Which insurance company was that again?

Which insurance company was that again?

I have been involved in this industry in New Zealand since 1986 and have seen so many changes of names of suppliers. Stockbrokers names have changed, then changed again, and now some are changing back to their original names.  Fund Managers brands have changed, organisations have merged/folded.  And insurance companies have changed names and swallowed up other players.

With life insurance products, because the products are for the life of the client, the contracts can only be cancelled by the clients, so the obligations remain for a long time, so companies don't go out of business.  Even if that company is not as profitable as would be desired, someone will take it over.

The recent name changes of insurers are outlined below - and we have also summarised the name changes that we can remember since the late 1980's (well, who took over the policies!)

It is interesting to read and study the changes, as we now only have a handful of active insurance companies that are open for new business for life insurance products, AIA, Cigna, Asteron, Fidelity Life and then the retail products from the banks (which often have these companies underwriting them.  Health insurance is also available from NIB, Accuro, Southern Cross, Partners Life and AIA.

A very limited and small market!

OnePath becomes Cigna 1st February 2020
OnePath was originally a small innovative company called Club Life, launched by Naomi Ballantyne when Sovereign (where she was a cornerstone management member) was bought out by Commonwealth Bank.  

Club Life was then sold to ING, which became OnePath.  Naomi went on to found the successful insurer Partners Life (which still has the same name!

OnePath was purchased by ANZ (when the name changes from ING to OnePath).  Since that purchase OnePath has been broken in two, with the Health/Medical insurance policies being sold to NIB and the life insurance policies being sold to Cigna, with the official name change on 1st February 2020.

OnePath was also the brand name of the investment division of ING, which has since had it's name changed to ANZ, and is entirely separate to the life insurance and health insurance transactions.

Sovereign becomes AIA end 2019
Sovereign was an upstart insurer that broke with tradition in the late 1980's when it was set up.  It was a private company, garnered a good share of the independent market - in the face of the established National Mutual, AMP and Colonial at the time.

Over the years, Sovereign swallowed up Prudential, Sovereign, NZI until it was sold to Commonwealth Bank/ASB.

Sovereign was sold to AIA some time ago, but retained its branding (and much of the Sovereign management went on to head up the merged business).  The rebranding was completed at the end of 2020.  For ease of reference within Moneyworks, we will refer to these policies of our clients as AIA - ex Sovereign, as they are quite different to the old AIA policies.

Other name changes/disappearances of note:
Tower used to be Government Life, which was the Government insurer.  Many public servants had Government Life (therefore Tower) policies.  It was broken up a number of years ago now as follows:

Life insurance products sold to Fidelity Life

Health/Medical insurance products are now owned/managed by NIB.  This includes the policies that were originally National Mutual Health Insurance.

Old Whole of Life and Endowment polices sold to Foundation Life - and a number of these are (we understand) now potentially being managed by Lifetime Retirement Income

Fire and General policies still operating as Tower.

National Mutual was sold firstly to AXA in the late 1990's as part of an international transaction.  This included the old T&G policies.  AXA was then sold to AMP around 2010 and the brand disappeared. 

AMP is now in the process of being broken up, with the wealth division being split out to become either a listed company or purchased by a private equity firm and the life insurance company currently being under offer from the 'zombie life insurer' Resolution Life.  The brand will be changed when this deal is finally approved.

Royal and Sun Alliance become Vero (for fire and general insurance) and Asteron (for life insurance and savings products)

Along the way Norwich was also sold (we can't remember, maybe to National Mutual or Sovereign or Tower or even Royal & Sun Alliance) - if anyone knows, let us know!


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