Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 July 2021 – FMA released a report on Insurance conduct and culture: Fire and general insurers update.

22 July 2021 – The latest FMA update included information on a report released in June titled “Filing of financial statements: review findings and guidance.

22 July 2021 – The FMA update also included advice that:

  • The FMA will be consulting in the third quarter of 2021 on proposals for exemptions to provide relief for insolvent FMC reporting entities that are in liquidation, receivership or administration from certain financial reporting requirements under the FMC Act to determine whether a class exemption is required.
  • AML/CFT reports for the period 1 July to 2020 to 30 June 2021 are due by 31 August 2021. AML/CFT supervisors have released updated guidance designed to help reporting entities complete their annual AML/CFT report.

  • Updated the AML/CFT content on the FMA website to include information for Financial Advice Providers and Authorised Bodies.

  • A reminder of the new AML/CFT regulations that came into effect on 9 July 2021 and the availability of guidance on the new regulations available on the FMA website.

22 July 2021 – RBNZ announced a consultation on an interim Solvency Standard for insurers, which will determine the minimum amounts of capital that insurers must hold, with submissions closing 1 October 2021.

22 July 2021 – APRA released its Private Health Insurance Annual Coverage Survey for 2020.

22 July 2021 - Retirement Commission released its latest survey into the financial capability of New Zealanders.

22 July 2021 – In an article titled “England’s NHS data-sharing to third parties”, the Privacy Commission uses this to highlight the privacy issues relating to patient data that may need to be considered with the consolidation of New Zealand’s district health boards into a single agency called Health New Zealand.

Probably the two most interesting items here are the conduct report on general insurers and the Privacy Commission's interest in medical data sharing. So many of the options for modernising the sector rest on medical data sharing and banking data sharing that these are likely to be areas under continually increasing scrutiny. 

What if only 17% of people ever went to the doctor?

That would be ridiculous wouldn't it - if only 17% of people went to the doctor when sick. Imagine, most people thinking that going to a doctor was unnecessary. It would be like thinking that a doctor couldn't  really know that much more about how to be healthy, or at least recover from sickness, than you do, so why pay all that money? 

Yet that is what people think about financial advice. It is one of the of the surprising conclusions of this paper from the United States on why people do not seek financial advice. Link

Perhaps you are about to dismiss that as the product of those foolish Americans, known for strange ideas - but the Commission for Financial Capability research shows similar levels of apathy for financial affairs here. Different survey aims and objectives, but very similar results from their survey at this link (especially refer to table three). 

There is no greater enemy to financial well-being than apathy. What we focus on, we can usually find a way to improve. The big debates within the sector tend to be about how to improve. That's valuable and so much earnest energy is expended there. I am part of it and I value the struggle and enjoy it. But I have to keep reminding myself, the really big debate, the one that would make all the difference, is how to get people paying some attention. 

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

13 July 2021 – Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee announced it will be opening an inquiry into the current and future nature, impact, and risks of cryptocurrencies.

19 July 2021 – FMA released its Annual Corporate Plan 2021-22.

In the last item there is a relatively brief mention of the insurance sector priorities, which are: 

Our areas of focus in the Banking & Insurance sector are:
Preparation for the CoFI and updated insurance contract law regimes including:
• providing policy input as part of the legislative process
• engaging with industry participants and other stakeholders to build our understanding of the banking and insurance sectors
• developing a licensing approach for CoFI
• developing a monitoring and enforcement approach for when the regimes are in force.


Financial Advice Conference 2021 announced, and more daily news

Financial Advice NZ has announced this year’s conference. Details on the conference are below.

Keynote speakers

Date: 16 November 2021

  • Mykel Dixon
  • Dr Angus Hervey, Future Crunch
  • Matt Whineray

Date: 17 November 2021

  • Matt Church
  • Siouxsie Wiles

Business sessions

Date: 17 November 2021

  • Speaker: John Spence, global business expert and executive coach (via Zoom)

Topic: Delivering Consistently Superior Customer Service

  • Speaker: Michael Henderson, Business Culture Subject Matter Expert

Topic: Ferocious Creating a High-Performance Company Culture

  • Speaker: Michael Kitces, financial planning educator (via Zoom)

Topic: Applying Behavioural Finance in Principle

  • Speaker: Paul Spoonley, demographer, former Pro Vice-​Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University

Topic: Demographic change and the impact on the face of New Zealand

Lightning Talks

Date: 16 November 2021

  • Sam Johnson
  • Ben Teusse
  • Simon White
  • Steven Korner

Venue: TSB Arena & Shed 6, 4 Queens Wharf, Wellington Central, Wellington

Dates: 15 November 2021, 16 November 2021, and 17 November 2021,


2 Day Registration

Super Early Bird (prior to 31 July)

Early Bird (prior to 14 October)











on application

on application

on application

1 Day Registration

Members / Non-Members / Students

on application

on application

on application

Online (2 days, Keynote Speakers Only)




Non - Members



All costs exclude GST.


Venue: TSB Arena & Shed 6, 4 Queens Wharf, Wellington Central, Wellington

Date: 15 November 2021

Price: $80 + GST (MasterClass only)

Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm followed by dinner at Portifino Restaurant at 6:30pm (dinner is an additional $60)

Click here to register


In other news

Financial Advice: AGM will be held 15 November 2021

Compliance Refinery: Compliance Refinery expands

From Good returns: Once in a lifetime business - Take two

Financial Advice: Mid-Winter Blues Webinar Series

AIA grant to help tradies dealing with mental health problems

The recipients of the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant, Mike Taylor and Ryan Edwards have created Tools Down to raise awareness of the mental health problems faced and the suicide rates of New Zealand tradies.  Tools Down is described as an introductory source that connects those struggling with specialist organisations across the country. Taylor has said that Tools Down hopes that by educating people about the help and support available they can encourage people to take control of their wellbeing.  

“Tools Down was started by Mike Taylor and Ryan Edwards, thanks to a $50,000 AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant, to shed a light on the topic rarely spoken about in the industry.

Ryan Edwards is managing director at The Adviser Platform and a Tools Down co-founder and has seen many tradies struggling with their mental health, and has worked with some of them to help alleviate financial and work pressures.

“The last decade has seen more than 300 tradies take their own lives," Edwards says.

"Not only is this a devastating number but it has a knock-on effect to roughly 1.5 million Kiwis who are affected by these tragic deaths or serious harm incidents."

“That’s why we’ve made it our mission to halve the number of suicides, serious injuries and harm experienced by tradies each year, by 2025.”

Managing partner at BBT Digital and Tools Down co-founder Mike Taylor recognises this is a lofty goal but is determined to achieve it.

“I’m a big believer in setting big, aggressive goals. By aiming to make a considerable impact, even if you fall slightly short, we’re still closer than if we set a smaller target.

“Our hope is that by educating people about the help and support available out there it can encourage people to take control of their wellbeing.

"With good education comes good prevention, this is where we’re hoping to encourage the conversation,” says Taylor.

Edwards says there are specific struggles a tradie faces that can take an overwhelming toll on mental health.

“You may wake up one morning and find your ute broken into and all your tools stolen or suffer a work injury that takes you off the tools.

"How do you deal with those lost assets and time on top of everything else? It can be the tipping point for some tradies," he says.

“Through Tools Down, people have approached us to discuss their hardships and need for valuable resources to coach them through times of stress. This is exactly what Tools Down is for and we’re glad people are using it.”

Tools Down is an introductory source for those who reach out via the platform, offering partnerships with specialist organisations across the country best placed to support those who seek help.

“Without the support of AIA Vitality, we wouldn’t have been able to get this platform off the ground," Edwards says.” Click here to read more

In other news

FMA: Annual Corporate Plan 2021/22

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

13 July 2021 – The Department of Internal Affairs released an AML/CFT risk assessment guide covering the NZ-to-Pacific Islands money remittance sub-sector.

16 July 2021 – RBNZ, FMA & DIA, the three AML/CFT supervisors, released two AML/CFT documents relevant to all reporting entities:

19 July 2021 – At the request of Government, the Productivity Commission is seeking input into Terms of Reference for a new inquiry into the drivers of persistent disadvantage within people’s lifetimes and across generations.

How to access the new research reports on Quotemonster

We have launched the first half of our new report formats on Quotemonster. Check out the new heatmap and benefit overview reports - login to your Quotemonster account, get crunching, then go to research, pick a benefit and explore the new, customer friendly report options available. 

We are delighted to offer new options to advisers who want research information that is more easily digestible for clients - but rest assured, under the hood, these reports are built on the same four factor research process that provides a value-based approach to rating insurance product. 




We would love to hear what you think so please send any feedback to


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