Risk Product and Company Updates at 8 March 2016

Product Updates

AMP Elevate
AMP's Elevate has introduced new hybrid commissions, paying initial commissions of 88 per cent and ongoing commission of 22 per cent. 

Asteron, Zurich, Macquarie FutureWise  and Sumo Policy Fees Indexed
Policy fees have been indexed by:

  • Asteron 1.5 per cent
  • Zurich  1.7 per cent
  • Macquarie FutureWise 1.5 per cent
  • Macquarie Sumo 3 per cent

Company Updates

Zurich to Buy Macquarie Life
Macquarie Group is to sell its life insurance business, Macquarie Life, to Zurich Australia, subject to regulatory and court approvals. Macquarie Life products will be offered to new customers under the Macquarie brand up until the sale is completed, and will then be transferred to Zurich. 

CommInsure's CEO Apologises after Journalistic Investigation
Ian Narev, CommInsure's chief executive, has apologised publicly after a Four Corners and Fairfax investigation alleged that CommInsure knew that it's trauma cover's heart attack definitions were out of date in terms of modern medical thinking, but the insurer continued to deny claims, in breach of the company's legal duty to act in utmost good faith. 

AZ NGA Acquires Wealthwise
AZ Next Generation Advisory (NGA) has purchased its third CBA-aligned financial advice practice, Wealthwise. Wealthwise was formerly operating under the Financial Wisdom licence.

New Risk Offerings

MyPlanner Australia has New Group Insurance Offer for SMSFs
MyPlanner, a financial planning dealer group, has joined forces with AIA and group insurance administrator AGI to provide self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees and accountants with cover. 

Risk Awards

PFL and AFA Life Company of the Year Awards
The Plan For Life (PFL) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) have announced the winners in this year's Life Company of the Year Awards.

Award winners:

  • Overall Platinum Award - BT Financial Group
  • Service Quality Award - Zurich
  • Term/TPD Award - TAL (Life Insurance Plan)
  • Trauma Award - TAL (Critical Illness Premier Plan)
  • Income Protection Award - BTFG (Income Protection Plus Plan)
  • Risk Product Innovation Award - MLC (On Track)
  • Investment Bond Award - CommInsure
  • Overall Annuity Provider of the Year - Challenger
  • Long Term Income Stream Award - Challenger
  • Annuity and Income Stream Innovation Award - Challenger (Aged Care Planning Course UNSW Business School)
  • Underwriting and New Business Team of the Year - Zurich
  • Claims Team of the Year - BTFG
  • Business Support Services and BDM Team of the Year - Zurich

Risk-Related Regulatory Updates

LIF Legislation Referred to Senate Committee
The Federal Government has introduced the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) legislation into parliament and it has been referred to the Senate Committee. The legislation is set to address conflicting arrangements such as remuneration, within the life insurance industry, exempted in the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms. Proposed changes include a three-year phase-down of upfront commissions, and a two-year commission clawback period.  The reporting date is 15 March. 

Key FoFA Amendments Passed by Parliament
Key amendments have been made to the FoFA reforms. The Corporations Amendment (Financial Advice Measures) Bill extends the time allowed for advisers to offer opt-in renewal notices and fee disclosure from 30 days to 60 days. Insurance products and non-cash payments are to be treated as any other 'simple' financial product.