Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

11 June 2021 – FMA announced a temporary extension for certain reporting deadlines in response to a shortage of auditors in New Zealand. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/temp-extension-reporting/

9 June 2021 - New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill completed second reading in Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_80767/new-zealand-superannuation-and-retirement-income-fair

9 June 2021 – Interest.co.nz reported that Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says a discussion paper on the potential regulation of unregulated buy now, pay later services will be issued later this year. https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/110754/buy-now-pay-later

10 June 2021 – IRD and Government announced consultation has opened on deductions for interest expenses on rental properties, to be restricted from 1 October 2021, with an exemption for new builds. Submissions close on 12 July 2021. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-06-10-interest-deductibility-consultation-launched

10 June 2021 – Government announced that a license to operate a share trading market for small companies has been issued to Catalist Markets Ltd, with the new market expected to open for trading on 21 June 2021. Relevant weblinks are https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-stock-exchange-help-grow-small-businesses and https://www.catalist.co.nz/


Underwriting Mental Health Conditions

Jenée Tibshraeny at interest.co.nz has written an excellent article on the issue of insurers underwriting people with mental health conditions. I think Tibshraeny does a great job of explaining the consumer position - even advocating for it - while explaining the industry position too.

There is a gap. Some people with mental health conditions may not be treated fairly in the underwriting process, and recent events are, maybe, changing the environment, and insurers are slow to change. They must be, insurers need good data before changing their views, or else they may be exposed to lots of new claims. In Australia there is a problem with income protection, and mental illness is contributing to that. For a complex issue to get covered in this way is both important and rare. I was glad to see it done so well. You can read the article at this link.

Stephen Potter, head of underwriting at Fidelity Life, did a great job of explaining the underwriting process, and in so doing, explaining how it is really good to have an adviser involved.