While nearly all insurers have lots of internal issues other parts of the market are innovating as fast as they can.
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Insurers Restructuring, Winning, and Losing

Insurers are nearly all internally focused at present. Although the economy is buoyant, and the market for their products is rising at a healthy rate, they have much to deal with. Major corporate restructuring may affect the ownership of one bank insurer. Banks are worried about the return on capital in their insurance businesses, according to Reuters, and taking the indicated corporate actions. 

Even without a change of ownership two others are restructuring considerably, with many executive positions, teams, and reporting lines affected. Capital raising, staff changes, re-pricing legacy products, new alliance partners, and more, have been part of the announcements of at least three others. We are big supporters of change here: things can be better. So change is good.

There also appear to be a couple of life insurance businesses for sale with options to suit your pocket: consider this one and this one. Another managed an unusual double, to record a large loss and still win insurer of the year.

Insurers may have won a bigger victory on commission restriction than they first thought. The cabinet paper outlining the licensing powers proposed for the Financial Services Amendment Bill covers FMA powers to control conflicts of interest at this link.

Richard Klipin has joined the FSC as CEO. We see Andries van Graan join Partners Life as the new head of sales, Len Elikhis to the Chief Product Officer role at Sovereign. Len reminded us about mental health awareness week back in October. Most people prefer to support awareness of diseases with obvious physical effects: cancer, for example. But did you know that the average duration of a claim on income protection is longer for mental health problems than cancer? It’s a serious issue affecting one in six kiwis and causes a lot of lost quality of life, and early deaths. More details here.

AIA, Fidelity Life, and Partners Life have announced options for policyholders that are suffering from major disruption: help with premium suspensions while maintaining cover. If you have any people in that situation, get them to check with their insurer.

Advisers, Advice, and Advice Technology

Advisers, more exposed the to the daily pressures of the market, are wrestling with technological change. Some more positively than others. To those that are constantly being told that robots will disrupt their businesses, we offer a more hopeful message: we think robots will transform their businesses. More face-to-face time will be available to advisers that can use robo-advice to make mundane compliance tasks easier, or even automate them entirely. For those that develop, rather than purchase, these systems, the rewards could be even greater.

Here are two links that explore the sector, 'Insurtech for advisers, insurers, and more' - Insurtech and 'Don’t worry about the robots, make them work for you' - here's how.

After being beaten up for conflicts of interest and churn - financial advisers have some support from an unlikely champion: ASIC has compiled a great claims review in Australia and found that advised insurance pays out more often:  advised cover decline rates are nearly half the rate for non-advised products. That’s a huge difference. No wonder that data has been the most-shared item amongst connected advisers over the last quarter. If you deal with advisers, start mailing them copies of this link as soon as you can.
It’s data that can help them sell more business.

Alan Rafe explores the subject further with a detailed comparison of New Zealand advised and non-advised products in this presentation. Jenée Tibshraeny covers the same issues at as well.

While we are talking about making sales, this interesting piece suggests that slow news is just what clients of advisers are looking for so stop worrying about being up to the minute, be thoughtful and relevant in your content creation strategy: that’s your email newsletter, posts to websites, facebook and LinkedIn. If you struggle to write good content yourself, keep hunting down good resources. So many are overseas, so here is a local website dedicated to providing the New Zealand-based Life insurance information you are looking for.

If none of that has struck a chord and you are still reading, then try this: are things you never use worth buying?

Lastly Quotemonster flood of news is available in their newsletter here.

Thank you for reading – to keep in touch, do check out the links below, and feel free to forward this newsletter. If you want to use material from this newsletter or the Chatswood Consulting site in your publications you are welcome, just check out the rules at this link.


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