ANZ exits health insurance market

[UPDATED] nib is strengthening its position in the health market by acquiring OnePath’s medical book for $26.67 million.

Thursday, October 15th 2015, 10:53AM 1 Comment

ANZ-owned OnePath OnePath Life has about 20,000 medical insurance policies covering 44,000 people. Its annual premium income is around $27 million a year.

"Medical insurance is a specialist business and this sale will enable us to focus on our core life insurance business with minimal impact on existing policy-holders," ANZ Wealth NZ managing director John Body said.
“We’re making this change because we believe it will deliver the very best insurance solutions for you and your clients, now and into the future,” he said in an email to advisers.

“You can rest assured that we remain committed to working with independent advisers in the life and disability business and we will continue to invest in improved processes and further product innovation to provide you with best-in-class products.”
“Our aspiration is to be the leading life insurance provider in New Zealand,” he told Good Returns.

Body said medical is becoming more of a specialist business and it was appropriate that it was made by specialist insurance companies.

He said advisers should be using the best product rather than bundled products.

OnePath says once the sale is finalised the current OnePath Major Medical product will be closed to new business. In the meantime it is business as usual.

It says once nib takes over it will be the insurer of all current medical policies and will honour all medical policyholder’s terms and conditions, including any pre-existing medical conditions currently covered by OnePath.

nib is planning to enhance the current policies to give policyholders better coverage.

nib managing director, Mark Fitzgibbon, said the purchase is consistent with the company's strategy to grow the New Zealand private health insurance market and its overall share.

The deal is due to be completed in December and requires Reserve Bank approval. Once finalised nib will provide health insurance to over 200,000 New Zealanders, covering more than 15% of the insured population.

“The purchase also reinforces our commitment to the adviser market, with the majority of the OnePath Life NZ’s medical insurance products being distributed by financial advisers,” Fitgibbon says.

nib  and ANZ have also established a distribution agreement, under which nib will distribute its health insurance products through ANZ’s network of wealth specialists for five years.


Tags: ANZ health insurance John Body nib

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Comments from our readers

On 15 October 2015 at 5:45 pm Dorothy said:
I find it pretty hard to believe that Onepath are selling the medical book in order to deliver the best insurance solutions for me and my clients but I'm happy to be proved wrong. I would however believe the change is driven to benefit the bottom line of their business, and that is fair enough. Less spin and greater honesty is,in my opinion, essential to a professional insurance industry.
But Mr Body needs to be reassured that sometimes bundled product is the best product and only then would an adviser, putting the client's interest first, bundle the policies with one company. I guess that is, unless the adviser works for a bank, and then they may not have any choice.

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