Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Coma (Trauma)

Introduction

Following on with our recent theme of revising ratings, we have reviewed Coma, re-assessing the item based on modern definitions.  A rarely claimed on benefit, yet significant coverage in the media when the insurer decides not to pay out.  

Below are the proposed items for Coma.

Coma

Notes

Momentum life is the only provider that requires the insured to be in a coma for 96-hours, while Westpac uniquely requires a permanent neurological deficit. Three insurers, Fidelity, Pinnacle and Westpac specifically exclude medically induced comas and a similar definition is observed in the use of life support systems and response to internal and external needs.

Few insurers continue to use the Glasgow Coma Scale in their definitions – here is a quick overview of what the scale demonstrates https://medictests.com/units/glasgow-coma-score

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


nib announce changes to pricing, and more daily news

nib has announced that there will be a number of price changes from 1 April 2021. Pricing changes have been credited to the continued increase to nib’s claims’ costs. Current members will have the changes applied after their policy anniversary, if their policy anniversary doesn’t fall between April to June. nib has highlighted that price changes will vary for each member as price changes will depend on benefits, options and excess.

 

“Every quarter, nib reviews its health insurance premiums to ensure they are sufficient to cover both current and future claims, as well as to accurately reflect underlying costs.

 

Our latest review has identified that nib’s claims’ costs continue to increase, and as a result, our health insurance premiums need to be adjusted accordingly. These changes will vary between products, and will affect both current members renewing their policies and new policies sold this quarter.

 

Current members’ premiums are reviewed annually at their policy anniversary. If your client’s policy anniversary does not fall within the April – June period, there won’t be any change to their premiums until their next policy anniversary.

 

For the upcoming quarter, there is an average 9.7% annual increase for renewing policies.

 

Please note that the change in premium for each member will vary depending on the benefits, options and excess they have selected, who the policy covers and whether the premium includes a policy fee.

 

Other factors that can contribute to premium changes during the policy year include:

 

•  changes in cover terms for any of the people covered

•  changes in the ages of people covered

•  adding or removing people from the policy

•  a move from group cover to individual cover terms and conditions

•  loss of a Premium No Claims Discount or change in a five-year age band (these only apply to some legacy products).” 

Price changes will automatically be updated for quotes from 1 April. Quotes that were started before 1 April will be use current prices if the application goes into force within 30 days. Price changes for Ultimate Health Max will be spread across each quarter, most changes for Ultimate Health will happen on 1 April. The new rates will automatically be updated on nib illustrations and nibAPPLY. Advisers using nib Illustrator or Fidelity Life desktop Apollo will need to download the update before 31 March 2021 to ensure new rates are automatically applied. Prices changes will not affect group health as a whole, instead price changes will affect individuals that have enhanced cover terms, added family or added optional benefits.

 

“Premiums included in quotations for prospective new members will be updated from 1 April 2021.

 

For Ultimate Health Max: Premium increases are spread across each quarter throughout the year.

 

For Ultimate Health: Most of the annual increase occurs on 1 April each year.

            

The new rates will be automatically updated in nib illustrations and nibAPPLY. If you are using nib Illustrator and/or Fidelity Life desktop Apollo quoting software, make sure your quotations include the upcoming premium changes by downloading the update before 31 March 2021. Once you have downloaded the update, these rate changes will automatically apply to new and existing quotations after 1 April 2021.

 

Quotations dated before 1 April 2021 will be honoured if the application goes into force within 30 days of the quotation date. Note that quotations dated from 1 April 2021 will only be accepted at the new premium rates. 

 

For advisers who service group health insurance schemes, please be aware that the premium increases referred to above only apply to the individual members within a group where they have:

 

·       enhanced their group health insurance cover terms; or

·       added family or added optional benefits that they pay for personally.

 

The increase will apply to the portion of their health insurance premium relating to the enhanced cover terms and optional benefits, in the same way as those of members with individual covers. The member’s direct debit or payroll deduction will also change accordingly. Any increase in the group scheme’s premiums will be determined according to the scheme terms and conditions and will be paid for by the scheme owner.” 

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In other news

 

TSB Bank: Larissa Vaughan set to leave CEO role at Kiwi Insurance in April to become GM Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel

Kiwi Insurance: From 9 April 2021 Kevin Crowley will be the acting CEO of Kiwi Insurance

Kiwi Adviser Network: The Kiwi Adviser Network launches


Asteron Life upfront commission enhancements, and more daily news

Asteron Life has announced that upfront commission rate will be 190% effective October 5 2020. The decision for this change has been credited to working towards sustainability by ensuring more New Zealanders can access independent financial advice. Asteron Life has announced that it is offering a temporary 10% Covid-19 support in addition to upfront commission changes, which means upfront commission will total to 200%. This additional support is set to be reviewed at the end of June 2021. A summary comparison is available for subscribers to the Quarterly Life and Health review and much more detail in the Quarterly Commission Comparison. These have just been published to subscribers. For subscription information please contact Kelly Pulham or Russell Hutchinson. 

In other news

Cigna: General Manager- Distribution role being advertised

Fidelity Life: Sharecare October Eat More Greens Diet Challenge launched

Fidelity Life: Sharecare October Stress Relief Challenge launched

Fidelity Life: information about Centr^, personalised daily digital health and fitness program by Chris Hemsworth can be found in Sharecare

Kiwibank: Senior Conduct Manager role being advertised

nib: Mental Resilience webinar


FSC looking for industry insights for new study, and more daily news

The FSC is seeking participants in a survey that relates to the three-part study Money & You. The survey is working to gather data on the views of those in the professional advice industry on the challenges faced within the industry and how New Zealanders can be better served. The survey is designed to take 12 -15 minutes to complete. The results will be published later in the year. The first part of the study was focused on the feelings and knowledge of money of New Zealanders and the second component of the study worked to understand the relationship New Zealanders have with money.

Click here to participate in the survey

AMP: AMP management overhaul keeps its risks “on the downside”

Kiwibank: Kiwibank claims negative OCR is unnecessary

Fidelity Life: new September Sharecare challenge is to achieve a minimum of 20 Green Days for a chance to win a subscription for a ‘Delight Gift Box’ from I AM Co

Fidelity Life: new September Sharecare challenge to track your sleep for at least two weeks to go into the draw to win a $250 Wallace Cotton voucher


AIA set to host online health and wellness event, and more daily news

It was announced that AIA will host an online health and wellness event, AIA Live, on August 2 2020 from 2 pm to 10pm. The event will be focused on mental wellbeing, exercise, activity and rest, nutrition and personal growth while also incorporating music and comedy into the sessions. AIA Life is set to solidify AIA’s commitment to encouraging healthy living. 30 sessions will be running during the event to appeal to people of all ages and in different regions.

“AIA, the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group, today announced plans to host its first ever regional online health and wellness event, spanning 13 markets and headlined by AIA’s Global Ambassador David Beckham.

AIA Live will be broadcast on Sunday 2nd August and will include more than 30 unique sessions, delivering health and wellness content to inspire, motivate and educate people across the region as part of AIA’s commitment to helping them live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. Key themes will include mental wellbeing, exercise, activity and rest, nutrition, personal growth, as well as light-hearted moments of music and comedy.

AIA Live has been designed to appeal across all age groups and multiple markets, celebrating the cultural diversity of the region while at the same time bringing people closer together to deepen their knowledge of health and wellness in a fun and engaging way.”

Although registration is required, AIA Live will be hosted on AIA’s Healthy Living YouTube channel. This event allows AIA Vitality members to earn points. As part of the event AIA New Zealand ambassadors Ian Jones and Jess Quinn will be hosting activities. Jess Quinn will be running a body image workshop while Ian Jones will be holding a HIIT workout session.

“AIA Live will be hosted on AIA’s Healthy Living YouTube channel and AIA Vitality members will be able to earn AIA Vitality Points for taking part. By registering for the event, participants will also earn the chance to win significant prizes including trips to London to watch Spurs play and meet their first team players, as well as signed footballs from David Beckham, virtual cooking lessons with Jeremy Pang, and merchandise from our other ambassadors. AIA also plans to host similar days in China and India in early September, with tailored content for those markets.

AIA Live will be broadcast in New Zealand on Sunday 2nd August from 2PM-10PM. As part of the event, AIA New Zealand ambassadors Jess Quinn and Ian Jones will be taking part with Jess running a body image workshop and Ian demonstrating an at-home High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout.” Click here to read more

In other news:

Kiwibank: Thousands of Kiwibank customers caught up in privacy breach

Southern Cross: Health screenings 101

AMP: KiwiSaver Still Attractive In ‘retirement’


Product Research Database Update

We have uploaded the latest product research database (version 12_7) onto Quotemonster and distributed it to subscribers. This version includes the following changes:

  • Asteron Life policy wording added and rating changes applied effective 30.09.2019
  • BNZ LifeCare 01.04.2019 policy wording added and applied rating changes
  • Unimed Hospital Select 01.09.2019 policy wording added and applied rating changes
  • Fidelity Trauma Multi 08.09.2019 wording added and applied rating changes
  • AA Life and Funeral cover 01.08.2019 wording added and applied rating changes
  • Kiwibank Home Loan and Life & Living 01.08.2019 wording added and applied rating changes

Winston Calls for Kiwi Insurance Company

In this Newstalk ZB report Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, has called for a new government-owned, New Zealand Insurer. Peters is talking about a general insurance company, but before you consider the wider question - life insurance - Gerry Brownlee has points out that, in effect, NZ already has one: AMI, as a result of the bailout required after the Christchurch earthquakes.

If you apply the same logic to life insurance, the state already owns at least one of those: Kiwi Insurance Limited, part of the Kiwibank group of companies, is already state owned. Plus, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund owns a substantial stake in Fidelity Life Assurance Company.

There could be many directions of argument on the idea of a new general insurer, owned by the state. Although there strong strand of economic nationalism behind what Peters has said he might find that there are others that worry about the high levels of concentration of insurance brands under two large Australian-owned insurers. Those voices might welcome a new insurer joining the field. Still others might reflect that like-it-or-not government is always, kind of, the insurer of last resort, (for example - supporting AMI, running ACC and EQC) so acquiring still more risk might not be such a bright idea. The first step is to be clear about whether there really is a problem with general insurancee in New Zealand - what evidence of actual market failure is there?

Meanwhile, since we're on the subject of general insurance, the New Zealand Initiative has an excellent report on the insurance system following the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. You can find the report at this link, but here are three summary recommendations as they apply to private insurers:

  1. Government should follow through with proposed changes to insurance that make private insurers the first port of call for claimants in major events, but strengthen audit procedures appropriately;
  2. Government should quickly seek declaratory judgments in key test cases arising after a major disaster; and
  3. Government should consider mechanisms like the Reserve Bank’s OBR for failed insurers.
 

Recent Product Updates

We have just uploaded the Quality Product Research Limited database QPRV10.1 to Quotemonster and subscribers. This version included the following changes:

ANZ Trauma Cover:

Policy wording also updated to the most recent document in the database, standalone cover.

ASB Mortgage Protection Review:

Review & change made to Offsets / Mental Health Limitation / Partial Disability provisions

Asteron Life

Enhancements of Trauma, TPD & Mortgage Protection for Business and Personal  products (effective 19 June 2017)

Kiwibank Mortgage Protection Cover:

Product has been rated & policy wording uploaded to database

Westpac Trauma (accelerated only)

New score added under ‘Diagnosis & Partial benefit’ to capture ‘minor heart attack’

Sovereign Critical Illness 

Updated pricing is being tested and will be applied to Quotemonster by tomorrow morning. The policy wording for these product enhancements has not yet been reviewed and will be reviewed and updated by 26 June, the QPR database will be updated again during that week.