Declining intentions to take out health insurance

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Jan-19

The latest Roy Morgan ‘Private Health Insurance Intender Profile Report’ September 2018 shows that 1.31 million Australians who currently do not have private health insurance intend to take it out over the next 12 months. This represents the lowest number over the last five years and is down by 17.1% (from 1.58 million) from the intention level over the same period 12 months ago. In order to improve the chances of converting health insurance intenders to fund members there is a need to understand in-depth who they are and what drives them. Intenders are dominated by the under-35 age groups with 55.4%. The 14-to-24 segment is the largest group with 28.4%, followed by the 25-to-34 year olds with 27.0%. Both of these age groups are well over-represented compared to their overall population share.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Why have private health insurance?

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Jan-19

New research by Roy Morgan shows that 70.9% of Australians aged 14+ with health insurance agree that ‘above all else, private health insurance is about knowing that you will be able to cover the cost of big medical expenses if they arise’. This has declined from 77.5% over the past four years, but it remains the top priority for fund members. The number of people who agree that ‘health insurance gives me peace of mind’ has fallen from 74.5% to 68.1% over the last four years. The biggest drop in agreement over the last four years was for ‘it is essential to have private health insurance’, which has declined by 10.0% points to 56.2%. Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including detailed questioning of over 8,000 with members of health insurance funds.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Health insurers’ poor prognosis

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 17 & 19 : 15-Jan-19

HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen says that affordability concerns remain an issue for the health insurance sector. Members Own Health Fund CEO Matthew Koce warns that even a small fall in private health insurance membership could have a big impact on the public hospital system, given that 40 per cent of medical procedures are carried out in private hospitals. Dwayne Crombie of Bupa notes that not everyone understands the community-rated health system under which health insurers operate; the system means that costs are spread across all fund members.

CORPORATES
HBF HEALTH LIMITED, MEMBERS OWN HEALTH FUNDS LIMITED, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, THE HOSPITAL CONTRIBUTIONS FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF

Insurers urge caution over hail sales

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 10-Jan-19

Cars that were damaged by a hailstorm that struck Sydney in late December are now being offered by sale by car dealers. However, Youi and Suncorp are among the insurers that have advised consumers to exercise caution when buying hail-damaged cars. They say bargain-hunters should consider factors such as the cost of repairing such vehicles, the likely resale value and whether they will be able to obtain insurance. Both companies have ruled out offering comprehensive insurance for cars that were damaged in the storm.

CORPORATES
SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, YOUI PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED MOTOR INSURERS LIMITED, GIO AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BINGLE.COM PTY LTD

AMP CEO De Ferrari won’t get a new life insurance deal

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 6-Dec-18

Merlon Capital is among the AMP shareholders that oppose the sale of its life insurance business. However, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the $3.3bn deal will proceed, arguing that the wealth manager lacks the global scale to compete with much larger international rivals in the life insurance sector. De Ferrari has also expressed support for AMP’s vertically integrated business model, but says this will be unwound if the final report of the financial services commission recommends it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CREDIT SUISSE AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

AMP’s new CEO starts in the hot seat

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 3-Dec-18

Francesco De Ferrari starts his first day as CEO of AMP on 3 December, having previously been head of Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific private banking business. De Ferrari says he is determined to make the most of the impetus provided by the banking royal commission to bring about change in the way that AMP does business. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital says De Ferrari should give AMP shareholders the opportunity to vote on the proposed sale of the AMP Life division, as well as renegotiating the deal if possible.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE AG, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, ATLAS FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION

AMP digs in as fresh queries arise over insurance arm sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 1-Nov-18

AMP’s acting CEO Mike Wilkins has defended the wealth manager’s $3.45bn deal to sell its life insurance arm, arguing that it is in the best interests of long-term shareholders. He adds that AMP’s board felt that it was appropriate to proceed with the transaction without putting it to a shareholder vote, although Dean Paatsch of proxy advisory firm Ownership Matters believes that the size of the deal means it should have been approved by shareholders. An ASX Limited spokesman has indicated that the deal is unlikely to breach listing rules.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD, ASX LIMITED – ASX ASX

Fundies blast AMP over $3.4b fire sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 31-Oct-18

Allan Gray Australia and Merlon Capital Partners are among the institutional investors that have criticised AMP’s proposal to divest its life insurance business. They believe that the $3.4bn sale price undervalues the life business, and Merlon has flagged the possibility of seeking an extraordinary general meeting to challenge the deal. Merlon has written to AMP arguing that the deal demonstrates a "reckless disregard" for shareholders’ funds, while Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray describes it as a "disastrous deal" for AMP’s shareholders.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE COUNTRYWIDE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, AXA ASIA PACIFIC HOLDINGS LIMITED

AMP implodes as investors flee amid fund outflows

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 26-Oct-18

Wealth manager AMP has advised that its fund outflows totalled $1.5bn in the September quarter, compared with just $243m in the previous corresponding period. Acting CEO Mike Wilkins says lack of fund inflows is a bigger concern than the rise in outflows, adding that the problem is likely to persist until the financial services royal commission delivers its final report. AMP has also announced a $3.3bn deal to sell its life insurance business to Resolution Capital. AMP shares reached a record low on 25 October, reducing its market capitalisation by $2.3bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION CAPITAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

InvoCare and Propel set to win from Hayne royal commission

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 5-Oct-18

The Hayne royal commission has slammed the funeral insurance sector, and has urged the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to use new product intervention powers to close down "junk funeral insurance". Listed funeral companies InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners, which offer only pre-paid funeral contracts, are likely to benefit from the commission’s attack on funeral insurance. InvoCare CEO Martin Earp says funeral insurance does not offer value for money, while Propel CEO Albin Kurti contends funeral insurance ends up costing consumers more when compared to pre-paid contracts.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, INVOCARE LIMITED – ASX IVC, PROPEL FUNERAL PARTNERS LIMITED – ASX PFP