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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Olivier LE FAOUDER, CEO And Brian S. Piper, Co-Founder - Strategic Business Development, Think Insurtech

In this exclusive interview, iPMI Magazine's CEO, Christopher Knight, speaks with Olivier LE FAOUDER, CEO, and Brian S. Piper, Strategic Business Development at Think Insurtech.

They discuss in detail the brand-new Think Insurtech SaaS platform- digitalization of insurance distribution designed for international and private medical insurers and brokers, and what it means for regulatory and compliance challenges, whilst boosting sales and improving customer engagement.

Olivier is the founder of AOC Insurance Broker tech comparator and advises several key players in this industry. A member of the French Tech and awarded by the Insurtech ecosystem for its SaaS platform and the disruption of the value chain in distribution.

Brian spent the previous 10 years as Head of Global Business Development in expatriate healthcare insurance, personally visiting brokers worldwide.

You are the CEO at Think Insurtech. Can you explain exactly what Think Insurtech provides?

Olivier LE FAOUDER: Think Insurtech is first and foremost a team of insurance and technology enthusiasts with a legal background because, as you know, law and contracts play an increasingly important role in this industry with very strict regulations. We are credible players in this market, nominated this year for the Insurtech of the year in France because we are also intermediaries.

Think Insurtech is a software publisher specialized in PMI & IPMI with a SaaS platform to manage from A to Z the distribution of medical insurance in a global environment. At Think Insurtech, we offer a comprehensive approach and process in working with clients to place both international and domestic healthcare cover including group life and income protection. The process follows the EU’s GDPR and Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) by collecting data through API, identifying and analysing needs, creating a comparison panel of solutions including a personal recommendation and sending the complete set of policy documentation and application. The SaaS based system improves both performance taking only a few minutes to do a side by side detailed comparison whilst enhancing the client experience by enabling a live real time interactive discussion - evaluating wants, needs and budget requirements and proposing a personal recommendation. The next step that we are working on with some of our insurance/providers partners is to digitize the customer engagement and application form as well as for groups with digital Know Your Customer (KYC) collection.

Why have you created the Think Insurtech Saas platform?

Brian S. Piper: Based on the EU regulations (GDPR & IDD) we understood there would be a disruption in the industry. Brokers, Providers and Insurers had to evolve and become digital to remain compliant. Further, the nature of the insurance brokerage industry is highly fragmented, SaaS tools and digital solutions were not widely available. Only a few old monolithic solutions are available on the market to help brokers. The investment to create such a system requires expertise, enormous costs and is time consuming. SaaS allows a less expensive solution than creating something in-house. It is scalable ranging from small brokerages up to providers and insurers. Unlike many apps and platforms, the system was designed by a broker for internal use, and it has proven effective. It made sense to offer the platform to others under Think Insurtech.

Olivier LE FAOUDER: SaaS platforms are now the priority for insurers according to the latest McKinsey study.1 It is now impossible to manage broker/provider/insurer data flows without Business SaaS and a CRM with APIs. Automation allows you to properly manage regulatory requirements and spend more time on customer experience while greatly increasing productivity and profitability.

For IPMI insurers and brokers, complying with GDPR & IDD is resource-intensive, and the fines can be up to 20 and 40% of annual revenue. Do you think IPMI insurers and brokers understand this fact?

Brian S. Piper: Actually, no. This has been a particular challenge to educate the market and to create awareness of the risks. Often Brokers, Providers and Insurers may assume they are compliant when in fact they are not, particularly with IDD, Anti bribery law, regulator control etc. Apart from penalties, there are disciplinary sanctions up to disbarment and everything depends on the seriousness of the misconduct.

Olivier LE FAOUDER: The FCA Code of Conduct in the UK says this in summary The FCA's penalty-setting regime is based on the following principles:

(1) Disgorgement - a firm or individual should not benefit from any breach;
(2) Discipline - a firm or individual should be penalised for wrongdoing; and
(3) Deterrence - any penalty imposed should deter the firm or individual who committed the breach, and others, from committing further or similar breaches.

What other issues can IPMI insurers and brokers face if they are not compliant with GDPR and IDD?

Brian S. Piper: The risks included being dropped by insurers, being fined by the regulators or both. There is a reputation risk as the fines are published and it’s necessary to inform clients of any breach. Further, if covered by a broker’s liability policy it may lead to a steep increase in premiums or being dropped. Having professional liability insurance is mandatory.

Olivier LE FAOUDER: In this digital world, as in other industries such as retail, we are facing a consolidation that has already begun and many intermediaries will disappear and new ones like Insurtech will replace them.

One of the challenges brokers, providers and insurers face is to move on from non-communicating monolithic platforms (ERP for example) to SaaS Plug & Play and API’s to communicate with insurers, providers and clients. How does Think Insurtech combat this issue?

Olivier LE FAOUDER: Think Insurtech’s platform is completely digital and designed as a SaaS. Core to the system is the CRM provided by Pipedrive, a third party provider. The system is compatible with others SaaS based CRM’s. The system is Plug and Play integrating with a large number of API’s to automate tasks and create a customized environment (for example invoice, generate welcome pack, targeted marketing programs, advanced electronic signature, internal message, business KPI’s in real time, proposal customization, delegate compliance with dedicated API’s etc.). As a tech service provider Think Insurtech offers a 360 degree solution and full digital implementation.

Think Insurtech allows IPMI brokers to compare and contrast healthcare plans side by side, in real time, with a visual of premium, benefits and full documentation including IPID & KYC. What are the real benefits of this process and why does it matter?

Brian S. Piper: Compliance is a big factor as the system by design follows the rules of GDPR and IDD. The only two components the system does not fulfill is the “written recommendation” by the advisor and 15 hours of outside training for employees required by Insurance Directive Distribution (IDD).

Performance is another key advantage from our research individual quotes (plan comparison, organizing plan information, documenting premiums and sending a proposal) can take up to an hour. The time saving is substantial, taking only several minutes to generate a quote - the system is entirely automated. Greater efficiency affords more time with the client, contacting new clients, renewals, studying plans, etc.

Globally, COVID has forced remote interaction with clients. This trend has changed the way business is conducted forcing virtual meetings. Moving forward, it will likely become the norm. A digital platform not only fulfills this function, it enhances the interaction with clients. A representative can change currencies, deductible, review premiums and benefits. This interactive feature, helps to clearly identify the client’s wants, needs, and budget requirements; field questions and recommend a solution. Full transparency enriches the customer experience and trust. Transparency is one of the pillars of the distribution directive with accentuated rights for consumers. It is up to us and the brokers to increase professionalism and eliminate the bad image that insurance “sales” has with the public.

For international private medical insurers, what is the benefit if they deploy the Think Insurtech SaaS platform to their global broker networks?

Olivier LE FAOUDER: I would say that the most important thing is to educate brokers and to ensure that they are aware of the rules and regulations governing the profession. Compliance is very important and nowadays it's very important for insurers, so we work with our INSquary colleagues to make sure that you check all the boxes according to your business. Compliance is expensive for insurers so they select their partners and they want to increase their revenues. Brokers that are not compliant may be dropped - reducing revenue. The relationship between an insurer/provider is a value chain; the impact is both top down and bottom up. Non-compliant brokers can tarnish the image of an insurer or cause direct financial damages. Insurers and providers do not know how to manage all these points at the moment because they are not focused on digitalization. However, when it is finished, and it is already the case for some of them being dropped by insurers.

How will a broker who does not have compliance and communication tools be able to work?

Olivier LE FAOUDER: Insurtechs and providers are today the most agile and have understood the challenges of digitalization, and value chains to create new products, gain performance, customer loyalty etc. At Think Insurtech, we offer white label packages with HIPAA cloud deployments and APIs to increase the value of insurance portfolios. Today with SaaS, a broker can have a much better equipment than a wholesaler or an insurer at a much lower price than outdated ERP solutions. The price is a subscription with deployment and customization or integration costs.

Do you think IPMI broker networks working with insurers are IDD and GDPR compliant?

Brian S. Piper: Generally, no. GDPR was more widely acknowledged and EU brokers to a certain extent have taken measures to be compliant. Ironically, brokers operating outside of the EU may be liable in following the GDPR but they are essentially completely unaware of the inherent risk or simply don’t care; they view the risk as remote. IDD and the actual rules applied are not as widely known although they took effect October 1st, 2018. Surely, the regulators will start enforcing the rules. As soon as some firm gets whacked with a substantial fine, others will take notice.

Core to the Think Insurtech platform is a CRM for operational efficiency – tracking all correspondence, renewals, commissions, KPI's, churn, sales performance and sales forecasts, under 1 roof. How can this boost the business of an IPMI insurer and broker?

Olivier LE FAOUDER: Simply put, it’s not possible to follow GDPR and IDD and other regulations without being digital. Using a web form the CRM is a tool to prove to the regulators how data was collected and permission to use their data. Next, the system tracks the sales process completely providing a dashboard of the brokerage operations and drilling down into the details. The CRM gives a visual overview of the stages of the sales process from lead to won. Each environment depends on the needs of the intermediary and the APIs to be integrated.

Once a broker or insurer has a better understanding of throughput they can focus on areas of improvement or enhancement. As a tool a CRM can be connected to any range of API’s from accounting to marketing automation campaigns, telecom, KPIs Dashboard, etc. providing expanded capabilities to control operations and improve marketing all digitally. Bottom line - digital brokers have a higher valuation than traditional brokers. The question is not if but when brokers move to a digital platform. We have the tools, know-how and experience to assist.

1: The insurance switch: Technology will reshape operations

 

 

 

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Punter Southall Health & Protection Launches Expatriate Benefit Solutions

Punter Southall Health & Protection, one of the largest health and protection advisers in the UK, has launched Expatriate Benefit Solutions, a unique service to support employers with expatriate staff.

The new service is especially relevant for employers with small numbers of expatriates looking to expand and diversify their business overseas and is provided in association with Healix International, Morneau Shepell, and Bupa Global.

Commenting on the launch, Teresa Wighton, Head of International Healthcare Consulting, Punter Southall Health & Protection, says: “A successful international assignment needs careful consideration, planning and substantial resources. The average cost of an assignment can be significant and failure can therefore not only be costly, but also result in reputational damage for the company and the loss of valuable employees. Our new service helps reduce these risks and provides employers with the valuable support services that can help employees and their families settle into a new environment.”

The service comprises three inter-related components - pre-assignment screening, a cultural training and expatriate employee assistance programme, and international medical insurance.

Pre-assignment screening is provided by Healix International, using a simple online health questionnaire which is completed for all family members and assessed by a medical team. This is then used to determine if employees or their dependants have any underlying health issues or conditions to enable the right support to be put in place before an assignment starts.

Jon Atkins, Director of Business Development, Healix International, says “Many of the illnesses and health related problems suffered by business travellers and expatriates while overseas are both predictable and preventable. With the experience we have gained through the 12 million medical screenings we carry out each year, we are able to provide a comprehensive and cost effective online solution for assessing the health risks facing employees and their dependants.”

The cultural training and expatriate employee assistance programme is provided by Morneau Shepell and is aimed at helping employees settle into a new work environment and help their families adapt to their new lives. It comprises:

  • A three-hour cultural training programme where employees learn skills and knowledge to live and work effectively within a different culture, and families learn how to communicate around feelings regarding the international assignment.
  • A unique employee assistance programme (EAP) tailored specifically to support the needs and challenges facing expatriates. The service is 24/7 and provides access to 250 expatriate counsellors in over 70 countries, who all have personal expatriate experience.

Richard Albert, Vice President, Global Business Development at Morneau Shepell, says: “We are a leading and experienced expatriate EAP provider that has the unique understanding of the psychosocial impact of international relocation on diagnosis and treatment of problems. This clinical understanding enables us to effectively address expatriate problems and the spill over of these into the workplace. We also take a dual mandate, not only to provide short-term solution-focused counselling support, but also to sustain expatriates while on assignment.”

Bupa Global is providing the international medical insurance for this new service.  Ian Abbott, Head of Intermediary Distribution UK, Bupa Global, says: “Punter Southall Health & Protection partnered with Bupa Global to develop international medical insurance plans that fit the needs of expatriates wherever they are in the world. The products are available exclusively to clients of Punter Southall Health & Protection and are designed to give the ultimate assurance and peace of mind when sending employees and their families overseas. They provide cost effective, benefit rich cover, supported by a range of on-line services and 24/7 helpline advice and support.”

 

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Commissioner Stewart Fines Highmark BCBSD And Aetna $483,000

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced she has fined Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware $383,000 for numerous violations, including failure to pay policyholder claims in a timely fashion.

Commissioner Stewart has also fined Aetna, Inc. $100,000 for failing to pay policyholder claims in a timely fashion and for charging excessive copays, among other violations.

The fines resulted from routine market conduct examinations of each insurer performed by Insurance Department examiners.

A copy of the Stipulation and Consent Order and the Market Conduct Exam Report for each matter may be found at: http://delawareinsurance.gov/

 

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Turkey Travel Warning: Reports Of An Explosion At Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Reports of an explosion at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul at around 2am on 23 December 2015; the circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation; the airport remains open.

Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. 

Visas

British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who arrive at sea ports for tourist visits to the port city or nearby cities, provided that the visit doesn’t exceed 72 hours.

If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee. Some unauthorised websites have issued fake e-Visas.

If you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for £20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa from the official website before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK.

International Private Medical Insurance For Turkey

Take out comprehensive international private medical insurance before you travel to Turkey, to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or emergency repatriation and evacuation. Be sure to read the small print of all iPMI policies before you purchase. 

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Tunisia Travel Warning: State Of Emergency Has Been Extended For 2 Months

State of emergency has been extended for 2 months from 24 December until 21 February 2016. Further attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners. Security forces are on a high state of alert in Tunis and other locations. You should be especially vigilant and avoid crowded places over the holiday period, including around Mouled (24 December), Christmas and New Year.

If you choose to travel to or remain in Tunisia then you should check that your insurance policy provides adequate cover. You should be especially vigilant and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities.

There are no direct flights between the UK and Monastir or Enfidah airports. There are daily Tunis Air flights from Tunis Carthage airport direct to London, and indirect daily departures with European carriers. Contact your airline or travel company directly if you have an enquiry about your travel plans.

If you need consular assistance (above and beyond travel information) you should contact the British Embassy in Tunis.

The Tunisian presidency announced on 22 December 2015 that the state of emergency imposed after a suicide attack on a police bus on 24 November would be extended for a further 2 months from 24 December until 21 February 2016.

The threat from terrorism in Tunisia is high. Further attacks remain highly likely, including against foreigners. Security forces are on a high state of alert in Tunis and other locations. You should be especially vigilant over the holiday period, including around Mouled (24 December), Christmas and New Year. Avoid crowded places and follow the advice of the Tunisian security authorities and your travel company, if you have one.

A terrorist attack took place at Port El Kantaoui near Sousse on 26 June. Thirty eight foreign tourists were killed, including 30 British nationals. Further terrorist attacks are highly likely, including in tourist resorts, and by individuals unknown to the authorities whose actions may be inspired by terrorist groups via social media. On 17 November the Tunisian authorities announced they had foiled a major plot to attack ‘hotels and vital installations’ in Sousse. On 24 November a number of security personnel were killed in a suicide attack on a police bus on Avenue Mohammed V in central Tunis. A state of emergency was declared for 30 days from 24 November 2015. 

Since the attack in Sousse, we have been working closely with the Tunisian authorities to investigate the attack and the wider threat from terrorist groups in Tunisia. Although we have had good co-operation from the Tunisian government, including putting in place additional security measures, the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, reinforcing our view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely. On balance, we do not believe the mitigation measures in place provide adequate protection for British tourists in Tunisia at the present time.

On 8 July, the Tunisian Prime Minister stated publicly that further attacks were likely. The Tunisian authorities have increased their security measures but have also acknowledged the limitations in their ability to counter the current terrorist threat.

International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) For Tunisia

Take out comprehensive travel and international private medical insurance before travelling to Tunisia, to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad or emergency repatriation and evacuation. Be sure to read the small print of all iPMI policies before you purchase. 

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Accessing Medical Care Abroad: More Expatriates Look Locally

Cigna Global Health Benefits® (NYSE: CI) and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) recently surveyed more than 2,700 expatriates working in 156 countries to better understand how they and their families experience, perceive and value various elements of assignment terms and programs.

While many surveys tell the global mobility story from the perspective of the employer, this survey is unique because it gathers candid feedback from the globally mobile themselves—information employers are rarely able to gather on their own.

Expat profile

Among people who work outside of their home country, three things are true: they are male (81%), middle-aged and have a family. Beyond that, all bets are off.

The globally mobile are growing older; Gen X is entering its peak earning years and Baby Boomers are remaining in the workforce longer than did previous generations. According to the survey results, many expats are leaving their families at home for various reasons. Today, many assignment locations are in emerging markets or a remote location, which is one reason expats might leave their families at home. In recent years, there has also been a dramatic increase in business and technology-related assignments with shorter durations; generally between six and 12 months. Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that they did not bring their children with them during assignment.

Although most expats still hail from the U.S., their numbers are down by 10% from just two years ago (and down 24% from the 2001 survey). Globalization is likely a factor with more companies having operations across the globe with access to qualified local talent. The U.S. tax regulations may also be a reason for the decline, making expatriation of U.S. nationals more expensive than expatriates from other countries.

Accessing medical care abroad: more expats look locally

The proportion of expats accessing medical care on assignment stayed consistent from 2013 at 79%. Seventy-five percent of expats said they access local providers for routine medical care.

Gender appears to play a role in which type and where expats and their families access care during assignment. While the rate at which men accessed care stayed about the same (78% this year versus 77% in 2013), the share of women accessing care rose five percentage points to 83%. Even though a larger percentage of women are accessing care while abroad, they are slightly less likely than men to seek care locally. However, more women (47%) said they were much more likely to seek treatment locally for serious medical care than they did in 2013 (38%).

Mobility benefits packages: Flexibility and customization

Greater flexibility in plan design was a common theme when employees were asked what employers might change or add to their global mobility assignment packages to make them more useful.

“Similar to what we saw in the 2013 results, a one-size-fits-all approach to mobility program services can lead to potential dissatisfaction, or worse, an unexpected end to a global assignment,” said Leah Cotterill, vice president, North America Client Management, Cigna Global Health Benefits. “Global mobility directors have to be cognizant of striking a balance between the needs of the business and those of the expats and their families. While the trend toward managing costs through benefits reduction might save companies money in the shorter term, the approach may not lead to longer term satisfaction, loyalty, trust or success.”

Support and communication

Results from this year’s survey indicate that certain gaps – whether real or perceived - still exist between the resources employers say they provide to expats in comparison to what employees say they need.

Communications – before, during and after assignment – are critical to expats and the success of their assignment. Survey responses indicate that employers shouldn’t be worried about over-communicating.

  • 38% of respondents received only one communication prior to departure and nearly a third received two to three.
  • More than 75% received information about their global mobility program benefits during assignment. Of this group, one in four received messages on a quarterly basis.
  • Email and phone calls with HR/global mobility representatives were the top two forms of communication with 90% and 70%, respectively.

Overall, the support employers have traditionally made available aligns with what expatriates say is needed. More than three-quarters of respondents said their employer provides help with moving household goods; setting up utilities and other settling-in needs, as well as help with finding doctors and getting vaccinations. Yet, globally mobile employees say they need more, particularly related to local culture and lifestyle.

Only 20% of information sent to expats before assignment covered local lifestyle resources such as grocery stores, child care, etc. “Prepare employees better for the cultural shock they will experience, particularly for newcomers,” said one respondent.

The use of digital communications, particularly social media, increased dramatically since the 2013 survey. More than twice as many expatriates chose Facebook this year than they did in 2013, which reflects the increasing use of social media as a human resources portal by employers.

There also appears to be a dramatic change in the perceived usefulness of digital resources. Nearly twice as many expatriates in 2015 said their employer intranet is an effective communication tool. Interestingly enough, almost half (44%) said that they either didn’t know or their employer didn’t offer online access to information concerning their mobility benefits program.

“Globally mobile employees and their families want reliable and consistent communication from employers from preparing them for assignments before they depart and ensuring they feel appropriately supported and connected while away,” commented Cotterill. “While many employers are making strides in this area, more can be done to better facilitate communication concerning global mobility program features and services for employees and their families.”

“As businesses continue to expand and compete in today’s global marketplace, the importance of global mobility has never been greater,” said Bill Sheridan, NFTC Vice President of International Human Resources. “This year’s survey results not only reflect this, but also reveal key insights into how global mobility and the expectations of expats have changed since 2013 – insights that should influence how employers meet the needs of their expats going forward.”

Expatriation: A lifestyle choice, not just an economic obligation.

This year’s results demonstrate that global mobility is no longer just an economic obligation, but is instead a lifestyle choice evolving into a career unto itself. The spirit of adventure, the potential to hone one’s qualifications and the appeal of living abroad remained the greatest influences on the decision to accept a first assignment.

One key difference to note is the proportion of expats who indicated they went abroad because they wanted to versus feeling they had to—down by 12.5% since the 2013 survey. Additionally, the number of expats who have been on five or more international assignments increased sharply to 25% from 18% in 2013. This may indicate that global mobility is becoming an occupation in its own right.

Repatriation: Just as difficult as expatriation.

Slightly more than half (54%) of expats who responded to the survey say their employer has a formal repatriation program – and yet most employers report they offer one. In fact, many respondents expressed that repatriation is effectively as difficult as expatriation.

Expats find a return home can result in culture shock. Changes in finances and taxes for the household were a big concern, as was finding new employment. “My family and I will probably need as much (if not more) help repatriating than we have needed on assignment,” said a respondent.

Many expats recommended beginning repatriation arrangements at least three months before departure. Commenting on a return home after assignment, one respondent said, “I’d like to see a repatriation program in which we are given news of the return home at least three months prior to the move so we can prepare.”

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New Protection System Helps Advisers Protect More Lives, More Easily

Aviva has launched a new dedicated protection system to help advisers protect more lives, more easily. Called Aviva Life Protection Solutions (ALPS), the new end to end platform represents the largest change to happen in the Aviva protection business for many years.

With more people than ever taking steps to protect their families from the unexpected by taking out life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover, Aviva’s new ALPS system provides advisers with a user-friendly, interactive and intuitive way to help clients get tailored protection cover, whoever they are and whatever their needs.

Key features of ALPS include:

  • At the heart of ALPS is a slicker, quicker ‘quote and apply’ system. With multi-product applications advisers will, for the first time, be able to offer clients income
  • protection, life insurance and critical illness cover on the same application.
  • Signature free applications (e-sigs) for own life cases makes the application process simpler and quicker.
  • Aviva quotes multi-product quotes are now available on all major portals. See ‘quote and apply in action’ video here.
  • Using a bank of over 500,000 questions, 600 different conditions, interactive underwriting mode is expected to produce 75% immediate acceptances, giving more certain customer outcomes, immediately.
  • Nine out of 10 customers can also expect to receive a decision based on application alone [no further evidence required] within 24 hours.
  • Extra and quicker commission payments for advisers using interactive underwriting.
  • New end-to-end system is accessible through one single portal (Aviva for Advisers website) making it quicker and easier than ever to provide clients with all the cover they need, instantly.
  • A broad range of flexible, new protection products for Life, Critical Illness and Income Protection cover will allows advisers to provide clients with tailored solutions to meet their changing needs, both now and in the future (See Technical Guide to Protection)
  • New and improved features, like family income cover on Life and Critical illness options, and comprehensive critical illness cover for 56 conditions, as well as up to £3 million sum assured, makes a more flexible and appealing offer for customers.
  • Quick and easy, real-time case tracking provides advisers with the ultimate control 24/7. Self service status; progress and ‘next action’ reports and the ability to view and download case documents instantly, gives advisers the information they need, when they need it, to manage their business efficiently.


Louise Colley, protection director at Aviva says, “Protection is the bedrock of financial planning, giving people the confidence to build their futures without fear of the unknown.  We believe everyone deserves to understand both the financial risks they face, and the importance of protection.  

“The introduction of Aviva Life Protection Solutions has helped us transform the way advisers do business with us so they can protect more lives, more easily.

"ALPS is an intuitive and interactive system which I’ve no doubt will save advisers valuable time and money, at the same time as better identifying customers’ protection needs and providing them with that all-important peace of mind.

“By totally re-engineering our system, the journey from quote through to claim is much cleaner and easier to navigate and this will revolutionise how advisers will write protection business with us in the future.”

Access to the new ALPS digital services and Aviva’s complete (online) product range is available through all major portals including Aviva for Advisers, using existing sign on details. Available free of charge to all Aviva for Advisers registered users, advisers have everything they need to fully support and service their clients quickly and securely.

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Critical Considerations When Designing International Private Medical Health Insurance Plans

Introducing a business into new emerging markets is the response from worldwide business owners to the pre-eminent mega trend that is globalisation. Establishing a global footprint may be of pivotal importance to a wide range of industry, and according to PWC, cross-border assignments are showing no signs of a slowdown. In fact, 59% of CEOs plan to send more staff on international assignments with predictions that global corporate travel and international assignments will increase 50% by 2020.

In the most recent exclusive iPMI Magazine Medical Insurance Round Table, we spoke with leading C-Level Executives at ALC Health, Cigna Global Individual Private Medical Insurance, GeoBlue and Globality Health, about the importance of individual iPMI and how to best approach plan design.

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Discovery And John Hancock Announce Strategic Partnership

Discovery Limited (“Discovery”) and John Hancock Insurance (“John Hancock”) have entered into a strategic partnership which will see the introduction of a comprehensive healthy living program for U.S. consumers. John Hancock, a division of the global financial services group Manulife, is one of the largest life insurers in the United States.

Adrian Gore, Chief Executive of Discovery says, “Discovery and John Hancock share a commitment to improving the lives of our customers, and with more than 150 years of experience and a history of innovation, John Hancock is the perfect partner to help expand the solution that’s at the centre of Discovery’s shared-value insurance model in the US.”

Craig Bromley, President of John Hancock Financial Services comments: “We are reinventing the consumer life insurance experience and changing the way people think about this critical component of their overall financial health. We believe this offering will make life insurance relevant for new generations of consumers and reinvigorate the entire category.”

Discovery’s shared-value insurance model is based on the combination of engaging policyholders and incentivising them to manage their health, and dynamically pricing their behaviour into the cost of insurance. The model leverages insights from behavioural economics in an immediate rewards system that drives positive behaviour change over the long term. The change in behaviour results in lower insurance costs and savings that are then used to fund incentives. Customers benefit from the shared-value model through better health and financial rewards.

Recent research conducted in South Africa showed that Vitality incentives have a positive and measurable impact towards improving healthy lifestyle choices. The research also revealed that membership of the Vitality wellness programme is closely linked to the tendency to undertake a health screening, and as a result to also take preventive measures against potentially life threating non-communicable diseases.

The partnership with John Hancock strengthens Discovery’s position as the global leader in the field of incentivised wellness. Discovery has a global presence through partnerships with Ping An in China, AIA in Asia and Australia, and The Generali Group in Europe. Discovery also wholly owns VitalityLife and VitalityHealth in the UK (previously PruProtect and PruHealth respectively).

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Cargo Growth Continues to Accelerate in September

Data for global air freight markets showing an acceleration of demand in September. Measured by freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), volumes rose 5.2% compared to September last year, which is 0.8 percentage points ahead of the 4.4% average growth in demand reported for the year-to-date. Capacity grew by 3.8%. Although the overall growth rate continues the positive trend of recent months, regional variations are significant.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific, North America, Middle East and Africa all posted strong growth figures (between 5% and 17% above previous year levels). European airlines, however, saw a decline of 1.6% compared to September 2013 and Latin American airlines reported little difference from 2013 with just 0.3% growth. “There were mixed messages in September’s freight performance. The solid 5.7% growth for Asia Pacific airlines is a particularly positive sign given their 40% market share. But the 1.6% decline in demand for European airlines is a worrying trend that reflects the general uncertainty in the European economy amplified by sanctions resulting from the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Overall, improvements in global business confidence have stagnated—which could mean a bumpy road ahead for air cargo,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Sep 2014 vs. Sep 2013FTK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 5.1% 4.2% 48.4
Domestic 5.7% 2.2% 33.4
Total Market 5.2% 3.8% 45.5

 

YTD 2014 vs. YTD 2013FTK GrowthAFTK GrowthFLF
International 4.6% 3.9% 48.6
Domestic 3.1% 2.0% 30.6
Total Market 4.4% 3.5% 45.0

 

Regional Analysis in Depth

Asia-Pacific carriers reported growth of 5.7% compared to September 2013. The region is benefitting from a rebound in trade activity after a slowdown in Q1. The release of the iPhone 6 also increased freight shipments from China. Capacity increased 5.6%.

European airlines saw air freight volumes fall 1.6%. This follows several months of persistent weakness as the Eurozone economies slow down, and the impact of sanctions on Russia continues. The Air France strike also impacted on volumes. Capacity grew by 1.2%.

North American carriers reported an increase in cargo FTKs of 5.4%. Latest data for business activity is positive, pointing to continuing growth in the months ahead and regional trade growth has accelerated. Capacity fell 0.2%, which helped support load factors which remain significantly below the global average (36.0% compared to 45.5%).

Middle Eastern carriers grew cargo volumes by 17.0%, a particularly strong result when compared with their average growth in demand for the year-to-date of 10.1%. Capacity expanded 14.5%.

Latin American airlines reported growth of just 0.3%. However, the data for trade and exports is positive, so there is a good chance that air freight volumes will pick up in coming months. Capacity climbed 1.7%.

African airlines saw air cargo expand by 11.5%. Regional trade volumes are still volatile, but there are signs that key economies, like South Africa, are showing signs of better performance compared to earlier this year. Capacity fell 1.3%.

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