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iPMI Magazine Has Moved

iPMI Magazine successfully rebranded to iPMI Global in 2023 and has moved to a new home on the internet. To visit the brand new international private medical insurance business intelligence platform, please go to www.ipmiglobal.com

Video: AXA Half Year 2017 Earnings Interview with Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA

Thomas Buberl CEO AXA comments, "AXA delivered another strong performance in the first half of 2017 with underlying earnings per share growth of 5%, illustrating the strength of our fundamentals and the pertinence of our strategic plan, Ambition 2020.

We maintained our discipline in writing profitable business, as emphasized by our strong NBV margin in Life & Savings and by our growth in more profitable non-motor business in P&C Commercial lines. Health and Unit-Linked businesses were particularly dynamic with topline growth of 6% and 11% respectively.

We made substantial progress in improving our technical profitability in Property & Casualty. We continued to implement our efficiency strategy across the Group and are well on track to achieve our cost savings target.

AXA’s balance sheet strength has been highlighted once more by our strong solvency II ratio at 201%.

Our teams and distributors continued their engagement and commitment to our vision to empower people to live a better life. AXA has proved once again its ability to respond to profound environmental and economic change, notably by pledging to use 100% sustainable electricity and providing better protection to independent workers in the digital sector."

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The Increasing Importance Of International Private Medical Insurance For Students In The UK

iPMI Magazine Breaking News: Off to university abroad? Here's why you might want to think about international private medical insurance (iPMI) for your offspring.

It is that time of year when offers of university places start to drop into electronic mailboxes around the world. Higher education is big business now, places at UK universities are some of the most sought after in the world. These institutions will often charge overseas student annual fees of well over £25,000, so for the parents, ensuring the success of the academic investment is as significant as it is for a company sending key employees abroad.

According to the UK Council for International Student Affairs, in 2015, 436,585 overseas students came to study in the UK. The number of Chinese students far exceeds any other nationality at 89,540, whilst Indian students are the next largest group with 18,320.

Parents can learn some valuable lessons from the corporate world's experience of overseas placements, starting with why international private health insurance is so important. While social, emotional and cultural factors are likely to be of central importance in determining the success or failure of an academic placement, access to comprehensive international medical insurance is increasingly becoming a key factor for many overseas students.  With a demanding academic workload, it can be vitally important to ensure that the student overseas feels well protected when medical treatment is required. The individual must know their medical insurance is there when needed and that they will have access to private hospitals where treatment can be obtained quickly. This in turn speeds up recovery, so absence from study is minimised.

Joe Thomas, April International UK's Business Development Director observes that,  "Whilst most universities will ensure overseas students do have access to emergency and local care, in some cases, it can be quite basic. Today's overseas students, with a significant family financial investment hanging over them, will often need more than this. This is why policies that offer private care and fast access to first class treatment, such as those offered by APRIL International are now so popular in countries like the UK, where high concentrations of foreign students are located."

For the insured student, the most important factors are always the speed of access to care and the depth and breadth of the benefit schedules. Put another way, the policy should be easy to use, offer good support and ensure medical bills are reimbursed quickly. Whilst access to local state systems is usually possible, issues such as waiting times and the speed of recovery will be more important to a student paying significant fees.

Whilst many parents will think their 18 year old is in the peak of health and unlikely to suffer serious illness, research carried out amongst hospitals may serve as a timely reminder that there are plenty of reasons why an 18 year old could end up in a hospital ward.

Not all of these can be covered by insurance – the more obvious self-inflicted risks such as drink and drug related issues are not usually covered. However, many of the other common causes of hospitalisation can be insured against.

A common reason for a trip to A&E is sports injuries – anything from a sprained ankle to a more serious breakage. But these kinds of injuries can also extend to normal everyday accidents resulting from over exuberant behaviour. 

More troubling for a parent is the incidence of mental illness – without the support of a close knit family and under significant academic pressure, some students will be unfortunate enough to experience serious mental illnesses which will require specialist treatment. This kind of issue is most likely to occur around exam time, especially finals, so it is vital it is treated quickly and effectively.

Finally, for the young person who may have grown up with a chronic condition, asthma perhaps, but who up until now, has relied upon their parents to ensure medication is taken, many distractions are now available which can and do result in medication not being taken sufficiently regularly, which can trigger a relapse of the chronic condition.

APRIL International UK offers a range of standout added value benefits on all policies taken out including Best Doctors, red24 services and The Blood Care Foundation. Best Doctors gives clients access to a free second professional medical opinion, whilst red24 offers clients complimentary access to their extensive global travel and risk management services.

International Private Medical Insurance For Students In The UK

 

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Save £30 When You Publish A Front Page Exclusive News Story With New iPMI Magazine PR Distribution And Marketing Service

You are excited about a recent or upcoming development in the business and wish to announce it to the entire global international private medical insurance and health care industry: A new recruit; product upgrade; new service; attendance at an event - these are all developments iPMI Magazine readers wish to know about.

You have limited budget to distribute a press release article globally with photo, back links and promotional copy - in order to educate the industry about this important development in the business. You want front page coverage, social media promotion plus inclusion in an industry-wide email newsletter. You need to see the article everywhere.

At iPMI Magazine you are well covered as we have been providing international payors and providers with an exclusive front page news distribution service for over 5 years. Supported by our always-on global digital content delivery system, content goes further much quicker with iPMI Magazine.

Pay-As-You-Go On Demand News Distribution - Pay Online By Credit Or Debit Card

Designed for the fast-moving ever changing global IPMI industry, you may now access this service on-demand and pay as you go.

You can use a credit or debit card to settle your bill immediately meaning no waiting around for payments to clear. This leaves us to work hand-in-hand on the correct placement of the article whilst providing a space for you in the hearts and minds of our readership.

Features:

  • 1 Press Release;
  • To Include Your Company Bio;
  • To Include A Photo;
  • To Include Up-To 3 Back Links To Your Web Site;
  • Complete Meta Description And Meta Tags;
  • Front Page Coverage With Photo;
  • Hosted For Life;
  • Complete And Ongoing Social Media Promotion By The iPMIM Marketing Machine;
  • Emailed To Over 40,000 Active Subscribers;
  • Your Own Dedicated Content Manager;
  • Pay Online With Credit Or Debit Card.

Rate Card: Only £129-99 per article.

Introductory Rate: Only £99-99 per article.*

*Offer ends 1st April 2017.

Get Started

Write to ipmiATipmimagazine.com and one of our news specialists will contact you directly to discuss your media requirements.

(Replace AT with @)

International Private Medical Insurance News

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Publish A Front Page Exclusive News Story With Brand New On-Demand iPMI Magazine Digital News PR Distribution And Marketing Service

You are excited about a recent or upcoming development in the business and wish to announce it to the entire global international private medical insurance and health care industry: A new recruit; product upgrade; new service; attendance at an event - these are all developments iPMI Magazine readers wish to know about.

You have limited budget to distribute a press release article globally with photo, back links and promotional copy - in order to educate the industry about this important development in the business. You want front page coverage, social media promotion plus inclusion in an industry-wide email newsletter. You need to see the article everywhere.

At iPMI Magazine you are well covered as we have been providing international payors and providers with an exclusive front page news distribution service for over 5 years. Supported by our always-on global digital content delivery system, content goes further much quicker with iPMI Magazine.

Pay-As-You-Go On Demand News Distribution - Pay Online By Credit Or Debit Card

Designed for the fast-moving ever changing global IPMI industry, you may now access this service on-demand and pay as you go.

You can use a credit or debit card to settle your bill immediately meaning no waiting around for payments to clear. This leaves us to work hand-in-hand on the correct placement of the article whilst providing a space for you in the hearts and minds of our readership.

Features:

  • 1 Press Release;
  • To Include Your Company Bio;
  • To Include A Photo;
  • To Include Up-To 3 Back Links To Your Web Site;
  • Complete Meta Description And Meta Tags;
  • Front Page Coverage With Photo;
  • Hosted For Life;
  • Complete And Ongoing Social Media Promotion By The iPMIM Marketing Machine;
  • Emailed To Over 40,000 Active Subscribers;
  • Your Own Dedicated Content Manager;
  • Pay Online With Credit Or Debit Card.

Rate Card: Only £129-99 per article.

Introductory Rate: Only £99-99 per article.*

*Offer ends 9th October 2016.

Get Started

Write to ipmiATipmimagazine.com and one of our news specialists will contact you directly to discuss your media requirements.

(Replace AT with @)

International Private Medical Insurance News

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WellAway Limited Provides ACA Compliant Products With Optional Worldwide Coverage

As part of its ongoing commitment to make it easy for expats to stay healthy and safe, WellAway Limited (www.wellaway.com) now offers health insurance products that meet US healthcare regulations and offer worldwide coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that expats planning to spend more than 11 months in the US must be covered by an ACA compliant health insurance plan in order to avoid paying tax penalties. In response to newly implemented US regulations, WellAway® launched the New American plan to accommodate expats relocating to the United States of America.

“We saw a need for a product that would service our global citizens.” said Griselle Chernys, CEO for WellAway Limited. “While they may call the US home for an extended period of time, they do travel and need coverage elsewhere. Our goal was to make it easy with one plan.”

New American is an ACA compliant health insurance product that also offers worldwide coverage. Members receive comprehensive medical coverage including maternity benefits. All WellAway plans also include emergency evacuation and repatriation. Members can choose to expand their coverage beyond the US with ACA+ optional worldwide coverage and further enhance their policy with benefits that include: vision and dental, life and disability, kidnap and ransom, and terrorism.

WellAway® offers the most complete health coverage for expatriates worldwide paired with white-glove ConciergeCare service that delivers reliable member support and is available in more than 180 countries.

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

 

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Ian Youngman About International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI)

Please introduce yourself and background in the international private medical insurance industry?

I was an ACII and for many years worked for brokers and insurers in the London insurance market in a range of roles. These included negotiating national schemes and policy wordings, market research, product development, product comparisons and marketing/advertising. And I was a co-founder of the General Insurance Market Research Association.

In the last - cough - years I have made a living by writing and researching about insurance, financial products, global healthcare and medical tourism for a wide range of magazines and websites. This includes various activities for the Chartered Insurance Institute and editing parts of Kluwer's Handbook of Insurance.

Books include ones on international directors and officers liability, and on competitor analysis in financial services. I have also published 200 plus research reports on insurance, health, medical tourism and finance. Until recently I actually forgot that I had written the first ever study of international health and health insurance for a publisher now long gone. The 2016 IPMI report is the sixth one in over a decade- and at 1500 pages the biggest ever.

In your most recent report, International And Expatriate Healthcare And Insurance 2016, you layout how IPMI, healthcare and health insurance works in over 150 countries. Why do 1- insurers; 2- corporations; 3 - brokers; 4 - international hospitals; 5 - assistance providers; 6 - ground and air ambulance providers, need this information?

Keeping up with what is happening on healthcare, insurance, legislation, expats insurers and brokers- takes me a couple of hours a day at least. By speed reading and knowing what I need to find and how to find things, it is manageable. So if you have to do your normal job and then keep up with all that too it is impossible and easy to miss trends, new competitors, new product and marketing ideas and all the techie stuff too.

244 Million People live away from their country of birth. There will be 60 million expatriates by 2020. What does this mean for payors and providers in the business?

It used to be easy- you had locals, refugees, and expats. Some workers are now global rather than temporary expats- and then you have economic and social and political migrants. When does an expat become a migrant? Many countries now refer to citizens and non citizens- and have rules on who gets what on healthcare. So referring to expats as a specialist class is out of date and not how laws and rules are made. In a global business world, with increased rules on who they can and cannot employ- it is hard for insurers to offer cover A to expats and cover B or no cover to locals. For each country you have to understand the rules on healthcare, health insurance, local cover, and even price and cover regulation-before you even try to offer a policy. There are far more risks on offering offshore covers than five years ago - and sadly, some insurers and brokers still offer a " one size fits all" cover that may neither be legal nor appropriate.

Risk is changing. Does insurance require reinvention in 2016 to mitigate new risks that pose major threats to global travellers and expats? 

The number of insurers rushing to add health information and help on relocation has been overtaken by those offering help and information on terrorism, political risk and other non-medical help. What concerns me is that some just offer advice, which to my mind is useless unless you have a way to evacuate or protect people who suddenly become at risk.

How can we educate the entire IPMI industry about global trends and what do payors and providers need to get their head around?

As well as all the factors I mentioned before, you need to keep up to date with the way technology and social media is changing how insurers, intermediaries, customers and healthcare providers work and interact. There are mind blowing changes happening and those that do not keep up will vanish. For insurers and brokers there are companies from Asia, China, Africa, The Middle East and Latin America who want a multi country presence on health insurance- and some of these are so new that they look at new ways to design products and link technology with health. Stand still and you risk being trampled.

Insurers are rebranding as global health services companies. Insurance is a given. What opportunities exist?

With PMI, IPMI, health cash, major medical, micro health and other variations there is a health policy for everyone. But many insurers are stuck with just offering one or two of these. Some new insurers have combined categories or change how it is done. It is easy to get into a UK, US or European mind set of what a health insurance product is and ignore how technology can be used to simplify the historic practices.

How can we define IPMI in 2016?

Health insurance with an increasing raft of add-ons, extra services, options and non-insurance extras ranging from cheap cinema tickets to a risk profile of the country you may move to next. This is in danger of being a car that has been retuned, added to and with so many functions that the focus is lost. Car dealers reckon that motorists use, or even know about, only a fraction of the features in their car- and health insurance is going that way.

How will we define IPMI in 2021?

Those thinking ahead see that it is no longer about having insurance and tacking everything else on to it like some mad scientist- but in offering health and lifestyle assistance and protection to individuals and companies- where insurance is just a back stop when everything else fails. It is bringing wellness, health (in mind and body) and humanity to the forefront and hanging on services of which insurance is just a part. But at the other extreme you have micro health cover with low price, simple cover, little or no choice or extras, direct billing and all done by social media in the cloud so hardly any admin. You could have virtual insurers with no offices- and before dismissing this as barmy, publishers of web magazines are closing their offices and just have a handful of people working remotely.

What more can be done to assist the under insured and those on low incomes access decent healthcare globally?

Micro health insurance targeting people who would not normally buy health insurance is a huge growth market in Africa and Asia - where major insurers see that if they can make money on low price products they can use that technology and methodology to simplify how they handle PMI and IPMI. One country has 34 people with micro insurance including micro health and expects that to be 50 million by 2020.

What reports are you working on next?

My annual Medical Tourism Facts and Figures one is being updated- but that has become a settled market.

After that I am doing a brand new one on micro insurance - with a focus on micro health. That is something I have followed for years but only recently have major insurers taken it seriously.

And then - some time off; with the next one and area that insurers are struggling with- peer-to-peer insurance. I have done reports on peer to peer lending but how p to p insurance works and why it is different from traditional mutuals is something to get my head round.

What annoys you?

As well as lying politicians, celebrities who are famous for nothing, techies of driverless cars that think lorries and buses will give way to cars at junctions- and the way my football team is playing - boiler plate research reports which confuse PMI and IPMI, mix both in with accident and critical illness, mix it with life insurance and income protection cover- and most recently, thinking medical cover under travel insurance is part of health insurance and not part of travel insurance. Other pet hates are press releases with" we are delighted to" or " we are announcing the launch" or " really unique" or " X will help us take the company to the next level' or" Z has been specially designed to cater for".

What enthuses you?

Insurers and brokers used to be grey men in grey suits with grey minds, with a few girls there for show.  It is now far more equal and with many bright people using technology and ideas that perhaps those running the companies do not really get. If it can bring in more scientists, engineers, social thinkers and not just those with a financial background or are happy to follow orders-then it can thrive.  It needs disrupters, people who annoy bosses by challenging how anything is done, and those who can look at health insurance upside down and insight out.

iPMI Magazine Speaks With Ian Youngman About International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI)

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Munich Re Posts Profit Of €3.1bn For 2015 And Raises Dividend To €8.25

Despite a difficult market environment, Munich Re posted a consolidated result of €3.1bn for 2015 – which almost matched the very good result of €3.2bn from the previous year. According to provisional calculations, in the fourth quarter the Group posted a profit of €0.7bn (previous year: €0.7bn). Shareholders are to participate in last year’s success through a much higher dividend: subject to approval by the Supervisory Board and Annual General Meeting, the dividend will rise to €8.25 (7.75) per share.

CFO Jörg Schneider said, "Due to the fact that the market environment is so challenging, the 2015 result is pleasing. Even though we benefited from random effects in the form of a low impact from major losses, the good result is mainly due to our operational profitability and rock-solid balance sheet." The result includes various one-off factors that had a net positive effect. Schneider noted that despite low interest rates and increasing volatility in the financial markets, the investment result was again robust.

The low-interest-rate environment depresses regular income from investments, with the consequence that competition in reinsurance markets remains strong. "But the decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at the end of the year is an indication of a gradual change in interest-rate policies. Yet it will be a long time before the interest-rate environment returns to a relatively normal level, and one of the factors this depends on is geo-political developments," Schneider commented.

"The further strong increase in the dividend demonstrates our trust in the sustained earnings power of Munich Re," said Schneider. Munich Re also continued its share buy-back programme. As part of the programme running since the Annual General Meeting in April 2015, to date Munich Re has acquired shares amounting to around €800m; by the next Annual General Meeting on 27 April 2016, the total value should be €1bn.

Significant developments in the 2015 financial year

The following developments had an impact on the Group's assets and earnings in 2015, although they may be only partially reflected in the IFRS result:

  • High volatility in the capital markets – particularly intense activity at asset manager MEAG
    • Interest rates at the end of 2015 at around the same level as at the end of 2014, but with somewhat higher risk spreads
    • Stock markets in the USA at the same level at the end of 2015 as in the previous year; in most other regions, they closed slightly higher
  • Devaluation of the euro against most foreign currencies pertinent for Munich Re's business operations
  • In reinsurance, low impact of major losses from natural catastrophes, high releases of reserves for basic losses from prior years
  • Impact of one-off effects at ERGO and in Munich Health, including goodwill impairments
  • Low tax charge due to adjustments for prior years

Summary of the preliminary figures for the 2015 financial year

In 2015, the Group generated extremely pleasing operating earnings of €4.8bn (4.0bn), of which €1.4bn (0.7bn) was attributable to the fourth quarter. Once again, there were negative foreign-exchange effects of –€0.2bn (–0.1bn) on the "other non-operating result" in 2015, with a positive effect of €0.1bn in the fourth quarter. As in previous years, the consolidated result for the Group was marked by various opposing effects. Changes in the value of derivative financial instruments, negative currency effects, along with goodwill impairments in the ERGO field of business had an overall adverse impact. This contrasted in particular with the very good result in property-casualty reinsurance. A comparatively low tax charge – due to adjustments for prior years – also had a positive effect. In 2015, equity increased by around €0.7bn to €31.0bn (31.12.2014: €30.3bn), with an increase of more than €0.9bn in the fourth quarter alone. The return on risk-adjusted capital (RORAC), which serves as the key performance indicator for the Group as a whole, was a pleasing 11.5% (13.2%), whilst the return on equity (RoE) amounted to 10.0% (11.3%). For the fourth quarter, Munich Re achieved an annualised RORAC of 10.8% (12.2%) and an RoE of 9.6% (9.8%). Gross premiums written by the Group increased in 2015 to €50.4bn (48.8bn), due to currency effects.

With a carrying amount of €215.1bn (market value of €230.5bn), total investments (excluding insurance-related investments) as at 31 December 2015 were down on the year-end 2014 figure of €218.9bn (market value of €235.8bn). The Group's investment result (excluding insurance-related investments) decreased to €7.5bn (8.0bn). Changes in the value of derivatives had an overall adverse impact of –€1.2bn for the year under review, and of
–€0.2bn for the fourth quarter. Munich Re posted net write-downs of €0.8bn (0.2bn) on non-derivative investments during the year; in the fourth quarter net write-downs amounted to €0.1bn. The balance of gains and losses on disposals excluding derivatives, on the other hand, was positive at €2.7bn (fourth quarter: €0.4bn). Considering the situation in the capital markets, this investment result represents a relatively high annualised return of 3.2% in relation to the average market value of the portfolio.

Munich Health: Result of €0.09bn

The Munich Health field of business contributed a profit of €0.09bn (0.11bn) to the consolidated result. At €0.08bn, the operating result was below the level of the previous year (€0.12bn). The somewhat weaker year-on-year result was largely due to higher claims expenditure in parts of health reinsurance business in the USA. Munich Health's premium income showed an increase of around 5% to €5.6bn (5.3bn), which was attributable to positive currency translation effects. The combined ratio for 2015 totalled 99.9% (98.8%).

Renewals of reinsurance treaties in property-casualty business at 1 January 2016
During the reinsurance treaty renewals at 1 January 2016, the market environment was nearly unchanged compared with the previous year. There was sufficient capacity in all classes of reinsurance business. Prices remained under pressure, but to a slightly lesser degree than in previous years. Treaty terms and conditions were largely unchanged, as was the demand for reinsurance cover.

Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re’s Board of Management, said, "We can be satisfied with the figures for the January renewals. Despite a continuing difficult market environment, Munich Re was able to seize attractive business opportunities. We are a preferred partner for clients that place value on sophisticated insurance solutions."

Jeworrek continued, "Our clients appreciate the value added that we offer them. In Europe and South America in particular, we were able to conclude some treaties individually, which meant that these transactions were only subject to the intensely competitive environment in standard business to a limited extent. For some clients, we developed bespoke capital-relief reinsurance solutions – such as where there were short-term capital requirements following an acquisition."

At 1 January 2016, slightly more than half of Munich Re's non-life reinsurance business was up for renewal, representing a premium volume of around €9.1bn. Of this, 11% (around €1.0bn) was not renewed. By contrast, Munich Re wrote new business with a volume of approximately €1.2bn. Altogether, the volume of business written at 1 January grew slightly by 0.7% to around €9.2bn. Prices fell by around 1.0%.

Munich Re is proceeding on the assumption that the market environment will not change significantly in the subsequent renewal rounds in 2016, unless extraordinary loss events occur. The renewal date of 1 April is mainly for reinsurance treaties in Japan, whereas 1 July is the renewal date for the USA, Australia and Latin America.

Reinsurance: Result of €3.3bn
The reinsurance field of business contributed a remarkable €3.3bn (2.9bn) to the consolidated result, with the operating result up by €0.9bn to €4.1bn. Gross premiums written climbed to €28.2bn (26.8bn). Changes in the value of the euro as against other currencies had a significant impact on premium growth (+5.4%).

Life reinsurance contributed €0.3bn (0.4bn) to the consolidated result. At €0.34bn (0.28bn), the technical result fell somewhat below the target of €0.4bn; the figure for the fourth quarter was €0.09bn (0.01bn). It was impacted by two mortality claims, for each of which Munich Re paid out an amount in the two-digit million euro range. In the USA and Australia, business largely developed as expected in 2015 after negative effects had impacted the result in the previous year.

Property-casualty reinsurance again accounted for an impressive share of the consolidated result for the full year, with a total of €2.9bn (2.5bn). The combined ratio for 2015 amounted to an excellent 89.7% (92.7%) of net earned premiums, and totalled only 78.6% (91.2%) for the fourth quarter. Claims notifications for basic losses remained noticeably below the expected level overall. Munich Re was able to release loss reserves in the amount of €1.4bn during the full year, corresponding to around 8.2 percentage points of the combined ratio. The figure for the fourth quarter was €0.9bn, corresponding to around 20.9 percentage points of the combined ratio. Munich Re also still aims to set the amount of provisions for newly emerging claims at the very top end of the estimation range, so that profits from the release of a portion of these reserves are possible at a later stage.

Total major-loss expenditure for 2015 amounted to €1.0bn (1.2bn), of which €0.2bn (0.2bn) was attributable to the fourth quarter. Reserve strengthening was somewhat lower than run-off profits for major losses from previous years. In relation to net earned premiums, the major-loss burden of 6.2% (7.2%) for the full year was below the average expected figure of 12%, and amounted to 4.7% (6.1%) for the fourth quarter. Natural catastrophe losses impacted the full year with €149m (538m), while the figure for the fourth quarter was €0m (111m). Heavy rainfall in northern Chile, which caused considerable flooding, was the largest nat cat loss event of the year at €47m. A severe earthquake off the coast of Chile gave rise to expenditure of €45m. At €897m (625m), man-made major losses were up on the level of the previous year, which is equivalent to 5.3% (3.9%) of net earned premiums. The explosion at Tianjin harbour in China (€175m) and a dam failure in Brazil (€156m) were by far the largest individual losses of the year.

ERGO: Result of –€0.2bn

In 2015, the ERGO field of business generated a loss of €0.2bn (previous year: profit of €0.2bn). One of the factors contributing to this result was additional expenses of €452m from the revaluation of goodwill. The sale of the Italian subsidiary ERGO Italia agreed in November also had a negative impact of €0.1bn on the result. At €0.6bn, the operating result remained stable year on year (€0.6bn), while gross premiums written fell to €16.5bn (16.7bn).

The combined ratio in property-casualty insurance in Germany was 97.9% (95.3%) for the full year, and amounted to 103.9% (97.1%) in the fourth quarter. Flooding caused by the low pressure systems Eva and Frank in the fourth quarter was the largest loss event of the year in German business. The combined ratio in property-casualty insurance for ERGO International was 104.7% (97.3%) for the full year, and amounted to 115.3% (96.8%) for the fourth quarter.

 

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MENA Health Insurance Congress, 16 - 17 May 2016, Dubai

Demand for healthcare in the MENA region has risen as a result of high population growth, increased life expectancy, lower mortality rates, the prevalence of lifestyle related diseases, and an aspiration for better quality healthcare services.

The MENA Health Insurance Congress, taking place in Dubai from 15-17 May 2016, is a strategic platform for all the stakeholders to discuss and collaborate on the developments of mandatory health insurance in the region; look into global healthcare trends that will shape the future changes; examine fraud and abuse in the health insurance system; strengthen payer and provider partnerships; regulate pricing and medical inflation; and the emerging role of employers and patients in the mandatory health coverage.

The congress will host regulators and key stakeholders from the health insurance who will tackle the medical insurance issues through presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

Key speakers

Mahmoud Shalab, Senior Vice President and Head of Department, Union Insurance Company
Robin Ali, Health Insurance Consultant,Dubai Health Authority, UAE
Mark Adams, Chief Executive Officer,Anglo Arabian Healthcare
Tsepang Nare, Manager - Health Information Management Services,Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Tintu Elizabeth Mathews, Director, Revenue Cycle Management, Oasis Hospital
Dr. Ramadan Al Blooshi, Managing Director, Regulatory, Dubai Healthcare City
Dr. Marc Ruemmler, Chief Operating Officer, Healthpoint, Mubadala Healthcare

Key benefits of attending

Hear the latest advancements on e-health from inspirational panellists and keynote speakers from the health insurance sector;
Understand how health data analytics can help direct insurance outcomes better;
Explore different methods and technologies to spot and stop insurance fraud;
Understand the value of health awareness and patient engagement to mitigate costs;
Analyse healthcare partnerships in long term managed care to generate better outcomes;
Network with your peers across the different sectors in the industry;
Share your best practices and join the 2nd MENA Health Insurance Awards and be recognised for your outstanding contribution to the MENA health insurance market.

Who should attend

Policy makers;
Health economists;
Chief Underwriting Officers;
Medical Reinsurance Manager;
Medical Claims Director;
Hospital Head of Strategy, Head of Medical Operation;
Pharmaceutical Market Access Directors;
Medical Coding Director;
Actuaries.

For more information about the MENA Health Insurance Congress 2016 in Dubai visit the MENA Health Insurance Congress website, click here.

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Insurance Companies And Products As We Know Them Today Will Have To Evolve

That's according to Griselle Chernys, CEO, at Wellaway, who took an executive seat on a recent iPMI Magazine round table business forum.

Although global risks have changed dramatically, medical inflation and the cost of employee benefits continues to cause concern. In the most recent iPMI Magazine Round Table Business Forum we spoke with leading C-Level executives from the world of International Private Medical Insurance about the rising cost of healthcare and medical inflation.

An AON report report shows that in 2015, medical costs are expected to increase by 10.15 percent before plan design changes and vendor negotiations—6 percentage points higher than the average inflation rate. In 2014, the global average medical trend was 10.34 percent. While the global average medical trend is expected to decline, three regions--Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America--are projected to see an uptick in rates for 2015.

Talking to the IPMI round table group about the Aon Hewitt report Griselle Chernys, CEO, at Wellaway told us, “I think that the data is pertinent and probably correct. Healthcare is a commodity that providers will control and deliver as they want, especially in the private sector with IPMI coverage. Hospitals and physicians have the upper hand in the delivery and pricing, thus the need for integrated services. As I heard a physician administrator in a hospital say once, during some insurance pricing negotiation, “this is our price and if you do not like it, I would like to see you admit and deliver the medical care the member needs." As long as the relationship of providers and insurance is antagonistic, a solution will not be able to achieved. More and more hospitals and physicians will develop and deliver health plans via their medical facilities and I predict that the multi-hospital system will develop internationally as it has happened in the USA or as we see with Hospiten and the like.

Insurance companies and products as we know them today will have to evolve.”

ANDREW APPS, HEAD OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, BELLWOOD PRESTBURY added, “Competition between iPMI insurers is intensifying and will continue to do so as new entrants dip their toe into the market and dream of taking a slice of the ever expanding market. Price cutting particularly amongst the employer-sponsored plans is inevitable as the larger players jockey for position and greater market share, all of which is good for the employer in the short term at least. As the saying goes, there is always someone out there who will take the risk. But there has to come a point where underwriters have to make a return on their investment. At this point premiums have to rise and with the relationship between insurers and medical service providers becoming all the more strained as medical treatment fees increase, that day is not too far away. This makes the job of the adviser /broker all the more important."

ROMAN BEILHACK, CEO, GLOBALITY HEALTH said,Employers are operating in an environment where they need to provide high levels of healthcare for their employees, sometimes due to statutory requirements and other times due to the natural tendency of employers to look after the well being of their workforce. Employers are typically under pressure to keep their operating costs low and when they review their budgets during their annual business planning cycles they will aim to minimise the cost of employee benefits. Due to these cost pressures, there may be situations where employers will downgrade the insurance coverage so that they can afford a plan rather than removing the plan altogether. Globality seeks to find solutions for their clients in these situations.

The global average inflation rate is interesting for comparing one year to the next. However, when it comes to employer-sponsored plans then the specific features of those plans should be considered. This means considering the locations of the insured members, the benefit levels, the treatment providers and network access. Referring to a single global average can be misleading for many employers.”

One of the most common questions we hear within the IPMI industry is: how will the cost of international private medical insurance rise in the next 5 years?

ROMAN BEILHACK, CEO, GLOBALITY HEALTH told us, “Costs are expected to continue to rise at levels above general price inflation. There are continual advances in medical science with new treatments and medicines being developed all the time. It is normal that insured members will demand the best treatments and services available, particularly for expatriates. In order for insurers to offer these new treatments then there will inevitably be premium increases.

However, insurers should not use this as an excuse to increase premiums beyond what is necessary. As can be seen recently, Globality is holding 2016 rates at 2015 levels for many categories of its business."

ARJAN TOOR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CIGNA GLOBAL IPMI added, “Medical inflation is driven by unit cost, i.e. the price of each service; and utilization, that is how many and what type of services are used. As the world’s health care standards continue to rise and the range of treatment facilities and breadth of treatment options available continues to increase, it is without doubt that both unit cost and utilisation will also continue to increase.

It’s our job as the insurer to understand these risks and continually evolve our proposition to protect our customers from the impacts of medical inflation as far as possible. We’re continually working on initiatives to help minimize the impact of inflationary volatilities including investments in expanding our medical network and claims teams globally, meaning we can counteract medical inflation spikes to a certain extent as we build long-term relationships with hospital groups. It’s a lot about experience as well - it’s imperative that our claims advisors know the expected cost of a hip operation in Singapore, for example, and can ask the right questions to ensure the costs are appropriate.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say exactly how premium costs will rise over a 5 year period, but our focus will continue to be on driving forward our mission of helping the people we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security.”

ANDREW APPS, HEAD OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, BELLWOOD PRESTBURY commented, “If I had a crystal ball, it would be easy to answer this; however, the reality is that no one really knows to what extent iPMI premiums are going to rise over the next few years. What is certain is that premiums will continue to increase due to the rising cost of medical treatment along with the ever popular demand for private medical treatment.

That said, increased competition amongst the iPMI providers has, to some degree, helped to keep premiums palatable for most policyholders (putting to one side the notion that nobody likes to see their premiums increase), with average year on year increases running between 5-10% depending upon where a person is living and working. How long this will continue is anyone’s guess, but the market is hotting up with yet more new provider entrants trying their hand.”

GRISELLE CHERNYS, CEO, WELLAWAY added, “The cost of international private medical insurance will rise dramatically and this will be driven by the development and demand for new treatments, pharmaceuticals and technology. Longevity is also playing a role in the inflation and utilization of medical services which creates more demand and demand will drive costs.”

TO READ THE COMPLETE ROUND TABLE, THE RISING COST OF GLOBAL HEALTHCARE, CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Singapore HNWI Wealth To Reach US$1.1 Trillion By 2019

Singapore Wealth Report 2015 market research says number of Singaporean HNWIs is forecast to grow by over 18%, to reach under 188,000 in 2019, while HNWI wealth is projected to grow by less than 28%, to reach over US$1 trillion by the same year.

There were 154,189 HNWIs in Singapore in 2014. These HNWIs held US$806.3 billion in wealth. The volume of Singaporean HNWIs rose by 2.1% in 2014, following an increase of 2.3% in 2013. Growth in HNWI wealth and numbers is expected to improve over the forecast period. The number of Singaporean HNWIs is forecast to grow by 18.3%, to reach 187,975 in 2019, while HNWI wealth is projected to grow by 27.6%, to reach US$1.1 trillion by the same year.

Companies featured in the Singapore wealth report 2015 include UBS Wealth Management, Citi, Credit Suisse, HSBC Private Bank, Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, Julius Baer, JP Morgan Wealth Management and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. 

 

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