Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 26 April 2017

Product Updates

CommInsure Total Care Plan Super product update
CommInsure has made some changes to its product disclosure statement (PDS) regarding the trustee transfer of its Total Care Plan Super product from Colonial Mutual Superannuation to Colonial First State Investments Limited, and released some product enhancements to the Total Care Plan Super product, all effective from 1 April 2017. Enhancements include: 

  • Fifteen per cent Rollover Rebate (formerly Renewal Reward) is now calculated on the current year's premium, instead of the prior year's premium, meaning policyholders receive their rebate at commencement of the policy
  • Commission paid on these super policies is now based on gross premium (prior to rollover premium rebates are applied)
  • Superannuation members using fund premiums taken from a rollover from a FirstChoice Super account can pay monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually
  • New Total Care Plan Super members can only make non-lapsing death benefit nominations

Asteron Life introducing discounts
Asteron Life is rewarding good health even further with several life insurance discounts for eligible clients. Some clients will be able to save up to a quarter of their premiums by answering lifestyle questions. The healthy life option can save new clients 10 per cent on stepped life and total and permanent disability (TPD) cover; the healthy plus option may present another 10 per cent on stepped life cover; and when bundled with income protection or business expenses cover, another five per cent discount applies to all lump sum cover. 

Challenger launches advisory tool
Challenger has added an advice tool to its toolbox - a retirement illustrator for advisers to demonstrate the way multiple products work to generate income. The Retirement Illustrator divides income sources into layers to help clients see where their retirement savings can be allocated and the outcomes. 

Zurich launches new adviser app
Zurich has released ZLife Mobile, an app that allows advisers to receive notifications regarding events occurring in their clients' accounts, like renewals, lapses, cancellations and client account detail changes. 

Company Updates

New 'buy my clients' marketplace launched
A new online marketplace has been developed for the buying and selling of financial advisory clientele without using a business broker. Buy My Clients (www.buymyclients.com.au) allows the posting of books of business, with possible matches made online and secure messaging available for interested parties. 

Investment consortium buys majority stake in Focus Financial network
The Focus Financial network of financial advisory firms has had a majority stake purchased by an investment consortium led by Stone Point Capital and KKR. 

Regulatory Updates

Parliamentary Committee says misconduct should be published
The second report published by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics has recommended that ASIC publish a report on financial advice industry misconduct. The report would include specific data sets on misconduct by AFSL holders and their (found guilty) advisers. Additionally, it was proposed that any adviser misconduct be reported to other clients of that adviser immediately.