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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

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

Optimistic outlook for industry growth: Research
New research from AIA Australia, has revealed that advisers are overwhelmingly optimistic on the 12 month outlook for the industry, seeing the most growth coming from families and the self employed.

Online life-insurance policies are uninformed
Alternative channels to accessing life insurance not involving a financial adviser present a key risk to Australians taking up policies as there is little to no advice being given. “Anyone can go online and take out an insurance policy – but is it exactly what they need, are there any pitfalls?” AMP head of product on-sale John Ashton told InvestorDaily.

Zurich expands Life and Investment team
Zurich Financial Services Australia has appointed Greg Della to the role of chief life actuary. Della will be reporting to Raf Uy, chief financial officer.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

May 14th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Dig deep before buying funeral insurance plan
Have you noticed how many ads there are out there for funeral insurance? It can take as few as six years for the premiums to be more costly than the funeral itself. Funeral insurance is just another form of life insurance. You are paying premiums over a period of time to deliver a lump sum at the end of your life.

Pitch life insurance as “peace of mind”
Advisers can improve their approach to selling life insurance by addressing a simple client need, Macquarie Adviser Services head of research says.

Increased superannuation life insurance jeopardises coverage
A significant increase in the number of Australians holding life insurance coverage through their superannuation has corresponded with a drop in the number of people holding a stand-alone policy, potentially exacerbating the insurance gap, according to Macquarie Life.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

April 16th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Financial advisers want more help with social media
Financial advisers are keen to further embrace social media but many would like more training in how best to use it, according to a recent Zurich Australia survey. There may not be a full appreciation of the kind of apps that are already out there, which includes information or note gathering apps, sales tools, calculators, and life insurance quoting apps.

Ask Noel
If a husband and wife die together and leave the contents of a large superannuation to be divided among various relatives, what sort of tax would the government impose on super funds left to the beneficiaries? What is the best way to minimise this tax?

A financial future to safeguard everyone
When the Future of Financial Advice legislation comes into effect there will be two classes of investors in Australia, those with old money and those with new. People with old money will have to make it work harder as their returns will continue to be eroded by commissions. Those with new money will have their investment returns protected by FOFA.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

April 9th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Apple rules limit innovation
Recently minted financial services business ClearView had wanted to put a link to its website on its recently released mobile app. But Apple, which hosts the app on iTunes, wanted to take a clip of the ticket on any insurance that was then sold.

MLC in medical partnership
MLC has entered into a partnership with Australian medical software provider, Zedmed to launch Practice Management Essentials. The insurance module powered by MLC is the third module of Practice Management Essentials developed by Zedmed. The module illustrates the benefits of aligning processes between insurers and the medical industry so that life insurance applications and claim assessments are managed with greater timeliness, efficiency and accuracy to better service patients.

Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

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

Get ready for ‘FoFA on steroids’ if you’re an accountant and adviser
The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) plans to forge ahead and introduce a new mandatory standard ‘APES 230 Financial Advisory Services’ once the dust settles surrounding FoFA.

ASIC survey results strengthen need for FoFA reforms
Just days after the reforms’ passage, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission released its anonymous “shadow shopping” survey of financial planners, and its lacklustre results highlighted the need for improved financial advice.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

March 25th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

ASIC, FPA, and FOS address shadow shopper report
The FPA, ASIC and FOS have partnered to deliver a series of educational workshops for advisers to combat issues found in an upcoming ASIC Shadow Shop survey.

How commission-only selling ruined the sales profession
The United States has been responsible for many great innovations but not all have turned out the way the inventors, architects or innovators intended. One such miscalculation was the introduction of “commission-only” salespeople.

BT Insurance upgrades offer
“Underinsurance in Australia occurs because for many people traditional life insurance products don’t meet their needs. What we have done is create more flexible products that reflect the changes taking place in the market,” said Phil Hay, head of life insurance.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

March 18th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Zurich Australia touts ‘experience-oriented’ architecture
Zurich Financial Services is looking towards analytics, mobile services, cloud computing and APIs in a bid to win customer loyalty through improved, personalised services. Speaking at an FST conference last week, Zurich enterprise architect Sid Sanyal described the challenge of winning and retaining customers to life insurance – a “discretionary buy”.

Life insurance market should welcome regulatory changes: PwC
The upcoming Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) standards for life insurance companies should be welcomed by the industry as an opportunity to embed better practices, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Scott Fergusson.
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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

March 11th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Shonky planner banished for life
A Sydney planner has been banned for life from giving advice after being accused of masterminding over 60 insurance policy frauds.

Australians unready for the worst-case scenario: CommInsure
The CommInsure Life Insurance Survey, which gauged the attitudes of 1,220 Australians aged 18-64, found that 70 per cent of respondents would be forced to sell their personal assets – including their family home – in the event of a death or terminal illness.

Synchron accuses FSC of misrepresenting churn figures‎
Dealer group Synchron has accused life insurance companies and the Financial Services Council (FSC) of deeming all discontinued life policies as churn, and presenting figures as such to the Federal Government.

MLC Insurance gets upgraded
As part of the product upgrade from MLC, the two insurance offers have received five new features including a 12 month Life Cover Buy Back option which allows customers to restore their life insurance benefit in the event of a TPD claim, double benefits which restore a customer’s life insurance benefit in the event of a TPD or Critical Illness claim and Type 1 diabetes coverage.

Life insurance profits up 65 per cent in December
Life insurance industry profit jumped 65 per cent from $433 million to $714 million in the December quarter, according to the latest quarterly life insurance report from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

March 5th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News - (Comments Off on Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup)

Asteron revamps technology platform
Asteron Life has spent $10 million on an overhaul of its technology platform as part of a move to reduce costs to its financial advisers and end clients.

Zurich updates Life Risk product
Zurich Financial Services has made further enhancements to its life risk product which it said is aimed at speeding up the insurance process for advisers and their clients.

AIA Australia premiums rise 21%
Life insurer AIA Australia has unveiled premium growth of 21 per cent and a rise in total assets of 27 per cent for fiscal 2011 as it reaped the benefits of increased investment in its products and services.

PJC calls for life insurance shadow shop
The PJC has called on ASIC to conduct shadow shopping surveys on financial advice linked to Australia’s life insurance sector.

Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

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

Asteron Life launches adviser friendly package
Life insurance specialist Asteron Life has launched a new insurance package aimed at making life easier for independent financial advisers in the life risk business.

Life companies take adviser needs ‘seriously’
The AFA’s Richard Klipin said life insurance companies were taking the needs of advisers more seriously, and delivering the goods on products and services.

Macquarie Life appoints national underwriting manager
Macquarie Life has appointed Marcello Bertasso to the newly created role of National Underwriting Manager. Bertasso has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, 10 of which he spent in reinsurance.

ClearView eyes IFA expansion
ClearView Wealth has signalled its intention to pursue further opportunities within Australia’s IFA market.

Insurance insult
A gay Melbourne couple who were forced to undergo blood and medical tests as part of an application for income protection insurance have labelled the requirements ‘invasive’ and ‘insensitive’.

CommInsure executive joins Zurich
CommInsure chief financial officer and chief life actuary Greg Della has departed the group to join rival Zurich Australia. Zurich Australia life and investments chief executive Colin Morgan told InvestorDaily Della would return to Zurich in the role of chief life actuary for Zurich’s life and investments business. He will start with the firm in May.