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nib plots more growth

nib New Zealand says it expects its growth to accelerate and is planning a new adviser offering later this year.

Tuesday, August 25th 2015, 3:53PM 6 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

nib announced a consolidated operating profit of A$81.7 million ($90.4 million) for the year to June 30. That was up 13% on the year before.

Its New Zealand business reported an operating profit of A$5.4 million, down from A$7.4 million in the 2014 year. The company said that was affected by a unique legacy product.But it turned around a decade of policyholder decline and reported net policyholder growth for the year of just under 6%.

About half the growth was from its new, direct channel.

nib’s New Zealand chief executive Rob Hennin said the result was exactly where the company had expected it would be.

“The book we bought off Tower had been in decline for decades. Now in just under two years we have gone from losing 4% of policyholders per year to gaining 6%. I think that’s going to accelerate going forward. A big opportunity for us is the untapped market.”

Recent Health Funds Association (HFANZ) statistics showed an increase in the number of younger consumers with health insurance cover in the June quarter. That was attributed to direct, low-cost policies such as nib’s that cover “everyday” health expenses.

Hennin said the company was focused on three key areas: Working direct with younger consumers who were not already insurance customers, developing its presence in the corporate space and investing and strengthening capability in the adviser channel.

He said nib was not far away from a complete relaunch in the corporate market and would offer a new product targeted at companies who wanted to offer health and medical insurance to their employees.

“A significant segment of the market has been of innovation in the last decade.”

Hennin said nib would be able to offer advisers a “best in class” product and a new initiative before the end of the year that would help to grow the segment. He said the company had launched in New Zealand amid fears it would reject the adviser channel but had proved that incorrect.

Hennin said nib had decided to part ways with industry group HFANZ because of a difference of opinion in outlook for the industry.

Tags: health insurance nib

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Comments from our readers

On 27 August 2015 at 1:49 pm Tash said:
I hope their new "best in class" product excludes their ability to simply change the policy terms and conditions on clients. Nothing can be "best in class" if benefits can simply be removed or reduced on 30 days notice.
On 28 August 2015 at 9:58 am Rob Hennin@nib said:
Hi Tash, Thanks for your feedback.
Yes enhancments are on the way following Adviser feedback.

Regards, Rob
On 28 August 2015 at 9:33 pm I was wondering said:
This is great news, however from my own personal experience nib can't handle the business flows it has at the moment. Their whole new business system system is hopelessly slow and relies on the adviser doing most of the work for them.
Life your game nib before you ask for more business.
On 30 August 2015 at 5:48 pm Rob Hennin@nib said:
Thanks for the feedback" I was wondering". Its true that we have a strong pipeline of applications. Many applications go through quickly and we track progress daily.
We are working hard now to automate much of the process.
But, in the meantime, if you have concerns, please contact me directly at robert.hennin@nib.co.nz.
Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback,
On 31 August 2015 at 10:53 am T said:
Hi Rob, Hope changes mean clients stuck in old closed groups or products where the loss ratio only goes one way because you will not open again and the premiums are increasing at a very unfair rate are allowed to change to a better suited product without health evidence (you have been charging them well above the rest of the market and your own newer products for years) time to look after these people.
On 31 August 2015 at 8:45 pm Rob Hennin@nib said:
Hi 'T", We have listened to Advisers and have a migration pathway for many customers.
We will work wiith you to find the best solution for your customers.
Contact me on robert.hennin@nib.co.nz - let see what we can do .
Regards rob

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