Women in Insurance Summit recap, and more daily news

The Women in Insurance Summit 2021 was chaired by Lee-Ann du Toit, Deloitte Actuarial and Insurance Services Partner. The summit opened with Partners Life Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne discussing her career in the industry as well as the values and lessons that she uses as part of her leadership approach. du Toit commented that there was a lot of focus on being genuine and brave and discussions focused on leadership, diversity and inclusion. Suzanne Wolton, Medical Assurance Society New Zealand Independent Director, discussed concepts around networks while Amanda Halfacree, Crombie & Lockwood Deputy Head of Financial and Professional Risks, explored gender stereotypes and personal biases. Agnes Naera, Global Women CEO, discussed resilience and learning from failures.

Other speakers included:

  • Rob Hennin, nib NZ CEO
  • Thérèse Singleton, Resolution Life NZ CEO
  • Brynlea Hunter-Morpeth, AIA NZ Chief People & Culture Officer
  • Toni Ferrier, AIG CEO
  • Tracey Barron, Southern Cross Healthcare Chief of Strategy
  • Michelle McBride, Insurance Chief People Officer, Tower
  • Alpha Woolrich, Veterinary Professional Insurance Society CEO
  • Claire Sutton, Asteron Life Executive Manager Life Portfolio and New Business
  • Amy Cavanaugh, Pinnacle Life General Manager Operations
  • Kato’one Kaho, AA Insurance Digital Delivery Manager
  • Melanie Harding, Willis Towers Watson Head of Operations
  • Justin Lim, Quashed Co-founder & CEO

“The Women in Insurance Summit 2021 wrapped up yesterday after a day full of inspiring keynotes and discussions across a variety of topics, ranging from effective leadership to good networking, mental health strategies, and the role of digital innovation in business.

The Summit was chaired by Deloitte actuarial and insurance services partner Lee-Ann du Toit and was opened by Partners Life managing director Naomi Ballantyne, who discussed her extensive career in New Zealand’s life insurance sector, and the values and lessons that she has incorporated into her leadership approach.

Commenting on the end of the Summit, du Toit said the speakers had provided some “fantastic discussions,” and thanked them for speaking openly and honestly about their career paths, and some of the challenges they have faced.

“I would like to thank all of our tremendous speakers for keeping the energy going and keeping us engaged with some fantastic discussions,” du Toit said. “There was a lot of focus on being genuine and being brave, and we had lots of leadership and diversity and inclusion discussions.”

“Naomi’s opening session was really, really valuable, and she was very honest with us about asking questions and understanding your business, and about surrounding yourself with smart people who challenge you to live up to your values,” she continued.

“We had a great discussion about networking with Suzanne Wolton, who got us thinking about whether we are getting the most out of our network, and also challenged us to share with others who we are and what we’re passionate about, rather than what we do.”

“Our panel discussion focusing on diversity, inclusion and equity strategies also focused on empathy, and on doing the right thing in the right way, mentorship, and paying that forward,” du Toit added.

“Amanda Halfacree spoke to us about gender stereotypes, and reminded us to examine our own biases. We also thought about defining our own career path, and seeking opportunities that light us up.

“Agnes talked about   and also learning from failures, and having that be part of your success. And, of course, our last session focused on digital innovation, and discussed all the different facets around staff, customers, systems and collaboration, and making the most of opportunities.” Click here to read more

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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

26 July 2021 – In a webpage post, the FMA released the “Top five tips for becoming a fully licensed Financial Advice Provider.” https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/fma-stories/top-five-tips-for-becoming-a-fully-licensed-financial-advice-provider/

26 July 2021 – RBNZ announced that, from today, it will publish new breakdowns for residential mortgage lending by loan-to-valuation (LVR) ratios in the C30 web table. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/c30

26 July 2021 – RBNZ & FMA sought feedback on implementing new law, the Financial Market Infrastructure Act enacted in May 2021, to safeguard the ‘plumbing’ of the financial system, with feedback closing on 20 Sept 2021. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/07/reserve-bank-and-fma-consult-on-new-law-to-safeguard-the-plumbing-of-the-financial-system

26 July 2021 – IRD released a set of questions and answers to support the Government’s policy proposals on interest limitation for residential property investors. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/2021/2021-other-interest-limitation-and-bright-line-rules-q-and-a

27 July 2021 – RBNZ released research looking at the distributional effects of monetary policy and the household cash flow effects of low interest rates in New Zealand. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/07/incomes-rise-for-mortgage-holders-as-interest-rates-fall

27 July 2021 – Financial Services Council released research looking at what New Zealanders think about KiwiSaver, the role it plays in their retirement preparedness, and where it needs to head in the future. https://www.fsc.org.nz/bulletin_display/x_blog_code/2153.html

Cigna announce Cigna Live, and more daily news

Cigna has announced that Cigna Live will be held in August. David Haak has noted that attendees will hear from the Cigna team as well as expert guests. Further details are expected to be announced in the coming week.

To kick things off, I’m thrilled to announce Cigna Live will be back in August. Not only will you hear the latest from myself and the Cigna Team, but we’ve lined up some expert external guests to share their insights into our industry and the wider New Zealand market. This is a not-to-be-missed event, so keep an eye out for your invite and further details next week.

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Shareable Partners Life insurance knowledge articles, and more daily news

Partners Life has published client-focused insurance knowledge articles on Partners Life Academy and the Partners Life website. The articles are intended to be sharable material to simplify insurance concepts for clients. Advisers will find PDF copies of the articles in the Content Library under Assets.

Topics include:

  • Why your insurance is more expensive than your friend’s
  • Why does my premium go up each year?
  • How do insurance companies pay out big claims, when their customers only pay small premiums?
  • Where there’s a Will there’s a way – Why you should write a will
  • Wielding the stick of power: The importance of having a Power of Attorney
  • Guardians of the Parenting World: Who would you leave your kids to?
  • What is ‘Policy Ownership’ and why does it matter?
  • What are ‘Underwriting-Free Increases’?
  • What are Exclusions and Restrictions?
  • What are Premium Loadings?
  • What are ‘Special Acceptance Terms’?
  • Claims and Medical Requirements
  • PHARMAC or Non-PHARMAC? That is the question…

“Partners Life Academy now hosts a series of short, client-focused insurance knowledge articles that you may find helpful to share with your clients. These articles are also available on the Partners Life website in web format. You may find the PDF format on Partners Life Academy easier to share and discuss.

Insurance is a complex topic, and we know you spend significant time explaining how insurance works to different clients. What if there was a source of short articles you could share that have been specifically developed to help educate clients?

There is.

In Partners Life Academy, you will find these articles in the Content Library under Assets. Each article is one or two pages, and available as a convenient PDF download.”

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FSC: Hon Dr. David Clark announced as keynote speaker at the Regenerations gala dinner. Mitchell Pham announced as keynote speaker at the Regenerations Conference

FSC: Outlook 2021/22 with Geoff Bascand in Wellington

FSC: Get in Shape Webinar Series, Code of Conduct and the customer experience with Steven Burgess

FSC: Launch of the latest FSC Research on 'Generation Rent'

Financial Advice: Mid-Winter Blues Webinar Series

Partners Life: Detailed schedule of Partners Life Product Changes and Benefit Improvements

FSC: correlation between finances and mental health, and more daily news

The FSC has found that financial stress is impacting the mental health of more New Zealanders. 55.6% of participants in a recent survey reported that their wellbeing was impacted by financial issues, a 4.3% increase from last year. FSC CEO Richard Klipin has said that the survey indicates that there is a positive correlation between financial stress and the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders. Klipin has highlighted that the financial services sector has a significant role to play in supporting the wellbeing of customers and ensuring that there are support options in place. Klipin continued saying that the survey findings highlight the impact COVID-19 has on wellbeing, especially on the younger generation. Klipin has expressed his desire to see New Zealanders prioritise their financial wellbeing as it impacts their health and happiness.

“An increasing number of New Zealanders are finding that financial troubles are impacting their mental and physical health, relationships and overall wellbeing, and insurers say that a more ‘holistic’ approach is needed when it comes to dealing with customers experiencing difficulty.

A recent FSC survey showed that 55.6% of New Zealanders feel that financial issues have impacted their overall wellbeing - up from 51.3% in March 2020. CEO Richard Klipin said that the survey results clearly show the link between finances and mental and physical health, relationships and stress, and he says the financial services sector has a significant role to play in supporting customer wellbeing by building up their support options and financial resilience.

“While our findings suggest that we’re making progress in some areas, they also highlight that there is more to be done to support the public in building knowledge and gaining confidence when it comes to their finances,” he said.

“What remains clear from the latest survey results is the connection between money and our wellbeing, with over 55% of New Zealanders saying that financial issues have adversely affected their wellbeing.

“This highlights the continued impact that COVID-19 is having on the wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” he said.

“Particularly the younger generations, and we hope the survey results encourage people to prioritise their financial wellbeing, which clearly plays a direct role in health and happiness.” Click here to read more

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nib: nib Health Insurance Protect, Connect & Empower Seminar Series held in Queenstown, Invercargill, and Christchurch

Southern Cross Health Insurance: TBWA\NZ appointed to the role of lead creative advertising agency

From Good returns: [GRTV] Looking after advisers' mental health

Professional IQ: Professional IQ farewells its chief executive

From Good returns: Advisers should talk to advisers about professional indemnity

RBNZ: Reserve Bank confirms consultations “key to the future of how New Zealanders pay and save”

From Stuff: The traumatic process for young women needing a hysterectomy

From NZ Herald: Stuntwoman Dayna Grant recovering from brain surgery after LOTR set injury follow up from When it’s not covered by your health insurer, and daily news


Fidelity Life purchases Westpac Life, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that they have signed a conditional agreement to purchase Westpac Life and distribute Fidelity Life products exclusively to Westpac customers for the next 15 years. NZ Super Fund: Ngāi Tahu Holdings has joined as a shareholder to help with the $400 million acquisition of Westpac Life. Fidelity Life has highlighted that they are awaiting regulatory and shareholder approvals but expect the deal to be completed by the end of the year. As part of the purchase, the Westpac Life team and 150,000 policyholders will join Fidelity Life. This will increase Fidelity Life’s in force market share from 12% to approximately 17%.

“Today we’re announcing some big news: we’ve signed a conditional agreement to buy Westpac Life and enter into a 15 year strategic alliance with Westpac to distribute our products exclusively to their retail customers.

To help fund the $400 million acquisition we’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming another large shareholder to join our cornerstone investor the NZ Super Fund: Ngāi Tahu Holdings – the investment arm of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, one of New Zealand’s largest iwi. Ngāi Tahu Holdings are a fantastic addition to our shareholder base and further strengthen our NZ-owned credentials.

The agreement is still subject to regulator and shareholder approvals, and we expect it to be completed by the end of 2021.

A true partnership.

This new alliance with Westpac, who share our aspiration to reimagine life insurance, aligns with our plans to diversify our channel mix to help us reach even more New Zealanders.

Once the deal’s completed we’ll be welcoming the Westpac Life team and 150,000 policyholders to Fidelity Life and will boost our in force market share from 12% to nearly 17%.”

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When it’s not covered by your health insurer, and daily news

Recently film and television stunt woman Dayna Grant suffered a head injury that required surgery. It was noted that Grant’s health insurer was unable to cover the $60,000 private surgery. Grant was told her injury wasn’t covered by ACC and that there was a four month wait if she wanted to go through the public health system to treat the 8mm aneurysm and neck injuries. A Givealittle page was created to raise funds to cover the immediate private surgery. The necessary $60,000 was raised within 24 hours of the page going live. Grant has said the money raised will go towards her surgery and recovery, and whatever is left will be donated to Brain Injury Support.

“More than $60,000 has been raised for stunt woman Dayna Grant's brain surgery in less than 24 hours.

The award-winning stunt woman has worked on several high-profile films including Wonder Woman, Mad Max and Xena: Warrior Princes. She recently suffered a head injury on set, a Give A Little page read. She is a mother of three children and also runs a stunt school in NZ.

More than $60,000 had been given by several hundred donors at the time of writing.

The description on the fundraising page said Grant was diagnosed with an 8mm aneurysm

"After experiencing symptoms of traumatic brain injury, Dayna was sent for neuro-imaging CT and MRI scans, unfortunately receiving the devastating diagnosis of an 8mm aneurysm and upper spinal (neck) injuries.

"Surgeons recommend immediate surgery. As is often the way with these things, insurance and liability are a maze of red tape and potentially life-threatening delay through the public health system.

Immediate, private surgery costs NZ$60,000."

According to the details on the Give A Little page, Grant's health insurance was unable to cover the surgery and she faced a four-month wait if she opted for the procedure in the public health system. It was also not covered by ACC.

Speaking to the Herald, Grant said she's been overwhelmed by the response and plans to donate any leftover funds to charity.

"I have been so overwhelmed with the amazing love and support from all around the world," she said.

"$60,000 was raised for my brain surgery on the give a little page in less than 24 hours, the surgery is now covered and anything above and beyond this will be put towards my rehab and post op care.

"I also have neck trauma from the accident a few months ago and ongoing concussion therapy which this will help with a lot.

"If anything is left over it will go towards Brain Injury Support.” Click here to read more

In other news

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Pitcher’s Family Sues Angels, 2 Employees for Negligence

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FSPR deregistration insights, and more daily news

As of 24 June there are 9,926 financial advisers registered on the FSPR. It is being reported that the number of advisers currently on the FSPR is likely to decrease. Since 15 June, 72 FSPs have been deregistered, with just 51% being voluntary. MBIE business registries national manager Rob Rendle has said that there hasn't been any deregistration because financial advisers failed to link with a FAP, although 550 linking failure notices were issued in June. Those that received the notice will have 20 days to update their registration. Rendle has noted that MBIE will only be able to update the registration figures after the 20 day period.

“Almost 10,000 financial service providers are now registered to provide financial advice in New Zealand according to the Companies Office, up by 748 from March 15 this year.

However, that number is expected to drop with about 550 financial service providers (FSPs) being sent letters from the Companies Office warning them of imminent deregistration.

Statistics (see below) provided to Good Returns by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment state that as of June 24, 9926 FSPs were registered on the Financial Service Provider Register (FSPR), up from 9168 as of March 15.

Since June 15, 72 FSPs have been deregistered - 37 of those were voluntary deregistrations, 34 failed to provide annual confirmation and one was deregistered for failing to provide approved dispute resolution scheme details.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment business registries national manager Rob Rendle says the Registrar has not deregistered any financial advisers for failure to link themselves to a financial advice provider (FAP) "...as he first has an obligation to give notice of intention to deregister".

"On 17 and 18 June we gave notice to those FPSs who had not engaged with a FAP by 15 June 2021. About 550 notices had been issued.

"Those FSPs have a 20 working day objection period within which to update their registration.

"Deregistration numbers won’t be known until the 20 working days has passed, and the Registrar has completed deregistration. FSPs will be sent a notice confirming deregistration once it’s completed," Rendle says.

FSPs on the FSPR:

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/20: 9316

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/21: 9178

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 24/06/21: 9926

Financial Adviser FSP removals since June 15, 2021:

- Failure to provide annual confirmation: 34

- Statutory Notification (failure to provide approved Dispute Resolution Scheme details): 1

- Voluntary deregistration: 37” click here to read more

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New Asteron Life Chief Financial Officer, and more daily news

Suncorp New Zealand has announced that Andrew MacFarlane will join as the new Chief Financial Officer in August. MacFarlane will be responsible for providing strategic oversight and monitoring of financial, actuarial, investment, capital and reinsurance for all of Suncorp’s businesses, which include Vero, Asteron Life, AA Insurance and AA Money. Jimmy Higgins, Suncorp New Zealand CEO, has said that MacFarlane’s experience will be invaluable for Suncorp.

“Suncorp New Zealand has appointed Andrew MacFarlane (pictured) as chief financial officer, effective August 02.

MacFarlane will join Suncorp from ANZ, where he spent 25 years holding several senior finance roles in areas such as its institutional division, retail bank and tax, and product management and strategy. Most recently, he was chief financial officer, group functions for ANZ New Zealand.

In his new role, MacFarlane will provide strategic oversight and monitoring of financial, actuarial, investment, capital and reinsurance aspects of Suncorp’s businesses in New Zealand. These businesses include the Vero and Asteron Life brands, as well as AA Insurance and AA Money, which are joint venture partnerships with the New Zealand Automobile Association.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins said MacFarlane’s extensive industry experience will be invaluable to Suncorp’s business.

“I’m delighted to welcome Andrew to the Suncorp New Zealand leadership team,” said Higgins. “His experience of the financial services markets in New Zealand and Australia, coupled with his leadership within high performing businesses will be invaluable for Suncorp New Zealand as it continues to transform its business, while delivering great customer outcomes.”  Click here to read more

Andrew MacFarlane

In other news

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Financial Advice NZ members licencing progress, and more daily news

Financial Advice CEO Katrina Shanks has said that most members are now linked to a FAP. Although there are some members that still need to make changes, Shanks said that members understood what was required of them. Shanks has said that she is encouraging companies who are ready to apply for their full licence, saying that the sooner advisers apply the better.

“Financial Advice New Zealand (FANZ) chief executive Katrina Shanks says she's pleased the vast majority of the organisation's members are now linked to a financial advice provider (FAP) and that the work put in by FANZ to help its members get across the line has been worthwhile.

Shanks says apart from a couple of members who thought they had linked themselves to a FAP but had not, "...everybody seems to be relatively comfortable that they are on the register".

'We had a couple of phone calls after the event, but we worked those out.

"There is still time to contact the companies office and make the required changes...they will have to work through the process of deregistration and can't just do it all straight away."

Shanks says that on the whole FANZ members understood what was required of them.

She says FANZ won't know exactly how many members have dropped off until the end of this month, "but it will be very few".

"This process was relativity simple, obviously the fifteenth of March wasn't the end date in terms of licensing - now we move into the full licensing process and have two years to do this, but that time will go very quickly."

Shanks says FANZ knows some organisations who are ready to apply for a full license and she encourages them to "...get it done and dusted".

"The sooner you apply for the full licence the sooner you can put all of this behind you."

Overall, she says it's been pleasing to see members were prepared for the change and understood the requirements.” Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: Canterbury flooding support offered to advisers and customers. Those affected are encouraged to contact the Customer Care Team on 508 464 999

Cigna: Jozac Hillary from RMA Financial won the $1000 business kick-start prize at Cigna Live

Cigna: General Manager David Haak noted that advisers found the new eApp easy to use

From Insurance Business Mag: Are insurers investing in the wrong kind of cybersecurity?

Cigna: Multi-benefit discount extended until 31 October 2021

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