O’Dwyer lashes out at ‘tricky’ insurers

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 21 : 27-Jul-17

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has criticised the way life insurance providers have handled requests by superannuation fund members to opt out of life and disability coverage via their super fund. O’Dwyer says life insurers have been "tricky" regarding the issue of opting out. She also argues that life insurers must demonstrate that the products they offer have value to super fund members, and notes that such coverage may not necessarily be relevant to people under the age of 25.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Government pushes for progress on group life insurance code

Original article by Alice Uribe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 4-Jul-17

The Australian life insurance sector’s new code of conduct took effect in the week ending 30 June 2017. The code will be enforced by an independent committee, but it does not come under a legal or regulatory body. As yet, the code does not cover life insurance within superannuation, something that Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer wants addressed sooner than later. O’Dwyer notes that a working group had been looking at the issue for six months, but with seemingly little progress.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AIA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, FINANCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN LIMITED

Super bodies want wider ban on commissions

Original article by Alice Uribe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 27-Jun-17

The Department of the Treasury is conducting a review of Australia’s Future of Financial Advice regime. The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and Industry Super Australia have used a joint submission to call for the ban on up-front and trailing commissions for life insurance sold within superannuation to be extended to all life insurance sales. They contend that commission-based remuneration structures serve to put the interests of financial planners ahead of their clients.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SUPERANNUATION TRUSTEES, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Satisfaction with risk and life insurance remains the lowest of all major insurance types

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 21-Feb-17

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey has found that satisfaction among Australians aged 14+ who are risk and life insurance policy holders was 67.4% in the year to December 2016, down from 68.8% in 2015. Less than one in four (23.9%) of risk and life policy holders were "very satisfied" with their insurance company. The survey also shows that satisfaction with risk insurance (covering income protection, disability, accident, trauma, etc) in 2016 was only 66.3%, the lowest of all insurance types and a little below the 68.7% for life insurance. Meanwhile, Allianz leads in customer satisfaction among the 13 largest risk and life insurers (75.7%), followed by Insuranceline (75.2%) and Asteron (74.4%).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, INSURANCELINE HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ASTERON PTY LTD

Satisfaction with risk and life insurance declines

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Nov-16

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey has found that satisfaction among Australians aged 14+ with risk and life insurance policies was 67.5 per cent in the year to October 2016, compared with 69.3 per cent during the year to October 2015. The survey also shows that 96.8 per cent of policy holders would be at least "fairly likely" to renew their insurance with their existing company, but only 35.3 per cent would be "extremely likely" to do so. Asteron Life has the highest level of customer satisfaction among the 13 largest risk and life insurers, at 78.1 per cent, ahead of Insuranceline (73.8 per cent) and Allianz (73.2 per cent).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, ASTERON LIFE LIMITED, INSURANCELINE HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AMP LIFE LIMITED, AIA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ONEPATH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SUNCORP INSURANCE AND FINANCE, COMMINSURE, MLC LIMITED, ZURICH AUSTRALIA LIFE INSURANCE LIMITED, REAL INSURANCE

Super-size me: NAB banks on giant new fund

Original article by Michael Bennet
The Australian – Page: 23 : 14-Jul-16

National Australia Bank’s MLC Super Fund has become the nation’s second-largest superannuation fund and the biggest retail fund after five separate funds were amalgamated. The enlarged MLC Super boasts some $A70bn worth of funds under management, and NAB has indicated that rationalising its super funds is likely to result in lower fees for members. The consolidation of its super funds will also enable NAB to separate its super and investment businesses from its life insurance arm, in which a controlling stake has been sold to Nippon Life.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD

Besieged bank vows to improve process

Original article by Michael Bennet
The Australian – Page: 7 : 11-Mar-16

The Commonwealth Bank has promised to thoroughly investigate recent allegations of unethical behaviour at its insurance business. Reports in the media outline allegations of doctors being under pressure to change their diagnoses of life insurance policyholders to match CommInsure’s commercial goals. Superannuation fund HESTA is reviewing its relationship with CommInsure.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMINSURE, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Your insurer likes to watch

Original article by Ruth Liew
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 10-Nov-15

MLC will undertake a pilot program in which selected life insurance customers will be issued with a device that monitors their fitness and sleeping patterns. Participants will be able to receive rewards for improving their health and fitness, such as a discount on their insurance policy. QBE Insurance Group already has a similar reward scheme for car insurance customers who use a tracking device to monitor their driving habits.

CORPORATES
MLC LIMITED, QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX QBE, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, BIG CLOUD ANALYTICS, FITBIT INCORPORATED, NIKE INCORPORATED

Fortnum drops commissions for life advice

Original article by Ruth Liew
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 18-May-15

Fortnum Financial Advisers will abolish upfront commissions on the sale of life insurance policies from 1 July 2015. Its financial planners will instead use either a fee-for-service or hybrid commission model, and executive chairman Ray Miles says there was widespread support for the change among its advisors. Centrepoint Alliance and AMP are among the other groups that have abolished upfront commissions.

CORPORATES
FORTNUM FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, CENTREPOINT ALLIANCE LIMITED – ASX CAF

NAB hires Deloitte ahead of stepping up life division sale

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 20-Nov-14

Financial market analysts estimate that the life insurance business of National Australia Bank (NAB) is worth around $A1.4bn. Deloitte has been hired to advise the banking major on options for the business, which could include selling all or part of it. Ross Curran of the Commonwealth Bank believes that NAB’s life business can be sold if it is offered at an appropriate price. The life business is part of NAB’s MLC division

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, MLC LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, METLIFE INSURANCE LIMITED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AXA ASIA PACIFIC HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, DAI-ICHI LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INCORPORATED, CLSA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD