Partners Life announce Client Engagement Team, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced expanded scope of service of the Client Engagement Team. The team was established to help advisers with customer retention and payment regulation. Recently Partners Life has decided to offer training and support to ensure the team becomes the first Nominated Representatives for Partners Life. The team will be responsible for providing customers with support regarding pricing issues and policy retention. The team will offer customers quotes for alternative Partners Life products and other retention options such as Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions. Partners Life has made clear that advisers will be involved in the process. Advisers have the option of opting their clients out of this service. Advisers that have opted out of the current services of the team will automatically be opted out.

“A few years ago, we established our Client Engagement Team to assist our advisers with customer retention and arrears. To date they have done a fantastic job!

Throughout this time however, the team have had very little scope to have truly constructive conversations with clients due to the limitations of the type of financial advice they could give.

With the recent legislative changes, we have identified an opportunity to provide the appropriate training and support to our Client Engagement Team, enabling them to become the very first Nominated Representatives for Partners Life. This means they can begin to have robust conversations with our clients regarding affordability issues, while also being able to discuss all possible options available for the clients to keep their cover in place. This can range from providing quotes for alterations or discussing other retention options within our Partners Life products, such as Premium Holidays or Policy Suspensions.

The team will be limited to discussions around affordability of select Partners Life products only, and we will ensure we involve you as our client’s financial adviser. We will refer your clients to you in the first instance and keep you involved in all communications. In fact, if you would prefer that we don’t have these conversations with your clients, then you can choose to opt out of this offering.

Our Nominated Representative service will replace the existing arrears management service our Client Engagement Team currently offer. If you have already actively opted out of the existing service, you will automatically be excluded from the Nominated Representative service and will need to advise us if you wish to now be included in the Nominated Representative service. All other advisers will automatically be included in the new offering, and you will need to advise us if you wish to be excluded.” Click here to read more

In other news

AIA: Policy letters now available through SovLink and Insight

mySolutions: from 1 July 2021 all qualified commissions (FAPO) payable by all the major insurers to be bundled into adviser commission package. They have also made a strong commitment that they will not become a FAP or 'compete' with advisers. 

Financial Advice: Getting Back to our Regions

Financial Advice: Bring in the Experts - Economist Tony Alexander - Budget Update

 

 

 

 

 


Partners Life share Customer Outcome Matrix update, and more daily news

Partners Life has released more information on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM). Partners Life has implemented the system changes that allows full automation of the process. From 10 May 2021, advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL. Although bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021, Partners Life has said that they aim to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting on any upcoming bonus commission changes.

“We have communicated regularly on the progress we have made on the Customer Outcome Matrix (COM) and are very excited to announce that we are now implementing the system changes to ensure the full automation of the process. This means that advisers will be able to view the results of COM in MPL from Monday 10 May 2021.

We have always maintained that we have wanted to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting prior to any Bonus Commission changes coming into effect, allowing you sufficient time to review your own reporting and to be able to understand the feedback and how this relates to your engagement and servicing of clients.

Please remember, as previously communicated, bonus rates are underpinned until 30 September 2021.”

In other news

Asteron Life: to celebrate underwriting rules on AsteronConnect, weekly draws will be running from 6 May – 4 June. Winners will receive $200 to use at local restaurants. 

Asteron Life: draft e-Apps which are completed but not submitted by 9pm 9 May 2021

will no longer be visible in AsteronConnect as some of the questions are changing

Asteron Life: AsteronConnect  webinars will be held on Monday 10 May, 3pm-4pm and Thursday 13 May, 9.30am-10.30am


Quality Product Research: (Inbuilt) Child Trauma – Part Two 

A reader has queried whether QPR takes the sum insured into account in our Research Ratings.  And the answer is yes, we do consider the amount paid by each insurer. In fact amount paid are a vital part of a value-based assessment approach - and something we capture much better than simple feature lists of benefits do. 

In trauma insurance, some companies pay the full benefit for an item, others only make a payment of 10% or 20% of the sum insured because the condition was not severe enough to warrant a full payment. Our score is varied according to how much would actually be paid. In the scenario for Child Trauma, we have a claims amount of $100,000 and calculate how much would be paid out by each insurer.  

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Furthermore, based on adviser feedback we have corrected our ratings to reflect the fact that Asteron does include the option to convert their child cover to adult trauma at age 21. Interestingly, if the parent is on Trauma Recovery (TR) and considering converting their child cover to TR with Early Trauma they are required to complete an application. 

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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


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Benign Brain and Spine Tumour

Introduction

The World Health Organisation states that 130 different types of brain tumours exist. A benign brain tumour is a non-cancerous growth in a distinct area of the brain. The survival rates for patients with benign brain tumours are higher than others, however this depends on the size and location of the tumour within the brain.

Proposed sub-items

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Notes

There are some noticeable differences between insurers such as whether partials exist, or if the spinal cord or tumour on the pituitary gland is covered. We have tried to make the sub-items clearly demonstrate the variation between insurers.

Why is this important?

Although QPRs weighting of this item is low, it would be of high interest to those that have a family history of brain cancers. With a lot of insurers now having specialised cancer products we would like to ensure that our rating is relevant. 

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


Quotemonster and Advicemonster updates - live now

We have updated the quotemonster site, on Thursday, and made the following items live, for more detail see below:

  1. New SOA report content setting options allow you to create more customisations for your SOAs if you are an Advicemonster subscriber. To access these click settings, then SOA Setting, then Report Content Setting
  1. New SOA template for Need analysis recommendation note pad - bring through all your calculations from the recommendation notepad in Advicemonster to quote and to the SOA.
  1. New nib rates applied to the site
  1. FSP input validation for user setting and register form - so it is important that your FSP number matches your name and the entry on the FSPR. A reminder that sharing your login is a breach of our terms and conditions and unusual account activity (like switching user names) will be picked up and we will be contacting account-holders that actively share their logins. 
  1. Improved the health product breakdown table in the research report.
  1. Applied Fidelity level standalone trauma maximum level term rule
  1. Changed Partners Life IP and MP max-age to 57 - as we do not quote reduced commission versions of income protection
  1. Update Web version number to v 3.8.7

Congratulations to Albert, Doreen, and the whole team on a big package of updates. Our special thanks to the advisers sending us issues and suggestions for improvement of the Advicemonster process and the SOAs. 


nib on why customers should consider comprehensive health insurance, and more daily news

nib has prepared a list on why customers should consider comprehensive health insurance. nib lists five reasons why members are better off with comprehensive health insurance. These reasons are:

“Greater choice

Your clients choose who they receive treatment from, and alongside their GP or specialist, they decide where and when. Having access to more options helps reduce uncertainty and enables them to make plans to minimise related disruptions caused in their lives.

Less waiting, less worry

It is not uncommon to spend months waiting in the public health system before receiving treatment. While your client is waiting, their health may deteriorate further, and secondary issues could develop. Access to private healthcare, afforded through health insurance, can significantly reduce waiting times, creating greater peace of mind.

Less time off work, less lost income

Poor health could require needing to take time off work to recover. This could result in lost income for your client, as well as any of their family members who may need to support them. Furthermore, without private health insurance, they may have to cover the cost of private treatment themselves, creating additional financial burden.

Access to leading edge treatments

Health practices and treatments are advancing rapidly. Private health insurance can give your clients access to treatments that they may not have otherwise been able to afford.

Preventative care

Prevention is better than dealing with illness and discomfort. With the nib Proactive Health Option, it’s easier for your clients to stay healthy, and to enjoy life and all the things they have worked hard for. They’ll be covered for screening, such as breast screening, prostate screening, heart screening and mole mapping, allergy testing and vaccinations, gym memberships, weight loss management programmes, quit smoking programmes and routine health checks.” Click here to read more

In other news

Partners Life: Partners Life is asking FAPs to login to the FSPR for the FAP and engage financial advisers by March 31 to ensure Partners Life has the latest list from the FSPR

Financial Advice: Bring in the experts - Economic Series - Part 1 Economist Cameron Bagrie

nib:  nib’s Head of Adviser Distribution, Chris Carnall, provided a brief overview of the Intermediary Agreement


Partners Life Customer Outcome Matrix update, and more daily news

Partners Life has provided more information on the upcoming Customer Outcome Matrix reporting and commission changes. Current bonus rates will remain in place until 30 September 2021 to ensure advisers have time to prepare and adapt before bonus commission rate changes are implemented on 1 October. Partners Life has noted that this adaption period is sufficient for advisers to understand the Customer Outcome Matrix process. Partners Life has also noted that they are in the process of completing changes to ensure regular reporting on Customer Outcome Matrix results.

“We have always maintained that we have wanted to provide at least 3 months visibility to the COM reporting prior any Bonus Commission changes coming into effect, allowing you sufficient time to review your own reporting and to be able to understand the feedback and how this relates to your engagement and servicing of clients.

We have continued to make good progress and are nearing the completion of the implementation project.

Given the material changes associated with COM, and with the many other industry changes that are occurring, we have however, made the decision to extend the ‘Go-live’ date for potential bonus rate changes to 1 October 2021.

We are confident that this will not only provide a robust reporting period to allow you to understand and get comfortable with the COM data but will also allow you to continue to encourage your clients to expect and participate in the COM survey process.

We will further underpin your current bonus rates until 30 September 2021 to provide you with an appropriate period of time to understand and adapt to the results of the COM.

We are close to completing the necessary changes to MPL to provide you with regular reporting on your COM results from your MPL dashboard. We envisage this being available towards the end of April.

Full implementation of COM, including the Bonus Commission levels, will now commence on 1 October 2021.”

In other news

Financial Advice NZ: Understanding your Professional Indemnity Insurance requirements webinar

Getting cross over Cancer cover


Quality Product Research: Health Insurance - major review process commenced for exclusions item rating

Introduction

Medical insurance is one of the most hotly contested areas of product comparison. Adjustments are made frequently to many features. Exclusions, however, are complex and difficult to compare. Although we update our exclusions ratings with every new product change released it is time to review the method and balance of the scoring of these items. We have therefore started the process of a major review.

Theme of review

The themes of this review are:

  1. A thorough review of all terms
  2. A focus on the relative weighting of the terms
  3. Calling for claims examples of how the terms are applied

Review process

We have alerted advisers and insurers to our plan to do a review and asked for data on the themes above. Changes will be based on our view of all the information sent to us.

We will then publish a model for changes to the guide scores for exclusions sub-items and ask for input on the proposed new model. Further changes may be made at this stage.

We are seeking claims examples for the review. Further changes may be made at this stage.

Timeline for review

March - advise review started

April - review claims information

May - consult on new model for rating

June - implement revised ratings

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


Partners Life announces increase to medical pricing, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced a 10% price increase to the Private Medical Cover and the Specialists and Tests option. The new rate will come into effect from 12 April 2021. From 29 March, advisers will be able to quote using the current or new rates on the Quote System. New rates will apply to new customers while the new rates will apply to existing customers on their next policy anniversaries on or after 12 April 2021. Exact changes in price will vary depending on age related premium changes, inflation adjustments, underlying premium rate and policy fee increases, benefit expiry premium reductions, and loyalty discount changes.

“In order to continue to offer top ranked products to you and your clients we have to regularly review our premium pricing structures. Product innovation is something we take extremely seriously and as such we spend considerable time in balancing a first-class product offering with a competitive pricing structure. The time has now come to apply a premium increase to Private Medical Cover and the Specialists and Tests option.

Having completed a routine review of emerging claims experience and considering medical inflation, we have determined that an underlying premium rate increase of 10% will take effect from 12 April 2021.

From 29 March the Quote System will allow you the option to either quote using the existing rates or the new rates (it will default to the new rates).

From 5 April the Quote System will automatically use the new rates.

These premium increases will take effect on next policy anniversaries on or after 12 April 2021. Clients will receive their anniversary letter which will advise them of the new premiums payable from their anniversary date.

The total change in premium payable from the previous year is calculated based on age related premium changes, inflation adjustments to benefits and therefore premiums, underlying premium rate and policy fee increases, benefit expiry premium reductions, and loyalty discount changes.”

In other news

Partners Life: February webinar about disclosure converted into a Partners Life Academy course with five short videos with knowledge assessments

Actuaries Institute Australia: Under the Spotlight – Ricky Au

FMA: Unlicensed advisers need a contingency plan: FMA

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life - My Story - David & Cheri Flight with intro from Carl Drummond


Partners Life on preparing for 15 March, and more daily news

In preparation for 15 March, Partners Life has compiled a list of things that financial advisers must do to ensure compliance. The list is designed as an informative piece as well as a mini checklist with questions regarding duties. ​The list is made up of the following six points:

  1. “Ensure you come under a transitional licence by 15 March You may obtain your own licence, or be engaged under someone else’s. If the licence hasn’t come through by 15 March, you cannot give financial advice until it arrives. Use this time wisely for business planning, reviewing your processes, documenting what you do, and any number of other business-related activities. Note that the FSPR will be mostly offline from 2-15 March to prepare for the new regime (more details here). 
  2. Get your disclosure sorted You must meet the new disclosure requirements from 15 March, including your website, Facebook page, engagement letters, and statements of advice. Use the FSC Disclosure Guide templates to write your text. Have your website developer draft your new site and be ready to go live late at night on 14 March. Use this opportunity to review your other client documents – do they meet the requirements of the Privacy Act (e.g. permission to share client data with the FMA and your compliance consultant), Secret Commissions Act (do you disclose referral fees and commissions), and other legal obligations? 
  3. Have you documented your complaints process? Ask your Disputes Resolution Scheme for help. They are very likely to have learning resources and templates to help you. Implement a Complaints Register, and check monthly that it is completed properly. Write down your process, including how you check it is working. 
  4. Is your record-keeping up to scratch? Do you have all client files backed up? Are they secure – how do you protect client information from being seen or taken by others? Can you access them quickly when you need them? Are they complete – do you record all of your interactions with each client? Challenge your process – where are the risks that privacy could be breached? What interactions are not recorded? Write down your process, and what you do to check that it is being followed 
  5. Do you comply with the new duties? Challenge your process against the new duties, and write down how you meet your obligations. Good advisers meet these obligations now, and may only have a few minor tweaks to make. How can you prove that you meet them? 
    1. ​How do you ensure that your clients understand the nature and scope of your advice, the limitations to your advice, and the advice you give them? 
    2. How do you ensure you give suitable advice? Do you use research tools? Do you use advice tools? How do you calculate the quantum of cover, and choose the best provider and products for each client?
    3. Care, diligence and skill? This is already the law. If you don’t meet this now, step it up!  
  6. Some of the duties are a no-brainer But just because they’re a no-brainer, don’t forget to properly document how you are observing them – if anyone asks, don’t just tell them you are a good adviser: make sure you can show them! 
    1. Do you recommend products for your benefit, or for your client’s? If you give advice other than to benefit your clients, you are breaking the law. How do you prove that your advice is for your client’s benefit, and you are not influenced by commission?
    2. Treat clients fairly and act with integrity – this should underpin everything you do as a financial adviser. Think about it hard – do you?
    3. Don’t recommend financial advice products that don’t comply with the law.”

Partners Life has also stated that advisers that make structural changes and advisers that make a mistake must inform the FMA. Partners Life has explained that advisers must tell the FMA what they are doing to about the issues and steps they are taking to minimise any potential harm.

“If you do anything wrong, or make structural changes to your business or key personnel, you have to tell the FMA about it if it is material. If this happens, don’t just give the FMA a problem. Tell them what you are doing about it – how are you minimising any harm that the problem may cause?

If you hold a licence and have other financial advisers working in your business, you must ensure that they meet these obligations too. How are you ensuring that happens?

While the full list of obligations is long, many of them articulate things you should already be doing. Work through the list above, and embrace the opportunities that FSLAA brings!”

In other news

FMA: FMA warns adviser for KiwiSaver advice

Southern Cross: Southern Cross offering advisers access to StayingWell, a free hub of hand-picked wellness information