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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

October 21st, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Accountants question membership over blanket ban
The blanket ban on commissions in insurance will cause members of the major Australian professional accounting bodies to reconsider their membership if it begins to outweigh client benefits, an industry executive said.

Bravura rated a top 100 technology vendor
Australian-based financial services software provider Bravura has this week been named as one of only two Australian companies among the world’s top 100 technology vendors by a key US publication. Bravura launched its next-generation wealth management platform, Sonata, at the end of 2010 to provide a single administration solution for life insurance, trust, pension/annuity, group superannuation/pension and UK wrap.

Software set to provide the missing link for financial planners
With major legislative change set to occur, it is up to software providers to make life easier for financial planners. Andrew Tsanadis discovers that the role technology and new media are playing in the financial planning industry today is unprecedented.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

October 8th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Most funds to offer default IP for MySuper
More than half of Australian superannuation funds will offer default income protection in their MySuper offers, according to a survey released at the recent AIA Australia Group Insurance Summit held in Sydney.

TAL’s bolsters direct to consumer team
TAL Direct, a division of life insurance company TAL, has appointed Dave Hunt as chief marketing officer.

TAL Direct appoints marketing head
TAL Direct, a division of life insurance company TAL (formerly known as TOWER Australia), has appointed Dave Hunt as chief marketing officer.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

October 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

One good churn deserves another
Outsider now accepts that Clearview chief executive Simon Swanson always does his homework before participating in an industry event.

Metlife appoints head of group pricing
MetLife Insurance has named Adam Fusca as head of group pricing in Australia. Prior to his new role, he worked at Tal where he held the role as head of group insurance products and pricing.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

September 24th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Investors without financial advisers make bad decisions
Only 45% of the middle class would seek financial advice for complex decisions, yet two-thirds have made at least one “really bad financial decision” – costing them thousands. The federation’s report found that most middle class respondents rate their ability as “excellent” or “good” to make decisions on a wide variety of financial issues, while 63% rated highly their ability to save for retirement, and 66% rated highly their ability to purchase life insurance (66%).

Insurers key to stamping out churn: Summers
The solution to Australia’s insurance churn issue is in the hands of life companies, according to the former chair of My Adviser. Australia’s life insurance providers must develop a new generation of fee-for-service insurance products and adopt a stringent replacement of product protocol if the practice of churning is to be stamped out, an industry executive has said.

Hard knock life? Trauma Insurance
IT IS one of the ironies of life that we take care to insure against unlikely events, yet ignore protecting ourselves from some of the most common and serious illnesses that can occur. Fortunately, there is now insurance available that pays a lump sum on the diagnosis of a serious illness – trauma insurance.

Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

September 17th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

OnePath’s Trauma Premier a winner for offering plenty of choices
When competitors ‘zig’, OnePath tends to ‘zag’ and it has worked for the company once again, with its Trauma Premier cover getting the top spot in this year’s Money Management/Dexx&r Adviser Choice Risk Award for trauma products.

Brokers: how to solve our public perception crisis
Three leading Australian insurance brokers tell Insurance Business how to tackle the public perception problem that insurance brokers are simply not to be trusted…
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

September 3rd, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Suncorp consolidates on IT Building Blocks
Suncorp is ramping up work on a second modernisation program after bedding down its three-year Building Blocks program ahead of schedule. Building Blocks aimed to simplify Suncorp’s banking and insurance businesses by removing duplicate CRM, HR, finance, claims, and pricing systems with an annual savings target of $235 million from 2013. Pancino said the company planned to consolidate 14 insurance policy mainframe systems into one, while re-engineering platforms to support a 2.5-year-old push to drive more life insurance sales through direct channels.

Why insurance is critical when SMSFs borrow to buy property
Damian Revell explains the importance of insuring the members when a SMSF borrows to buy property and assesses the policy ownership options. Many self-managed super funds (SMSFs) that have used a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) to acquire a property have little or no other assets in the fund.

Crescent Capital lifts bid for ClearView to 55c a share
AUSTRALIAN private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners today lifted its $245 million takeover offer for listed financial services firm ClearView Wealth, a person familiar with the matter said.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

August 26th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

ClearView takeover bid ‘wholly inadequate’
Mid-tier life insurer ClearView Wealth has urged shareholders to reject a $220 million takeover bid from Crescent Capital Partners, labelling the private equity offer as “inadequate” and substantially undervalues the company.

SELF-MANAGED SUPER’S HOUSE OF HORRORS
The 867,000 members of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are a pretty independent lot. They’ve foregone the services of public-offer superannuation funds in preference for trusting their accountant or financial planner and backing their own abilities. However, it seems many of them are foregoing insurance as well – especially those that have been advised by accountants – and in so doing may be putting their nest egg at risk. Only about 13 per cent of SMSF members have life insurance through their funds.

Brokers credited for Suncorp’s strong results
Suncorp has reported a rise of nearly 60% in its net annual profit and was quick to credit the involvement of brokers for the success of its Commercial Insurance (CI) business. Net profit for the 2012 financial year came in at $724 million, compared to $453 million last year. Profit for the insurance division was $493 million, with life insurance earning $251 million, and the banking arm just $26 million – down from $84 million last year.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

August 20th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Challenger suffers 43% FY profit slide
VOLATILE investment markets have pushed Challenger’s full year profit down 43 per cent, but the financial services group is confident it can improve earnings in fiscal 2013. Chief executive Brian Benari said ongoing volatility affected Challenger’s statutory profit because life insurance accounting standards required the statutory net profit result include movements in the value of assets and liabilities.

Churning up a heated debate
There are mixed views and few facts concerning precisely how much “churn” occurs within the life/risk sector, and how many advisers might be deemed serial offenders where the “churning” of policies is concerned.

Life readies for new cap increases
Insurers are preparing for the impact of the Life and General Insurance Capital (LAGIC) reforms, increasing their capital reserves. Challenger yesterday revealed that the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) had proposed transition arrangements to its life business, for the new capital requirements that will be required after APRA’s review.
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Life Insurance Weekly News Roundup

August 13th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Life Insurance Weekly News Roundup)

Churning: FPA picks holes in FSC plans, fails to rule out clawbacks
FPA CEO Mark Rantall has told Wealth Professional that the FSC shouldn’t penalise financial advisers for acting in their clients’ best interests, but he hasn’t ruled out clawbacks. On the controversial issue of clawbacks, Rantall pointed out that most life insurers already clawback 100% of an adviser’s commission should their client’s policy lapse within 12 months. Whether this provision – and the FSC’s suggested additional 75% clawback for lapses within two years and 50% clawback for lapses within three – are reasonable is another question.

Bidding War for ClearView?
Suncorp Limited (ASX: SUN) is rumoured to be considering a rival bid for ClearView Wealth (ASX: CVW) according to reports in the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

August 7th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Should conflicted financial advisers be called agents?
If you operate under an institutionally owned dealer group, should you be allowed to call yourself a financial adviser rather than a mere agent? Read on for Paragem managing director Ian Knox’s arguments on the subject.

FSC announces new insurance framework
Financial Services Council (FSC) chief executive John Brogden has announced a new life insurance sales policy revolving around the clawback of commissions if a policy lapses in a certain period.

TAL CEO rejects data indemnities
Australia’s major life insurers need to jointly develop a dictionary of common data terms and descriptors, according to the chief executive of major insurer, TAL Limited, Jim Minto.
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