nib NZ CEO "very pleased" with ongoing integration of Kiwi Insurance

Transition expected to complete within 12 months

nib NZ CEO "very pleased" with ongoing integration of Kiwi Insurance

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

One can argue that it’s the dawn of a new era for health insurer nib New Zealand, whose foray into the world of life insurance has recently become official. Here, nib NZ chief executive Rob Hennin (pictured) talks about the ongoing integration following the company’s swoop for Kiwi Insurance.

“Transitioning systems and processes can take some time, but we’re expecting to have this complete within 12 months,” Hennin told Insurance Business. “Our first priority is making sure that our nib Living Benefits members are happy with the products and service they are receiving.

“We’re also focussed on welcoming the new nib team members who have transitioned across from Kiwi Insurance and ensuring they enjoy becoming part of nib.”

First announced last November and finalised about five weeks ago, the $45 million transaction saw the transfer of the full ownership of Kiwi Insurance from Kiwibank parent Kiwi Group Holdings to nib New Zealand. Prior to the deal, the latter had been actively exploring opportunities to provide a more comprehensive and integrated offering.

“It’s an exciting new value proposition to be able to offer members access to a suite of health, life, and living insurance covers, and our partners and stakeholders share this excitement with their feedback very positive to date,” Hennin went on to say.

As announced, nib New Zealand also entered into an exclusive partnership with Kiwibank as part of the major acquisition. Under the tie-up, retail customers of the lender will be referred to nib for their life and living insurance policies.

In an earlier statement, Kiwibank CEO Steve Jurkovich commented: “I’m excited about this new partnership with nib which will allow Kiwibank to continue to deliver on its purpose of making Kiwi better off, whether that’s getting into a home or having the right insurance in place to protect what matters most.”

The move was part of Kiwibank’s growth strategy, which features a simplification of the bank’s business and building its partnership capabilities. Meanwhile, for nib NZ, it all ties into the company’s ‘your better health’ vision.

“We’re excited to develop new Living Benefits products and services that meet the needs of all our distribution channels,” Hennin told Insurance Business. “We’ll keep our members up to date once they become available.”

As for the expanded business, it’s a case of “so far, so good,” according to the insurance boss.

“We are very pleased with the progress so far,” stated Hennin. “It’s really early days, but all teams are working well together with passion and a dedicated focus on achieving great outcomes for our members.

“As we settle in, we want to keep delivering great outcomes for our members, offering the same great customer service, support, and value-for-money products in the life and living insurance space as we already do for health insurance.”

Mark Fitzgibbon, managing director and CEO of wider group nib holdings, highlighted before: “While in a regulatory sense we distinguish health and life, they are both about meeting the needs of people for personal security. Our personalisation strategy, or what we’ve dubbed P2P (payer-to-partner), is taking this to another level by offering greater health security in addition to financial security.”

According to nib NZ – whose number of policyholders increased from 118,229 to 123,040 in the six months ended December 31, 2021 – the country’s living insurance market is twice the size of that of health insurance and has been posting consistent growth over the last 10 years.

Data from the Financial Services Council show that the number of people with health insurance in New Zealand grew to 1.4 million in 2021, while the corresponding sum for life insurance rose to 4.2 million.

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