It’s been one hell of a busy year for insurance brokers, and broker groups have been working overtime to support their members through the changes in legislation and licensing.
IBANZ CEO Gary Young says legislative and compliance issues have taken up the bulk of IBANZ time this past year, and with 90% of New Zealand’s brokerages being IBANZ members, it’s been quite a journey. He says working with the government has also been something of a challenge, especially when it comes to separating general insurance from life insurance.
“The government has been bringing in lots of changes, and we seem to be getting busier and busier every year with more legislation and compliance,” Young told Insurance Business.
“The PIQ college is getting really busy, and our role is to work with government and make sure they understand what our people actually do,” he explained. “One of the biggest problems is a lack of understanding of how the insurance industry works, and particularly the difference between life and general insurance.”
Young says that the Royal Commission in Australia identified many problems with banks and life insurers, and that’s impacted New Zealand’s own landscape quite heavily. However, he says that despite general insurance not facing these same issues, they have nonetheless been something general insurance brokers have had to deal with.
“The problem is that the regulators are lumping all of insurance together, rather than separating out the problem area – which is life, rather than general insurance,” Young said.
“We’ve also seen that lack of understanding in the government’s FENZ levy review, where after 18 months of working with ourselves and the Insurance Council, it ground to a halt because it was just too complicated.”
“We’ve now got to respond to the FENZ levy consultation that’s due in February, and then full licensing starts in June,” Young concluded.
“There will be a lot of work for us to do around that, so 2020 is going to be a very busy year.”