Government criticised for allocating funds to ACC to work on NZIIS before MBIE’s analysis of consultation on scheme released, and other news

Jenée Tibshraeny writes in NZ Herald of how the government has been critiqued for pushing through legislation to allow ACC to work towards operationalising the NZISS ahead of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) analysis of submissions made via the consultation process. MBIE has said a formal decision on whether the government will proceed with the scheme will be made in June or July.

MBIE's acting manager of income insurance policy, Francis van der Krogt, told NZ Herald around 2000 people or organisations either made full submissions or answered a shorter-form survey.

He said officials are analysing the feedback and preparing a summary for Ministers, which will be released "in due course".

Asked why the submissions weren't published before the legislation was passed and funding allocated via the Budget, van der Krogt noted the legislation is a "small and relatively technical piece of legislation" that enables ACC to do work it wouldn't otherwise be able to do under existing legislation.

"The work will help inform final decisions. Any substantive legislation to create a New Zealand Income Insurance scheme would go through a full Parliamentary process," van der Krogt said.

More daily news:
FSC debunks health insurance myths
Good Returns: Leanne Lazarus (former Westpac Life CEO) appointed CEO Heartland Bank
Government commits to providing ACC funding for preliminary work on systems and operational processes for NZIIS
WTW introduces new version of Radar pricing software

Partners Life announces changes to COVID amendments, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that the temporary amendments to Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions will be reverted back. Below are examples of when customers are eligible for Premium Holidays and Policy Suspensions.

“On the 17th August 2021, we extended our financial assistance offering to assist clients who may have been financially impacted as a result of

COVID-19 restrictions, so that they could have the best chance of retaining their valuable cover in the longer term.

With the country having moved into the ‘Traffic Light’ settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework and with Level 4 Lockdowns behind us, we feel the time is right to revert to the original criteria for Premium Holiday claims and Policy Suspension claims, as documented in the policy wordings.

For your reference, below is a brief summary of when your client may qualify for a Premium Holiday claim.

If the Life Assured undergoes any of the following:

Redundancy; or Bankruptcy; or Leaving paid employment to become a full-time caregiver to a spouse, de facto partner or Civil Union partner who for the first time requires such care as a result of an illness or injury; or Leaving paid employment to become a full-time caregiver to a Dependent Child who for the first time requires such care as a result of an illness or injury; or Death of a spouse, partner or child; or Natural Disaster where the event affects a life assured’s ability to undertake their usual work and where interruption is likely to last more than thirty days; or Any other event Partners Life agrees to, at its sole discretion

For Policy Suspension claims only:

Employer approved leave without pay; or Employer approved parental leave; or Overseas travel; or Tertiary Education”

In other news

Financial Advice: Key changes to the Privacy Act 2020 and what it means for your business

Astreon Life: Suncorp announces half-year results

Asteron Life: Suncorp NZ leader on inclusivity and making insurance products fit for purpose

Income insurance proposals - resources

I have a brief piece at goodreturns on the proposals for a public income insurance scheme - link here:

For those of you that subscribe to the quarterly life and health report I also have a review of similar schemes off-shore and we are working on an impacts paper for the next quarterly life report, which you will have in plenty of time for your work on submissions.