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.

Latest goodreturns article: can small independent advice businesses do digital innovation?

My latest piece on goodreturns covers the question of whether digital innovation is the preserve of larger businesses with big budgets - but the good news is that even a small business can be found at this link: Can you do digital insurance advice with a tiny IT budget? - Good Returns

Impact of AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants, and more daily news

With the help of the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants programme advisers have worked towards bettering their communities.  Although the programme awarded 10 recipients over $500,000 in 2020 the majority of grants were delayed, and the winning initiatives came into play this year. Below are some of the winning initiatives

  • Simon Gower of Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners helped more than 1,450 children learn to swim in the Waikato by offering over 20,000 free swimming lessons
  • Alan Leuluai from Leuluai Financial launched the ‘MoveWell’ health and fitness programme in South Auckland
  • Leelee Li from Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners ran a bootcamp and speaker circuit to support Asian communities in Hamilton
  • Lance Parker-Wadham of Parka Insurances organised a series of talks by Sir John Kirwan on mental health and managing depression at local rugby clubs
  • Dean Logan and the team at Logan Smythe & Associates offered a series of resilience and mindfulness community courses and workshops, and podcasts
  • Ryan Edwards of TAP launched ‘Tools Down’ to raise awareness of mental health and the suicide among tradies
  • Joel Mclachlan and his team opened MenzShed in Waimakariri to create a space for social interaction

Making a difference in local communities in 2021 is what the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants programme was all about. With ten grants awarded and over $500,000 available to support grassroots initiatives, the programme has helped advisers support their local communities to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.

“We’re thrilled with the amazing work we have seen come to fruition this year through the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants programme,” says Sam Tremethick, Chief Partnership Insurance Officer. “While originally awarded in 2020, many of the Grants were delayed due to Covid-19 which meant the initiatives were delivered throughout this year. We are so pleased to have been able to support advisers’ businesses with this programme, and the health and wellbeing projects they are passionate about.”

At the start of the year, Simon Gower from Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners helped more than 1,450 children learn to swim in the Waikato. With his team of swimming coaches, Simon taught students at Fairfield College and four decile one primary schools how to swim, carrying out over 20,000 individual free swimming lessons.

“Our programme would not be possible without financial support so it was great to partner with AIA  who shared our vision of trying to improve the health and wellness of tamariki in our community,” says Simon.

Continuing the health and wellbeing focus was Alan Leuluai from Leuluai Financial and his ‘MoveWell’ health and fitness programme in South Auckland, and Leelee Li from Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners with her bootcamp and speaker circuit to support Asian communities in Hamilton. Both used their Grant to focus on “moving well” and supporting those that might not usually have access to organised fitness with opportunities to get involved.

Mental wellbeing was another core theme, as Lance Parker-Wadham and the team at Parka Insurances put their Grant to good use with series of talks by Sir John Kirwan on mental health and managing depression at local rugby clubs. 

Dean Logan and his team at Logan Smythe & Associates offered a series of resilience and mindfulness community courses and workshops, along with a podcast series providing free, practical resources packed full of evidence-based tips and tools to help people feel good and function well.

“Without the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant, quite simply, this project would not have been possible. It enabled us to bring a series of world-class, evidence-based wellbeing and mindfulness courses, workshops and podcasts to North Canterbury,” says Dean. “We were thrilled to be able to make such a difference for the people in our local community, and to see first-hand the positive changes to mental health and wellbeing as a result of participation.”

Tradies mental health got a boost nationwide thanks the great work of Ryan Edwards and The Adviser Platform team who launched ‘Tools Down’; an online platform to raise awareness of mental ill health and the suicide rate among Kiwi tradies. Joel Mclachlan and his team also advocated for positive mental wellbeing by opening a MenzShed in Waimakariri, giving locals a place for social interaction and to use their skills to support the local Canterbury community.

“Without the AIA Vitality Grant there is simply no way MenzShed would have the fantastic asset they now have. The Grant, together with AdviceKiwi’s support, gave the local council confidence that the project would be seen through to completion. The Council agreed to provide land in Gladstone Park to the MenzShed so that it could be built and used as a community asset for many years to come.”

“With some AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant activations still to come, we look forward to more adviser community projects coming to life into 2022,” says Sam. “At AIA NZ we are committed to helping people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives – and what better way to achieve this than to partner with passionate advisers to do good mahi in their local community.”

In other news

Munich Re: Advance with confidence

Quashed: user interview

Themes for 2021 in life and health insurance

What will be the big themes for 2021 for life and health insurance? 

  • Helping people keep their cover through disruption will continue to be a theme - although economic performance has been better than expected there remain quite a few people out there struggling with adjustment to the COVID economy. Several advisers tell me of long conversations that are essentially about conservation. They take time and they generate little revenue - this largely unsung work is of a piece with claims help and is part of the value of the commission model: the adviser isn't expecting to charge a fee for these discussions, they just want to help the client stay covered. 
  • The shift towards digital - within advice businesses, at insurers, and for consumers. Digital is an enabler of faster transactions, more efficient administration, better accuracy, and more meaningful engagement. More adviser businesses will develop better digital capability and be looking for ways to automate certain processes. That includes digital advice offerings. It also means better underwriting processes built around access to 
  • Direct - it has shown solid growth - and not merely as a proportion of the market which has shrunk, but in absolute terms. It has benefitted from a big drop in bancassurance and a big push through online social media platforms. I really want to see the quality of the offers improved in 2021, but that will probably require more work in the area above to achieve. 
  • Regtech - this is the year we begin to see regtech applied to insurer and adviser conduct programmes - analysis of all clients by a range of factors will be a vital complement to human-managed compliance processes.
  • Transition - to the new advice regime means that a lot of advisers will be spending a bit more time than usual working on systems, new processes, and disclosure requirements. That will hit productivity for a few weeks. Combined with holidays, will the nadir be the first quarter production figures with a recovery from there, or will the second quarter be the low point? I am expecting recovery and more confidence to recruit and focus on marketing to be able to get traction in at least the third quarter. 
  • Consolidation - adviser business size is definitely rising. The greater integration and co-ordination required to successfully meet new compliance requirements is reflected in the high number of authorised body structures being disclosed by FMA licensing statistics. 
  • Consumer knowledge and understanding will continue to rise as more advisers share relevant content in easily digestible digital media. Gradually the focus on what is most relevant and readily explainable will begin to percolate through consumer finance forums changing the general perception of 'good' this will further current consumer trends towards more living products and more packages of benefits. 



Facebook and Google set to expand respective financial services

Earlier this month Google and Facebook announced that they will expand the scope of their financial services by developing a Google checking account and a digital wallet that will be integrated across all Instagram services. Although these services are set to make our lives simpler, adding our financial data to their existing database allows Big Tech companies to understand our risk tolerance, buying habits, track our shopping behaviour as well as our loans and credit card exposures. Click here to read more

Insurtech start-ups in the KiwiBank accelerator

While there are no life and health insurance start-ups in the accelerator there is plenty to be interested in. Two appear to have a general insurance flavour, the best of which is Stash, a outfit I have come across before and deserves to break out into broader market success. I also like the concepts for the blockchain identity development and the KiwiSaver advice service. Check out the list here.


Australia: life insurance adequacy

Rice Warner has this article on life insurance adequacy for households with two adults and children, a highlight from their life insurance adequacy study which is available for purchase. In the forthcoming quarterly life report I will contrast this with estimates of insurance adequacy for New Zealand, indemnity models, and the affordability of the recommended cover amounts. Any questions on indemnity-based models and how these contrast / inform advised cover levels - please drop me a line.

Gen Re: machine learning and underwriting

Gen Re has an excellent article on the role of classification model performance in underwriting. This includes some useful comments on machine learning, plus the gloriously-named 'confusion matrix' with associated metrics for assessing the accuracy of models. There are some broad implications for the future of underwriting which can be drawn, you should check out the whole article, of course, but the thoughts below are my own, based on their article and other sources:

Larger data sets, and especially digital test data sets of sufficient size, are particularly valuable for assessing a model. Companies would do well to both maintain such data sets (over time, with claims performance data attached) and the expertise necessary to assess the value of different classification models. A presumption of the efficiency of current underwriting methodologies is not necessarily well-founded. It is also somewhat self-selecting and may lead to ignoring data not currently collected, which could be of value in developing new methods for making underwriting assessments. Non-traditional data sources - such as credit records, social media profiles, wearable health tech, and so on, could provide new opportunities for assessment models. You won't know until you look, so some investment in collecting better data is necessary R&D expenditure.

Data collected is not always equal to data assessed, also, data required to apply for a product may be reduced, while data-collection may continue after application (and it may be useful and economically rewarding to continue to collect the data) so that better analysis of factors for future modelling may be identified. A practical version of that point might be: we can still have a non-underwritten product (to make application easy) and collect lots of data to feed our machine learning tools to enable better underwriting decisions to be made on the basis of third-party data, for future sales.