FSC announce plans for Generations 2020

The FSC has announced that Generations 2020 will go ahead virtually. The conference will be held on October 13-15 2020.  Alongside existing speakers, new guests are set to be announced. 

“We are excited to announce that the FSC's 2020 Digital Conference - Generations will go ahead between 13 and 15 October, during the lead up week to the election. It has been a difficult decision and Covid 19 has thrown us all many curve balls, however we are delighted to bring you one of the industry's leading events whilst prioritising the health and safety of our community.


The programme remains exceptional, with a showcase main platform program with many of New Zealand’s leading lights, political leaders, regulators and inspiring individuals. We will also feature all of our breakout programs and breakfast sessions which will delve deep into key issues right across the sector.


We are also working on a number of special guests and new initiatives to engage delegates, connect our community and showcase the capability in the market place.”

All ticket holders partners, and sponsors are being welcomed to join the virtual conference. More information on tickets will be announced next week.

“We are delighted to welcome all existing ticket holders, partners and sponsors to the digital conference. More details on how your tickets will transfer over will be announced next week. For those who have not registered yet, stay tuned for registration details.”

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

9 Sept 2020 – The RBNZ announced that Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand will be delivering a speech to the Insurance Council of New Zealand on Monday 14 September outlining the Reserve Bank’s review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010. The speech and media release will be made available on the Reserve Bank website at 2:00 pm on Monday, 14 September 2020.

9 Sept 2020 – The Privacy Commission issued the Privacy News update via e-mail containing further information on the upcoming implementation of the Privacy Act 2020 from 1 Dec, including a free online tool called P20BOT to assist organisations to understand the upcoming changes in the Privacy Act. The online tool produces customised preparedness reports for an organisation, based on the answers provided. https://stoplookgo.co.nz/get-prepared-for-the-privacy-act-2020-with-p20bot/

10 Sept 2020 - The FMA guide to investing in bonds has come under fire. Good Returns quote Tony Hildyard of Hunter Investments, commenting on the FMA investor bond guide, available at https://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976517472/bond-specialist-raises-concerns-over-recent-fma-guidelines.html


Asteron Life introduces mental health support, and more daily news

Asteron Life announced that the Best Doctors service will provide free access to different mental health experts to customers with disability insurance. The service will allow customers to access general advice as well as services from psychologists and psychiatrists. 

“Asteron Life today announced that customers with disability insurance will now have access to the Best Doctors service at no additional cost. The Best Doctors package provides direct access to a multidisciplinary team of mental health experts, including psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as general advice on mental health conditions and guidance on how to navigate the mental health system.”

Graham Hill, executive manager Life Distribution said that Best Doctors works to ensure customers are connected and make medical decisions with confidence. Graham continued by saying that having access to expert medical advice in the current environment is relevant while Mike Morris, the country manager of Best Doctors said that the importance of virtual care has been highlighted this year.

“Best Doctors connects our customers with leading medical specialists, and enables them to make medical decisions with confidence,” says Graham Hill, executive manager Life Distribution at Asteron Life. “Like insurance, the service is really about being there for people when it matters.”


Hill says that in the current Covid-19 environment, mental health support and the ability to get expert medical advice from your own home is particularly relevant.


Mike Morris, the country manager of Best Doctors has said “This year has shown us that virtual care is incredibly important and effective. There has never been a better time to offer people access to virtual care and we’re delighted to be bringing new services to Asteron Life customers.”” 

Asteron Life is offering advisers virtual training sessions. Times available are:

·       09:30am – 10:30am, September, Wednesday 9

·       09:30am – 10:30am, September, Thursday 10

·       09:30am – 10:30am, September, Monday 14

·       09:30am – 10:30am, September, Monday 21

·       09:30am – 10:30am, September, Monday 28


Click here to register

Click here to read more


In other news

RBNZ: Has the Reserve Bank responded differently to upturns and downturns in inflation and economic activity?

FMA: COVID-19 response insights

Financial Advice webinar: Panel Discussion: Obtaining or Updating your Level 5 Qualification in Financial Services


Privacy Act 2020 insights, and more daily news

In a recent Financial Advice NZ webinar, Campbell Featherstone and David Ireland from Dentons Kensington Swan spoke about the implications of the impending changes to the Privacy Act for advisers. The key take away message was that ensuring compliance is also about an adviser’s reputation, their client’s safety and confidence as well as public confidence.

“As part of our webinar series Bring in the Experts, Campbell Featherstone and David Ireland from law firm Dentons Kensington Swan talked about what this piece of legislation means for financial advisers, and the practical steps you can take to ensure your privacy settings are fit for purpose for the new regime.

The overarching message is that being compliant with the new Privacy Act isn’t just about legislation; it’s about your reputation, your clients’ safety and confidence, and public trust in financial services. Let’s dive in.”

Privacy Act 2020 does a number of things including replacing the existing Privacy Act while maintaining the overall principles. Key components of the Act include data minimisation, access expansion, and data breach reporting.

“As you’ll know, the Privacy Act 2020 repeals and replaces the 1993 Act. While the overall principles are mostly unchanged, the ‘refreshed’ version of the law acknowledges that a lot has happened in the past 27 years in the way businesses interact with clients and collect information.

Under the new principle of ‘data minimisation’, all companies – including financial advice businesses – must only collect and keep personal information that is needed (e.g. data related to the advice you provide), for only as long as it is needed (e.g. at least seven years as per FAP licence standard conditions).

The Privacy Act 2020 gives individuals in New Zealand a right to access the personal information you hold about them (with a few exceptions). Importantly, unlike current legislation, the Privacy Commissioner will now have the authority to compel the release of this information (upon the individual’s request) by issuing an ‘access direction’. Failing to comply without a reasonable excuse can result in a fine of up to $10,000. 

Data breach reporting shifts from voluntary to mandatory. It’s important to note that this obligation only concerns ‘notifiable’ privacy breaches. What’s notifiable? Generally speaking, if it’s reasonable to believe that the breach would cause serious harm to an individual, then the breach is ‘notifiable’.

The threshold may not always be clear, so the experts at Dentons Kensington Swan recommended a cautious approach – when in doubt, notify the Privacy Commissioner as soon as possible.” Click here to read more

In other news

FMA: FMA offers investors insight into bonds

Asteron Life: AsteronConnect is being updated to cover options available for all occupations according to the current Underwriting guide

FSC: the FSC has published Code of Conduct guidance, educational materials resource pack, and a facilitator guide

FSC: Risk Management and Implementing a Risk Framework webinar

FSC: Privacy - Reviewing your obligations under the Privacy Act webinar

Deloitte report on the New Zealand life insurance sector

Deloitte's report on the New Zealand life insurance sector provides a comprehensive overview of the structural differences between the New Zealand environment and the markets with which it is often compared. It provides context for the comparisons that are inevitably made as part of the debate over issues such as efficiency, commission payments, claims ratios, and channel mix. Rather than give quantitative answers to challenges - such as concerns about the level of commissions - it seeks first to explain the situation. Some assertions are made, usually about the possible causes of some features of the market, but refreshingly, without advocating for any particular prescription. Except for one: the report suggests caution. I think that is wise. Dramatic changes have been made to the Australian life insurance sector. It appears to be much the worse for them. In a sector where contracts are commitments for decades of cover, often with fixed terms, and sometimes with fixed premiums, it seems wise to exercise caution. Anyone writing a background paper for a strategy session would do well to set this as background reading or use the issues as a checklist for their decision-screens. What solutions you may bring to each of the issues, that will be up to you. Link: https://www2.deloitte.com/nz/en/pages/financial-services/articles/deloitte-issues-paper-life-insurance-sector.html#  

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

7 Sept 2020 – Dentons Kensington Swan advised that a number of existing exemptions relating to brokers and financial advisers have been extended so that the expiry of each coincides with the commencement of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (‘FSLAA’) on 15 March 2021. The notices, all dated 27 August 2020, are as follows:

  • Financial Markets Conduct (Offers of Financial Products Through Authorised Financial Advisers Supplying Personalised DIMS) Exemption Notice 2020n (Effective 6 Nov 2020)
  • Financial Advisers (Non-NZX Brokers—Client Money) Exemption Amendment Notice 2020 (Effective 30 Sept 2020)
  • Financial Advisers (NZX Brokers—Client Money and Client Property) Exemption Notice 2020 (Effective 1 Dec 2020)

Asteron Life offer customers access to updated Best Doctors, and more daily news

Asteron Life has announced that it will be offering customers the option to access medical advice online and over-the-phone. Eligible customers are those with an existing Asteron Life disability insurance, their children, partners, parents and parents-in-law can all access the service. Please refer to the table below on who are eligible and who are not.

Click here to register for a webinar on Best Doctors

On sale:

Personal Insurance Business Insurance Employee Insurance

Income Protection Cover

Mortgage and Living Cover

Workability Cover

Business Disability Cover

Farmers Disability Cover

Business Expenses Cover

Income Protection Cover







Off sale:

Qualifying legacy products Qualifying legacy covers

Income Protection (all versions)


Key Person

Business Expenses

Personal Insurance:

  • Mortgage & Rent Cover


  • Mortgage Protection Insurance - Disability


  • Farmers Disability Cover
  • Business Expenses Cover


  • Income Protection
  • Business Income Protection

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

4 Sept 2020 – The FMA released a consultation paper on the proposed Auditor Regulation Act (Prescribed Minimum Standards and Conditions for Licensed Auditors and Registered Audit Firms) Notice 2020, intended to replace two previous notices proposed to be revoked. Submissions close on 21 Sept 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/consultation/consultation-prescribed-min-standards-conditions-licensed-auditors-registered-audit-firms/

2 Sept 2020 – FMA issued a warning that it is aware of a case where scammers have been impersonating the FMA while operating a scam relating to money remittance services. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/warnings-and-alerts/fma-impersonated-in-suspected-money-remittance-scam/

3 Sept 2020 – Deloitte issued a paper commissioned by Partners Life exploring observations made in the RBNZ Bulletin, which provided commentary around the profitability of New Zealand’s life insurers, the value for money of life insurance, and life insurers’ ability to meet minimum capital requirements.


3 Sept 2020 – The Commerce Commission announced that it has signed a multilateral framework enhancing international cooperation on competition enforcement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Competition Bureau of the Government of Canada, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Federal Trade Commission.


3 Sept 2020 – FMA update released which included the following new material:

  • The release of three short videos for consumers about getting financial advice featuring Investor Capability Manager Gillian Boyes together with a related Spinoff article. Related weblinks at
  • World Investor Week 2020, starting Monday, 5 October.

Related weblinks at https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/getting-financial-advice/ and https://thespinoff.co.nz/money/12-08-2020/everything-youve-always-wanted-to-know-about-financial-advisers/

Cool insurtech developments

I like to check out cool new insurtech developments. The first two below are not just cool, but actually operating and relevant to our market: 

The first one is Quashed.co.nz which offers consumers a way to corral all their insurance information in one place. This helps manage renewals, amounts, and sharing information with those that need it. Plus you can quickly spot cover gaps. It's the manila folder re-imagined as a 21st century file for all things insurance. 


The second is XY Adviser network. This is social media but only for financial advisers. A local adviser recommended it to me and I have enjoyed occasionally dipping into the questions and answers that people bring up. There is a wealth of support available here - all for free. There is a huge amount of fresh air too, because although there are many New Zealand advisers on the network, there are many more Australian advisers. There are relevant experiences to share all around. 

XY adviser

The last is not available to New Zealanders, and has little to do with life and health insurance, but I include it because it is cool, and is being developed by a friend of mine. It shows what can be achieved with some fresh thinking. Hillridge Technology offers crop insurance - but with technology crushing the whole process of applying, managing, and claiming. They have recently secured reinsurance and are at an exciting stage in their development.