nib Australia announces new COVID-19 friendly travel insurance product, and more daily news

nib Travel Group has announced the introduction of an insurance product with built-in COVID-19 cover for customers travelling domestically and internationally. The product is set to offer cover for some COVID-19 related events. The product will be introduced across all nib Travel Group’s brands. Anna Gladman, nib Travel Chief Executive Officer has said that the new product highlights the efforts of the insurer to offer continued protection to customers. Gladman has said that they reassessed the level of cover offered by existing products as they understand the lasting effects COVID-19 will have.

“nib Travel Group (nib Travel) has today announced a new travel insurance product which includes plans which offer cover for some Coronavirus (COVID-19) related events as it resumes selling travel insurance policies in Australia.

The new product will be rolled out across all nib Travel brands starting with Travel Insurance Direct (TID).

nib Travel Chief Executive Officer, Anna Gladman said the new product reflects efforts to find new ways to protect travellers in a world learning to live with coronavirus.

“We understand travellers are concerned about the impact coronavirus might have on their plans and health while travelling. A survey* of our travellers showed 40% were looking for Coronavirus (COVID-19) related events in their policy,” Mrs Gladman said.

“With coronavirus destined to become part of normal life and in response to the challenges this poses to travel we have reassessed our coverage and the protection we can extend to travellers," she said.”

It has also been announced that customers looking to increase their level of cover will have access to some cancellation and additional accommodation costs if they are required to quarantine while travelling. Cancellation coverage has also been introduced for essential workers who may be required to return to work.

“In addition to new cover for coronavirus-related medical expenses overseas, travellers who choose a higher level cover also have access to some cancellation and additional accommodation costs if subject to quarantine as a result of a diagnosis while travelling.

The new product also recognises the extraordinary contribution of healthcare, aged care and law enforcement workers who have worked tirelessly against COVID-19 with special provision for cancellation coverage should they be asked to return to work.

The new product will support those travellers looking to book trips both domestically now and internationally in the future with the desire to travel remaining strong.” Click here to read more

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FSC Get in Shape Conference

The FSC Get in Shape Conference is just around the corner and we thought it was a good time to highlight what to expect if attending. The conferences will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. The FSC has ensured relevant topics are discussed by industry leaders in the sessions and Masterclass. Highlights of the conference include:

  • Meet and engage with the leaders shaping our sector and regulatory landscape. These include Leaders from the MBIE, the FMA, the CFFC and the financial advisory sector.
  • Consumer focus - We will unpack the latest research from across the NZ and the globe  and understand how Financial Advice is helping Kiwis lead better lives.
  • Engage with Leading legal minds at the Masterclass - The masterclass is curated by those that understand what it really means to succeed under the new regulation. Our line up of legal experts and leading advisers will be run in a practical workshop style to have you thinking outside the box and teach you how to best use resources available to you.
  • Connect  and network with your colleagues - After a very tough 2020, join your colleagues for a morning of learning, engaging and getting inspired for the year ahead.
  •  Meet  you in the market place – Once again our marketplace expo is the meeting place to connect with your suppliers and partners.
  • CPD -  Get your CPD & learning program off to a strong start for 2021. All sessions will be assessed and all attendees will receive CPD certificates for sessions attended. 

Those interested in attending can register here and find the dates and location below.

WELLINGTON
Wednesday, 10 February 2021
Arrival from 7:15am, welcome at 8:00am, advice summit close 12:45 followed by Masterclass from 1.15pm until 3.15pm

Members Gallery
Sky Stadium
105 Waterloo Quay
Pipitea,
Wellington 6140

AUCKLAND
Thursday, 11 February 2021
Arrival from 7:15am, welcome at 8:00am, advice summit close 12:45 followed by Masterclass from 1.15pm until 3.15pm

North Level 5 Lounge
Eden Park Function Centre
10 Reimers Ave
Kingsland
Auckland 1024

CHRISTCHURCH
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Arrival from 7:15am, welcome at 8:00am, advice summit close 12:45 followed by Masterclass from 1.15pm until 3.15pm

Tait Technology Centre
245 Wooldridge Road
Harewood
Christchurch 8051

DUNEDIN
Thursday, 18 February 2019
Arrival from 10:00am, welcome at 10:30am, close 3.00pm followed by Masterclass from 3.15pm until 5.15pm

Dunedin Centre
1 Harrop Street
Dunedin 9016

Get In Shape 2021 Big Banner v1 - Financial Services Council


Southern Cross Travel Insurance appoints new CFO, and more daily news

Southern Cross announced the appointment of Amanda Yap-Choong as the new Chief Financial Officer. Yap-Choong is a Chartered Accountant and was previously the Commercial Finance Manager at Chapman Tripp. She has also worked at Broadspectrum and PwC. In her new role Yap-Choong will be responsible for overlooking the national finance function, business analysis, and improving efficiencies in processes and reporting.

“Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has brought Amanda Yap-Choong into the role of Chief Financial Officer, where she will provide business operations and change management leadership to deliver to the business’ strategic priorities.
 
Yap-Choong is a Chartered Accountant and brings extensive experience leading diverse cross-functional teams and stakeholder groups in the infrastructure and professional services industries. She is well versed in providing financial assurance to financial services sectors including insurance, banking and funds management.
 
Most recently, Yap-Choong worked as the Commercial Finance Manager for law firm Chapman Tripp. In this role she was responsible for managing the national finance function, delivering business analysis in an advisory capacity and improving efficiencies in processes and reporting. Prior to that, she held roles at Broadspectrum and PwC in New Zealand and Ireland.”

Jo McCauley, Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO has said that Yap-Choong will strengthened the capability of the executive team and add value to businesses. Yap-Choong has said that she is pleased to join the team as the new CFO.

“Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Jo McCauley said, “We were impressed by Amanda’s commercial acumen and track record of delivering strong results.

 

“Amanda’s appointment has strengthened the capability of our executive team and her experience of adding value to businesses amidst times of change will help us deliver to our business priorities amidst COVID-19.”   Yap-Choong said, “I’m pleased to step into the CFO role at SCTI and join a great team which is focused on delivering exceptional service to its customers. I am looking forward to contributing towards SCTI’s strategic direction as the leader in the industry.”

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Partners Life study on effects of COVID-19 on perceived value of insurance, and more daily news

A survey conducted by Partners Life and Kantar found that regardless of COVID-19, the majority of participants didn’t see the significance of insurance. The survey results were based on the response of 900 participants aged between 18 and 54. Of those surveyed, 74% stated that their views hadn’t changed regardless of COVID-19. The survey found that the majority of those that didn’t believe they needed insurance shared this view. Participants that said that they were likely to take out insurance were more likely to be of Asian descent (40%), between the age of 24 to 35 (35%), be in the $75,000-$100,000 income bracket (35%), and male (27%). In response to the survey results Unhappily Ever After was launched to challenge the current thinking of New Zealanders.

“Despite the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life, a significant number of consumers reject the concept of insuring their lives, health and income.

This was revealed by a survey conducted by Partners Life and Kantar in October.

The survey polled 900 consumers in New Zealand, aged 18 to 54. It found that 74% said their feelings around insurance have not been impacted by COVID-19. This was especially pronounced among the rejecter group at 84%, while only 54% said so among those who were considering buying life insurance in the next 12 months.

Those who became more open towards insurance as a consequence of the pandemic were more likely to be male (27%); younger people of 24 to 35 (35%); people of Asian ethnicity (40%); and people in the $75,000-$100,000 income bracket (35%) – compared with a figure of 24% for overall respondents who said so.

In response to the results of this survey, Partners Life launched a new advertising campaign known as “Unhappily Ever After”, which features familiar nursery rhymes and appealing to those with young families and middle-aged individuals - the life stages where responsibilities are at their heaviest.” Click here to read more

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Findings from FSC study, and more daily news

A study commissioned by the FSC found that only 18% of the 2,000 participants were seeking advice from financial advisers while 40% of participants didn’t see the benefit of getting independent advice. The study found that those that received financial advice reported their wellbeing as being higher than those that didn’t receive any financial advice, although those seeking advice were wealthier and could find greater wellbeing.

“A Financial Services Council commissioned survey found only 18 percent of Kiwis were taking advice, while 40 percent didn’t see any benefit in it.

The survey of 2,000 New Zealanders said those who did receive advice reported much higher levels of both financial and overall wellbeing.

Almost half of people who received financial advice rated their wellbeing as being high or very high, compared to less than a fifth of those who hadn’t.

This comes with the caveat that those seeking advice tend to be wealthier to begin with and may find it easier to get richer and find greater wellbeing than those with less money and not seeking advice.”

FSC CEO Richard Klipin said that main barriers to seeking financial advice was the belief of not being wealthy enough to seek advice, advice being too expensive and a lack of trust in financial advisers. 65.2% of participants felt that they weren’t wealthy enough, 62.5% said that seeking advice was too expensive, and  30% said that they didn’t trust advisers. Klipin has noted that these barriers need to be addressed by the industry.

“The main barriers to people getting advice is a perceived lack of wealth, and the affordability of advice,” Klipin said. "65.2 percent think they don’t have enough wealth or assets to warrant it, and 62.5 percent believe it’s too expensive.” 

The third barrier is a question of who to trust, as many advisers are employed by financial services firms simply pushing their products.

Almost 30 percent of survey respondents said they didn’t trust advisers and almost half of those who did see one had been referred by trusted friends or family.

“These are issues for the sector to address,” Klipin said. “How you build trust, in whatever industry, is by showing up and doing what you say you are going to do.” Click here to read more

Screenshot 2020-12-04 095342

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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

2 Dec 2020 – IRD advised that the Minister of Revenue David Parker introduced the Taxation (Income Tax Rate and Other Amendments) Bill into Parliament on 1 Dec 2020. Parliament agreed to accord the Bill urgency. The Bill contains four main measures:

  • introducing a new top personal income tax rate of 39%
  • introducing increased disclosure requirements for trusts
  • increasing the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold for the 2020–21 tax year, and
  • clarifying more generally that Inland Revenue can request information solely for tax policy development purposes.

All parliamentary stages, including the Third Reading, were completed on 2 Dec 2020. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2020/2020-12-02-introduction-taxation-income-tax-rate-other-amendments-bill

2 Dec 2020 – Financial Services Council released the third and final part in its Money and You research series - ‘Breaking through the Advice Barrier’ - focused on what is stopping people from getting financial advice, and why it’s important that more New Zealanders have access to it. https://www.fsc.org.nz/bulletin_display/x_blog_code/2121.html

2 Dec 2020 – Good Returns story on an Australian report released by Key Person Risk Management on the potential costs and implications for the life insurance industry of removing commissions and replacing them with a fee for service basis. https://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976517905/australian-report-raises-alarm-over-life-insurance-s-future.html

3 Dec 2020 – Department of Internal Affairs issued an AML/CFT update on expiring regulations timeframe and the impact on independent audit obligations. The Ministry of Justice has advised that the timeframes for amending these regulations has changed and the Ministry now aims to have new regulations in force by July 2021. Note the resultant impact on timeframes for reporting entities with an independent audit due prior to July 2021. https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-Update-to-expiring-regulations-timeframe


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

30 Nov 2020 - Reserve Bank invited feedback on scope of the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act (IPSA) 2010 and associated Insurer Solvency Standards, releasing two consultation papers, with submissions closing on both papers on 18 Feb 2021. The Reserve Bank will be hosting a webinar to discuss the consultations on Monday 14 December. To express your interest in participating, email rbnz-info@rbnz.govt.nz Link to the announcement at https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-invites-feedback-on-scope-of-insurance-act-and-structure-of-solvency-standards

26 Nov 2020 - Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) today announced a merger into one single organisation under the Financial Services Council banner from 1 December 2020, creating a membership association of close to 90 organisations. https://www.fsc.org.nz/site/fsc1/201126%20Health%20Funds%20Association%20of%20NZ%20to%20merge%20with%20the%20Financial%20Services%20Council.pdf

26 Nov 2020 – IRD tax policy website included information and a link to the Minister of Revenue’s speech to CAANZ on 19 Nov 2020, outlining the Government’s tax priorities in the short term. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/keynote-address-chartered-accountants-australia-and-new-zealand-conference

27 Nov 2020 - NZX confirmed plans to create an Information Technology (IT) working group that will include leading representatives from across the capital markets’ technology ecosystem. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/364053

27 Nov 2020 – Privacy Commission website included a new post on transitioning from Privacy Act 1993 to Privacy Act 2020. https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/transitioning-from-the-privacy-act-1993-to-the-privacy-act-2020/


Industry associations merge

The Health Funds Association of NZ will merge with the Financial Services Council from 1 December. Congratulations to the FSC and HFANZ on concluding the merger. In an increasingly complex environment, driven by regulatory change, technology, and consumer choice, it makes sense to have a single, stronger, industry advocate capable to looking across the wide range of issues in common facing the sector. 

From the media release: 

Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and the Financial Services Council (FSC)
today announced a merger into one single organisation under the Financial Services Council
banner from 1 December 2020, creating a membership association of close to 90
organisations.

In a major milestone for the sector, the merger brings together Health Insurance with the
Life Insurance, KiwiSaver, and Investment industries and will place a focus on achieving
good customer outcomes, ensuring sustainability of the sector, and lifting standards and
professionalism from a single, stronger voice.

Rob Flannagan, Chair of the Financial Services Council said, “The merger is a great
opportunity to bring the health and life insurance industry together under one roof and
focus the efforts of our joint members on the important issues of the day, and most
importantly of all, driving better consumer outcomes.”

Len Elikhis, Chair of HFANZ, said “The Health Funds Association of NZ members represent
80% of the health insurance sector and has a rich heritage of over 30 years.

“The private health insurance sector supports 1.4m New Zealanders to meet their health
care costs. We believe that a well-balanced and integrated health system is key to achieving
great patient outcomes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their significant contribution
and we look forward to playing an active part within the Financial Services Council,”
concluded Elikhis.

Richard Klipin, CEO of the Financial Services Council said, “Coming together to build a
stronger association is exciting and important for protecting the health of Kiwis.

“With a bigger, stronger and larger organisation of around 90 members, this merger will
focus our work in the sector and create a stronger voice that will help shape the future
financial wellbeing of Kiwis,” concluded Klipin.


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

12 Nov 2020 – IRD advised that the Government has announced some changes to the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme, including extending applications for the loan, which can now be made until 31 December 2023, an extension of 3 years. https://www.ird.govt.nz/updates/news-folder/covid-19-small-business-cashflow-loan-changes

13 Nov 2020 – FMA released its Audit Quality Monitoring Report for 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/monitoring-shows-improvement-audits/

15 Nov 2020 – The Government announced the completion of signature of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-signs-regional-comprehensive-economic-partnership

16 Nov 2020 – RBNZ announced the introduction of new series and amendments to its weekly publication of Bank Customer Lending (BCL) metrics.

17 Nov 2020 – FSC advised that the RBNZ will be holding a webinar on Monday 14 December from 10:00-11:30am on insurance in relation to IFRS17 and Solvency.


FSC release new disclosure guide, and more daily news

The FSC has published a new disclosure guide. The guide is designed to help advisers meet obligations and provides information on what to disclose and what is not necessary to disclose. The FSC has focused on life insurance, investment, mortgage advice. The document examines the different disclosure requirements by using Kowhai Advice and Pohutukawa Advice as examples. The guide provides information on:

  • general requirements
  • publicly available information
  • when the nature and scope of the advice is known
  • when making a recommendation
  • when a complaint is received

Read the FSC Disclosure Guidelines

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