Risk Product, Company, and Regulatory Updates as at 12 July 2016

Product Updates

NESS Super reduces death and TPD premiums by 15 per cent
Industry super fund NESS, the super of choice for the electrical and communications industries, is reducing premiums on death and total and permanent disability (TPD) premiums, by around 15 per cent, without changes to the cover terms. Reductions apply from 1 July 2016 via the fund's insurer, Hannover Life Re. 

TAL updates life cover inside super, new PDS
TAL's Accelerated Protection product disclosure statement (PDS) has been updated as of 1 July 2016 with some updates to TPD insurance inside superannuation products. Changes include:

  • TAL's stand-alone TPD product is now available via the TAL Super Fund
  • Superlink TPD now allows the cancellation of an Own Occupation TPD policy outside super, while retaining Any Occupation TPD policy inside super
  • Quote software now shows commission breakdown by life insured, policy, and benefit
  • After life insurance premiums in the ACT were cancelled, stamp duty rate on life insurance premiums in the ACT are now zero per cent. 

Zurich de-discriminating corporate health insurance policies
Zurich Hong Kong has launched a corporate employee health insurance policy whereby all partners of staff, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation, are now eligible to receive benefits. Zurich is examining its other products to ensure they are inclusive, including home insurance. Companies adopting everyone-friendly health insurance cover include HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Goldman Sachs. 


NZ identifies churners
New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has discovered that a pocket of financial advisers may be churning, reported in its latest sales practices report. There are about 8,200 financial advisers in New Zealand, with 200 meeting the high estimated rate of replacement business criteria. It was estimated that those 200 advisers had 65,000 policies between them, and $110 million in annual premiums. Almost 50 per cent of those premiums were commissions compared to other high-volume advisers. 

FSC delays release of its new Life Insurance Code of Practice
The Financial Services Council (FSC) has extended its release date for the new Life Insurance Code of Practice until October, three months later than anticipated, due to ongoing consultations. The Code will become compulsory for all FSC life insurance members. The 12-month transition will be shortened to account for the extra three months it has taken to develop the Code.