20 March 2020
New Zealand’s largest locally-owned life insurer Fidelity Life says it’s aiming to ensure customers’ cover and adviser service levels won’t be impacted by Covid-19.
The three-time ANZIIF New Zealand Life Insurance Company of the Year winner told customers and advisers that while the chances of a widespread outbreak in New Zealand are low, it’s put plans in place to minimise disruption should the situation escalate.
CEO Nadine Tereora says in uncertain times it’s vital the company lives up to its brand promise.
“We’re all about protecting your way of life. It’s really important we strive to ensure Covid-19 doesn’t impact on our customers’ cover and that advisers still find it easy to do business with us.”
Existing customers’ cover isn’t impacted by Covid-19: they’ll be able to make a claim where they meet their policy’s terms and conditions.
Customers currently receiving income protection claim payments won’t need to visit their GP for their formal medical certification for the next three months, recognising they might not be comfortable visiting GP surgeries. Instead the process will be overseen by Fidelity Life’s Chief Medical Officer.
The company has also made some changes on the new business front in order to prudently manage its risks.
Redundancy cover has been removed from sale effective from 18 March 2020, however there’s no impact on customers who already have redundancy cover in place.
And from the same date customers applying for any new cover will need to complete a short supplementary questionnaire relating to contact with self-isolating or infected persons, and recent or planned travel.
Tereora says a big focus with advisers is on utilising technology to minimise face to face contact.
“Social distancing is one of the things we’re observing to help keep our customers, advisers and staff safe. So we’re using tools like Microsoft Teams to connect with advisers for regular meetings and training sessions. We’re also encouraging advisers to use these tools to engage with customers because staying in contact in these uncertain times is more important than ever.”
The company has also reviewed its business continuity plans.
“Work’s ongoing to ensure our people are safe and there’s as little service disruption to our customers and advisers as possible - even if that means we’re unable to work from our offices as usual.
“It’s all about being prepared and resilient even as things are changing by the hour. While there’s lots of unknowns ahead, our customers, staff and adviser partners can take comfort from the fact Fidelity Life’s well capitalised, we’ve just launched an amazing new brand and we’ve got sound plans in place to help us deal with these uncertain times”, said Tereora.
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