Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 10 June 2017

Product Updates

Zurich updates life insurance suite
Zurich has made some major product updates to its life insurance range. Updates include:

  • The introduction of a new non-occupation based assessment criteria for TPD
  • Rate reductions for term and TPD products
  • Simpler, improved SmartValue bundling discounts
  • Enhancements to the Wealth Protection Suite

AMP improves adviser platform
AMP has improved its life insurance platform. Enhancements include:

  • A new inbuilt 'buy back' feature inside AMP Elevate insurance platform to allow customers to reinstate linked life cover a year after a TPD claim without extra medical information.
  • Standard income protection plans inside superannuation may now be linked to plans outside of super - this means customers can have agreed value income protection insurance but pay for most of this via their superannuation balance. This is currently available for PremierLink IP policies. 
  • Standalone TPD cover has been introduced under superannuation and SMSF ownership where the TPD sum insured is higher than the life insurance sum through superannuation. This incorporates a $10,000 death benefit. 
  • AMP Elevate's product disclosure statement has been simplified and policy documents added.

Company Updates

MLC partners with international claims manager
MLC Life Insurance has partnered with international claims management service, ClaimVantage, to provide cloud-based automated claims processing. MLC is now involved in setting up its retail income protection and TPD claims via ClaimFirst, its claims management platform.  

AIA Australia pilot phase for new health insurance brand commences
AIA Australia has named the licensees that are participating in its pilot phase of a new health insurance brand, myOwn, that puts health and life insurance into one offering. Licensees include Bombora Advice, Synchron, Aon, Sentry Group, Sentinel Private Wealth and Integrity Financial Planners. 

    Prime Financial buys another practice
    Prime Financial Group has acquired its 35th practice, Brisbane accounting and wealth management firm Altezza Partners. 

    Link Group buys automated advice company
    Link Group has bought Super Blueprint software, an automated investment, retirement adequacy, superannuation and insurance advice application. 

    New online platform for underwriting agencies and insurers
    A new online platform has been launched, Insurr, providing updated product and contact information for every underwriting agency and insurer in Australia for placing specialty risk. The platform is free to use. 

    Regulatory Updates

    New international certification for life insurance and annuity professionals
    A discussion was held at the MDRT annual meeting whereby a new 'gold standard' for financial advisers worldwide was proposed, allowing qualifying advisers to access the designation of 'Life and Annuity Certified Professional' (LACP). Currently, this is proposed in the United States only, but the plan is to extend this designation across the globe. 

    ASIC releases commission caps and clawback instrument
    As part of the life insurance advice reforms, ASIC has released an instrument setting commission caps and clawback amounts. The amendment allows for commissions to be paid for the sale of life insurance and sets limits on the commissions, and requires amounts to be paid back if the policy is cancelled within two years (clawback). View the full documentation here: ASIC Corporations (Life Insurance Commissions) Instrument 2017/510

    Investment Advisers Alliance AFS licence cancelled
    ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Sydney company, Investment Advisers Alliance Pty Limited, for failing to lodge financial statements and auditors reports for four years running.