RBNZ announces changes in supervision team

Andy Wood, head of supervision at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, announced the retirement of Richard Dean. From their announcement: 

I’m writing to you to let you know that our Manager Insurance Supervision and FMI Oversight Richard Dean will be retiring in February 2022 after 14 years with us here at the Reserve Bank of  New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua.

Shortly after joining the Bank in 2008 Richard led the creation and delivery of the insurance prudential legislation, the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, and over the years he has also led the Operational Policy, Banking, FMI and AML supervisory teams before assuming his current role. Managing the supervision of  approximately 90 licensed insurers in New Zealand has kept him very busy for the last four years. His experience and competence across his various roles have been assets to the Bank, and Richard leaves with our gratitude and best wishes for his retirement.

Richard has advised that his retirement plans include devoting more time to family, golf and opera singing. Stan Christian will be leading insurance supervision from Auckland and a new Insurance Manager will be appointed in Wellington in due course.

Although our paths crossed relatively infrequently I always enjoyed working with Richard and I expect he will be missed. I wish him all the best for a long and happy retirement. 

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

7 Dec 2021 – Committee stage of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill completed in Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74854/births-deaths-marriages-and-relationships-registration

7 Dec 2021 – ASIC in Australia launched a Financial Advice Hub for advice licensees and advisers. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/articles/asic-launches-financial-advice-webpage/

Partners Life targets pricing changes

Partners Life has chosen to target rate increases at specific segments in a significant review of pricing, scheduled February for 2022. From Partners Life's announcement: 

"Rather than a one-size fits all pricing increase for all client demographics, we have made the decision this year to strategically shape our pricing to match the risk that each demographic group presents for each product type. In other words, we are addressing cross-subsidisation within our pricing because we believe cross-subsidisations are inherently unfair, we now have the data to identify them, and we are prepared to take the necessary steps to reduce them."

The full announcement has the details, and a review video is included below. The scope of the price changes is given in some more detail: 

"What does this mean practically?

Approximately 20% of our YRT policies are going to experience a total price increase (including age-related increases) of less than 10%.

Approximately 40% will experience a total price increase (including age-related increases) of between 10% and 15%.

Approximately 30% will experience a total price increase (including age-related increases) of between 15% and 20%.

The final 10% will experience total increases (including age-related increases) of over 20%, which we understand may be difficult for those clients to understand and afford, but which accurately reflect their risk of claiming - which we of course ready to help them with if that becomes a reality. As you know, we have also introduced several affordability options which might now become of help to these clients."

Pricing on Quotemonster will be updated in the New Year in line with the timing announced by Partners Life. 



In other news

Cigna: 2 weeks left until Good Things Come in Twos campaign ends

Cigna: Cigna to rebrand as Chubb    

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

6 Dec 2021 – RBNZ sought feedback on the draft legislation for the proposed Deposit Takers Act, with submissions closing on 21 Feb 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/12/feedback-sought-on-deposit-takers-bill

6 Dec 2021 – FMA introduced a vaccine mandate protocol requiring anyone working in or visiting any FMA office (or attending any events the FMA hosts on or off-site) to be fully vaccinated against COVID‑19. This policy came into effect today. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/fma-covid-19-vaccination-protocol/

7 Dec 2021 - The FMA published its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Sector Risk Assessment 2021, which updates the regulator’s 2017 version. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/amlcft-risk-ratings-confirmed-for-sectors-under-fma-supervision/

7 Dec 2021 – The RBNZ reported that its latest annual bank stress tests show strengthening resilience in the banking sector and the benefits of continuing to build capital buffers. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/12/stress-tests-show-strengthening-bank-resilience

From Rob Stock: a thought provoking article on the value of advice

Rob Stock has a great piece on the value of advice. Do check out the full article at the link here, but I have also pulled out some quotes that illustrate the differentiation available within advice contexts. 

"Within 30 seconds an independent insurance adviser identified Dion Knill​ how to trim 30​ per cent off his life insurance premiums without reducing his cover."

This is a tough one - after all, advice isn't all about price, but the willingness to do a comparison tends to be a hall mark of a full service adviser, and acts as a major proof point for the client. They are impressed when advisers are happy to engage in the pros and cons of different solutions, and, as the article progresses, you can see that the discussion broadens out later on. Many banks do not give their staff the ability to produce fast comparisons - fearing that comparison invites switching. It doesn't need to, that's kind of the first use case, but overwhelmingly it is really about demonstrating that you are conversant with the market. 

Much of the savings turn out to be in the form of discounts and benefits from an additional service. I feel that proves my point about comparison. This adviser was creatively repackaging a basic life insurance contract with a wellbeing service. The client obviously got on board with that because they achieved some goals and got some extra rewards: 

"The savings came from applying a multi-policy discount, which he had not been getting, and by joining the Vitality health scheme run by AIA, which bought Sovereign from ASB's parent company in 2017 in a $4.15 billion deal, and took over its policies.

“In the last 87 days I have received about $100 in Airpoints, and 15 per cent off my insurance premiums (through the Vitality scheme), and I will keep saving money based on my fitness levels. None of this stuff has been pointed out to me over the last three or four years,” Knill said."

I can appreciate why ASB did not offer the service - many full-service advisers also choose not to offer AIA Vitality - but different advisers are welcome to package their services in different ways. That can have a big impact, especially on smaller policies, which are more common in a bancassurance context. In this case it wasn't a simple price comparison plus switch. In fact, it seems like there was probably no switch at all, but the addition of some services, and a powerful brand story about the value of full service advice.

I felt it also underlined a consequence of the place that legislators have drawn the line between no-advice and advice. Many bank services are categorised as advice within the meaning of the law, but there can still be a large difference between the advice offered by a full-service adviser and a low-service one. That's something that Cecilia Farrow talks about in her comments near the end of the article. It is a place where independent advisers can really exploit their advantages: being agile, access to a wider range of tools and services, and creating new packages of value for clients on a truly individual basis. Instead of grumbling about the advantages that the 'big end of town' have, some small advice businesses appear to revel in the joys of asymmetrical competition. 

Grateful thanks to the adviser who drew this article to my attention. 


Covid-19: modelling risks comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated

The Herald has this article on comparing the relative risks. The key take-out from Dr Watson's research is this:

Unvaccinated people are nine times more likely to seed fresh Covid-19 outbreaks in New Zealand, finds new modelling that's prompted a plea for those who haven't had their shots to think before travelling this summer.

The importance of encouraging people to get vaccinated is underlined again. The full paper is at this link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.11.28.21266967v1.full.pdf

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

2 Dec 2021 – Council of Financial Regulators released its quarterly statement following the meeting held on 30 Nov 2021, with key items of discussion being cyber resilience, the role of credit unions and building societies within the financial sector, and reports of the ongoing work in the priority areas of conduct and governance and financial inclusion. The group also discussed plans for the next meeting of the Trans-Tasman Banking Council to be held in early December. https://www.cofr.govt.nz/news-and-publications/quarterly-statement-by-cofr-november-2021.html

3 Dec 2021 - FMA released CPA Australia and NZICA accredited body reports. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-releases-cpa-australia-and-nzica-accredited-body-reports/

3 Dec 2021 – Ministry of Justice seeks feedback on political donation rules, with submissions closing on 25 Jan 2022. https://www.justice.govt.nz/about/news-and-media/news/feedback-sought-on-political-donation-rules/

Fidelity Life appoint new Business Managers, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced the appointment of Alex Paul, Michelle O’Connell, and Haylee Edwards as new Business Managers. Alex Paul is the new Northland/Auckland Business Manager. Michelle O’Connell is the new Business Manager for Auckland. Haylee Edwards is the new Business Manager for Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and up to Taranaki. Adviser Distribution Todd Allan has said that the new appointments indicate Fidelity Lie’s commitment to supporting advisers.

“Fidelity Life continues to boost its support for advisers across New Zealand with the appointments of three new Business Managers in the North Island.

Alex Paul (Northland/Auckland), Michelle O’Connell (Auckland) and Haylee Edwards (Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and up to Taranaki) join the existing team of Peter Warfield (Auckland), Jenn Quinn (Marlborough, wider Wellington and Hawkes Bay), Gary Binnie (Christchurch/Timaru), and David Telfer (Central Otago, Invercargill, Dunedin).

Fidelity Life Head of Adviser Distribution Todd Allan says the new appointments clearly show Fidelity Life’s intent when it comes to delivering best-in-market support to advisers.

“Financial advisers are key partners for Fidelity Life as we continue to progress our customer-led transformation. Alex, Michelle and Haylee will help advisers keep one step ahead of the constantly evolving business environment so that together we can help more New Zealanders get the benefits of insurance protection.”

Since the appointment of Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan in August, Fidelity Life has created a new Solutions and Services team, announced the expansion of its market-leading Building Better Businesses programme, and launched a new-look Strategic Alliance team.

Meet our new Business Managers

  • Alex Paul - Originally from the UK, Alex moved to New Zealand 15 years ago. She steps into the role with a wealth of knowledge and experience under her belt including 13 years as an insurance adviser.
  • Michelle O’Connell - Michelle is Level 5 qualified and has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. She's worked with dedicated advisers, managed call centres and held national sales roles for dealer groups including Lifetime and SHARE.
  • Haylee Edwards - Haylee's been in the industry for 8 years, having started with FMG as a Report Planner and more recently in a leadership role, managing in-house advisers. Haylee has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the rural industry, Fidelity Life’s products and systems all while understanding the adviser world.” Click here to read more



Alex Paul                        Michelle O'Connell                          Haylee Edwards

In other news

DecemBeard was on 1 December

World Aids Day was on 1 December

International Day of Disabled Persons will be held on 3 December

RBNZ: Reserve Bank appoints new Assistant Governor

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life drops the jargon, boosts adviser support

FSC: Winners of the inaugural school video competition are

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

1 Dec 2021 – Treasury sought feedback on the Living Standards Framework (LSF) Dashboard to reflect the new and revised parts of the LSF framework. As well as informing policy advice more generally, the Dashboard will provide the indicators that the Treasury will use to inform the development of its first Wellbeing Report in 2022. Feedback closes on 15 Dec 2021. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/news-and-events/news/feedback-sought-lsf-dashboard-indicators

2 Dec 2021 – RBNZ advised that it had made submissions to two climate-related consultations.

  • To the External Reporting Board on the Governance and Risk Management sections of its proposed New Zealand Climate Standard 1
  • To the Ministry for the Environment seeking views on its Emissions Reduction Plan Discussion Document


1 Dec 2021 – Commerce Commission issued a reminder about changes to consumer credit laws coming into effect today. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/additional-changes-to-consumer-credit-laws-come-into-effect-today

1 Dec 2021 - Privacy Commission website included new posts on four topics as follows:

  • More privacy guidance on contact tracing registers
  • The other side of the CovidCard
  • Human error leading cause of privacy breaches
  • December 2021 Insights Report - Privacy Breach Reporting


Cigna enhance automatic acceptance, and more daily news

Cigna has announced that the e-app acceptance limit for Income and Mortgage Repayment Covers has been increased. This change means that from November 25 customers can have their Agreed Value Income Protection and/or Mortgage Repayment Cover conditionally accepted and issued on the same day. In order to guarantee acceptance, the cover must have a combined total benefit of up to $6000 per month, the underwriting engine must accept the risk, and evidence must be uploaded on eApp.

“You talked, we listened. As part of our commitment to bringing you and your customers a market-leading service offering, we’re proud to announce we’ve increased the automatic acceptance limit for our Income and Mortgage Repayment Covers and made it even easier to get your cover issued on the same day.

From 25 November, customers taking out Agreed Value Income Protection and/or Mortgage Repayment Cover with a combined total benefit of up to $6000 per month can have their cover conditionally accepted and issued on the same day, provided supporting evidence is uploaded and can be validated.

What do I need to do to have a policy accepted and issued on the same day?

To be conditionally accepted through our eApp and have cover issued on the same day, the application must:

  • be for Agreed Value Income Cover and / or Mortgage Repayment Cover up to a maximum total benefit (including any existing cover) of up to $6,000 per month
  • have the risk accepted by our underwriting engine
  • upload evidence of income or mortgage supporting the benefit your customer is applying for

Our underwriting team will then simply need to validate the evidence before issuing the policy. 

In other news

Cigna: over 100 enhancements made to eApp and underwriting rules engine since its release in April

Cigna: enhancements to Income Protection and Mortgage Repayment Covers to be made over the coming months

Financial Advice: Industry leaders end of year wrap up

Financial Advice: final Professional Ethics workshop of the year

FMA: More changes at the top for the FMA

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

30 Nov 2021 – RBNZ released a further consultation outlining options for cash system reform, with submissions on this latest paper closing on 7 March 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/11/reserve-bank-outlines-options-for-cash-system-reform

29 Nov 2021 – RBNZ announced it is reviewing its connected exposures policy for locally incorporated banks. Submissions close on 31 March 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation-and-supervision/banks/consultations-and-policy-initiatives/active-policy-development/review-of-the-connected-exposures-policy-bs8-for-banks?

FYI: Quotemonster training videos available now

If you're a visual learner, you'll be interested to know that we have a YouTube channel, and have recently added a number of tutorial and troubleshooting videos. Click the button below to check it out and don't forget to share the love by subscribing, sharing and liking our content!


If you have a specific video you'd like us to record or any general feedback please feel free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz 

Quality Product Research: rating of specific injury as a standalone benefit


We have had quite a few requests in the past to add Specific Injury to our product suite on Quotemonster. Now that we have three insurers in the market that offer a comparable standalone product – AIA, Asteron Life and Cigna (plus Partners Life has a built-in version of the benefit) we are working to release a draft rating to our users. If you would like to receive a copy, please email me (details below). Our resources highlight the importance of Specific Injury in situations where ACC or other insurances are unable to offer cover and this is a wonderful opportunity for you to be involved in the addition of this benefit to our platform, so any feedback you have is greatly appreciated.


Insurers are aware that we are adding Specific Injury to Quotemonster and are open to provide any data or claims information. We will publish a draft rating for review by all industry personnel and circulate them for review. Any changes will be based on our view of all the information sent to us and will subsequently be posted for further review.

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

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

  • Private health insurance statistics


  • Life insurance statistics


nib accredited Rainbow Tick and Accessibility Tick, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has been accredited the Rainbow Tick for the processes and policies in place to create a more inclusive environment for people part of the LQBTQ+ community. nib CEO Rob Henin has said this accreditation is a result of implementing changes that accommodates all employees that are part of the rainbow community. nib has also been accredited with the Accessibility Tick in recognition of the work they have done to become more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. 

“nib New Zealand (nib) has received the Rainbow Tick accreditation which recognises the steps nib has taken to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTTQIA+ employees and allies.  

nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said over the past two years nib has been continually improving its internal policies and procedures to meet the Rainbow Tick standards. 

“To receive a Rainbow Tick accreditation is no small task, we listened to our employees made meaningful and continual changes to our workplace policies and practices to amplify the voices and experiences of our LGBTTQIA+ employees,” Mr Hennin said.

“We held a number of LGBTTQIA+ education sessions with our leaders and employees; updated our internal policies, recruitment practices, and external website to reflect rainbow-inclusive language; provided easy access to resources and support via our ‘Pride at nib’ employee-led group; and held various events for our people to attend, including our Wear It Purple Day virtual brunch,” he added. 

Rainbow Tick Programme Manager, José Taiapa, said that to be eligible to receive the Rainbow Tick, nib had to satisfy the five Rainbow standards: policies; employee training; employee engagement and support; external engagement and monitoring. 

“nib is an organisation with a big heart and this is reflected in the work they’re doing to ensure that people from LGBTTQIA+ communities can bring their whole selves to work. This kind of inclusivity is so important, understanding that there are still many people out there that don’t feel comfortable to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at work,” Mr Taiapa said.  

“Rob authentically leads by example and is in full support of this mahi. It is a credit to the leadership of nib that they have continued to act on the feedback from employees and, in such short time, embedded the rainbow inclusive principles and standards into their organisation and in some instances exceeded expectations,” Mr Taiapa said.  

In addition to the Rainbow Tick, nib recently received the Accessibility Tick in recognition of the steps nib is taking to overcome barriers to access for employees, members and travellers so they can thrive irrespective of any difference in ability.  

Managing Director of Accessibility Tick, Phil Turner, said the accessibility journey for organisations are a long-term commitment and this is a great first step for nib.

“nib should be proud of the commitment and action plan they have made for disability inclusion and accessibility. It shows nib is an organisation that embodies diversity and inclusion, committed to their people and the 24% of New Zealanders who are disabled,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Hennin said nib is committed to continuing to work alongside Accessibility Tick and Rainbow Tick to help create a workplace where all employees feel comfortable and empowered to work to the best of their ability.

“The work we’re doing in the diversity and inclusion space isn’t a ‘tick of the box’ practice, it’s cultural change that is embedded in our everyday practices and conversations and filtered from the top down. We still have a way to go, but I truly believe the journey to receive both the Rainbow Tick and Accessibility Tick has helped to lay the foundation for greater acceptance, understanding and support of our people and their diverse backgrounds across the nib Group,” Mr Hennin said.”

In other news

Cigna: Good things come in twos offer ends on 17 December

Financial Advice: The positive impact of advice on insurance reviews

From Good returns: CoFI adds more challenges to financial services

Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Chronic Lung Disease

To commemorate World Pneumonia Day on November 12, 2021, we would like to share our rating for Chronic Lung Disease. World Pneumonia Day aims to highlight the importance of pneumonia as a public health issue and to encourage more countries to invest in learning more about the disease. Interestingly, in New Zealand Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death as mentioned in our resources below: 

For more information on pneumonia and how you can support the cause please visit https://stoppneumonia.org/

Sub-items rating review



We used the same logic as per our proposed rating for Peripheral Neuropathy (click here to see this). Definitions do seem to vary among insurers which we believe is important to highlight so we have created additional sub-items for this purpose. The condition has a low weighting compared to Trauma as a whole, for example Chronic Lung Disease only contributes a rating of ~0.30 to Trauma.

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

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

23-24 Nov 2021 – Parliament completed all stages under urgency of the following two Bills with implications for many businesses, only requiring Royal Assent to become law.

  • COVID-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Bill


  • Taxation (COVID-19 Support Payments and Working for Families Tax Credits) Bill


nib publish findings of parenting survey, and more daily news

nib has published the findings of the nib State of the Nation Parenting Survey that they conducted in partnership with One Picture. 1,200 parents from around New Zealand were surveyed. There are three key themes, the links between screen time and mental health, positive shifts from the pandemic, and greater awareness on health needed.

Key points from the survey include:

  • Use of technology and screen time ranked as the top parenting concern again
  • 77% of respondents expressed mental health concerns
  • Screen time, social media and gaming reported as the top three addictive activities
  • 63% of respondents believed their child couldn’t live without their devices
  • Sleep, diet and exercise, and behavioural issues are top three health-related concerns
  • 57% of respondents noted their appreciation for their family’s good health and time spent together increased in the last 12 months
  • Over 50% of respondents said they have had help from family and friends while daycare and school were closed
  • 38% of respondents highlighted that balancing work and parenting was the number one source of household stress
  • Over one in three parents prioritise their child’s health over their own
  • 73% of respondents knew or had a record of all the vaccinations their children had and only 42% said they kept track of their own

Positive shifts from the pandemic

Despite health-related concerns increasing last year, this year’s survey findings highlighted that most Kiwi parents are feeling more optimistic now, with results having largely dropped back to 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels. Sleep, diet and exercise, and behavioural issues were cited as the top three health-related concerns.

For 57% of parents, appreciation for their family’s good health and time spent together increased in the last 12 months. Of those, more than half said both factors were a direct result of the pandemic, demonstrating some positive shifts for Kiwi families. 

While many families struggled without access to daycare centres and schools during changing alert levels, more than half of respondents identified having close family to lean on, with friends (28%) and extended family (24%) also being common sources of support.

Noting the art of balancing work and parenting as the number one source of household stress (cited by 38%), many Kiwi companies can also be commended for contributing towards the almost half of working parents (47%) that experienced an increase in flexible working arrangements in the last 12 months.

nib New Zealand CEO, Rob Hennin said, “While nobody celebrates the disruption and distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has provided greater opportunity for companies to rethink traditional work practices and explore what work, family and life really looks like to our people.

“One aspect of this has been ensuring parents feel supported in the workplace to put their whānau first. At nib, we encourage flexibility around when and where our people work, so they can make time for key moments like their child’s doctor’s appointment, home-schooling during the pandemic or their afternoon sporting activities. We support this by providing our employees with an annual NZ$1,260 work from home allowance, in recognition of the ongoing costs of remote work as well as free access to online GP consultations in partnership with Tend,” Mr Hennin added.

Greater awareness on health needed

As the topic of health and vaccinations continue to dominate headlines, the survey uncovered it’s an area where parents require more support. Over one in three parents prioritise their child’s health over their own (especially when it came to lower income and single parent households) suggesting that many are faced with making a choice between addressing their own health issues or their child’s.

Around half of respondents knew what health checks their children needed each year, with this dropping to 35% when it came to their own health checks. While 73% knew or had a record of all the vaccinations their children had, only 42% of parents said they kept track of their own.

“With 71% of children having experienced at least one negative mental, physical or behavioural issue in the last six months, we need to ensure Kiwi parents are feeling supported to deal with the health and wellbeing needs of their whānau,” Mr Hennin said.

“We aim to address some of the barriers faced by families when accessing health information through our various initiatives – such as our partnership with Nathan Wallis, providing free resources to help families through life, as well as wellness programmes which deliver plans to help improve health outcomes for our members.”

“We hope these annual insights spark conversations around parenting and health and encourage all generations to be more proactive when looking after their health and wellbeing,” Mr Hennin said.

nib partnered with One Picture to deliver the nib State of the Nation Parenting Survey, which surveyed a representative sample of 1,200 respondents from around the country.

Screenshot 2021-11-24 160540

In other news

ASB: More people using financial advisers: ASB

AIA: AIA NZ chief executive takes leave

Screenshot 2021-11-24 155659