while working from home, and 66% of respondents reported that more employees experienced higher levels of general stress in 2020. Click here to read more

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In other news

Loud Shirt Day - Deaf Children Awareness Day will be on 29 October

Fidelity Life: in collaboration with business leadership coach Jennifer Myers, building a resilient business is now available in Learning HQ

FMA: Rob Evernett's new role revealed

Fidelity Life:

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nib offer complementary mental health cover, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has launched the new complementary mental health cover that is available to Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max members who purchased their policies from 1 October 2021. Eligible customers will have access a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist without the consultation being linked to a hospital claim. The new mental health cover replaces the complementary Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max travel insurance cover that was offered in the past.

“nib New Zealand (nib) has launched a new complementary Mental Health cover for eligible Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max members to provide greater access to mental health services and help Kiwis continue to keep on top of their health and wellbeing.

The new mental health cover is available to members who are covered under a new nib Ultimate Health or Ultimate Health Max policy purchased from 1 October 2021 and provides up to $2,500 of consultations annually with a registered psychologist or psychiatrist on referral from a GP. The complementary cover will initially be available to members for one year.

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin said the health insurer was pleased to help improve access to mental health services and support the one in five people1 across the country who experience a mental illness each year.

“More and more Kiwis are seeking vital mental health services and we want to ensure eligible members are provided the opportunity to access such care, when they need it,” Mr Hennin said.

“The new Mental Health cover offers eligible members greater access to treatment as they can access a consultation with a psychologist or psychiatrist without it needing to be linked to a hospital claim such as cancer or cardiac services. Those members only need a referral from their GP to claim and they have the flexibility to choose their own health provider,” he added.

The introduction of nib’s mental health cover replaces the previous complementary Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max travel insurance cover. nib travel insurance sales have stopped while nib pursues new underwriting arrangements for its travel insurance business across Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Hennin said he believes the new cover will be well received by members who may need additional support for their mental wellbeing.

“As we move towards our ambition of health partner, we want to ensure our members feel supported and empowered to be proactive when it comes to taking care of their health and wellbeing. And, with varying lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions likely to have an impact on the mental health of our community we believe the introduction of our Mental Health cover is timelier than ever,” he said.

nib’s new Mental Health cover is also available to existing members with an Ultimate Health and Ultimate Health Max policy that commenced from 21 April 2018, with the complementary mental health cover commencing following the renewal of their Ultimate policy from 1 December 2021.

For more information on nib’s Ultimate Health cover advisers should speak with their Adviser Partner Manager. ”

In other news

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life has revised customer documents to simplify the language and made changes to policy wordings terminology

Fidelity Life: enhancements to CPI option and Indexation option. This will apply to new business issued on the amended wordings.

Fidelity Life: survivor's income cover options have been simplified

Fidelity Life: class 1-4 definition of ‘total disability’ has been updated for income protection-type covers

FSCL: FSCL sees spike in overall complaints


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Aplastic Anaemia

Introduction

Were back with another item analysis - this time for Aplastic Anaemia.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Sub-items rating review

Aplastic

Notes

A defined treatment option is a commonality across all insurers, excluding Asteron Life who have a more open definition when compared to their competitors. We have included a sub-item for those insurers who require diagnosis from a medical specialist along with a deduction to those that do not offer an additional treatment option. Aplastic Anaemia is a lowly weighted item in our database; however, our proposed rating aims to emphasise the difference in the definition between insurers, rather than focusing too much on ranking them from best and worse.  

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Fidelity Life announce new Solutions and Services team, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced the creation of the Solutions and Services team. The team will be led by Trecia Brown in her new role of Head of Solutions and Services. The Solutions and Services team will be responsible for delivering advice solutions, professional development, and the Building Better Businesses programme.

 

Fidelity Life is transforming its support for advisers with the creation of a new team delivering solutions across the areas of advice (including advice-tech) and professional development, as well as an expansion of the company’s market-leading Building Better Businesses programme.

 

The new Solutions and Services team will be headed by the widely experienced Trecia Brown. Drawing on her 30-year career in financial services, Trecia steps up from her current position as Head of Professional Development to become Head of Solutions and Services.

 

Fidelity Life Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan says Fidelity Life is on a mission to deliver best-in-market support to advisers.

 

“We’re making great progress with our customer-led transformation, and that includes expanding our adviser and partner propositions so together we can help more New Zealanders get the benefits of insurance protection. 

 

“Our new Solutions and Services team recognises advisers’ needs are constantly evolving as the broader business environment changes. Taking our cues from a range of stakeholders including customers, advisers and regulators, as well as from emerging technologies, our intention is to help advisers stay one step ahead,” says Bronwyn.

 

One of the first cabs off the rank is a new video series specifically for financial advice businesses and designed in conjunction with well-known business and leadership coach Jennifer Myers.  

 

“Working on your business is just as important as working in it, and this new video series will help advisers build and maintain a resilient business,” says Trecia. 

 

“As well as covering key topics like setting business goals, identifying target markets, and building your personal brand, we also look at finessing advisers’ softer skills which are often overlooked as an essential ingredient to running a successful business.”

 

Meanwhile, Fidelity Life’s Building Better Businesses programme is also set for further expansion, with new modules in the pipeline including business diagnostics, behavioural economics and benchmarking.

 

Today’s announcement follows the unveiling of Fidelity Life’s new look Strategic Alliances team last week and continues the momentum of the firm’s customer-led transformation.

 

In other news

Cigna: pay later option available on eApp for customers that have been referred for further underwriting

 

Financial Advice: Financial Advice submitted on the Advertising Standards Authority Consultation on the new draft Financial Advertising Code

 

FSC: 5 sleeps until ReGenerations Reimagined

 

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day

 

World Food Day will be on 16 October 

 

World Osteoporosis Day will be on 20 October


Fidelity Life reveal financial results, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has revealed that the underlying profit for the year ended 30 June 2021 was $22.5 million. Fidelity Life has identified an increase in net premium revenue, strong new business, less policy lapses, and expense management as key drivers. CEO Melissa Cantell has said that she is pleased with Fidelity Life’s achievements and is looking forward to the future. 

“Fidelity Life’s core business continued to perform well in the 2021 financial year as it boosted transformation spend and remained resilient against the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Underlying profit for the country’s largest locally owned life insurer for the year ended 30 June 2021 rose to $22.5m from $20.3m in 2020. Key drivers were a $6.1 million uplift in net premium revenue off the back of strong new business, fewer than expected policy lapses and robust expense management. 

 

The company paid $130.8 million in claims to its customers compared to $139.7 million in 2020. 

Total comprehensive income fell to $4.3 million from $17.9 million in 2020, reflecting a total of $9.3 million invested in key transformation projects (net of tax), including the firm’s new technology platform and the proposed acquisition of Westpac Life. In addition, a sharp rise in government bond rates had a $7.3 million impact (net of tax). 

 

Chair Brian Blake said the $400 million Westpac Life deal was one of the most significant events in the company’s history and, once completed, would see Fidelity Life welcome Ngāi Tahu Capital as a major shareholder alongside the NZ Super Fund. 

“As well as strengthening our New Zealand-owned credentials and providing greater access to capital, having two iconic New Zealand investors on our share register sends a strong signal to the market about the quality and potential of Fidelity Life.” 

CEO Melissa Cantell, who started at Fidelity Life in January 2021, said she was pleased with the firm’s achievements and was looking to the future with confidence. 

 

“We’ve worked hard this year and put strong foundations in place. We continued to invest in our transformation, while at the same time delivering an underlying result which shows our core business of providing life insurance to New Zealanders is performing well. 

“Looking to the future, there’s a lot to be excited about as we work towards our aspiration to reimagine life insurance. Completing our technology build and the game-changing acquisition of Westpac Life will be key, as will ensuring we maintain our relentless focus on our customers.” 

 

In other news

TAP: TAP offers OATs to independent advisers

Partners Life: Partners brings in actuarial expert

From Insurance Business Mag: Full licensing a “unique opportunity” to think about business future


Fidelity Life make several appointments, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that several appointments have been made as part of the insurer’s transformation strategy. Melanie Beattie joins Fidelity Life as the new Head of Strategic Alliances. Sean Craigen has been appointed as the Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands. Mike Whitehead leaves his roles as a BDM to become the Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate. In their roles, Sean and Mike will report to Melanie. Bronwyn Kirwan has said that the new appointments will exemplify Fidelity Life’s commitment to protect more New Zealanders and increase the value proposition to partners.

“The pace of Fidelity Life’s transformation continues, with a number of key appointments to its new-look strategic alliances team boosting the firm’s partner proposition.

The appointments of Melanie Beattie (Head of Strategic Alliances), Sean Craigen (Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands) and Mike Whitehead (Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate) were announced by Fidelity Life Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan today.

“These appointments show we’re lifting our value proposition to our partners. Our transformation includes broadening our channel mix to help us protect even more New Zealanders, and we see so much opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organisations in delivering modern financial services to New Zealanders.

“Conversations with partners about commissions are now giving way to conversations about customers and strategy, helping us form a strategic roadmap to achieve a shared ambition. We’re excited about strategic relationships with significant advice and customer-led organisations and these new appointments are the first phase of investing to be an outstanding partner”, says Bronwyn.

Fidelity Life’s strategic partners include Farmers Mutual Group (FMG) and New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL), and it recently announced a new 15-year partnership with Westpac NZ as part of the proposed acquisition of Westpac Life.

The new appointments.

Melanie Beattie joins Fidelity Life in the newly created role of Head of Strategic Alliances, spearheading a new-look team and shifting gears with the firm’s strategic partnering approach.

Melanie spent the formative years of her career in the UK starting and selling a number of businesses in the energy sector before making a switch to corporate – initially with IBM, then with EY as Head of Market Development. She became Head of Strategic Partnerships at ASB and led their partnership practice across corporate, commercial, SME, and rural/primary sectors. In 2020 she took a up new role at tech start up Trade Window as Head of Global Ecosystems.

Reporting to Melanie, Sean Craigen takes up the role of Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands. Sean is currently at BNZ leading their general insurance product portfolio and compliance roll out with third parties. Prior to this Sean worked at IAG in a number of roles including leadership of their future partnerships, ventures and innovation team.

Also reporting to Melanie, Mike Whitehead is taking up the new role of Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate. Mike’s currently a Fidelity Life Business Manager in the Auckland region and prior to joining Fidelity Life, he held a number of roles at BNZ in commercialisation, area management, franchise management and asset financing. His background also includes time as a Ray White auctioneer and salesperson, and a 14-year stint as a stock agent and auctioneer with Wrightson’s. Click here to read more

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Financial Advice: The Be Inspired, Be Energised conference will now be online. Pricing for the two day online conference reduced to $395 +GST. The conference will be recorded and available for those that have registered.

RBNZ: Christian Hawkesby has been appointed as Deputy Governor


Industry awards finalists revealed, and more daily news

The Life Insurance Company of the Year award finalists for the 9th Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance awards were recently announced. Finalists include AIA, Asteron Life, and Fidelity Life. Additionally, Amy Cavanaugh, Pinnacle Life General Manager Operations and Len Elikhis, AIA Chief Officer - Product and Vitality are among the finalists for Young Insurance Professional of the Year award. Click here to read more

“The top New Zealand insurers will have their time to shine at the upcoming awards hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

This year will mark the 9th year of the awards that aim to "...unite all sectors of insurance for a celebration of excellence, professionalism and community".

The finalists were announced this week with Fidelity Life up against Asteron Life and AIA NZ for the top life insurer award.

The 2019 awards also saw Fidelity Life's Ben Holloway win the gong for the young insurance professional of the year.

This year, Pinnacle Life's Amy Cavanaugh and AIA NZ's Len Elikhis are two of seven young professionals nominated for the award.

"This year’s awards are centred around 2020, celebrating how our industry has supported the customer, community, and its people," the ANZIIF says.

The judging panel will explore how organisations or individuals have contributed to professionalism in the insurance industry and how they have successfully addressed issues by implementing innovative change.

The ANZIIF expects more than 400 of the industry’s top professionals spanning the breadth of New Zealand insurance to attend the awards being held at the Cordis in Auckland on Wednesday, November 17.

2021 ANZIIF New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards finalists:

Life insurance company of the year:
- AIA New Zealand
- Asteron Life
- Fidelity Life

Insurance learning programme of the year:
- AA Insurance
- AIG New Zealand

Young insurance professional of the year:
- Stephen Cantwell, FMG
- Amy Cavanaugh, Pinnacle Life
- Len Elikhis, AIA New Zealand
- Joseph Fitzgerald, Wotton + Kearney
- Steph Kelly, FMG
- Daniel Mathieson, Sherpa
- Megan Wolak, Delta Insurance

ANZIIF lifetime achievement award: Announced on the night”

Amy Cavanaugh:

Lo-amy-clr

Len Elikhis:

Aia-elt-len-elikhis

 

In other news

From Good returns: Life cover - the hard sell for Kiwi insurers

Swiss Re: How much more life insurance needs to be sold

From Good returns: Full licensing - what does it look like?


AIA announce new research project, and more daily news

AIA NZ has announced that it will be sponsoring an independent research project, NZ Adviser Wellbeing Research. The project aims to understand the mental health and overall wellbeing of advisers. AIA is working with Australian researchers Dr Adam Fraser and Dr John Molineux who were both part of a similar study conducted in Australia earlier in the year. The study will explore the current mental health of New Zealand advisers, the habits and attitudes of advisers with positive mental wellbeing as well as the mindsets and behaviours necessary to manage market disruptions. Chief Partnership Insurance Officer Sam Tremethick has noted that AIA is looking to understand the key challenges experienced by advisers. Advisers looking participate can click here.

 

“AIA NZ is sponsoring an independent research project to better understand the mental health and wellbeing of financial advisers in New Zealand.

The project, called the ‘NZ Adviser Wellbeing Research’, aims to understand the current state of mental health of NZ financial advisers, explore the habits and attitudes of those advisers who are currently experiencing positive mental wellbeing, and understand the mindsets and behaviours needed to evolve and manage significant market disruptions.

 

Sam Tremethick, Chief Partnership Insurance Officer AIA NZ, says “We’re looking to undertake a ‘temperature check’ on how advisers are going here in NZ. We know there has been a lot of change in recent times, and this research will seek to understand the key challenges experienced by financial advisers locally, particularly in light of increased regulation, operating in a global pandemic and changing client needs.”

AIA NZ is working with Sydney-based researchers Dr Adam Fraser, founder of The e-lab, and Dr John Molineux who specialise in producing reports of this nature. The pair undertook a similar research project earlier this year in Australia, which was a first-of-its-kind study into Australian financial adviser wellbeing.  Sponsored by AIA Australia, key findings showed poor levels of mental and physical health among financial advisers including

·               73% of respondents had high levels of burnout from stress

·               67% had experienced some level of depression

·               61% had poor sleep due to stress. 

“At AIA NZ we’re committed to helping people live healthier, longer, better lives, and we want to understand how we can better support the NZ adviser market to understand and improve their own health and wellbeing,” Sam says. 

The research findings will highlight future opportunities and inform practical applications for improving wellbeing for NZ advisers, and will be shared widely to benefit the broader industry.
Take part and share your views! Please click the link to take part in the NZ Adviser Wellbeing Research

 

The NZ Adviser Wellbeing Research is open until 10 October 2021 to all financial advisers in New Zealand, not just those involved in the life insurance business. It is not a requirement to have previously placed business with AIA NZ.

 

To encourage participation and show our appreciation, AIA NZ will donate $10 to the Mental Health Foundation for every NZ Adviser Wellbeing survey response received (up to $2,500). Please share your views today; these findings will benefit our industry as a whole, and offer valuable insights into current states of adviser mental wellbeing,” Sam says.  ”

 

In other news

Cigna: Specific Injury short-form application is now available for adding to existing business. The form can be accessed on Adviser Hub.

Cigna: Cigna Live remains postponed until further notice

Partners Life: second educational module: Policy Ownership has been released

Fidelity Life: underwriting and medical forms are now on Adviser hub

Fidelity Life: signatures can be drawn straight on editable forms using a touch screen or inserted as an image

Fidelity Life: application forms are being updated so they can be filled in and signed by customers at home

Fidelity Life: if advisers need to contact Fidelity Life to update anything regarding applications advisers will need to cc the customer or attach their original email for records. This includes:Disclosing medical history, financial detail, occupational or even pastimes. Any changes to their application, for instance a change in sum insured, wait period or benefit period.Start date confirmations and similar notifications

 

 


Fidelity Life announce lockdown new business underwriting approach, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced the approach they are taking for managing new business and underwriting processes for medical examinations, tests, and occupational and financial underwriting requirements under different alert levels. Below are the different approaches.

Medical.

Level 4.

For all Auckland based customers we need to revert back to asking a series of medical questions. These questions will be different for each case, and therefore our underwriters will contact customers to telephone underwrite prior to issue.

Level 3 and 4.
Medscreen paramedical services are unavailable in Alert Levels 3 and 4. Nurses will be able to resume visits to customers for medical exams and blood tests at Alert Level 2.

Where medicals and bloods are required due to non-medical limits (refer to our underwriting guide), you do have the option to consider reducing levels of cover to no longer require these. However, you should consider this in line with advice provided to the customer and review the levels of cover once the situation changes.

Occupational and financial.

The Covid-19 lockdown may be having an impact on the financial stability of some customers’ business or employment. Our underwriters must take a prudent approach to the underwriting of disability cover where there are signs of financial impact due to Covid lockdown and for applicants in continued ‘at risk industries’ such as travel and tourism, retail and hospitality.

We’ll be taking a ‘case-by-case’ approach to the underwriting of disability cover and aim to contact all customers to telephone underwrite and try to gather the information we need.

Customers who can’t work during Alert Level 4 may require a short deferral of disability cover until restrictions are lifted and we can ensure that their employment or business continues without serious impact.

In other news

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

Fidelity Life: no current policies have an exclusion for Covid-19 or the effects of the Covid-19 vaccine. Customers are fully covered according to their policy’s terms and conditions.

Southern Cross: Chris White set to be new CEO after Terry Moore retires on 1 October 2021

From Good returns: Insurance industry complaints on the rise


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Financial Planning & Legal Advice

Introduction

We have recently conducted a full review on our “Financial Planning & Legal Advice” item. Please find the new sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items

FInancial final

Notes

The Financial Planning & Legal Advice benefit differs between insurers with a significant weighting on whether the company offers reimbursement on legal expenses. Fidelity is one of the major insurers who doesn’t offer this, and customers are only eligible for payment if their Life cover sum insured is over $100,000. Similarly, Momentum Life requires 3 years continuous cover before payment eligibility.

Another item worth mentioning is Asteron, Fidelity and Westpac directly stating that the benefit will be paid out to all policy owners – the maximum amount paid by most insurers is $2,500 so this particularly feature seems to reduce the value of the benefit.  

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz