Bank Insurers Argue Against "Sales" vs "Advice" Distinction

3. May 2016 09:35 by Kelly in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

David Chaplin reports: 

"Banks have mounted an all-out attack on Financial Advisers Act (FAA) reform proposals to clearly distinguish ‘sales’ from ‘advice’ setting themselves at odds with industry bodies and consumers."

and also adds for clarity that

"...the big four Australian-owned banks and Kiwibank all strongly argue against introducing a formal distinction between ‘salesperson’ and ‘financial adviser’ into the regulatory mix."

Those a pretty strong words from David. I was interested in how we know that consumers would like a clearer distinction, and you might be too: 

"An accompanying MBIE survey also found almost 90 per cent of consumers said “clarifying the difference between ‘sales’ and ‘financial advice’ would help them better understand what they are receiving”

Read the balance of the article at this link

Agreed Value Replacement Ratios

3. May 2016 08:06 by Kelly in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)


This shows the table of maximum cover amounts available under non-taxable agreed value income protection plans. Considerable variation has developed.

Assessing Demand for Elective Surgery

2. May 2016 08:12 by Kelly in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

A survey conducted by TNS NZ based on 1,800 New Zealanders aged 18 and over in January 2016 showed the following results:


How to Avoid Health Insurance 'Bill Shocks' After Surgery

29. April 2016 08:17 by Kelly in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

This article on Stuff highlights that high-cost surgeons may charge up to double the price of others to do the same operations.

"Health insurance policyholders can be left with big bills after surgery, if they are sent to one of the country's most expensive surgeons.

Avoiding bill shocks running from hundreds to thousands of dollars, can be hard for patients as it is not always clear whether their doctor is referring them to a high-cost surgeon.

Many health insurance policies are "shared cover" policies like Southern Cross' popular Regularcare policy where holders pay 20 per cent of the costs of treatment.

So if their keyhole hysterectomy costs them $20,700 as it was done by one of the more expensive surgeons, they'll end up with a "gap" of $4140."

Preventive Mastectomies under New Insurance Policies

28. April 2016 08:09 by Kelly in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

In a Facebook post yesterday, Auckland public relations specialist Anna Jobsz said she had arranged to get the mastectomy several weeks ago with cover from Southern Cross Health.

She said she had been under the impression her insurance would also cover a breast reconstruction.

However, two days ago the insurance company sent her a letter saying it would cover only the breast removal and half of the reconstruction.

"One said 'Our staff are following protocol not to discuss limits' and another said 'our staff always tell the policy limitations when asked'."

Click here to read the full article.

AIA News

27. April 2016 08:15 by Kelly in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

AIA have released their latest newsletter and it is full of news about their increase in staff numbers and the makeover AIA's website has received.

A few of their new employees have joined the team in roles such as New Business, Key Account Managers and Underwriting.

AIA have spent the last few months working on their website to give it a new look and update their online identity. it has been built with a responsive design to allow easy use on all platform such as tablets and mobiles too. Take a look at it here.

Quotemonster's 4th Birthday

26. April 2016 13:40 by Kelly in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Today Quotemonster is turning 4! We would like to take this time to thank all our users for your continued support and feedback. We look forward to see what the future holds. 

Excess Variations to be Highlighted: New Research item

26. April 2016 08:15 by Kelly in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

One of the items highlighted after workshops discussing Quality Product Research ratings (available on Quotemonster) is the treatment of the rating for excess payments in medical. One adviser highlighted these examples of differences: 

Some excesses - the most generous type - are applicable for all expenses, and the 12 month period for the excess starts when you make your first claim. This gives you the maximum length of time in which to exceed the excess. A less generous variation is to have the 12 month periods aligned to the policy anniversary. It is even less generous when the excess applies per claim, rather than per policy year. A key variation with specialists and tests is whether the base policy excess or defaults to zero. Waiving the excess for certain Trauma conditions (Partners Life does this for four companies) is also a bonus. 

Thanks to Lance Wickens and other that have picked up on the issue, Alan Rafe and the team will be consulting with insurers and setting up a new rating for excess terms in the next few weeks. 

Southern Cross Announces New Health Insurance Plan for Younger Kiwis

22. April 2016 08:10 by Kelly in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

Here is Southern Cross' press release about their new product:

New Zealand’s leading health insurer Southern Cross has today announced the release of a new health insurance product specifically designed for younger individuals, couples and families.

Designed as an entry-level plan, Wellbeing Starter is the result of Southern Cross working directly with its target market to tailor a plan specifically to their needs and budget.

Head of Product and Marketing Chris Watney says the benefits provided by Wellbeing Starter were hand-picked by exactly the type of people Southern Cross wants to engage in health insurance. “We know from our research that there is a group of typically younger people who are interested in protecting their health or the health of their family, but can’t see anything in the market that meets their needs.

“In our research – which included one-on-one interviews and a survey of a further 1,500 young adults – we heard exactly what they wanted and more importantly what they didn’t. This enabled us to focus on benefits that are important to them, at a price they are willing to pay,” says Watney.

Perhaps surprisingly, topping the list of health insurance ‘must-haves’ for this group was cover for cardiac and cancer related treatment, some surgical cover and an every-day component that can be used at the GP or physiotherapy.

Not surprisingly then, Wellbeing Starter benefits include:

  • $500,000 surgical cover
  • $100,000 cardiac cover
  • $60,000 for cancer care, including $10,000 for non-Pharmac drugs
  • $40,000 prophylactic treatment allowance
  • $3,000 for skin surgery
  • 75% of expenses for GP and physiotherapy visits up to $150 per claims year (in total)

Watney adds, that lower Wellbeing Starter premiums have been achieved by excluding all coverage for orthopaedics, gynaecology and urology unless it’s directly required for the treatment of cancer.

“This may not be the plan that best suits our target market when they reach 40 – but it covers what they told us was important to them right now.”

Wellbeing Starter is the most basic surgical plan offered by Southern Cross. Compared to Southern Cross’ next level major medical plan Wellbeing One, premiums for a 30 year old non-smoking male on Wellbeing Starter are around 20 percent lower.

Wellbeing Starter is part of Southern Cross’ simplified product range which now  consists of just five health insurance products for new Southern Cross members.


The Power of Dressing Appropriately

21. April 2016 08:11 by Kelly in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Do the clothes you wear to work have an impact on clients decisions?

According to this article on Advisor Perspectives the way you dress can have consequences on  the clients perception of you and the outcome of your meeting. Click here to read more about how clothes impact cognitive processing and the impact of clothes on self-perception.