Shareable Partners Life insurance knowledge articles, and more daily news

Partners Life has published client-focused insurance knowledge articles on Partners Life Academy and the Partners Life website. The articles are intended to be sharable material to simplify insurance concepts for clients. Advisers will find PDF copies of the articles in the Content Library under Assets.

Topics include:

  • Why your insurance is more expensive than your friend’s
  • Why does my premium go up each year?
  • How do insurance companies pay out big claims, when their customers only pay small premiums?
  • Where there’s a Will there’s a way – Why you should write a will
  • Wielding the stick of power: The importance of having a Power of Attorney
  • Guardians of the Parenting World: Who would you leave your kids to?
  • What is ‘Policy Ownership’ and why does it matter?
  • What are ‘Underwriting-Free Increases’?
  • What are Exclusions and Restrictions?
  • What are Premium Loadings?
  • What are ‘Special Acceptance Terms’?
  • Claims and Medical Requirements
  • PHARMAC or Non-PHARMAC? That is the question…

“Partners Life Academy now hosts a series of short, client-focused insurance knowledge articles that you may find helpful to share with your clients. These articles are also available on the Partners Life website in web format. You may find the PDF format on Partners Life Academy easier to share and discuss.

Insurance is a complex topic, and we know you spend significant time explaining how insurance works to different clients. What if there was a source of short articles you could share that have been specifically developed to help educate clients?

There is.

In Partners Life Academy, you will find these articles in the Content Library under Assets. Each article is one or two pages, and available as a convenient PDF download.”

In other news

nib: medical notes not necessary when submitting applications through nibAPPLY, unless nib specifically requests them

nib: many applications have required manual underwriting which resulted in a backlog of up to three weeks

FSC: Hon Dr. David Clark announced as keynote speaker at the Regenerations gala dinner. Mitchell Pham announced as keynote speaker at the Regenerations Conference

FSC: Outlook 2021/22 with Geoff Bascand in Wellington

FSC: Get in Shape Webinar Series, Code of Conduct and the customer experience with Steven Burgess

FSC: Launch of the latest FSC Research on 'Generation Rent'

Financial Advice: Mid-Winter Blues Webinar Series

Partners Life: Detailed schedule of Partners Life Product Changes and Benefit Improvements


Fidelity Life ratings under review, and more daily news

It has been reported that the A- (excellent) Financial Strength Rating and the A- (excellent) Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating are under review. This is a normal development in the case of substantial acquisitions. AM Best's decision comes after it was announced that Fidelity Life is set to purchase Westpac Life. AM Best have applied an "under review" status with developing implications status on Fidelity Life’s ratings to assess the financial and operational impacts the purchase will have on Fidelity Life. The rating status will remain in place until the purchase is complete, and AM Best is able to conduct an assessment of Fidelity’s credit rating fundamentals. Click here to read more

“SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has placed under review with developing implications the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Fidelity Life Assurance Company Limited (Fidelity Life) (New Zealand).

These Credit Ratings (ratings) actions follow the announcement on 6 July 2021, that Fidelity Life has entered into an agreement with Westpac Banking Corporation to acquire its New Zealand life insurance business, Westpac Life-NZ-Limited for NZD 400 million. The transaction also includes the establishment of an exclusive 15-year life insurance distribution arrangement with Westpac New Zealand Limited.

Concurrently, Fidelity Life has announced an equity investment of NZD 140 million from a new investor, Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited (Ngāi Tahu Holdings), to fund the acquisition partly. Fidelity Life’s current largest shareholder, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and Ngāi Tahu Holdings are expected to fund the majority of the acquisition.

The transactions, which are subject to customary closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals, are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The under review with developing implications status reflects the need for AM Best to assess fully the financial and operational impacts of the acquisition and the funding structure on Fidelity Life’s rating fundamentals, including on its balance sheet strength and business profile.

The ratings will remain under review pending completion of the acquisition, and until AM Best can complete its assessment of Fidelity Life’s post-acquisition credit rating fundamentals.”

In other news

nib: nib Health Insurance Protect, Connect & Empower Seminar Series held in Christchurch and Auckland Central

ACC: ACC steps up efforts to support children and sexual abuse survivors

Fidelity Life: Bronwyn Kirwan is set to join Fidelity Life next month as the new Chief Sales and Service Officer


FSC: correlation between finances and mental health, and more daily news

The FSC has found that financial stress is impacting the mental health of more New Zealanders. 55.6% of participants in a recent survey reported that their wellbeing was impacted by financial issues, a 4.3% increase from last year. FSC CEO Richard Klipin has said that the survey indicates that there is a positive correlation between financial stress and the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders. Klipin has highlighted that the financial services sector has a significant role to play in supporting the wellbeing of customers and ensuring that there are support options in place. Klipin continued saying that the survey findings highlight the impact COVID-19 has on wellbeing, especially on the younger generation. Klipin has expressed his desire to see New Zealanders prioritise their financial wellbeing as it impacts their health and happiness.

“An increasing number of New Zealanders are finding that financial troubles are impacting their mental and physical health, relationships and overall wellbeing, and insurers say that a more ‘holistic’ approach is needed when it comes to dealing with customers experiencing difficulty.

A recent FSC survey showed that 55.6% of New Zealanders feel that financial issues have impacted their overall wellbeing - up from 51.3% in March 2020. CEO Richard Klipin said that the survey results clearly show the link between finances and mental and physical health, relationships and stress, and he says the financial services sector has a significant role to play in supporting customer wellbeing by building up their support options and financial resilience.

“While our findings suggest that we’re making progress in some areas, they also highlight that there is more to be done to support the public in building knowledge and gaining confidence when it comes to their finances,” he said.

“What remains clear from the latest survey results is the connection between money and our wellbeing, with over 55% of New Zealanders saying that financial issues have adversely affected their wellbeing.

“This highlights the continued impact that COVID-19 is having on the wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” he said.

“Particularly the younger generations, and we hope the survey results encourage people to prioritise their financial wellbeing, which clearly plays a direct role in health and happiness.” Click here to read more

In other news

nib: nib Health Insurance Protect, Connect & Empower Seminar Series held in Queenstown, Invercargill, and Christchurch

Southern Cross Health Insurance: TBWA\NZ appointed to the role of lead creative advertising agency

From Good returns: [GRTV] Looking after advisers' mental health

Professional IQ: Professional IQ farewells its chief executive

From Good returns: Advisers should talk to advisers about professional indemnity

RBNZ: Reserve Bank confirms consultations “key to the future of how New Zealanders pay and save”

From Stuff: The traumatic process for young women needing a hysterectomy

From NZ Herald: Stuntwoman Dayna Grant recovering from brain surgery after LOTR set injury follow up from When it’s not covered by your health insurer, and daily news

 


New Zealander’s health concerns, and more daily news

A Swiss Re study has revealed that because of COVID-19 one in three New Zealanders have increased health concerns. The study found that one in two participants felt that their financial future was positive while 14% were anxious about their financial future. The number of participants that had increased health concerns and participants that were anxious about their financial future were the lowest among other developed countries within the Asia-Pacific region. Leigh Watson, head of life and health in Australia and New Zealand noted that although the New Zealand findings weren’t as concerning as respondents from other countries in the region, mental wellness and price certainty were identified as issues. The study found that New Zealanders felt that policy features were the most important aspect of insurance and claims payout was the least important aspect. Watson highlighted that the insurance industry has a role in promoting wellbeing.  Watson has said that Swiss Re is looking to work  alongside insurers to help customers through difficult situations.

“A Swiss Re study has shown that one in three New Zealanders have an increase in health concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - however, this is the lowest reported level of concern among developed markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The study showed that half of all surveyed New Zealanders were keen to resume domestic and international travel and social activities, and one in two respondents felt that their financial future was positive. Fourteen per cent (14%) felt overwhelmed or anxious about their financial future - the lowest percentage in the surveyed region.

When it comes to insurance, respondents felt the ability to set a fixed premium was the most important policy feature (31%), while monetary payout was the lowest priority (19%).

Leigh Watson, head of life and health in Australia and New Zealand, said that while New Zealanders appear to have less money troubles compared to other APAC countries, issues like mental wellness and price certainty remained a concern.

“While New Zealanders aren’t so worried about the financial impacts of the pandemic, they are worried about the mental wellness impacts, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19,” he said.

“We can see that New Zealanders would also like to see more price certainty in their insurances, and the industry is definitely trying to tackle this through a greater focus on more sustainable products and pricing.”

“Claimants are also looking for faster and easier claims processes,” he continued.

“Our claims team recognises that an innovative and agile response is required to support our insurer clients, and ultimately customers, to help them navigate unforeseen challenges in their time of need.”

Watson said that the insurance sector needs to “draw lessons” from the pandemic and how customers are responding to pressure, and it particularly needs to increase its focus on resilience and mental wellness.

“The insurance industry has a role to play to promote wellbeing, and to support a more proactive management of everyone’s physical and mental health,” Watson said

“The impacts of COVID-19 on mental health remain a concern, and we are assisting insurers in helping their customers through difficult situations and towards long-term recovery.” Click here to read more

In other news

nib: nib Health Insurance Protect, Connect & Empower Seminar Series held in Queenstown and Invercargill

Fidelity Life: From 31 July 2021 desktop Apollo will no longer be available, advisers will need to access Apollo web.

Fidelity Life: For applications submitted up to 31 July 2021 Fidelity Life will pay the commission rate that applied at the time of submission

From Good returns: [GRTV] Looking after advisers' mental health

From Stuff: The traumatic process for young women needing a hysterectomy - examples of the value of the power of choice in healthcare


When it’s not covered by your health insurer, and daily news

Recently film and television stunt woman Dayna Grant suffered a head injury that required surgery. It was noted that Grant’s health insurer was unable to cover the $60,000 private surgery. Grant was told her injury wasn’t covered by ACC and that there was a four month wait if she wanted to go through the public health system to treat the 8mm aneurysm and neck injuries. A Givealittle page was created to raise funds to cover the immediate private surgery. The necessary $60,000 was raised within 24 hours of the page going live. Grant has said the money raised will go towards her surgery and recovery, and whatever is left will be donated to Brain Injury Support.

“More than $60,000 has been raised for stunt woman Dayna Grant's brain surgery in less than 24 hours.

The award-winning stunt woman has worked on several high-profile films including Wonder Woman, Mad Max and Xena: Warrior Princes. She recently suffered a head injury on set, a Give A Little page read. She is a mother of three children and also runs a stunt school in NZ.

More than $60,000 had been given by several hundred donors at the time of writing.

The description on the fundraising page said Grant was diagnosed with an 8mm aneurysm

"After experiencing symptoms of traumatic brain injury, Dayna was sent for neuro-imaging CT and MRI scans, unfortunately receiving the devastating diagnosis of an 8mm aneurysm and upper spinal (neck) injuries.

"Surgeons recommend immediate surgery. As is often the way with these things, insurance and liability are a maze of red tape and potentially life-threatening delay through the public health system.

Immediate, private surgery costs NZ$60,000."

According to the details on the Give A Little page, Grant's health insurance was unable to cover the surgery and she faced a four-month wait if she opted for the procedure in the public health system. It was also not covered by ACC.

Speaking to the Herald, Grant said she's been overwhelmed by the response and plans to donate any leftover funds to charity.

"I have been so overwhelmed with the amazing love and support from all around the world," she said.

"$60,000 was raised for my brain surgery on the give a little page in less than 24 hours, the surgery is now covered and anything above and beyond this will be put towards my rehab and post op care.

"I also have neck trauma from the accident a few months ago and ongoing concussion therapy which this will help with a lot.

"If anything is left over it will go towards Brain Injury Support.” Click here to read more

In other news

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Pitcher’s Family Sues Angels, 2 Employees for Negligence

From Stuff: Why you need to have a closer look at your health insurance

FSC: Financial Services Council Money & You: The Rise of the Digital Investor Research Launch


FSPR deregistration insights, and more daily news

As of 24 June there are 9,926 financial advisers registered on the FSPR. It is being reported that the number of advisers currently on the FSPR is likely to decrease. Since 15 June, 72 FSPs have been deregistered, with just 51% being voluntary. MBIE business registries national manager Rob Rendle has said that there hasn't been any deregistration because financial advisers failed to link with a FAP, although 550 linking failure notices were issued in June. Those that received the notice will have 20 days to update their registration. Rendle has noted that MBIE will only be able to update the registration figures after the 20 day period.

“Almost 10,000 financial service providers are now registered to provide financial advice in New Zealand according to the Companies Office, up by 748 from March 15 this year.

However, that number is expected to drop with about 550 financial service providers (FSPs) being sent letters from the Companies Office warning them of imminent deregistration.

Statistics (see below) provided to Good Returns by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment state that as of June 24, 9926 FSPs were registered on the Financial Service Provider Register (FSPR), up from 9168 as of March 15.

Since June 15, 72 FSPs have been deregistered - 37 of those were voluntary deregistrations, 34 failed to provide annual confirmation and one was deregistered for failing to provide approved dispute resolution scheme details.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment business registries national manager Rob Rendle says the Registrar has not deregistered any financial advisers for failure to link themselves to a financial advice provider (FAP) "...as he first has an obligation to give notice of intention to deregister".

"On 17 and 18 June we gave notice to those FPSs who had not engaged with a FAP by 15 June 2021. About 550 notices had been issued.

"Those FSPs have a 20 working day objection period within which to update their registration.

"Deregistration numbers won’t be known until the 20 working days has passed, and the Registrar has completed deregistration. FSPs will be sent a notice confirming deregistration once it’s completed," Rendle says.

FSPs on the FSPR:

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/20: 9316

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/21: 9178

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 24/06/21: 9926

Financial Adviser FSP removals since June 15, 2021:

- Failure to provide annual confirmation: 34

- Statutory Notification (failure to provide approved Dispute Resolution Scheme details): 1

- Voluntary deregistration: 37” click here to read more

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FSC: Nominations for the FSC 2021 Awards closing this week

FSC: April Financial Resilience Index

Russell’s piece on Good returns: Death rates and the impact of the End of Life Choice Act

RBNZ: Tide Going Out On Pacific Banking Services

nib: Helen's story


nib announce seminar series, and more daily news

nib has announced seminar series dedicated working together to protect, connect and empower nib members. The seminars will focus on nib’s new benefit option and the First Choice Network of health providers. Case studies and claim stories will be shared throughout the seminar. Benefits of nib First Choice, the selection process, and the development will be explored. How the Find a Provider directory can help empower members will also be discussed. Speakers include: Chris Carnall, Andrew Hurley, Dirk Labuschagne, Arishma Singh, Steph Walker, Andrew O’Hagan, and Sara Williams. Click here to register

“You’re invited to attend our upcoming seminar series where you’ll learn more about how together we can protect, connect and empower your clients, our members, to achieve enhanced health outcomes, and where we will launch our much-anticipated new benefit option!

There are two big focuses for our seminar series. First – we’ll reveal our most anticipated new benefit option. We believe this will make a positive difference for many of our members and encourage advisers to have healthy conversations with their clients.

We’ll also provide a refresher on our First Choice Network of health providers and how the revamped Find a Provider directory can enable you to connect and empower your clients to better choices in the provision of their health care.

What We’ll Cover

Product Launch

·         Introducing our new product benefit option

·         Case studies and claims stories

Find a Provider – nib First Choice

·         Benefits of nib First Choice and how the network was developed to help our members choose their health providers

·         How the network has contributed to a reduction in medical inflation and consequential premium increases

·         How nib selects and manages First Choice health providers”

Nib seminar speakers

In other news

Strategi: New advice rules more flexible than advisers think

 

 


Quality Product Research: nib non-PHARMAC Plus option now live on Quotemonster

We have recently added nibs non-PHARMAC Plus option to our product range on Quotemonster. non-PHARMAC Plus ranges from $20,000 to $300,000, is available through both adviser and group business channels, and can be added to new or existing hospital covers (i.e. Ultimate Health Max) however only available to existing members on legacy products from 5th July 2021. 

The Addon is designed to offer customers more access to potentially life-saving treatments not publically funded by PHARMAC, are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered in line with Medsafe’s guidelines – not just cancer treatments.

The benefit covers the cost of these medicines where nib has accepted a claim for treatment and where the non-PHARMAC drugs are used in a private hospital or at home for up to six months after being admitted to hospital for treatment. The benefit also covers any drug administration costs. Additionally, there are no waiting periods when members choose to add this option to their policy.

You can select the nib non-PHARMAC Plus options in your Product Settings screen: 

Nin

 

Nib_non-PHARMAC Plus_logo

Please email us should you wish to discuss this further or would like to provide feedback.

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

 

 

 

 

 


nib announce launch of new health cover option, and more daily news

nib has announced the launch of a new health cover option, non-PHARMAC Plus, that is designed to offer members more access to potentially life-saving treatments not currently funded by PHARMAC. Members will be able to access treatments that are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered according to Medsafe’s guidelines. Non-PHARMAC Plus is now available through adviser and group business channels. Members can add the cover to new or existing hospital cover. There is no waiting periods if members choose to add this option. Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member annually. nib CEO, Rob Hennin, has said that non-PHARMAC Plus was developed to offer members more flexible and affordable options. Through non-PHARMAC Plus members have access to new unfunded medicines. When future treatments for critical illnesses become available, members will be covered.  non-PHARMAC Plus covers the cost of using non-PHARMAC treatments in private hospital or at home up to six months after being admitted to hospital and any drug administration costs once a claim is accepted.

“Leading health insurer, nib New Zealand (nib), has today launched a new health cover option to provide Kiwis with greater choice and access to potentially life-saving treatments not publicly funded by PHARMAC – the government agency responsible for deciding which medicines are subsidised as part of our public health system.

The new add-on cover, non-PHARMAC Plus, is available from today through nib’s adviser and group distribution channels with members able to add to their new or existing hospital cover.

Benefit limits range from $20,000 to $300,000 per member per year, allowing members to choose the level of cover that best suits their health needs and budget.

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said the non-PHARMAC Plus option was developed in response to a growing need for cover that provides members with greater choice, affordability and flexibility when it comes to modern medicines.

“New Zealand’s public healthcare system is often recognised for the level of care it provides, but we’re also ranked as having the worst access to funded modern medicines of the 20 OECD countries,” Mr Hennin said.

“Without funding, these medicines can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, placing Kiwis who are already under significant stress dealing with an illness, with the added financial burden of paying for treatments out-of-pocket.

It’s why we’ve introduced this add-on option which is designed to better protect our members’ health by making potentially life-saving treatments more affordable and accessible,” he added.

nib’s non-PHARMAC Plus option provides cover for all medicines that are not funded by PHARMAC, are Medsafe approved and have been prescribed or administered in line with Medsafe’s guidelines – not just cancer treatments.

“The great part about our non-PHARMAC Plus option is that the add-on benefit also enables our members to ‘future-proof’ their cover so that when new unfunded medicines become available to treat critical illnesses, they’ll be covered for it,” Mr Hennin said.

“As these advancements in medicine innovations continue to take place, advisers will play a critical role in educating and informing the public of the various health cover products in market to help support their clients’ long-term health needs,” he added.

The benefit covers the cost of these medicines where nib has accepted a claim for treatment and where the non-PHARMAC drugs are used in a private hospital or at home for up to six months after being admitted to hospital for treatment. The benefit also covers any drug administration costs. Additionally, there are no waiting periods if members choose to add this option to their policy.”

In other news

Financial Advice NZ: Dunedin roadshow to be held Tuesday, 29 June – 9:30am to 12pm

Financial Advice NZ webinar: Update from the FMA, unbundling Full Licensing, and Consultation on Financial Advice NZ Constitution

Financial Advice NZ: Professional Ethics Workshop