From the team at Quotemonster have a Safe and Monstrous Easter and keep Crunching!
At www.quotemonster.co.nz more work has been done to renovate the home page. Now you can see the most recent news stories right on the front page to put the news where you are going to see it. The news or blog is a little known feature - but quotemonster usually has information updates three or four times a week - it's the place where non-urgent updates of all kinds are announced, along with summaries of recent changes, discussions of item re-ratings, and insurer news.
Here is a sample of the new front page:
The login and registration items have also been improved, plus we have changed the introduction to make it clear we are exclusively for financial advisers and highlight our key numbers: more than 2000 users - and last month they did around 28,000 quotes. That's an incredible figure, and its rising.
Lastly, we have got a new advertising box on the front page. This is our premium advertising position because it will be seen by most advisers. We do get some feedback from advisers about advertising. Some people do not like it - but quoting is a free service, and to keep providing that for free, advertising revenue is important. Some other advisers have told us that they are worried about clicking on advertising because they do not want to 'lose' where they are on Quotemonster - don't worry - advertisements always open in a new window if you click on them.
Subscribers to Quality Product Research at www.quotemonster.co.nz can now access research on Medical Assurance Society (MAS) and CIGNA products in addition to the extensive existing research range already available: all the major life insurers and bank insurers.
- You need to be a monthly subscriber to research or purchase a one-off report in order to access the research.
- You need to tick the companies you wish to include in the research report and hit the blue 'save' link at the bottom of the menu - see the example in the screenshot below.
- More products and companies are being added over the next few weeks: so keep an eye out on this blog, and on the message area at www.quotemonster.co.nz to find out more.
This morning a number of small but significant updates have been made to the production copy of Quotemonster:
- Users of older browsers: IE8 users in particular, will now be able to get the graph / chart showing comparative premiums and download reports again. We are not sure how long we can continue to support this browser, but for now, once again it is functioning.
- The insurance company selector has been updated to show the number foe companies chosen, and highlight the maximum of 14 available for inclusion in the printed report. This means you can clearly identify the companies you will get in the printed report.
- The printed report now has different header and footer branding and new titles for the client risks page at the end of the document which make it look a whole lot nicer.
Alan Rafe, CEO of Quotemonster, and I are taking turns to deliver our Compare and Comply talk to advisers at the PAA Roadshow. Details are below, you still have time to catch the Auckland sessions (tomorrow, North Shore in the morning, Central and South in the afternoon) or to see them in Christchurch and Dunedin next week.
Click on the link for a high res copy:
Roadshow Agenda final.jpg (943.86 kb)
Here is the vibrant new team from Quotemonster!
Top row, from left to right we have Russell Hutchinson, Director; Alan Rafe, CEO; Albert Liu, IT Manager; Keoma Pereja, Junior IT. Bottom row, left to right we have Beth McMahon, Administration; Sara Alani, Researcher; Fran Hutchinson,Database Manager. Kelly Pulham, our new Marketing and Advertising Manager was absent on this day.
Fidelity has increased product flexibility, added some benefits, and allowed you to take some of the ‘premium’ features out of their income protection if you seek a lower premium. Income protection and mortgage protection price increases have also been applied.
We have rated or changed as appropriate the following:
- The following benefits can now be removed from the IP or mortgage protection product as a group:
- Death benefit, TPD benefit, Specified Injury Benefit, and Specified Condition benefit
- In Trauma the following benefits have been enhanced:
- Cancer partial in Lifecare
- In Income Protection a new partial disability booster will make a significant addition to the product.
Premium increases are live from 1 April, the new product information and ratings will be live on the system by Monday the 7th of April.
Partners Life has decided to give you plenty of new options and features to work with. Many of these are not present with other companies, and therefore do not directly compare with product offered. That means that for a lot of the options we won’t be putting the pricing or product feature on Quotemonster, yet. However, there remains plenty for us to report on for you:
We have rated or changed as appropriate the following:
- We have reviewed the new heart definition. For our rating system there is no effective change, but the slight wording reorganisation may mean that IRESS decides to follow our approach to the rating.
- The Special Events Options and Business Future Insurability Options will get a small uplift in rating.
- Some minor new benefits include:
- A definition of open heart surgery
- A new diabetes definition
- Three new diagnosis definitions
- Three new partial payment definitions
- Minor clarifications to medical insurance definitions
Those rating changes will all be live next week
There have also been a host of policy document changes, but these are mainly a change in document reference code, not wording (apart from where noted above) and these will also be live on Quotemonster over the next couple of days.
The effective date for the changes is 1 April 2014
Rob Stock writes on funeral plans in his recent column "Can You Afford to Die?" at Business Day on Stuff. The article provides good information on the current cost of funerals, which start at about $1,795 and can go, presumably to anything, but $10,000 is given as an example of a more expensive funeral involving the purchase of a burial plot.
Then there is the growth in the funeral plans market - the number of policies on the books has grown more than 60% in the last six years, and no stands at 166,000 policies. Rob helpfully tells us that is one for every 12.5 adults over the age of 40, allowing for some multiples, that number still looks low.
Not present in the article are issues such as flexibility or underwriting.
Underwriting counts. The article glosses over the key difference between 'ordinary' life cover, which means it is underwritten. This point is central. If you are in good enough health then you are nearly always better off with underwritten cover. If you aren't and don't want the hassles of underwriting, then apart from having the cash-at-hand, funeral cover is a great option.
Product flexibility counts. With one contract premiums cease when the amount paid equals the sum insured, a feature which would have dealt with some of the expense concerns Rob identified. Another limitation not identified was that some policies do not provide worldwide cover. These are worthwhile points to note.
I point these out because we are working on a comparison of funeral covers right now.
Compliance is no longer what advisers tell us their main concern is. Twice as many advisers say the challenge is growth, and 50% more advisers say the main challenge is reducing administration hassles.
Here are the results:
This is probably one of those surveys that reinforces something that many advisers, corporate managers, and people involved in the industry have been 'feeling' for a while.
What does this mean?
- We must talk about growth, that's what will bring growth to advisers and the industry
- We must address administration hassles - and that must be on terms that add value to both parties
- We cannot use compliance as a barrier to growth or as a justification for administration hassles.We must on from the idea that it is a zero sum game where more compliance necessitates admin hassles or is an excuse for low growth. There must be creative solutions than enable growth, fewer admin hassles and still enable compliance.