Risk Product and Company Updates as at 19 April 2016

Product Updates

Zurich Upgrades Adviser Flipchart App
Zurich has upgraded its Adviser Flipchart app to now offer users a more engaging experience. Zurich is describing the upgrade as a 'gamer changer', designed for advisers to help clients understand and engage with their insurance decision using walk-through scenarios. 

Company Updates

Peer-to-Peer Insurance Company Australian Launch
Friendsurance is a peer-to-peer insurance company entering Australia this year, with a business model that relies on customers with the same insurance types forming a pool. Part of the premiums are paid into a cash-back pool, and if no claims are made during the year, the group gets their cash back the following January. Friendsure has 80 staff in its Berlin office, and over 100,000 clients. A more local venture, PeerCover, was launched in New Zealand last year. Read our article on peer-to-peer insurance.  

AZ NGA Acquires Fortnum-aligned Advisory Group
AZ Next Generation Advisory (NGA) has acquired Sydney-based Priority Advice Group (PAG). Contracts will preserve existing management. The terms include a 47 per cent share swap for AZ NGA shares, with the remaining 53 per cent of capital being paid to the founder team over a decade. 

Infocus Acquires Another New Practice
Infocus Wealth Management has bought another financial advisory practice, making four purchases in two years. This is part of ongoing succession plans. 

Regulatory Updates

Government Releases Draft Regulations on Commissions
Draft regulations have been released by the Federal Government regarding changes to commission legislation. The legislation includes circumstances whereby the clawback provisions do not apply, for example in the event of a client suicide, premium reductions for health reasons, and the application of discounts and rebates by the insurer. There are also technical revisions for grandfathering arrangements - advisers can keep their current rate of commissions on policies sold before 1 July 2016, with reduced commissions applicable afterwards.