nib finds ways to target advisers, post Fidelity deal

nib is to increase its presence in the adviser market, with the establishment of a dedicated nib adviser support team across the country.

Monday, April 15th 2019, 7:28AM 8 Comments

Rob Hennin

The change comes following the announcement by Fidelity Life and nib last month that they will not be continuing their relationship in its current form when the existing agreement ends on June 30.

“We’ve enjoyed a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with Fidelity Life over the past five years which has helped us to establish strong relationships with advisers, reinvigorate our products and build our service offering through tools such as the First Choice network, mynib and more,” chief executive Rob Hennin said.

“With so much change happening in our sector, we believe there is an opportunity for us to change the way we support advisers and their clients to help more New Zealanders get the benefit of insurance protection,” he said.

From July 1, nib will introduce its own adviser partner managers, who will work closely with advisers, adviser businesses and dealer groups to help ensure their clients have health cover that protects them and their families.

“We will develop and deliver new tools to allow advisers to create nib health insurance solutions,” Hennin said.

“The change in distribution model will also expand our capability in the adviser distribution channel in line with our strategic ambitions to grow the private health insurance market, and in turn our share."

Hennin also said that while the health insurer’s current relationship with Fidelity Life would not continue in its present form, they two businesses were looking forward to continuing their relationship.

“We’ll keep advisers posted on these changes as we get closer to 30 June. In the meantime, its business as usual,” Hennin said.

Tags: health insurance nib

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Comments from our readers

On 16 April 2019 at 6:28 am Advice4Life said:
A good start to nib supporting advisers would be to,
a) stop undercutting and compromising advisers relationship with clients by offering campaigns direct to the consumer that advisers don't have access to ie pre-existing conditions covered after a certain period.
b) start underwriting thoroughly, i've been told even if the adviser provides 5 years medical notes, at the client/advisers costs, they will not be looked at during underwriting.

I think nib have a good suite of products and group offering but you've got to get the fundamentals right.
On 26 April 2019 at 9:14 am BayBroker said:
@Advice4Life - but you do have access to a nib product that gives cover after a certain period - their Easy Health offering. It's not an ideal product as not medically underwritten at application, but does give cover for *some* pre-existing conditions after 3 years.
On 29 April 2019 at 3:06 pm JPHale said:
And the Southern Cross UltraCare cover provides cover after 3 years for almost all pre-existing conditions too.
On 30 April 2019 at 10:11 am Tash said:
Yes but do these products pay anything for drugs not funded by PHARMAC?
On 30 April 2019 at 7:08 pm Advice4Life said:
@baybroker that's my point exactly 'not underwritten at application' even if I provide the doctors notes at application (at mine or clients cost) they aren't used for underwriting at application time just the application i've been told.
Given the broadness of exclusions on health cover i would prefer doctors notes provided or requested for the best possible cover outcome through thorough underwriting..
Insurance is about certainty, claim time starts at underwriting.
I would never place a client without full disclosure, medically and financially at application.
@JPHale, good product with pre existing covered after qualifying period. pricey for the avg Kiwi though.
Southern Cross had a campaign approx 3.5 years back where all VIP policies cover pre existing after 3 years and the exclusion was explicit in the welcome letter.
I've had 2 people have decent health claims in past 3 months that i placed on these policies, and to note one was a muskoskeletal which carries a lifetime exclusion with most others.
Carl Drummond
On 1 May 2019 at 7:45 am JPHale said:
@Tash little to none on the non-pharmac, however, the creative adviser will find a way to blend covers so that clients get the benefit of both worlds, pre-existing cover and non-pharmac elsewhere.

The core issue for many in going in this direction is to have pre-existing condition coverage. The old story about exclusions, if you think they are a problem then the insurer got it right, if you don't so what if it's there, you don't think it's a problem so it should not matter you don't expect to need the coverage there.

These products allow us to address the situation when they find the exclusion a problem as it is a condition that they expect to have problems with. Non-pharmac becomes a more distant issue that is less present than the issues at hand.
On 1 May 2019 at 7:52 am JPHale said:
Hey Carl, agree the VIP campaign was very effective, I too had some significant claims under that, that wouldn't have happened any other way because of the lifetime exclusion approach of the nib and what were the AIA products of the time.

I'm working through one presently where the client was put on the nib product and the condition expected to be covered is one of the lifetime excluded ones... Not such a great look.

The UltraCare approach has a hidden advantage most advisers are not aware of, you pay the premium for 3 years for the pre-existing cover, once qualified you are able to move to the Wellbeing products and enjoy a lower premium and without the GP & Scripts more inline with other major medical approaches and retain the pre-existing condition coverage. With the obvious differences in cover terms and conditions, affiliated provider restriction and loss of congenital condition pre-existing cover. The rest works very well and I have a number of clients taking this approach to things.
On 1 May 2019 at 10:27 am Tash said:
Pre-existing exclusions can usually be covered under the Public system - there is a fall back if the private insurance does not cover something. This is not the case with drugs that are not funded.
I personally think special deals and freebies to get clients on the books of products just to boost sales is a deadly trap for advisers and clients.
I also believe the many of the products mentioned in this dicussion can be changed on existing clients, so you have no comfort at all. What might not be excluded today could be excluded tomorrow.

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