Cover to Cover: Issue 25

  • Publications and reports

    07 July 2022

Cover to Cover: Issue 25 Desktop Image Cover to Cover: Issue 25 Mobile Image

With this, our 25th edition of Cover to Cover, we start by looking back on the nearly eight years since we published our first edition.

In our first edition, we covered topics including:

  • licencing of financial advisers (now into its second iteration with the FMCA);
  • combatting “e-risk” and new-to-NZ ‘cyber risk policies’ (still a hot topic today); and
  • case notes on Canterbury earthquake insurance decisions.

We examine a number of developments in insurance law, including significant changes to brokers’ duties and calls for further reforms and an update on the Insurance Contracts Bill, which was released for consultation earlier this year, signalling the Government’s intention to make fundamental revisions to insurance law in New Zealand.

All of these issues are still relevant today. In this edition, we examine calls from patient advocates to ban insurers from accessing predictive genetic test results when underwriting health or life insurance cover. Surprisingly, this issue does not appear to have received significant attention as part of the Insurance Contracts Review.

It remains to be seen whether MBIE will pick up on this issue and amend the draft Insurance Contracts Bill before it is debated in Parliament.

We also discuss whether insurers discriminate unfairly against customers with mental health issues, and how the reforms proposed in the draft Insurance Contracts Bill relating to an insured’s disclosure obligations may impact on insurers’ approach to underwriting and handling mental health claims.

COVID-19 continues to present challenges for the insurance industry. As the world opens up, many Kiwis are now planning long-overdue getaways. The decreased risks of severe COVID-19 infection, thanks in large part to vaccine efficacy and evolving variants, have emboldened many to travel once again. But overseas hospitalisation and associated expenses are not the only way COVID-19 can derail travel plans. Testing positive or becoming a household contact of a positive case prior to departure may also create a big dent in travellers’ wallets if their flights and accommodation are non-refundable. We analyse how travel insurers are responding to these risks.

We provide an update on the increasing challenges presented by cyber insurance and some of the ways in which insurers and brokers are meeting those challenges.

Finally, we are delighted to introduce Zoë Bowden, the newest Senior Associate in our team. Zoë specialises in litigation and dispute resolution with a particular focus on complex commercial disputes and contentious insurance matters. Before joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts, she worked in the financial services and insurance practice at a national United Kingdom law firm, prior to which she was with another national New Zealand law firm specialising in insurance law.

We hope you find our silver anniversary issue of Cover to Cover useful and interesting.