Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 6 February 2018

Product Updates

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AIA Australia's wellness program launched, policy fees waived
AIA Australia has launched a wellness program for cancer patients in partnership with Swiss Re and rehabilitation services provider IPAR. The new initiative, RESTORE CaRe Positivum, will be tested as a pilot program for 100 REST Industry Super members. The program focuses on overcoming barriers to getting back to work, and will use AIA Australia’s mental health program RESTORE CaRe as a base.

AIA Australia will waive up to $400 in fees for clients taking out new Priority Protection policies and joining the Vitality program until the end of March. The insurer will waive the $82.53 policy fee and the $120 annual AIA Vitality fee for the first two years of the policy.

Company Updates

MBS Insurance joint venture
MBS Insurance, a Sydney-based risk specialist practice, has partnered with HLB Mann Judd Sydney. This partnership will allow HLB to offer life insurance services through their newly-formed HLB Insurance Services.

Advice firm offers life insurance
Hewison Private Wealth will offer new and existing clients life, total and permanent disability, trauma, and income protection insurance, free from commissions. Clients will pay an annual fee-for-service comprising ongoing reviews, implementation of advice, additional facilitation of claims, and alterations when changes are necessary.

New life insurance retailer
One of Australia’s leading online consumer brands, Kogan, will offer life insurance and funeral insurance policies in partnership with life insurance distributer Greenstone Financial Services.  

Global alliance formed by insurtech associations
A new alliance has been formed - Global InsurTech Alliance (GITA) - founded by Insurtech Australia, Insurtech Asia, Insurtech London, and FinTechNZ with the goal of facilitating international insurtech collaboration.

OnePath Life purchased by Zurich
Zurich Financial Services Australia is to buy OnePath Life for $2.85 billion from ANZ. This purchase will make Zurich Australia’s largest retail life insurer by in-force premium. This deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Integrity Life moves into retail
A new entrant into the life insurance sector, Integrity Life, will offer retail life insurance products through financial advisers following the acquisition of QBE Life.

Electronic medical certificates adopted by BT
BT has adopted the use of electronic medical certificates (ecerts) as a way to simplify the claims process for claimants and their doctors. The ecerts are processed by a secure insurtech platform, and can be generated by doctors, being stored in existing medical software.

Medical specialist board created by TAL
TAL has appointed a medical specialist advisory board to review medical definitions and issue guidance around medical treatments. According to the statement, the board currently covers respiratory conditions, neuropsychology, oncology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, psychiatry, neurology, and cardiology.

Regulatory Updates

Commonwealth FP licence conditions update
Under additional licence conditions imposed on Commonwealth Financial Planning and Financial Wisdom by ASIC, a review must be carried out on all advice given to customers of five former advisers. Compensation will be paid where customers have suffered loss.

Propositions to give ASIC power to ban products
The Federal Government has proposed giving ASIC the power to ban products and prevent their release to consumers in draft legislation. The proposed legislation, titled Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power – Draft Legislation, would allow ASIC to intervene in financial product distribution where a significant consumer detriment risk is identified.

ASIC reviews insurance advice
Ten per cent of the 200 financial planning client files reviewed by ASIC were considered to have serious concerns over life insurance arrangements. ASIC is most concerned about advice that led to clients changing life insurance arrangements resulting in exclusions or loadings being applied.

FSC requiring three insurers on APLs
A new standard for life insurance approved product lists (APL) has been released by the Financial Services Council (FSC), which will require all members providing financial advice to offer a minimum of three life insurance providers on APLs. The finalised standard commenced on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2018 and will become compulsory from 1 July 2018.