When Pinnacle Life first started in 1998, the only way to get life insurance was to call an insurance broker. We were the first to offer ‘direct’ cover, but direct in 1998 was different from buying direct today. It involved TV ads, radio ads, a 0800 number and a fax machine.
Buying direct is entirely different now. Assisted by technological change, such as the internet and smartphones, the ability for consumers to buy insurance and other financial products directly from a provider without ever talking to someone, let alone using a fax machine has increased dramatically.
A recent survey by Consumer NZ indicated that you’re much less likely to be a satisfied customer if you buy insurance from a bank or an insurance broker, compared with those who buy direct from an insurance company.
Research by Consumer NZ suggests that sales incentives and commissions paid to bank staff and insurance brokers are likely to play a big part in explaining the difference.
A review of the industry by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank published early last year required insurers to consider the conflict created by selling by commission (amongst other requirements). By this, they mean that advisers, brokers, may put their own interest ahead of their customers, for example recommending life insurance to consumers based on who is offering them the greatest commission or incentive.
If you don’t use a broker but buy direct from an insurance provider there is no middle man and therefore no commission. The only companies that offer this option in NZ are Cigna, AIA AA Life and Pinnacle Life, of course.
If you haven’t bought insurance before, buying online can seem scary. There’s lots of information explaining what you need to think about and how to work out what you need on our website as well as on other sites such as sorted.org.nz or life-info.org.nz. You can also always phone us if something needs more explanation.
You understand your own situation better than anyone. Jump online and you could be all sorted in under 10 minutes without leaving your couch, it’s that easy.