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No rush to join Fidelity in publishing turnaround times

Other life and health insurers aren't rushing to join Fidelity Life in publishing their turnaround times, although Southern Cross says it may follow suit.

Wednesday, November 15th 2023, 9:08AM 2 Comments

“We are currently in the process of exploring options around publishing our service level performance indicators,” a Southern Cross spokeswoman said.

Partners Life founder and managing director Naomi Ballantyne said her company has never published turnaround times and doesn't intend to do so because she doesn't think that's of interest to its customers, although she acknowledges it is of interest to advisers.

“I think transparency is a really good idea because it builds trust,” Ballantyne told GoodReturns.

“We don't compete on turnaround times with our advisers. We focus on consistently turning around within three days, which is a reasonable time for insurance,” in matters such as providing quotes.

That three-day standard, “is one we know we can consistently meet.”

Trying to reduce that time would be very expensive, because it would mean Partners Life would need more staff as well as extremely good systems, but it would also inevitably increase the failure rate, Ballantyne said.

With the three-day standard, “if we blow out by a day, it's neither here nor there,” but if the company tried to aim for a one-day turnaround, blow-out rates would increase and it would likely receive far more complaints.

Ballantyne said she doesn't think a one-day turnaround time would ever be sustainable for any company.

“It's not something we've felt would have changed an adviser's decision to do business with us. The value proposition to the client is the right one for their client, not just that we're faster than any of the others.”

Commission paid daily

But Partners Life does pay commissions daily these days. “It's not like the old days when if you missed a monthly cut-of, you would have to wait another month.”

AIA NZ says it isn't currently considering publishing its turnaround times.

“Turnaround times are a point in time measurement and may not always reflect the typical service experience,” AIA said.

“Providing an outstanding adviser and customer experience continues to be a key priority for AIA NZ, and this includes responding to requests in a timely manner. We provide multiple channels for adviser and customer enquiries including Live Chat, phone, and email,” it said.

“We also provide digital self-service tools via AIAHub and MyAIA to allow advisers and customers access to information, and the ability to submit and view requests at a time that suits them, alongside eApp which provides end to end digital application, underwriting, and issuing of cover,” it said..

Chubb Life New Zealand said it “closely monitors and benchmarks our turnaround times to ensure we are available and responsive to meet the needs of our advisers and customers,” it said.

“This is reflected in the fact we are number two in the market for new business and the fastest growing life insurer in NZ,” it said.

Fidelity's commitment to greater transparency by publishing turnaround times monthly was a result of it admitting that it had dropped the ball with advisers and it wants them to know that the company is now “back in the game.”

Tags: Fidelity Life

« Health insurance premiums rose 8% in the June quarter: FSCJAVLN signs up Aussie's BJS Insurance Group for three years »

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Comments from our readers

On 16 November 2023 at 6:45 pm Aggressively_passive said:
lol
they all know exactly what their numbers are.

And some of those numbers are simply not good enough.
On 17 November 2023 at 1:27 pm Amused said:
"Fidelity's commitment to greater transparency by publishing turnaround times monthly was a result of it admitting that it had dropped the ball with advisers and it wants them to know that the company is now “back in the game.”

Sorry but the game has already ended. The crowd have gone home now and the venue's lights have been turned off.

As far as turnaround times go I totally agree with Naomi's comments. No application for cover is ever so urgent that an adviser's client is demanding a turnaround time of only one day. No client would ever expect that and advisers who try that line on with insurers are not taken seriously. You start to get a "reputation".

A Three-day turnaround is perfectly adequate. Obviously some insurers can deliver this consistantly to advisers whereas others cannot. I think also the speed at which initial underwriting is completed by an insurer does depend on the quality and completeness of the application being submitted.

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