Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 21 September 2016

Product Updates

AMP enhances Elevate Online
AMP has simplified and enhanced its online insurance quoting and application process, Elevate Online. Advisers can now use tablets for quotes and applications, along with comparisons of insurance scenarios with the new interactive interface. Applications can be tracked online. 

Macquarie maintains premiums after Zurich move
All life insurance products issued by Macquarie Life will have their names changed, but premium rates are to remain the same after Macquarie's life business is transferred to Zurich. FutureWise and Sumo products will continue to be open for new business, but are to be renamed as Zurich FutureWise, Zurich Active, and Zurich Sumo. A new product disclosure statement (PDS) will be issued for each product from 1 October 2016. 

ClearView increases IP premiums
ClearView is to increase income protection premium rates, simplify the premium rating structure, and remove policy fees from all cover types to prepare for new commission rules. A small increase is to be seen for large sum insured discounts for lump sum cover and adjustments to be made on base premium rates. The changes apply to all in-force policies from their policy anniversary after 21 October 2016. ClearView's LifeSolutions product suite has also seen an upgrade - clients can now link income protection cover inside and outside super. A new benefit is now available - Waiver of Premium While Involuntarily Unemployed Benefit, and trauma definitions have been updated. 

Company Updates

MBS Insurance joins forces with Pitcher Partners Sydney
Risk specialist MBS Insurance has entered a joint venture with Pitcher Partners Sydney, creating an insurance advisory service for high-net-worth clients. The venture is named Pitcher Partners Sydney Insurance Services. 

Regulatory Updates

Allegianz AFSL cancelled
Allegianz, a financial advisory firm, has failed to lodge financial statements and auditor reports for several consecutive years, and has thus had its Australian Financial Services licence (AFSL) cancelled, after a six-month suspension. 

Life insurance parliamentary review
A call has been made for a new Parliamentary inquiry was agreed to in the Senate. Senator John Williams requested the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services look at a set of issues, reporting by 30 June 2017. The issues raised include further reforms in the life insurance industry, relative risks and benefits for consumers, unethical practices, sales practices, dispute resolution, the role of ASIC and APRA, and other matters.