Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 11 June 2019

Product Updates

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TAL launches Health Sense Plus
Eligible TAL Accelerated Protection policyholders can be rewarded by additional lump sum premium discounts of five per cent when linked with proactive health screening using TAL Health Sense Plus.

Health Sense Plus is an enhancement to TAL Health Sense, which is designed to encourage policyholders to get screening for preventative diseases.

Company Updates

Spectrum Wealth Advisers closes its doors early
Freedom Insurance Group is closing Spectrum Wealth Advisers earlier than planned because it cannot meet its key person requirements of its Australian financial services (AFS) licence after a number of staff left. About 30 financial advisers will be looking for a new job as a result.

Freedom announced two months ago that it would cease operations after the company sells its administration business to Genus Life Insurance Services for $5 million. Freedom had a shocking year after Royal Commission revelations that the insurer had sold a life insurance policy to a man living with an intellectual disability.

Zurich is now the proud owner of OnePath Life
Zurich has completed its acquisition of OnePath Life, ANZ’s life insurance business, after announcing the purchase in December 2017. Over 500 employees have joined Zurich.

The brand will stay intact with OnePath Life and Zurich products competing and complementing one another in the market.

FPA launches free health and wellbeing program for advisers
In a bid to support its members mental health, the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has launched a free program offering phone, online or in-person counselling. The FPA says members are under increasing stress and uncertainty with unprecedented changes in the financial planning landscape.

The new education and regulatory standards deadlines are in place, with tens of thousands of advisers having to do extra study and exams. FPA Wellbeing can be accessed via the FPA member centre.

OnePath educates staff in mental health
Two hundred claims staff, underwriting managers and customer-facing team members have already received mental health and wellness training. The training includes 20 sessions with SuperFriend to increase understanding and awareness of mental illness.

The goal is for OnePath to become known as the best in the insurance business when it comes to mental health.

Regulatory Updates

ClearView publishes research paper on commissions
A research paper published by ClearView to support risk commissions staying put says that changing adviser remuneration to remove commissions will not result in the quality of advice improving or see better client outcomes.

The whitepaper, Advice Culture and Remuneration: The Shameless Truth About Life Insurance Commissions, says that damage to the industry will occur. Problems noted were costs increases for advisers and their clients, a crippling of the advice industry, and deeper social security problems for the Government.

Download the full paper at ClearView’s website