Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

18 Nov 2020 – The Privacy Commissioner published a reminder regarding the Model Contract Clauses for “Disclosing personal information outside New Zealand” under new Privacy Principle 12 available on the Commission website at https://privacy.org.nz/news-and-publications/guidance-resources/disclosing-outside-nz/

19 Nov 2020 – As part of Fraud Awareness Week, which runs from 15 to 21 November, the FMA released a media briefing regarding the rise in scams impersonating NZ businesses during COVID-19. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/rise-in-scams-during-covid-19/


But are they just little lies?

Stuff has this great article by Nile Bijoux about people being willing to lie to their insurer. Those are general insurers, but it seems a stretch to believe that the same people happy to lie on their car insurance application would suddenly become gravely honest when filling in a life application. Perhaps people don't really think of lying to their insurer as a big deal - so many do it. This is borne out in other markets too - in the UK it is estimated that it adds the equivalent of about $60 a year to every insurance policy. If that margin were applied to the 2.5 million life, trauma, IP, and TPD, policies in New Zealand it would mean about $150 million in fraud costs each year. 


Buying insurance after you have been diagnosed with a problem?

It sounds ridiculous, but it does happen. Clients call advisers and ask if they can buy insurance, or reinstate lapsed insurance, after they have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Most insurance advisers have had this experience. It is worth recounting as an antidote to those people that believe every claim by a customer is valid - as it turns out that quite a few people will try to buy cover for certain events, not uncertain ones. Some of this will be a genuine error, some will be a deliberate attempt to obtain a claim payment where none is due. Here is a more recent example from the general insurance world - link.