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PI scheme cover extended due to IT issues

Financial Advice New Zealand liability programme members will have their insurance liability extended for another month due to problems with IT systems and online premium quotations.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

by Matthew Martin

According to an email sent to Financial Advice NZ members by its broker Marsh, the programme's underwriters NZI have agreed to extend the current insurance liability programme until August 30 and is apologising to its members for "unacceptable" problems with its service delivery.

Members of the programme will have their current insurance liability extended at the existing terms, conditions and premiums of the current programme.

"We have requested this extension to ensure that all advisers in the current programme who have not managed to complete a proposal are not placed under undue stress due to time constraints," the email states.

The email says that issues experienced with the TechCertain IT process have found advisers unable to access the system and there have been "cut and paste" errors in emailed passwords.

"We are disappointed in the service delivery which we know has been unacceptable and can only apologise," the email states.

To rectify the problem, Marsh has allowed advisers to use paper-based proposal forms "should the online option remain challenging".

"Anecdotally there have been a number of premium quotations that are significantly higher than prior years, if this is out of the ordinary boundaries please check with Marsh so we can review this with NZI."

However, it seems some advisers have applied for DIMS cover when they do not need to, leading to significantly higher premiums.

"This has been a very challenging and disappointing time in the issues experienced, we thank you for your patience and especially thank the team at Financial Advice New Zealand," the email states.

Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks says while the situation is not ideal it has worked hard with Marsh since November last year to put the liability cover programme in place.

"The programme has changed significantly this year going from individual PI cover to FAP cover...but there have been some technical difficulties with the IT provider Marsh uses.

"The ability to become agile and adapt is important and as much as the process has been disappointing, we have worked hard to ensure there was a professional liability programme available for all financial advisers in New Zealand."

She says the cover extension and the opportunity to use paper-based proposals has been helpful.

"We thank our advisers for their patience as it has been frustrating for all parties and we are confident the issues can be rectified," Shanks says.

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