Pinnacle Life on insuring rainbow families, and more daily news

Pinnacle Life has published a piece on their website on the importance of insuring rainbow families. Pinnacle Life noted that families today no longer resemble the typical nuclear family unit. The piece focuses on rainbow families, which are families with parents who are part of the LGBTQI community. Pinnacle Life highlighted that the 2013 census recorded that there were 1,479 children of same-sex families in New Zealand. Pinnacle Life also noted that insurers base premium rates on assigned gender. While Pinnacle Life asks about a person’s gender, they have stated that they offer flexibility around policy ownership. Nonbinary individuals are still about the take out life insurance for themselves and their families, without worrying about gender-based pricing.

“The stereotypical family of 2021 is remarkably different from the family of 50 years ago. Mum, dad and two kids are becoming less the norm and more the unlikely. Today we are more likely to have blended families, split families, 1-child families, many kid families, single-parent families, multi-race families, rainbow families and more. With the pride festival winding down this week, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge rainbow families particularly. 

 

A rainbow family is a same-sex or LGBTQI-parented family. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2013 the census recorded 1479 children of same-sex families in New Zealand. It's safe to imagine that if we broadened the definition, considered the number of people who didn't complete the census and increased public acceptance during this period, that this figure has probably doubled and is growing. Teachers and schools will be factoring this into activities involving families, clubs and community centres too. It's not difficult; it just takes a bit of thoughtfulness to remember that not all kids have a 'mum and dad'. Some have two mums, two dads, or a combination that extends beyond one of each or something in between.

 

If you're part of a rainbow family, you might be frustrated that life insurance companies seem to be behind the times. While there is total flexibility around who owns your policy, we still ask questions about gender, with the only options to be male and female. Some life insurance companies underwrite transgender applicants based on assigned gender, while others use their stated gender.

 

Life insurance rates are calculated based on assigned gender and this is understandably a sensitive subject for a lot of people. This is unfortunately the norm in the industry because of the statistics around mortality. We can ensure that, once you purchase your policy online, your true gender is recorded in your policy document.

 

The important thing is you can still get life insurance if you are nonbinary, and it doesn't mean that you'll pay higher premiums because of your gender.

 

Your rainbow family may not have a nonbinary member. Rainbow families come in all shapes and sizes. But one thing they all have in common is that a lot of thought went into creating the family in the first place. Finding the 'missing ingredient' takes consideration and planning that most heterosexual couples haven't had to give a second thought. And that's just the starting point.” Click here to read more

 

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nib health management programmes, and more daily news

As part of their well care approach, nib has provided insights into health initiatives and pilot programmes. The free Health Management Programmes are intended to offer members support in managing their health and offering expert advice from nib Wellness Coaches. Health Management Programmes include:

  • Healthier Joints Pain Management programme
  • nib Healthier Heart
  • nib Cancer Care
  • nib Healthier Joints Weight Management

“The impact of long-term health conditions can take a toll on not only physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing too. That’s why we offer our range of free Health Management Programmes, to support our members in proactively managing their health conditions (aiming to reduce the need for invasive medical procedures) while providing expert support and advice from an nib Wellness Coach, every step of the way. 

Our nib Healthier Joints Pain Management programme, for example, covers 9-12 weeks of rehabilitation and helps members effectively manage their pain and symptoms, while also increasing strength and mobility through personalised activity plans.

Other nib Health Management Programmes available to members who meet selection criteria include: nib Healthier Heart, nib Cancer Care and nib Healthier Joints Weight Management.”

Another programme dedicated to bettering the health of members is the Bowel Screening Programme. Through a partnership with MercyAscot, nib offers screening kits to members identified as being at higher risk of developing bowel cancer. The initial screening was offered to Auckland Māori and Pacific Islander members between 45-75 years and other Auckland members aged 55-75 years. More screen is set to begin in March. 

“Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in the country, but there’s a great chance of beating it if detected early. To support our members who are at higher risk of developing bowel cancer, we partnered with MercyAscot to deliver our bowel screening programme. 

The programme offers free bowel screening kits to eligible members, so they can easily complete it at home and send back for testing. If needed, members receive priority access to diagnostics, specialists and treatment. They can also receive individualised one-on-one health coaching before and after treatment. 

The pilot was offered to Auckland-based members aged 55-75 years (45-75 years for Māori and Pacific Islanders). Abnormalities were found in two members results, however, early detection has allowed MercyAscot to arrange further screening and treatment. 

Wave two of the programme will commence in March.”

The partnership with Tend allows Auckland members access to GPs through the phone and through an app. Nib offering pilot subscription for eligible members. Members will have: 

  • unlimited access to consultations for a year
  • free repeat prescriptions
  • one influenza vaccination
  • annual health check

“We’ve teamed up with Tend, an innovative and convenient healthcare solution, so we can help members see a doctor all from the comfort of their phone. Eligible Auckland-based members will have access to trusted medical advice quickly and easily through Tend’s online (in-app) appointments, secure messaging or at their in-person clinic in Kingsland if preferred. Tend’s team of experienced doctors and nurses are committed to understanding individual member needs. 

As part of our exclusive partnership, we’re rolling out a pilot subscription for eligible members, offering unlimited GP consultations for 12 months, free repeat prescriptions, one influenza vaccination and an annual health check.”

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AMP sell part of AMP Capital Private, and more daily news

It has been announced that 60% of the AMP Capital private markets investment business will be purchased by Ares Management. It was previously reported the non-binding sale was off the table. The new sale proposal is a more limited joint-venture that will allow Ares to acquire the majority stake in the AMP Capital infrastructure debt, real estate and other minority interests. This is stake is valued at A$2.25 billion. AMP will own AMP Capital’s public markets businesses, with the Multi-Asset Group transferred to AMP Australia.

“Ares Management will buy 60 per cent of the AMP Capital private markets investment business in a proposed deal announced this morning.

After ditching efforts to by all of the ASX-listed AMP in February, the US investment firm has instead opted for a more limited joint-venture arrangement to be explored over the next 30 days in a just-inked non-binding heads of agreement.

Under the deal Ares would acquire the majority stake in the AMP Capital infrastructure debt, real estate and other “minority interests” valued at A$2.25 billion, according to a release issued this morning.

“AMP will retain ownership of AMP Capital’s public markets businesses, which in FY 20 made a modest NPAT contribution,” the statement says. “The public markets strategy will continue, including the Multi-Asset Group (“MAG”) being transformed and transferred to AMP Australia, and actively exploring sale or partnership opportunities for the Global Equities and Fixed Income (“GEFI”) business.” Click here to read more 

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nib: nib conducting another review of existing members policies' exclusions and loadings. Members with special terms on their policies will be contacted by nib directly

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AIA Vitality enhancements on the horizon, and more daily news

AIA chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick shared insights on AIA Vitality to mark the anniversary of the launch. Tremethick noted that AIA Vitality has been embraced by clients and the wider community. Although AIA has reported a high level of engagement, Tremethick has said that the insurer is looking to introduce enhancements next month. Tremethick described AIA Vitality as the cornerstone of what AIA does in terms of shared values.

““We’re over a year into Vitality being launched here in New Zealand, and the great thing is that the community and our clients have really taken to it,” Tremethick commented.

 

“We’re planning to release some further updates in March which will provide some further benefits to clients, and a further update will happen in June.”

 

“We’re continuing to evolve, but we’re already seeing some incredibly high levels of engagement,” he added.

 

“The release of the Apple Watch benefit last year also increased people’s interest in the programme, so we’re certainly continuing to come up with new ideas.”

 

Tremethick says that Vitality has been key to its mission of helping Kiwis improve their health and catch illnesses early, and he says the annual health check benefit and premium incentives have been very successful in promoting these goals.

 

“For us, Vitality is the cornerstone of what we do in terms of shared values,” he said.” Click here to read more

 

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nib report on interim results, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has reported on the half year results that were presented in a webcast by nib holdings limited. nib New Zealand CEO Rob Hennin has said that the results to 31 December 2020 were pleasing. Hennin noted that there were 3,135 new policies in the past 12 months, this is a 2.8% increase in health insurance coverage. nib also found that claims increased 7.6% as members were seeking medical care after lockdown. Hennin continued by explaining that $6.5 million claims catch-up provision has been released.

“nib New Zealand today announced its results for the six months to 31 December 2020 (1H21) with premium revenue up 7.9% to NZD$136.1 million and underwriting result1 of NZD$12.3 million broadly in line with same period last year (1H20: NZD$12.6 million).

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin said overall the result was pleasing with earnings stable as healthcare treatment bounced back following COVID-19 restrictions.

“Despite uncertain market conditions, over the past 12 months we grew New Zealand residents health insurance coverage by 2.8%, adding 3,135 new policies,” Mr Hennin said.

“Our first half result also shows claims increased 7.6% as members head back to their medical professional or seek treatment following first wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know from our claims experience that many of our members either had healthcare treatment delayed or chose to stay away from hospitals during the peak of the pandemic,” he said.

“Its great members are now feeling more confident and getting the necessary healthcare treatment. Recognising some healthcare treatment in FY20 was simply deferred not cancelled during COVID-19, nib set aside a provision meet this expected claims catch-up over the course of FY21. As at 31 December 2020, NZD$6.5 million of the NZD$9.0 million provision has been released,” he added.

Hennin revealed since lockdown, neurological, cardio-thoracic surgery, diagnostics, and gynaecological claims have experienced the largest increase.  It was revealed that the nib Group member support package is more than $45 million.  The package includes:

  • financial hardship premium relief
  • suspension options
  • pre-approval extensions
  • expanded coverage
  • Lifeline Aotearoa and Clearhead support

The procedures that have experienced the largest increase following the initial lockdown (relative to pre-pandemic claims activity) were:

  • Neurological: 116% increase
  • Cardio-thoracic surgery: 49% increase
  • Diagnostics: 38% increase
  • Gynaecological: 36% increase

“To date our nib Group member support package totals more than $45 million, and includes financial hardship premium relief, suspension options, automatic six-month pre-approval extensions and expanded coverage for COVID-19 related treatment at no cost,” he said.

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AIA Cancer Care announced, and more daily news

AIA has announced the introduction of AIA Cancer Care. AIA highlights that the Ministry of Health reported that 23,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer each year. AIA is offering customers the option of purchasing AIA Cancer Care. AIA Cancer Care will cover the medical expenses relating to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Benefits of AIA Cancer Care include unlimited cancer surgical benefit, access to specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and Pharmac as well as non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs. Customers with eligible policies will be able to join AIA Vitality and earn Airpoints from premiums paid.

Key benefits include:

  • $500,000 extensive cover for cancer treatment and recovery
  • Access to Pharmac and non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs
  • Options to have treatments overseas

“In New Zealand 23,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year1. While this is an alarming statistic, many cancers can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. In the unfortunate event that you’re diagnosed with cancer, having more choice and control over your treatment plan can make your journey to recovery much easier.

AIA Cancer Care will take care of medical expenses associated with the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of cancer. This includes access to an unlimited cancer surgical benefit, access to specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and Pharmac and non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs.​

With eligible policies you also get the added benefit of earning Airpoints Dollars™ for premiums paid, and have the opportunity to join AIA Vitality, a science-backed health and wellbeing program that rewards your healthy choices.” Click here to read more

AIA Cancer Care 11 Feb 2021 2

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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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nib views on financial advice, and more daily news

nib has said that members that receive financial advice are better off. In addition, nib CEO Rob Hennin noted that half of nib’s members join via financial advisers. Hennin credited nib’s view by highlighting the findings from an internal study which found that members with advisers have more financial certainty and more health benefits. Hennin used the findings of nib’s internal study and studies commissioned by the FSC to conclude that people who receive financial advice are better off, saying that people with financial advice experience an improvement to their overall health.

“Health insurer nib says it is “absolutely clear” that customers with insurance advisers end up better off, and says advisers have done an “extraordinary” job adapting to the challenges that have come with COVID-19, and multiple lockdowns.

According to nib New Zealand CEO Rob Hennin, approximately half of the insurer’s business currently comes through its adviser channel. He says its internal studies have been clear – customers with advisers have more financial certainty, and also see increased health benefits as a result.

“It’s absolutely clear from our research and the work the Financial Services Council has done that Kiwis who receive financial advice are better off,” Hennin told Insurance Business.

Hennin acknowledged the work advisers have done saying that their response to COVID-19 was extraordinary. Hennin mentioned the increased use of digital tools and other methods to reach and assist clients.

“Advisers have just pivoted and done an extraordinary job throughout COVID-19,” Hennin added.

“They’ve really embraced digital tools and they’ve gone out, consulted with their clients and done whatever they can to ensure they all have access to the care and protection that they need.”” Click here to read more

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Fidelity Life set to end Sharecare partnership, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that it will be ending its Sharecare partnership. This change has been a result of COVID-19 affecting progress. Sharecare will continue to be available to existing users until 31 December 2020 although new challenges and other content won’t be available. All users will be contacted by Sharecare before the end of the year to discuss the next steps.

While the app (and desktop version) are no longer available for new users through Fidelity Life, existing users can continue using Sharecare until 31 December - though there won’t be any new New Zealand content, including Challenges.

Sharecare will contact all registered users again before the end of the year regarding next steps beyond 31 December. 

 Ultimately, the economic impacts of Covid-19 have meant we haven’t been able to make the progress we’d originally planned for."

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