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Clements Worldwide Announces Launch Of International Disability Coverage For Expats & Organizations

Clements Worldwide is now offering high-limit, loss-of-income coverage for professionals abroad. Clements International Disability insurance has no exclusions for acts of political violence including civil unrest, riots, or war and terrorism, providing the right protection for expatriates living in today’s complex geo-political climate. This borderless coverage, offered in collaboration with Lloyd’s of London, is specifically designed for the unique risks of individuals working abroad and protects their income if an accident or illness prevents them from performing their occupation.

In developed nations, statistics show that 25% of professionals face disability at some point in their career. For expatriates, government workers, contractors, non-profit or international organization employees working challenging jobs in high-risk countries, this number is likely to be much higher.

“Too many people underestimate the chances of becoming disabled during their professional careers,” stated Chris Beck, President of Clements Worldwide. “Most global executives, high-income professionals and international workers have become educated about the importance of having life insurance to protect their beneficiaries, but a disability during prime working years can be more crippling to individuals and their families, and many are not protected against that likely eventuality. Our best-in-class coverage provides for lost wages and the costs of the medical treatment, even if the disability was caused by political violence, war or terrorism.”

Sixty-nine percent of private sector employees have no long-term or permanent disability insurance, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. “Particularly for high-wage earners, securing disability insurance must be a part of proper financial planning to ensure peace of mind for them and their families,” explained Beck.

In addition, the difference between any coverage an individual may be entitled to receive from their employer or local government and an individual’s current income can be significant, highlighting the challenge in maintaining a quality lifestyle in the event of a disability. For high-wage earners, this gap can be particularly large and might be especially challenging for people working outside of their home country.

“We have heard from our customers working in Africa, Asia and the Middle East that they are turned down when they apply for high-limit disability insurance because of their location,” said Beck. “This product was specifically designed to cover the unique needs of professionals working outside of their home country.”    

The International Disability insurance program offered by Clements features both temporary and permanent options. Both options offer high-limit benefits to address the needs of internationally-based individuals, ensuring protection and a safeguard that guarantees their lifestyle is secure should anything happen.

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A+ International Healthcare Announces New Partnership with AXA

A+ International Healthcare has launched its new underwriting partnership with the AXA Group. A+ International Healthcare and AXA have reached an agreement whereby A+ Hong Kong individual policies are now underwritten by AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited, A+ Hong Kong group policies are underwritten by AXA China Region Insurance Company Limited, and policies of the rest of the world are underwritten by AXA France Vie.

In addition, its evacuation and repatriation services are now supported by AXA Assistance. Because of its robust business growth and new market developments, A+ International Healthcare has attained new levels and therefore new needs. AXA, a leading insurance provider in the global market with a top Standard and Poor’s rating, has the capacity to offer A+ International Healthcare locally compliant support on a worldwide scale. The A+ International Healthcare and AXA partnership starts initially in Hong Kong and will develop rapidly throughout the Asia Pacific region, ultimately to anywhere across the globe.

“We share the same fundamental corporate values – both A+ International Healthcare and AXA are about people and high quality services,” said Jean-Claude Breteau, Chief Executive of A+ International Healthcare. “With AXA’s support, A+ International Healthcare will provide additional benefits and services on top of the original covers. We now have the capability of extending our product range to all Hong Kong residents, expatriates and local nationals alike. In the very near future, A+ International Healthcare will offer new innovative plans to cater to even more levels of service for both individuals and groups.”

“We see a steady growth of health insurance in the global market,” Breteau continued. “Increased consumer awareness and wellbeing consciousness are driving up the demand, along with the increase in individual global mobility. There is a high need for excellent international and local healthcare services. A+ International Healthcare and AXA together see promising opportunities in the growing market and are convinced this new partnership will bear fruits very rapidly.”

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Huichih Ko Joins Willis Asia As Chairman

Willis Group Holdings plc, has appointed Huichih Ko as Chairman of Willis Asia. Mr. Ko will play a leading role in defining Willis Asia's strategic direction and driving client engagement and growth across the region. He starts his new role today and will initially be based in the Singapore HQ of Willis Asia, which employs around 890 associates in 36 offices.

He joins from Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), where he served as MMC Country Corporate Officer for Taiwan. He has over 30 years' industry experience and has held a number of senior posts at Marsh, including Deputy Chairman, Greater China Region; and Managing Director and Chairman, Marsh Taiwan.

Tim Wright, CEO of Willis International, said, "Willis is going from strength to strength in Asia, and the addition of such a senior talent will be a further boost to our capabilities and ambitions. Huichih is a very experienced and respected industry leader who is well known across the region. He will play a vital role in growing and connecting our business both in Asia and globally."

Adam Garrard, CEO of Willis Asia, said, "I have known Huichih for many years and he has worked with an impressive and diverse range of clients. We are delighted to have attracted Huichih to Willis and his appointment is a visible endorsement of our values and strategy. Huichih will partner with me and the rest of the Willis Asia team to assist us in driving the strategy and growth plans in the region. I can think of no one more qualified for this role. He is one of the best insurance practitioners in Asia."

Huichih Ko said, "I am deeply impressed by Willis's vision and commitment to invest across Asia in order to tap into some exciting, high-potential markets. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to work with the many talents in Willis to develop innovative solutions for clients and markets. Asian insurance markets have come a long way - many are mature and ready to diversify their books - and I look forward to helping our global clients explore that new capacity."

Ko started his insurance brokerage career in New York with Fred S James in 1981. He was assigned to Taiwan in 1983 and subsequently became President of James International Taiwan. Between 1987 and 1998 he served as CEO of Sedgwick Taiwan. Following the acquisition of Sedgwick by Marsh, Ko was appointed as Regional Director North Asia, Marsh Resolution.

In 2000 he became Managing Director and chairman of Marsh Taiwan and in 2010 he was promoted to Deputy Chairman, Marsh Greater China Region.

In 2013 he was appointed as MMC Country Corporate Officer for Taiwan. Ko holds a bachelor's degree in Shipping Management and a Master of Science in Transportation.

He has also taught marine insurance and shipping management courses in universities in Taiwan.

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Global Reinsurer Capital Reaches New Peak Of USD570 Billion At June 30, 2014

Aon Benfield launches the latest edition of its Aon Benfield Aggregate (ABA) report, which analyzes the financial results of the world's leading reinsurers in the first half of 2014.

Aon Benfield Analytics estimates that global reinsurer capital reached a record level of USD570 billion at June 30, 2014, an increase of 6% (USD30 billion) relative to December 31, 2013.

This calculation is a broad measure of capital available for insurers to trade risk with and includes both traditional and non-traditional forms of reinsurance capital. The firm's latest study found that capital reported by the ABA group of 31 leading reinsurers increased by 4% (USD14 billion) to USD351 billion (62% of global reinsurer capital), driven primarily by USD18.6 billion of net income and USD9.4 billion of unrealized capital gains. The main offset was USD14.3 billion of dividends and share buybacks.

Further key findings relating to the 29 publicly-listed holding companies in the ABA* include:

  • Gross property and casualty (P&C) premiums rose by 4% to USD109 billion, with growth split evenly between insurance and reinsurance business.
  • The combined ratio rose by 0.4 percentage points to 90.3%, with P&C underwriting profit unchanged at USD7.9 billion.
  • Catastrophe losses declined relative to the prior year and were well below the long-term average.
  • Support from the favorable development of prior year reserves declined by 5% to USD2.8 billion.
  • Return on equity stood at 12.2% in the first half of 2014, the highest level since 2009.
  • Net catastrophe exposures are reducing as risk transfer to the capital markets increases via sidecars, insurance-linked securities and more cost effective retrocession cover.

Mike Van Slooten, Head of Aon Benfield's International Market Analysis team, said, "The influx of alternative capital is lowering risk transfer costs for both insurers and reinsurers, creating a win-win situation that should drive market expansion in the medium-term. Aon Benfield has made major advances in its analysis of reinsurers' financial performance in recent years, in response to growing insurer demand for strategic insight into longer-term industry trends. We are closely monitoring developments in what is a very dynamic environment. As such, peer studies such as the ABA report, which assess comparative performance on a timely basis, are becoming increasingly relevant."

* ABA reports are produced on a half-yearly basis and cover the reported results of 31 major reinsurers worldwide, with the aim of identifying the latest trends in the P&C reinsurance marketplace. The study comprises 29 publicly-listed holding companies ('the listed ABA') and two US-domiciled subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, namely National Indemnity Company (NICO) and General Reinsurance Corporation (Gen Re). NICO entered into a significant intra-group reinsurance transaction with GEICO Group effective January 1, 2014, which has had a material impact on its reported results. To provide a more meaningful picture of the sector's underlying performance, many of the charts and ratios now focus on the listed ABA.

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Aetna International Appoints European Sales Manager To Drive Expansion

Aetna International, the leading international private medical insurance provider, has added to the company’s European broker team by hiring Beatriz Biosca as their European sales manager.

Biosca is Spanish by birth, grew up in Luxembourg and Brussels and is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian. After training as a clinical physiologist, she worked at Globality Health and Mercer Health management consulting in a variety of international claims, analysis and European account management roles.

“We were keen to add to our European team and Beatriz was the perfect combination of knowledge and experience,” said Aetna’s global head of distribution, Nic Brown. “Beatriz will be building on Aetna’s existing relationships with brokers in Europe and developing new partnerships throughout the region.”

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July Passenger Travel Shows Strong Growth

Global passenger traffic results for July 2014 show demand growth of 5.3% (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) over the previous July. Capacity expanded exactly in tandem with demand (5.3%), resulting in a global load factor of 82.3%, unchanged from last year.

“July was another strong month of growth for air travel. People are connecting by air in ever greater numbers. That’s true across all regions. Despite the various economic challenges, the outlook for passenger travel remains broadly positive. The overall sluggishness at the beginning of the year appears to be behind us with growth in China and other emerging economies offsetting recent deterioration in the Eurozone,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Passenger Markets

July international passenger demand rose by 5.5% compared to the same month in 2013. This was outstripped by a capacity expansion of 6.2% which resulted in a slight weakening of the load factor to 81.9% (down 0.5 percentage points from the year-ago period, but still at a very high level).

European carriers reported growth of 5.3% in July compared to a year ago. Capacity expanded slightly more aggressively at 5.6%, but the region still reported a very high load factor of 85.1%. While this is a robust performance, latest indicators show a weakening in key European economies such as Germany reflecting the impact of sanctions associated with the deepening Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Asia Pacific airlines are benefitting from an improved economic environment. Demand growth was slightly above the global average at 5.6% which lagged a capacity increase of 6.8%. Load factor fell 0.9 percentage points to 78.9%. The biggest factor affecting demand developments is the response of the Chinese economy to stimulus measures which saw year-on-year GDP growth reach 7.5% in July.

North American airlines saw international demand grow by 2.9%--the slowest of all regions. Capacity expansion was nearly double that at 5.6%; nonetheless the load factor stood at 85.1%. Overall business conditions are the strongest since mid-2010, which bodes well for the region’s carriers.

Airlines in the Middle East recorded the strongest growth at 9.2%. This was ahead of a capacity expansion of 8.2%. Load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 78.0%. The carriers are benefitting from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel.

Latin American carriers reported growth of 6.7%, in line with a 6.6% capacity increase. Load factors stood at 82.5%. Robust economic performance in Colombia, Peru and Chile is being offset by weakness in Brazil. Furthermore, regional trade volumes are not expanding, the impact of which has been a dialing down of travel demand from the 8% growth range experienced in 2013.

African airlines reported growth of 4.9%, reversing the year-on-year contraction experienced in June. With capacity rising 4.5%, load factor improved slightly to 70.2%. The biggest factor impacting international traffic demand in July was the slowdown of the South African economy.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa intensified towards the end of July, the impact of which will likely be seen in August.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Demand on domestic routes rose by 4.9% in July over the previous year, ahead of a 3.5% capacity increase, pushing load factor up 1.1 percentage points to 83.0%.

The strongest growth was recorded in China (8.8%) and Russia (9.9%). Russian airlines saw the strongest growth rate among major domestic markets at 9.9%. While the Russia-Ukraine crisis has seen a slowdown in the Russian economy, domestic demand grew as a result of a significant reduction in fares.

India’s domestic market increased by a solid 6.0% in July over the previous year. This could be an early sign of the success of the new government’s business-friendly stance. However, the government’s July budget announcement showed little spending stimulus which could keep India’s growth trend below the pace of other emerging markets.

The Bottom Line

“Airlines reported growth in July, which is a positive story for the global economy. Robust economic conditions support the expansion of travel. In turn connectivity stimulates economic growth and creates jobs. It’s a tried and tested virtuous circle. And the expectation is for continued solid growth over the remainder of 2014,” said Tyler. “We cannot ignore, however, the risks that could de-rail this trajectory. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, weakness in the Eurozone, hostilities in Eastern Ukraine and instability in the Middle East loom large. Airlines are on track to record a profit of some $18 billion this year. But that is a net profit margin of just 2.4% which does not provide much of a buffer. So it is critical that governments shore-up connectivity with business friendly policies based on reasonable taxation, cost-efficient infrastructure and smart regulation.”

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Great-West Life Announces Acquisition Of PlanDirect Insurance Services Inc. (PDAssure)

The Great-West Life Assurance Company today announced that it has acquired PlanDirect Insurance Services Inc. (PDAssure), a service provider that markets and administers individual health insurance for Canadians.

The acquisition is effective immediately. PDAssure will retain its name and will operate as a subsidiary of Great-West Life. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. "We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with PDAssure to acquire their business," said Stefan Kristjanson, Great-West Life's Executive Vice-President, Group. "Great-West Life and PDAssure have had a successful relationship over the past two decades, supporting the individual health insurance needs of Canadian retirees and families. Now with PDAssure as part of our organization, Great-West Life is strongly positioned to become a leader in this marketplace."

"We were looking to retire from a successful business we had built," said Chief Operating Officer Millar Drummond, who along with his partner, President Rolf Normandin, founded PDAssure in Toronto in 1994. "Our choice of Great-West Life was based on a number of factors, including Great-West Life's commitment to client service, reputation for quality, and leadership in serving the group life and health insurance needs of Canadians."

Drummond and Normandin will continue to be associated with PDAssure for an interim period, to help ensure a smooth transition.

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Marsh Canada Acquires Kocisko Insurance Brokers Inc.

Marsh Canada, a subsidiary of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management, announced today the acquisition of Kocisko Insurance Brokers Inc., a full-service commercial insurance brokerage based in Montreal, Quebec.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Kocisko focuses on providing commercial insurance and risk management solutions to construction and surety operations throughout the province of Quebec. The Kocisko team will join Marsh Canada’s National Construction and Surety Practice, and will be based in Marsh’s Montreal location.

“I’m delighted to welcome Terry Kocisko and his talented and experienced team of construction and surety specialists to Marsh,” said Alan Garner, president & CEO, Marsh Canada Limited. “This addition enables us to offer greater resources and a broader platform to serve the needs of construction clients in Quebec.”

“Becoming a part of Marsh Canada Limited is a terrific evolution for Kocisko,” said Terry Kocisko, CEO of Kocisko. “Our clients will benefit from the tremendous service and broader array of capabilities and resources that Marsh has to offer.”

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Aviva Launches Health Records App For International Solutions Customers

Customers with Aviva’s International Solutions private medical insurance will now be able to access a new personal membership smartphone app, which can store their medical records, provides details of how to claim wherever they are in the world, and gives immediate access to emergency assistance and medical advice.

The free International Solutions App provides customers with peace of mind that if they need urgent medical treatment abroad, their medical history can be quickly and safely accessed and shared from their mobile device. The app enables customers anywhere in the world to view, update and provide trusted medical professionals with tailored access to their personal medical records.

With a high level of functionality, the International Solutions App allows customers to record a range of medical details including allergies, conditions, immunizations, medications and tests, as well as the ability to store images of scans and x-rays. The customer can choose which medical records to share with their healthcare providers, and any information they would like to store in a password-protected Emergency Records area, which a chosen family member or colleague can immediately access in the event of an emergency.

When healthcare or emergency support is needed, the app will enable customers to dial straight through to Aviva and its 24 hour emergency assistance and medical advice service, as well as to a list of their healthcare providers. There is also a clear step-by-step guide on how to make a claim and details about International Solutions cover.

Teresa Rogers, head of international at Aviva UK Health said, “Our international customers are increasingly mobile across the globe and remote working on mobile devices has become the norm, so we’re delighted to be able to improve customers’ experience of their International Solutions cover by providing them with safe mobile access to their personal medical records and round-the-clock health services. The launch of the app is the next stage of Aviva’s digitisation of its International Solutions offer and it will provide customers with greater convenience and flexibility in accessing healthcare and sharing vital medical records with providers, wherever they are in the world. In the event of illness or injury abroad, the app will give customers peace of mind that all their vital health information is recorded and quickly accessible.”

The International Solutions App is available to download free, with immediate, effect for all individual and corporate customers with an Aviva International Solutions policy1. It has been produced in partnership with Medelinked2, who developed Aviva’s My Health Passport online record system for International Solutions customers, which launched in 2012.

Recognising the app will also benefit and appeal to other customers, Aviva has arranged an exclusive discount for other Aviva product holders. Anyone with an Aviva policy will be able to download the app for £12.50 for 12 months or £7.50 for 6 months. Standard rates apply for non-Aviva customers, at £29.95 for 12 months or £19.95 for 6 months.

There is also a free 30 day trial for any customer. The app stores customers’ medical records securely through the My Health Passport online records system. The customer has sole control over the information that is stored and whether they wish any healthcare individual or organisation to view any part of their medical records. Aviva is unable to access any of the data, unless the user chooses to specifically share chosen information.

1. The Aviva International Solutions App is available to all customers with an Aviva International Solutions policy, through Google Play and ITunes App stores. Supported phones are the iPhone 4 and above, with operating system iOS 7 and above, and most Android phones with operating system version 4 and above.

2. Medelinked is the new name for Zaptag UK Ltd, which developed Aviva’s My Health Passport online records system for International Solutions customers in 2012.

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Squaremouth Launches Iceland Volcano Travel Insurance Information Center

For over a week, earthquakes have threatened an eruption by Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano. Travelers who remember the Icelandic volcano eruption in 2010 are already turning to travel insurance to learn their options.

To answer their questions, Squaremouth, America's fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, has launched The Icelandic Volcano and Travel Insurance Information Center. The comprehensive center includes official position statements by Squaremouth's travel insurance providers. Thus far, only one provider has outright excluded coverage for losses related to the volcano. The Information Center also includes travel warnings and frequently asked questions, including "If the airline cancels flights due to the volcano, am I covered?" and "Am I covered if the volcano erupts while I'm traveling?". It is updated daily by Squaremouth's team of industry experts.

"The 2010 eruption had major impacts on the travel industry internationally," said Squaremouth marketing manager, Megan Singh. "While we can't prevent a repeat, we can ensure travelers know their options before an eruption occurs. The Information Center is a place where they can find the most up-to-date position statements and answers to their coverage questions."

Currently, travel insurance policies can be purchased from most providers to cover a traveler whose trip becomes cancelled, interrupted or delayed by the Bardarbunga volcano. However, coverage can change if an eruption becomes "foreseeable". Because the seismic conditions in Iceland are constantly changing, Squaremouth recommends concerned travelers consider purchasing a travel insurance policy sooner rather than later.

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