New Zealand’s protection gap according to Sharron Botica, and other daily news

A recent report suggests New Zealanders are under-insured by hundreds of billions of dollars. Spinoff asks Sharron Botica from AIA New Zealand to explain why it’s so important to make up the shortfall.

“Customer insight work carried out by AIA has told us that people often feel protected against death, illness and other physical circumstances because they feel they can lean on whānau and community to help out. But this isn’t always realistic, and it can be a dangerous mistake that could leave that support network severely and unexpectedly cost-laden.

According to a Financial Services Council NZ report from 2020, 71% of New Zealanders are under-insured when it comes to life insurance.

….. we drastically underestimate how much financial pressure is created when a household loses half of its income.

In 2018, the retirement commissioner Diane Maxwell said the New Zealand “she’ll be right” attitude could be playing a part. That attitude has major consequences and leaves your loved ones to carry a heavy burden.

While relying on savings is a common plan in case of a significant event causing a loss of income – the proverbial “rainy day fund” – you need to have savings to use. Data from Stats NZ showed New Zealanders typically don’t have great savings, with just 0.4% of income being saved over the quarter ending March last year."

More daily news:

FSC says NZ Income Insurance Scheme needs "more time"

Southern Cross wins Organisational Change & Development award at the NZ HR Awards 2022

Jackie Waddams appointed as General Counsel for AIA New Zealand

FANZ’s 1 June webinar covers key insights, updates and best practice for insurance advisers, register here.

Goodreturns: JP Hale thinks he knows why your clients are unhappy

FSC announces Future ready advice summit, Queenstown – and more daily news

The Financial Services Council has announced the new Future Ready advice summit in Queenstown. Come along and join us at the summit and learn about – if you do, we will see you there. More from the FSC:

“Join us at the Future Ready Advice Summit on 14 June 2022 in beautiful Queenstown at the Heritage Hotel. This Summit follows the successful online event in February this year, and gives us a much-needed opportunity to reconnect and learn, while supporting Kiwi tourism.

By attending, you will:

  • Hear directly from our regulatory partners and key decision makers
  • Get the latest advice on thriving under a financial advice provider license
  • Hear from experts and focus on the future and developing professional advice practices
  • Join our Advice Masterclass focused on future-proofing the business model of the future
  • Network with peers and hear from industry leaders
  • Speak to suppliers for practical help and support through the changes
  • Contribute towards your Code Standard 9 competence requirements 

Both streaming and in-person tickets are now available for purchase. In-person numbers are limited, so we encourage you to register quickly to avoid disappointment.

More daily news:

Partners Life announces new adviser training course 20-22 June

AIA launches new limited cover starter plans

Financial Advice New Zealand regional roadshow

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.

How far the world has come and more daily news

From Our World in Data, it is encouraging to reflect of great strides defeating one disease as we try to get out from under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

This is how far the world has come in the fight against polio.

In the 1980s more than 300,000 children were paralyzed by polio every year.

Thanks to the polio vaccine we now have the chance to *eradicate* polio globally in our lifetimes.

Link to more data on the fight against Polio here.

Back in New Zealand the battle continues, however, with about one third more people away from work with sickness compared to a year ago.


More daily news:


Partners Life new claims platform live and more daily news

Partners Life and Fineos announced that Partners has moved onto the new claims platform, from their media release:

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FINEOS Corporation (ASX:FCL), the market-leading provider of group and individual core systems for life, accident and health insurance, today announced that Partners Life has become the first life and health insurance company in New Zealand to go live on the FINEOS Platform. The FINEOS Platform is a purpose-built end-to-end SaaS core platform for life, accident and health insurers.

The Partners Life and FINEOS partnership replaced the insurer’s existing system with FINEOS Claims, giving Partners Life unparalleled operational and customer service benefits. The FINEOS Platform includes a market-tested, pre-configured business and regulatory content pack for the region known as FINEOS LISA (Life Insurance Solutions Australasia). Internally, the company will experience improved risk controls and claims management workflow covering life, TPD, trauma, income protection and medical products.

More daily news:

A New Zealand writer, Nicola McDougall, has a best selling personal finance book in Australia, The Female Investor.

Register with FANZ to hear from Tony Alexander next week giving an economic update

Cancer treatments not funded by Pharmac in New Zealand are covered in this Stuff article - always a good reminder about the value of private medical cover

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).


Financial Advice New Zealand Awards and more daily news

Financial Advice New Zealand are calling for nominations for the 2022 Awards. The awards will be made at the Conference in Christchurch on the 6th of September.

Today we are excited to announce that nominations are open for the 2022 Financial Advice New Zealand Awards. We would really appreciate it if you could help us spread the word and encourage financial advisers to join us in celebrating excellence in financial advice and nominate themselves, their employees, or peers in the sector. Below is a communication for you to forward on to your advisers, as well as an awards image attached.

Nominations are now open for the 2022 Financial Advice New Zealand Awards

Financial Advice New Zealand celebrates, promotes, and recognises excellence in financial advice to consumers, industry related stakeholders and the public of New Zealand.

The awards, which will be announced at the Gala Dinner during the 2022 Financial Advice NZ Conference in Christchurch on the 6th of September, present such an important opportunity for the sector to come together to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding work of New Zealand’s financial advisers and support staff in regard to their commitment to the profession, their clients and the wider community.

So, who do you think deserves to be recognised?

Financial Advice NZ members can nominate themselves, their employees, or peers in the sector for one of (up to) a total of 16 awards from five different categories:

  • Service to the Profession Award
  • Outstanding Adviser Award
  • Rising Star Award
  • Outstanding Support Person Award
  • Community Service Award

Entries close on the 15th of July.  For details on how to apply and the judging criteria for each of the categories visit

We look forward to receiving your nomination and seeing you at the conference.

Other daily news: offers life insurance with abbreviated underwriting for people aged between 50 and 79 picks up the Financial Services Council's research on money

Financial Advice announce 2022 conference

Financial Advice New Zeeland has launched Ignite, the 2022 conference. The conference will be a two day event held on 6-7 September at Te Pae Christchurch.

Speakers include:

Keynote Speakers

  • Chris Riddell, Futurist. Optimist.
  • Craig Hudson, Managing Director Xero Aotearoa
  • Kamal Sarma, Expert on human connection

Lightning Speakers

  • Samantha Barrass, Chief Executive FMA
  • Victoria Devine, Multi award-winning financial adviser and founder and host of ‘She’s on the Money’ podcast
  • Tony Laker, Laker House of Travel
  • Sir Ian Taylor, one of New Zealand’s foremost technology innovators

Other speakers

  • Jonathan Pain, Global Economics Expert

Tools for your Business workshop speakers

  • Matt Church, Founder of Thought Leaders and The Leadership Landscape
  • Adrian Pickstock, Director Quad Coaching
  • Ekant Veer, Professor of Marketing, University of Canterbury
  • Shefali Pawar, Senior Research Officer, Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research
  • Gilbert Enoka, All Blacks Manager and Mental Skills Coach


  • Michael Kitces

Click here to register

“We are so excited to launch our much anticipated 2022 conference - IGNITE. An action packed two-day financial services sector event that will ignite what drives you and challenge you to take risks, explore new opportunities, step outside the box and do things differently.

Connect in person

After all of the lockdowns and restrictions, we are so excited to be able to get together again. There are plenty of networking opportunities for both attendees and sponsors, all under the one roof, at the new and vibrant Te Pae Convention Centre in Christchurch.

A programme tailored for your business

The past two years have taught us that there is no more 'business as usual' - we are living in unprecedented times. And with change and disruption, comes new opportunities and transformation. Our programme has been designed to get you and your business ready and energised to meet the challenges of today, thrive in this new 'normal' and feeling excited about the future.

High profile speakers

Our speaker line-up from New Zealand and Australia bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy to their keynotes and workshops, covering everything from the big picture stuff - global trends, reinvented business, and leadership in the new world, to tailored content - building a business beyond trust, maximising your brand, mental resilience - and much more!”

Partners Life appoints new CFO, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that Stewart Taylor will be leaving his current CFO role at ANZ Bank to join as the new Chief Financial Officer. Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne has said that she feels fortunate that Taylor is looking to join a company like Partners Life at this time.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Stewart Taylor will be joining Partners Life from ANZ Bank where he is currently CFO.

Having access to Stewart’s vast and diverse experience, along with his enthusiasm for everything we are today and everything we want to be tomorrow, will be a real catalyst for us to take our next leap forward.

Naomi Ballantyne, Partners Life’s Managing Director, says, “I feel very fortunate that Stewart was ready to leap back into an entrepreneurial business going through rapid growth and change, at exactly the time that Partners Life happened to be searching for a CFO of his calibre to help drive our business to and through its next significant iteration.”

Stewart Taylor says, “I have enormous respect for the Partners Life team in having built Partners Life from scratch into one of the most important and influential life and health insurers in the New Zealand market. I am excited by the company’s ambitions for how life and health insurance could and should be done into the future, and I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to be part of that journey.”

Stewart’s start date is yet to be announced, but we’re looking forward to him joining our team as soon as he can.”

In other news

World Down Syndrome Day was on 21 March

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was on 21 March

World Tuberculosis Day will be on 24 March

FMA: Kiwis need better financial advice, says new FMA boss

Financial Advice: Financial Advice veteran retires with warning note on new regulations

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