Quality Product Research: Medical – proposed rating for Product Flexibility


Recently, we read an article on Risk Info NZ about Accuro removing their time restriction for members, and former members, who want to make a claim on their policy. This led to us to review if medical providers impose a time limit to their claims. Many insurers have reported that although this clause is present in their wording, they do not enforce it at claims time, however our stance is that we have to rate based on the policy document.     

If you would like to have a read of the article, please click here



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 Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz

nib completes purchase of Kiwi Insurance and more daily news

Kiwi Group Holdings Limited (KGH) today announced it has completed the sale of its life insurance business, Kiwi Insurance Limited (Kiwi Insurance), to nib NZ holdings limited (nib New Zealand) for NZ$45 million. More from the Kiwi Group media release:

The sale was announced in November 2021 subject to regulatory approvals which have now been received.  

Under the deal, nib New Zealand has acquired all the shares in Kiwi Insurance and entered an exclusive partnership with Kiwibank (a wholly owned subsidiary of KGH) where the bank will refer its retail customers to nib for their life and living insurance needs. 

Kiwibank Chief Executive Steve Jurkovich said Kiwi Insurance customers did not need to do anything as a result of the sale and that they were in good hands with nib. 

“I’m excited about this new partnership with nib which will allow Kiwibank to continue to deliver on its purpose of making Kiwi better off, whether that’s getting into a home or having the right insurance in place to protect what matters most,” Mr Jurkovich said.  

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin said they were committed to providing a seamless transition and ongoing great service to current customers including honouring all current policy benefits. 

“We look forward to welcoming current customers into the nib family and offering all Kiwi access to a suite of life and living insurance covers in line with our purpose of your better health,” Mr Hennin said. 

Advisers I spoke with were still not aware of the purchase of a life insurer by a major health insurer and expressed interest in the prospect of the creation of another 'full range' insurer to join AIA and Partners Life.


More daily news:

Financial Services Council announced that, in partnership with the Commission for Financial Capability, it had begun “a three-month, pan-sector campaign to take meaningful action to improve the financial wellbeing of our wāhine.” https://blog.fsc.org.nz/media-release-may-2022-fsc-rallies-organisations-to-grow-womens-financial-wellbeing

Vehicle insurers are seeing a return to pre-pandemic claims costs.

ANZIIF has announced two new board members.


nib's new non-PHARMAC new Plus add-on, and more daily news

nib has announced that members will be able to add the non-PHARMAC new Plus add-on when buying nib Hospital cover. This means members will have access to Medsafe-approved drugs not funded by PHARMAC. The add-on will also cover the cost of administering the drugs.

"Do you know the true cost of non-PHARMAC drugs?

Drugs are expensive. There’s nearly 1,000 of them that get funded by the government in New Zealand, which is great. But the reality is we have the worst access to funded modern drugs out of 20 OECD countries. 

This is because PHARMAC, the government agency who decide what drugs are funded, can only approve a selection of new treatment options each year. That means some effective drugs for some really serious conditions just don’t make the list.

For people with a range of diseases, from bowel cancer to Crohn’s disease, there are effective treatment options available that they can’t access. Because when they’re not subsidised, they can be simply too expensive for some people.


Introducing our non-PHARMAC Plus add-on

To ease the burden, we’ve launched our new non-PHARMAC Plus add-on option which you can add when you buy nib Hospital cover.

non-PHARMAC Plus gives you access to many Medsafe-approved drugs not funded by PHARMAC. It also covers the costs of administering the drugs. That makes treatment for cancer and other serious conditions more accessible, in either a private hospital or at home.

Add non-PHARMAC cover from $1.24 per week

Our Hospital plans start from $11.07 (3) weekly and are designed to help cover the big health costs like surgery or cancer treatment, giving you fast access to private healthcare. You can add non-PHARMAC Plus to our Hospital plans from just $1.24 per week (2).

You can choose the level of cover that’s right for you. The cover level is the maximum amount we’ll pay towards your eligible claims each policy year for each member covered."

In other news

Russell’s piece on Goodreturns: Govt's proposed income insurance scheme may hurt insurers

From Stuff: Seven things you can do in your 60s to enjoy a better life for longer

FMA: Manager, Financial Advice role being advertised

Fidelity Life ratings announced, and more daily news

AM Best announced that Fidelity Life’s A- financial strength rating was under review after the upcoming purchase of Westpac Lie was announced last year. AM Best has confirmed that Fidelity Life’s A- rating will remain. Fidelity Insurance’s Standard & Poor (Australia) Pty Limited lowered after the sale, although Fidelity Insurance will be rated by AM Best going forward.

Fidelity Life and its newly acquired subsidiary Fidelity Insurance (formerly Westpac Life) have both received A- (Excellent) financial strength ratings* from ratings agency AM Best, following the completion of the $400 million acquisition earlier this week. The outlook for the ratings is stable.

According to AM Best the ratings reflect each entity’s respective ‘very strong’ balance sheets, adequate operating performances, neutral business profiles and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Fidelity Life has maintained an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best for 26 consecutive years. The rating had been under review since July 2021 when the acquisition was announced.

Fidelity Group Chief Financial Officer Simon Pennington says: “These ratings are important information for our customers – including our customers from Westpac Life - because they provide an expert view of our ability to pay their claims.”

Fidelity Insurance has had its Standard & Poor (Australia) Pty Limited rating lowered from A+ with a negative outlook to A with a stable outlook, reflecting its ownership change from the Westpac Group to Fidelity Life. From April 2022 Fidelity Insurance will only be rated by AM Best."


 In other news

Financial Advice: Me and My Money: Katrina Shanks, CEO, Financial Advice New Zealand

Otago University: Mortality declines in Aotearoa NZ during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic


Quality Product Research: Medical - Major review process commenced for UCR Limit


Medical insurance is one of the most hotly contested areas of product comparison. Adjustments are made frequently to our Research to keep up with changes, however it’s still a complex and difficult product to compare. Following a challenge by a rated company to our methodology for assessing UCR/EMP/network limits, it’s time we reviewed the method of how insurers apply UCR Limits and have therefore started the process of a major review of this item.

Theme of review

We would like to begin by renaming the item from “UCR Limits” to "Network or market price limits/UCR"

Our review seeks to categorise and evaluate the impact of the following:

1) No requirement to use specified providers/network and no UCR/EMP

2) Requirement to use specified providers/network

3) UCR/EMP applied to all costs (including specified providers /network)

4) UCR/EMP applied to only non-network costs

5) UCR/EMP applied only specific sets of costs (e.g., overseas)

Review process

We will begin by alerting insurers of our plan to review, including the five points above anticipating they will respond with which applies to their product with appropriate references to their policy document.

Once all required information has been collected, we will make the appropriate changes to our database and share our new rating on our social platforms for further feedback.

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 Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz

FSC International Women's Day celebration, and more daily news

The FSC has announced that the FSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee will be hosting an International Women’s Day celebration in association with Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission. The event will be headlined by Hilary Barry and will also include Jane Wrightson, Nadine Tereora, and Gen Mora.

“The FSC is delighted to invite you to a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day and to launch an exciting new campaign we are running in association with Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission.

Featuring a keynote from one of NZ's favourite TV personalities Hilary Barry along with a panel of incredible wāhine:

  • Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson;
  • AA’s first female CEO Nadine Tereora; and
  • Mental health advocate Gen Mora.

Hosted by FSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs Kristy Redfern and Tracey Cross, and AA General Manager Ana-Marie Lockyer, this is a lineup you don’t want to miss, so register now.”

In other news

nib: nib Group has committed $20,000 in funding its Footprints partner Plan International Australia to help with the Tonga volcanic eruption and tsunami

MAS: Force of Nature

Southern Cross: The energy behind the energy: taking care of the Unison team

Financial Advice: How credit and affordability reports can enable a better customer experience and a more informed consumer

Fidelity Life moves more policies onto Tahi, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that the next phase of integrating policies onto Tahi has begun. Platinum Plus, Platinum Plus Level and Mortgage Protector policies renewing from April to October have begun to be moved to the new policy management system. Please see below for policies that are excluded in the move onto Tahi.

“Late last year we launched our new policy management system (Tahi). Up until now Tahi has held only new business and a small subset of policies with a May anniversary.

We're now excited to share that on Monday 21 February, we'll be taking the next big step in the phased roll-out which involves moving Platinum Plus, Platinum Plus Level and Mortgage Protector policies renewing from April through to October, to Tahi.

Taking a phased approach has given us the opportunity to test and learn, and ultimately ensure a seamless experience for you and customers.

So what does this mean for you?

Access to systems over the weekend.

From 3pm Friday 18 February until 9am Monday 21 February, Adviser Centre will be offline for updates.

Although Apollo will still be available for illustrations, any applications submitted over the weekend or any saved in-progress eApps will only be able to be viewed via Adviser Centre from 9am Monday 21 February

Policies moving to Tahi.

From 21 February existing policies with a renewal due in April, May, June, July, August, September and October will have been moved to Tahi except for the following:

  • Policies that are paid from a consolidated direct debit.
  • Policies with direct debit or credit card payments due 15 - 18 February.
  • Policies with proposals or applications for alterations in progress.
  • Policies on claim.
  • Policies in arrears.
  • A small number of other policies for various reasons.

The reason the above are being excluded is to ensure pending proposals, alterations and payments are processed without delay to ensure the customer is not impacted.

Viewing policy details under the Tahi tab.

Under the Tahi tab in Adviser Centre there’s a policy/customer report where you’ll be able to see the details of your policies that have been moved to Tahi. Simply click on the policy number in the report to see a summary of the policy, including details of the customer.

New reporting tools just got a whole lot more useful!

Under the ‘Tahi’ tab you’ll find details of your ‘new’ new business submitted from 15 November and all existing policies that have been migrated (as outlined above).

The new reports available under the ‘Customers and policies’ tab provide you with a range of insights and will help you to better manage your customers, find opportunities within your book and track your business performance. 

A reminder of what’s new and different:

  • Proactively engage with customers around upcoming events with a calendar view of a few of the key milestones in a customer’s policy – things like special events increases, renewals, cover expiries, level term continuation options.
  • Understand what your product mix looks like across your book and discover opportunities and gaps with our cover opportunities tool.
  • Easily access information on whether a customer has an exclusion on their cover, or if they’ve missed paying a premium, understand why etc.”

In other news

nib: nib NZ announced its results for the six months to 31 December 2021

(1H22) with premium revenue up 11.2% to NZD$151.4 million while the underwriting result of NZD$10.2 million reduced 15.5% on the same time last year (1H21: NZD$12.1 million).

From NZ Herald: Regulators will show more muscle this year, directors warned

Gen Re: Celebrating a Lifetime of Reinsurance Relationship

Looking into digital advice, and more daily news

Below is an interesting article that explores what digital advice is and looks at different digital advice providers as well as the future use of digital advice.

“Only two firms offer low-cost computer-generated financial advice, despite it being available for four years.

Robo-advice (also known as digital advice) was provided by a licensed financial advisor and was a big step-up from other digital tools, such as a chat-bot, which were designed to help investors sort through a range of options and help them make decision.

Digital advice went a step further to recommend and offer specific products, based on information provided by a user.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand tax leader John Cuthbertson said advice offered by an automated service was only as good as the information provided by users.

"It's clearly suited for less complex financial decision making and investing," he said, adding that human interaction was necessary for more complex investment decisions, such as estate planning.

"Because when you think about advice and the nature of succession planning or whatever, not all of it is financial, some of it is personal and what the owners want for the next generation."

Global fund manager Nikko last year redesigned its free GoalsGetter digital advice platform to meet the needs of a new generation of investors using online trading apps, such as Hatch and Sharesies, to make better decisions. GoalsGetter users can take Nikko's digital advice or take the information generated to shop around.

The other digital advice provider was BetterSaver, which selected the best options for users from a range of investment firms. BetterSaver made money by charging fund managers a fee for referrals, rather than users.

Financial Markets Authority director of supervision James Greig said New Zealand lagged behind international growth in digital advice services, but there was potential for change.

"The DIY share trading platforms, they've all got the FAP or financial advice provider license, so they've got the potential to make use of that license and actually give that digital advice," he said. "We haven't seen it today, but that's not to say that we may not see it tomorrow."

In the meantime, Greig said DIY providers, such as Hatch and Sharesies, were directing investors to relevant investment information.

"So whilst they may not cross over into advice, per se, they're giving access to great information. They are helping show forecasts of what what might be in the future. These sort of tools don't cross over into advice, but it really does help with the decision making."

In the meantime, investors were urged to seek out financial advice, if they had not already done so, particularly given global uncertainty and ongoing volatility in financial markets.” Click here to read more

In other news

Nib: Customer Care Consultant role being advertised

Fidelity Life: Business Manger – Retail role being advertised

Highway to Health Seminar Series set to resume, and more daily news

nib has announced that the Highway to Health Seminar Series will resume from 10 February 2022 and will continue until 25 February 2022. The seminar series will include topics on the expansion into life insurance, health management programmes for clients, and the value of group health insurance. Those looking to attend the seminar in person will need to present their vaccine passes while those without passes will have the opportunity to watch a recording of the seminar through Take Five.

After a long break due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’re going on the road to bring you our next seminar series. The Highway to Health seminar is coming to a location near you, with presentations and discussion on a whole range of topics that will help you have more healthy client conversations.

What We’ll Cover

Highway to Life - CEO Rob Hennin

The Kiwi Insurance acquisition will see nib expanding into life and living insurance, to fully deliver on our purpose of ‘your better health’.

Highway to Health Prevention

Find out about our health management programmes that can help your clients, our members, take control of their health and wellbeing, and prevent or delay serious health issues.

Highway to Group Health Insurance

Learn more about the value of group cover and wellbeing for businesses and their employees.

Your Health Comes First

With New Zealand now operating under the New Zealand Covid-19 Protection Framework, nib has carefully considered how we will operate our business under this framework. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our advisers, members, our people and the public.

Standing by our commitment to keep our community safe, it will now be a requirement of anyone attending an nib hosted event to provide a valid My Vaccine Pass. We’ll also work within the requirements of each region regarding the traffic lights system.

For our upcoming seminars, you’ll need to show your My Vaccine Pass on arrival. If you don’t have this, you can watch our recording of the seminar via Take Five, so you don’t miss out.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your Adviser Partner Manager, we’re here to help. As we all move into a fresh year, we hope things will be looking brighter for our communities and the economy. Click here to register

In other news

Financial Advice: Economic Update with Cameron Bagrie

Quashed: Ten insurance mistakes that cost you money

MAS: Dayeon Lee named as one of the MAS Here for Good Scholarship recipients

Asteron Life: Suncorp shuffles New Zealand leadership