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Adviser feedback sees Fidelity Life unbox the goodies

Fidelity Life marked its 50th anniversary by announcing a broad suite of digital tools, services, product enhancements and retention initiatives.

Monday, September 25th 2023, 3:11PM

by Andrea Malcolm

More than 250 advisers got a first-look at Fidelity’s adviser-led developments during its flagship Engage conferences in Auckland and Christchurch. 

Fidelity Life chief sales and service officer Bronwyn Kirwan says the company is poised to relaunch, redefine its market position and double-down on its strong history with advisers.  

“Recognising that financial advice leads to better outcomes, we’re getting back in the game and renewing our commitment to the adviser channel. 

“Nobody knows advisers better than Fidelity Life. We’ve listened carefully to their feedback, directly and through our Adviser council, and we’re taking action in the key areas we’ve heard we need to be better.”

Fidelity Life is rolling out initiatives across four areas that advisers said were most important to them: ease of doing business, protecting and valuing in-force customers, propositions and solutions. 

Initiatives aimed at ease of doing business include:

  • live chat access to the new business and underwriting teams via Fidelity Life’s adviser centre,
  • a new-look e-app from March 2024,
  • a dedicated adviser service team,
  • a full guide on doing business with Fidelity Life
  • signatureless forms and extended acceptance of digital signatures
  • posting of turnaround times for new and existing business queries on the adviser hub.

Moves to help advisers retain and grow business include:

  • renewal reminders
  • automated SMS reminders and outbound calls to customers in arrears
  • an online masterclass in November on the latest in lapse data and trends and how behavioural science can support customer conservation.

Product enhancements include:

  • monthly mortgage repayment - cover benefit percentages to increase from 110% to 115% of mortgage repayments and 40% to 45% of income, to better reflect the high cost of living,  
  • special events and future insurability - new special event triggers as reasons for optional cover increases such as buying investment property, land, holiday home, co-signing a child’s mortgage or supporting a child with full time tertiary study,
  • some exclusions for special events and future insurability (i.e., for customers with loadings or special terms) will be removed,  
  • key person new to business and key person for farmers - monthly cover limits will be increased from $4,000 to $6,500 for key person new to business and from $5,000 to $9,000 for key person for farmers covers to acknowledge increasing labour costs,
  • repatriation benefit - available on all inforce and new on-sale retail life covers, the newly added benefit will be on top of the life cover sum insured and will be accessible to repatriate a body home from and to New Zealand,
  • trauma - the stand-down period will be adjusted to start on the date of application submission, not completion of underwriting, to acknowledge pressures within the healthcare system which can cause underwriting delays.

Advisers tired of webinars

Conference-goers also got a sneak peek at the life insurer’s expanded career connect adviser skills and training course.   

Adviser edge, due in April 2024, will have three parts: career connect, professional pathways and advice masters – each tailored to specific career stages.

Kirwan says the career connect course is already producing newly qualified advisers and placing them into advice businesses. 

“Advisers have told us they are tired of webinars. Adviser edge takes things to the next level in the form of an extensive engagement programme for up to 125 advisers each year, designed to foster connections with a like-minded community of high-performing, professional advisers.”

Career connect is for advisers with up to one year’s experience. It offers seven scholarships for groups under-represented within the financial services sector including for Māori, Pasifika, women and rural applicants.  

Kirwan says career connect will open for a third intake of 15 candidates in February 2024. Thirty more candidate spots will become available via two new intakes: an adviser-nominated programme for up to 15 candidates and a streamlined course focused on soft skills for up to 15 advisers who have their Level 5 New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services.

Professional pathway for advisers with one to seven years’ experience will take 50 advisers and launch in April. Internal and external experts will provide training across topics such as mitigating small business risks, understanding family trusts and estate planning, effective business and succession planning, preparing for audits, and advanced underwriting and advice training.

Advice master’s, also coming in April, will provide intensive training and personalised professional development for 30 experienced business owners (7+ years in the industry).

Following a detailed needs analysis, advice masters participants will get a tailored programme delivered one-on-one or in small groups. Specialist topics include mergers and acquisitions, capital structuring and funding, value optimisation, succession planning, purpose-driven strategy, governance and sustainability.

Tags: Fidelity Life

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