DDO changes coming 5th of October, 2021. Are you ready?

DDO changes coming 5th of October, 2021. Are you ready?

What is DDO? And why was it created?

DDO stands for Design and Distribution Obligations. From 5 October 2021, DDO has been introduced to Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act. The new obligations are intended to help consumers obtain appropriate financial products by requiring issuers and distributors to have a consumer-centric approach to the design and distribution of products.

Issuers of financial products (that’s us!) are required to ensure products are designed to meet the needs of consumers for whom the product is designed/intended for and distributors (that’s you!) will need to ensure they’re being recommended to consumers who are in the target market which has been defined / set out by the issuer.

 

What will change as a result of DDO? Introducing the Target Market Determination.

From 5 October 2021, all products we issue which are designed for retail clients will need to have a Target Market Determination prior to the product being distributed. The TMD outlines the key features of the product, the intended consumer for the product, how the product might meet the needs and objectives of a consumer in the target market, and an outline of how and when we will review the TMD.

There is also a requirement for all product issuers to collect data from distributors in order to monitor product distribution is being undertaken inline with the TMD.

 

What information does Integrity need to collect? New adviser responsibilities.

Good news, we already collect most of the information needed to regularly assess whether changes are required to the design of our products so we can better meet the needs of the target market. Our Distributors will need to provide us with information about:

• Any product related complaints; and

• Any other information we specify in the Target Market Determination. 

Distributors are also required to notify us of any significant dealings which are inconsistent with the Target Market Determination, within 10 business days. Integrity will be providing a final copy of TMDs to our Distributors by 1 September 2021

What about a product sold under general advice?

As part of the application process, Advisers will be asked to identify whether the product is being sold under personal or general advice. This information will assist us gain insight into consumer outcomes and whether the TMD remains appropriate on an ongoing basis.

For Distributors, their DDO obligations vary depending on whether they provide general or personal advice to their clients. We recommend you speak to your compliance team about your responsibilities here.

    Integrity Life

    Integrity Life

    From the newsroom

    Updating the mental health toolkit.

    Updating the mental health toolkit.

    With COVID-19 changing the rulebook on mental health, we thought it was time to update your toolkit. Here are some valuable resources for you to support your people and yourself.

    1. Coronavirus: Resources for Anxiety & Stress via the Blackdog Institute. Contains ways to manage stress while still practicing physical distancing. 
    2. Ways to maintain positive mental health via Department of Health. A wide range of resources which includes how to support children and the elderly.
    3. Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak via Lifeline. This has a lot of great strategies for working remotely and how to stay connected as well as a list of places where you can get instant support.
    4. How to manage and thrive during remote working via Dynamic Business. A guide for managers on how to support their people during COVID-19.
    5. Working from home: A checklist to support your mental health during Coronavirus via Blackdog Institute. A handy checklist approach to having all the resources you need to survive and thrive.
    6. Establishing Your Home Workspace via Entrepreneur Magazine. This is a guide to setting up a positive workspace at home. 
    7. How to work from home when your kids are home, too via Atlassian. A great guide for parents who are working from home. Advice suitable for COVID-19 or just school holidays.
    8. How we’re keeping fit while working from home via The Next Web. Some great ideas on how to keep fit while working from home that includes links, videos and ideas for how technology can support you.
    9. 10 ways to take care of yourself via Reach Out. This is a great overall guide on activities and ideas that will keep you mentally and physically healthy.

    Integrity Life

    Integrity Life

    From the newsroom

    Preventative program supports employee mental health during COVID

    Preventative program supports employee mental health during COVID

    COVID has brought about significant and wide-reaching change in almost every aspect of human life. However, one area where we are yet to fully appreciate the cost is on our collective mental health. While we haven’t seen the full impact of long-term isolation or trauma on the Australian workforce, we do know it is coming.

    Acknowledging this very issue, the Federal Government pumped an additional $500 million into suicide prevention and mental health support as part of their COVID-19 response.

    Many employers have hotlines set up to deal with mental health issues as they arise. Mercer Marsh Benefits and Recovre have joined forces with Integrity to deliver a unique response to this unprecedented challenge.

    Launching last November and continuing into June this year, an innovative and interactive pilot program has been created to support positive mental health in the workplace through a series of online workshops for employers. The aim is to support participants and give them the skills to navigate life in the context of challenges and pressures we haven’t seen in our lifetime. The hope is that these skills improve workplace culture, personal outcomes and prevent mental health issues escalating into more serious conditions.

    David Fraser, Head of Group Life & Disability Insurance at Mercer Marsh Benefits, said: “The importance of health and wellbeing engagement, not only from a claims preventative perspective, but also allowing employers to engage and support their employees in uncertain times underpins the Mercer Marsh Benefits philosophy.”

    Feedback from the initial delivery of the program has been very positive, both in terms of the program content and having access to such a program – something that is not always available to smaller enterprises.

    The Employees health & wellbeing workshops for leaders.

    The Integrity Life workplace wellbeing workshops are specifically designed for Integrity Life SME employers from various industries and sectors and of all sizes.  These workshops provide easier access to training and expert knowledge that are relevant for SME leaders and managers in employees’ wellbeing.  By supporting the leaders in their organisations with relevant and practical solutions, employers can create a healthy and productive workplace for the employees, no matter how small or large their organisation size is. 

    People are the most valuable asset a company has, particularly in the current tight employment market. These workshops are designed to provide support and care for your employees, to help instill a culture of health and wellbeing that will not only get the maximum benefits for the company, but also importantly provide the information and guidance individuals need to live healthy lifestyles for themselves, family, and friends. 

    Integrity Life

    Integrity Life

    From the newsroom

    Why it matters to have a partner for life.

    Why it matters to have a partner for life.

    In business (as in life) things are a lot easier when you have the right partner. Because when you have the right partner, you’re supported to succeed together, whatever comes along. You may have seen us talking a bit about being a ‘partner for life’. But aside from being a bit cute, what do we actually mean?

    We’re in this together.

    Partnerships are about serving the interests of both parties to succeed together. We have seen across our industry, challenge after challenge, which has then been compounded by things like COVID-19. A partnership with Integrity means…

    1. We know our success depends on Advisers. So, we collaborate with Advisers and other partners on changes we intend to make. Whether that be to how we serve you or our products.
    2. If you ever have feedback for anyone in our organisation – from Product Managers and to Underwriters, to the CEO – we’ll get it to them, and you’ll get a response.
    3. We know that our role is more than supplying life insurance. We also need to champion the advised channels and stand strong on issues within our industry (like operational efficiency) – we’re pretty proud of our record on those fronts so far.

    We’re here for the long-term.

    We’re a fully regulated Life Insurance company, not just a reseller. This means we have the capital requirements of a life insurer and a genuine interest in ensuring clients are with us for the long term. Which means a focus on delivering on-going value to customers and maintaining a good reputation in the industry – particularly around claims.

    We think it’s a job for Integrity Life.

    A big part of why we exist is to build something better than was there before. We are committed to testing, building and innovating – ultimately to create a better customer experience.

    Because we’re values driven, we believe there is a role for us in the industry to serve those who want to do things a bit differently and who, like us, believe we can change the game – for good!

    And that’s why we think we’re the perfect ‘partner for life’.  

    Integrity Life

    Integrity Life

    From the newsroom

    Will getting the COVID-19 vaccine impact my ability to claim?

    Will getting the COVID-19 vaccine impact my ability to claim?

    We have seen a few comments across social media in regard to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The question seems to be, because a vaccine is ‘self-inflicted’ that potentially an insurer wouldn’t cover damage or death as a result. We wanted to make it absolutely clear from our perspective where we stand.

    If someone is already insured with us, then they are covered under the terms of that contract. So, they can make a claim based on the products they have in place – whether the claim is triggered by COVID-19 or anything else.

    Since the onset of COVID-19, we have made a commitment (and stuck to it) not to have any specific or contractual exclusions related to COVID-19, that includes in respect to being vaccinated.

    So, in short, getting the vaccine will not impact your ability to make a claim at Integrity.

    Of course, for new applications we reserve the right to underwrite the risk presented by each individual and if someone has been infected with COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, then we have to decide whether to accept them and on what terms (but just like any other impairment).

    The same is true for the vaccine, if we are underwriting a new application and the COVID-19 vaccine (or any vaccine for that matter) causes side effects in a particular individual, it is something underwriters will consider.

    Scott Hodgson

    Scott Hodgson

    Chief Underwriter

    Attracting new buyers to advice and insurance: exclusive research report.

    Attracting new buyers to advice and insurance: exclusive research report.

    Today we launch exclusive research to help Advisers understand how to attract and retain new customers. Acquisition of new customers and profitability are critical for practices and we hope this can offer part of the solution. In our early testing of the report, we got some feedback we wanted to address upfront, so here are some questions you may have had…

    Are Millennials even profitable to service?

    We know that writing risk is becoming an even more significant challenge on small cases (where the compliance requirements are the same as writing a large case) but what we highlight in this report is that Millennials are up to 40 years old, they are a large cohort that spans a wide-range of ages, and they may not be who you think they are. Additionally, as the dominant workforce, they are creating the expectations on which Advisers and their offerings will be compared. So, it’s worth getting across how they think and behave. We also believe there are opportunities to change the way some practices operate that will drive greater efficiency, thereby reducing operational costs (and increasing profitability), while also appealing to how this cohort prefers to engage with financial services. 

    Why has Integrity done this research?

    We believe that our role in the industry is bigger than just providing products. We believe we have a role in supporting a sustainable industry, in educating clients and Advisers and supporting them personally and in business. This report was commissioned by us because we identified a challenge brought on by COVID-19. As lockdowns happened across the country Advisers found themselves overservicing existing clients while struggling to acquire new ones. We wanted to support new acquisition as a means to help support their businesses.

    What do we do next? 

    We have a range of ideas and solutions, as well as system features, we have already built to support the strategies and ideas outlined in this research. So, when you’re ready to have a chat, so are we. Download the research paper here.

      Integrity Life

      Integrity Life

      From the newsroom