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Pierre Brigadeau Joins Europ Assistance Group As Global Global Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Antoine Parisi, CEO of the Europ Assistance Group, is providing the Europ Assistance Group with a new organisation around its four Business Lines to support its new strategic ambitions. Four Business Lines are being created to accelerate the development of Europ Assistance in its four areas of activity: Travel, Automotive, Health, Home & Family.

These four Business Lines now have overall responsibility for the management and performance of each of the Group's four activities, worldwide. This new organisation around the Group's four Business Lines aims to bring worldwide customers of Europ Assistance value-added solutions and offers in terms of marketing and technological innovation as well as customer relations across all distribution channels. These four business lines are entrusted to Pierre Brigadeau who joined Europ Assistance as Global Global Chief Sales & Marketing Officer with effect from 10 March 2015.

In his new role, Pierre Brigadeau becomes a member of the Group Executive Committee and reports directly to Antoine Parisi. As part of this new organisation, Paola Bianchi, Stéphane Charbonneau, Guillaume Deybach and Emmanuel Légeron are appointed Executive Vice-President for the Automotive, Home & Family, Travel and Health Global Business Line respectively. In performing their duties, they become members of the Group Executive Committee and report directly to Pierre Brigadeau.



Cigna TTK Health Insurance Launches Lifestyle Protection Product - Accident Care

Cigna TTK Health Insurance a joint venture between U.S. based global health service leader, Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), and Indian conglomerate TTK Group, today announced the launch of  its second, Lifestyle Protection product- Accident Care.

Accident Care is available to retail customers in three options- Basic, Enhanced and Comprehensive with a sum insured ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 10 crore.

Speaking on the launch, Sandeep Patel, CEO and Managing Director, Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company Limited said “It is imperative to be prepared for adversity arising due to uncertainties in today’s evolving world. It is our aim to work together with our customers, to understand their unique needs and deliver on those needs.  Lifestyle protection products from Cigna TTK are designed to assure financial support through life’s ups and downs. It’s our endeavor to keep the products simple, convenient and comprehensive. Accident Care is uniquely designed to offer benefits and value for money, to our customers.”

Earlier, Cigna TTK also launched Critical Care, as a part of Lifestyle Protection product suite. This policy is available in two variants – Basic Plan and Enhanced Plan. 15 basic critical illnesses will be covered under basic plan and 30 under the enhanced plan. Cigna TTK – Critical Care offers a sum insurance ranging from 1 Lac to 25 crores. The minimum age to take this policy is 18 and the maximum age is 65 with a lifetime renewal facility. It is topped with a unique facility that allows our customers access to Cigna’s Global Network across 80 Countries and over 10,00,000 network hospitals at network rates to avail treatment for the diagnosed Critical Illness.

Talking about Critical Care, Mr. Patel said, “With growing sedentary lifestyles, changing environmental factors and high stress levels in the country, lifestyle diseases are becoming more and more prevalent.  Critical Care is designed to cater to the growing concerns of lifestyle diseases and the high medical costs associated with them. The product is also designed to complement indemnity medical products.”

“We intend to offer a comprehensive health insurance portfolio to all our customers. Both Accident Care and Critical Care are fixed benefit products which strengthens Cigna TTK’s suite of health insurance products offered in the market.” he added.

All Cigna TTK products offer immediate access to Cigna TTK’s online wellness program- ProActiv Living, to all policy holders, offering customers Health Risk Assessment, Targeted Risk Assessment and Lifestyle Management Programs to improve their lifestyle.

In addition, the policy holder is also entitled for tax benefit under section 80D as per Income Tax act.


The Most Comprehensive Cancer Cover In The Critical Illness Market

Friends Life has announced its latest round of critical illness enhancements which now means it offers the most comprehensive cancer cover on the market.

Among the enhancements Friends Life has:

  • simplified the main cancer definition
  • created a new ‘less advanced cancer’ additional payment definition covering 20 specific types of cancer
  • increased and standardised payment for all additional payments to 25% of benefit or £25,000 (whichever is lower)
  • created an option to add Global Treatment, in association with Best Doctors, for an additional £4 a month

Mark Anders, Director of Sales for Individual Protection at Friends Life, said, “The new enhancements we have made to our critical illness proposition mean our customers can be even more confident that their policy will support them financially across a very broad range of significant illnesses. After all, that is what we are here for - supporting customers when they or their children have health problems. I think we now have the strongest critical illness proposition on the market. When adding these cancer related enhancements to our unique benefits such as the Global Treatment option, child specific illnesses and fracture cover we are offering something very few other providers can compete with.”

Friends Life has also added a severe hearing loss additional payment to complement the main deafness definition.

Mark Anders added, “A severe loss of hearing can have a huge impact on someone’s life and so our new additional payment definition is designed to support customers whose hearing loss is severe, but not significant enough to claim on the main benefit. These enhancements make critical illness cover an even more attractive proposition to customers. Cancer is the most claimed for condition on critical illness policies so it’s really important that we cover people for as many different forms of it as possible. We’ve made the definitions easier to understand and now offer additional payments for 20 conditions where cancers are less advanced. It means we’ll be able to help our customers when they need it most.”


Time For A Career Move Abroad? Don't Let The Doctor Put A Dampener On It

The start of a new tax year is a popular time for anyone planning a lifestyle change to move abroad, offering as it does sensible tax planning opportunities. History tells us, though, that whilst many will have a job lined up and hopefully somewhere to live, scant attention will be paid to the financial implications of their move overseas.

That's an oversight that can come back to haunt some expatriates, especially those who have moved abroad with their family. Moving to a warmer climate, such as the Middle or Far East can bring thoughts of endless warm weather and sunshine, with memories of winter trips to the local GP confined to history. But families do still get ill, wherever they live and your local doctor will always be an important part of your life. The difference is that once abroad, you will no longer have access to a free NHS and in some countries even everyday treatments can mount up in cost terms.

Take the recent case of a client of MediCare International. Noticing their child's hearing seemed to be deteriorating, the family was referred to a local a paediatrician who carried out an examination and a range of hearing tests at a cost of $400. The tests resulted in a recommendation for an adenotonsillectomy, a routine but in this case important operation to remove both the adenoids and tonsils and subsequently to insert grommets. The surgeon's fees totalled $850, whilst those of the anaesthetist amounted to $350. In addition, MediCare International paid for an overnight stay in the hospital, along with all nursing care costs, which added a further$9,280 to the bill, bring the total to just under $11,200. Happily, the child has made a full recovery after an uneventful operation.

Buying good quality international health insurance and peace of mind to protect against instances like this can be expensive, but it is far better to be covered rather than to face the prospects of a bill running into thousands. International private medical insurers such as MediCare International have been looking after expatriates of all nationalities for 30 years, so they understand the importance not only of excellent cover but also of keeping costs down.

In the case of MediCare International, its focus on cost control is based on a comprehensive excess strategy, allowing clients to buy their preferred package of international medical cover, but with up to 50% off the cost of premiums. The discount is applied per year of cover, giving policyholders a high level of flexibility. In practice, this means expatriates are still securing cover against potentially high cost claims such as hospital treatment, long term illness, evacuations, major operations, complications etc., but from a day to day perspective in areas such as GP or dental costs, the policy holder is effectively self-insuring to save on costs. To qualify for the premium discount, applicants need to choose the size of their agreed excess, which ranges from £500 to £10,000.

MediCare International believes this gives clients the best of both worlds. Managing director Debbie Purser said, "We are constantly looking at ways to keep costs down for clients, whilst at the same time retaining top quality options on cover, should the need arise. Our voluntary excess structure can give policyholders up to 50% discount on their premiums, which in real terms can bring the cost of a typical policy for a young family consisting of the parents aged 34 and a child aged 14 months down to £1690 annually. Even at this level, the family will still be covered for major events such as hospital costs, inpatient stays, serious illness costs and medical evacuation. For a young family in their thirties with a good health record, many are happy to assume that in fact they just need to protect against the really high bills and to look after their children, so accepting an excess is simple way to cut costs. At the other end of the scale, many older clients and who will normally have higher premiums also find this option attractive, as they can use savings to cover any excess and thereby also reduce premiums."

Cases like these highlight that, with the benefit of hindsight, taking out an international private health insurance plan can work out to be one of the smartest investments anyone leaving the UK can make.


Cigna Global Health Benefits Network Expands To Provide Health Services & Benefits To Canadian Expatriates And Their Families

  • Integrates provincial & expatriate plans for eligible customers;

  • Gives employees access to a provider network of more than 30,000 health care professionals throughout Canada.

Cigna Global Health Benefits® (NYSE: CI) now offers medical, dental, vision and pharmacy benefits to Canadian expatriates and their eligible family members through its CignaLinks® network expansion intoCanada. Cigna Global Health Benefits worked with Cowan Insurance Group, a leading provider of third party administrator services in Canada, to bring this opportunity to market. This relationship is unique in that the provincial and expatriate health plans are managed together for eligible customers; making it easier for customers to use their benefits wherever they may be in the world.

According to a recent study (National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2014) conducted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, in 2012 the private sector spent $60.3 billion on health care. Annual growth rates were forecast at 2.6% for 2014, which is higher than public-sector annual growth rates (forecast at 2.0%). Through this relationship, customers now have access to a direct reimbursement experience utilizing a strong national network of health care professionals that are part of the CignaLinks Canada network.

“Research and feedback tells us that customers want affordable health care services and products that are easy for them to use when they need it,” said Robyn Cameron, Senior Vice President, North America Market, Cigna Global Health Benefits. “By working with Cowan, we’re able to introduce a unique offering to customers that combines affordability with convenience without sacrificing quality of care or quantity of access to doctors.”

“Navigating the healthcare landscape of a foreign country can be very challenging for an expatriate employee and their dependents. Multi-national employers want their expatriate employees to have a comprehensive healthcare program so that when they travel, their medical needs will be covered,” said Jason McCormick, Vice President International Benefits, Cowan Insurance Group. “With this relationship, Cigna’s insured members who are working in Canada and their dependents, gain access to a significant network of providers from coast to coast that offer direct reimbursement, and tap into cost mitigation opportunities through our innovative tools, relationships and partners.”

In addition, customers receive:

  • Direct claims settlement for retail pharmacies, vision, medical and dental benefits across Canada;
  • Services accessed at discount rates in many cases due to local pricing and negotiated discounts with many of the health care professionals in the CignaLinks network;
  • No deductibles;
  • Provincial Health Plan Service eligibility and enrollment support, which simplifies the administration of medical health services across all provinces; and
  • Easy-to-use search capabilities when looking for health care professionals in the Cigna Envoy® online directory.

Jubilee Insurance Launches The 2015 Life Agents’ Incentive Program

Jubilee Insurance launched the 2015 Life Agent’s Incentive program. This came shortly after the department was awarded the Group Life Best Practice Award at the annual AKI Agent of the Year Award (AAYA).

Speaking from Jubilee Centre, Jubilee Kenya CEO Patrick Tumbo said that the award was a remarkable achievement that goes a long way to demonstrate that Jubilee operates within the set industry standards and regulations by Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).

“Our mission is to deliver solutions that protect the future of our customers and at the same time engaging in healthy competition with fellow industry players. Our premium rates are as recommended within the IRA guidelines, to whom, we submit our monthly sales data within the required timelines and we also get a loss ratio from the reinsurer or insurer before taking on new business,” said Mr. Tumbo.

The qualifiers of the 2014 incentive program were recognized and appreciated for the gallant effort, as they prepare for a tour to Istanbul, Turkey. The incentives also included a cash reward for shopping while on the tour! While launching the 2015 incentive program, the General Manager Life Business, Aggrey Mulumbi said that the program will reward all committed and best performing agents, as well as drive best sales practices in the agency force. Jubilee insurance had 13 qualifiers in the just concluded Association of Kenya Insurers Agent of the Year Awards. These are agents who have achieved their sales targets of the Number of policies and also achieved an Annualized Premium Income (API) and had a minimum persistency of 85%. The awards that take place on the first Friday of March every year aim at motivating agents to sell more and hence increase the Life insurance penetration in the Kenya.

About Jubilee Insurance

The Jubilee Insurance Company Kenya Limited (JICKL) was incorporated in 1937 as a composite insurer based in Mombasa becoming the first locally incorporated insurance company in Kenya. Jubilee Insurance has spread its sphere of influence throughout the region to become the largest multi-line insurer in East Africa, handling both long-term and short-term insurance, today Jubilee is the number one insurer in East Africa with over 470,000 clients and several regional branches under the holding company, Jubilee Holdings Limited. Jubilee Insurance has four business lines namely Medical, Life, Pensions and General. It is the leading medical insurer in East Africa with a network of offices spanning Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius. It is the only ISO certified insurance group listed on the three East Africa stock exchanges.


Friends Life Revolutionises Protection Market With The Launch Of Global Treatment

Friends Life has announced the launch of Global Treatment, in association with Best Doctors – an additional option to its Protect+ range. Global Treatment is the first protection option of its kind in the UK and is exclusive to Friends Life.

Friends life - Global Treatment HD from Friends Life on Vimeo.

Global Treatment gives customers access to the leading medical experts and treatments around the world – for themselves and their children. Covering a range of serious illnesses, including all cancers, Global Treatment will pay and arrange for people to get from their front door to a hospital they choose. It offers more choice and access to high-quality treatment in leading international hospitals outside of the UK.

Mark Anders, Director of Sales at Friends Life, said “Global Treatment revolutionises the protection insurance industry and is a unique optional benefit in the UK. It provides peace of mind that comes from knowing you are in the best hands. If a customer or their children were diagnosed with a serious illness, Global Treatment can open the doors to more options, giving them access to treatment at world-renowned hospitals by leading medical experts. If a customer is diagnosed with cancer and the best possible treatment is in New York, Zurich or Sydney, for example, Global Treatment will cover the costs. All they have to do is concentrate on getting better.”

The key features of the Global Treatment option are:

  • Available to customers and their children
  • Pays for all overseas treatment at a hospital chosen by the customer
  • Arranges and pays for all travel from the customer’s front door to a hospital they choose, including cost for an accompanying person
  • Arranges and pays for all accommodation costs, including cost for an accompanying person
  • Pays £100 a day allowance per night of hospital stay.
  • Each insured person has unlimited use of Global Treatment, up to a maximum benefit entitlement of £1 million per insured person, per year. They can be treated multiple times with coverage of up to £2 million per insured person in their lifetime
  • On return to the UK, it covers the cost of necessary medication if they are not available on the NHS (up to the value of £50,000)
  • Global Treatment covers cancer, neurosurgery, coronary artery by-pass surgery, heart valve replacement or repair, bone marrow and live donor organ transplant
  • Costs just £4 per month*

Frank Ahedo, Managing Director at Best Doctors, who are supplying the medical expertise for Global Treatment, said “Best Doctors has been providing people in the UK with a Second Medical Opinion service for over 10 years. Global Treatment now builds upon the value of this service, taking it to the next level by providing and paying for treatment and expenses. As well as giving advice to people, we can now get them in front of some of the most skilled doctors at centres of medical excellence around the world. I’m very proud that Best Doctors will be working alongside Friends Life to deliver this fantastic additional benefit.”

Global Treatment is available to anyone taking out a Friends Life Protect+ policy (life cover, critical illness cover or income protection). Through those policies, customers can already access Best Doctors ‘Second Opinion’ service**. The results of this service will allow Friends Life customers to make informed decisions regarding treatment options and should the decision be to travel to a leading international hospital Global Treatment will make that possible.

Mark Anders from Friends Life added, “All too often you hear heart-breaking stories of families desperately trying to raise thousands of pounds to send a loved one abroad so they can get treatment for a serious illness. In many cases, Global Treatment can be the solution by providing the access and the opportunity to receive the very latest treatment. We are the only UK protection insurer to offer this benefit and we’re able to do it for just an additional £4 a month, making it a fantastic proposition for customers and their children. Our propositions are designed around the real needs of real people and what they may face whilst coping with a serious illness. Global Treatment is just another example of how we deliver for our customers.”

*Global Treatment can only be purchased as an addition to a Friends Life Protect+ policy
**Second Opinion is a discretionary benefit which can be withdrawn by Friends Life at any time


"Timing Lousy, Prognosis Good." Nick Robinson's Words Are Increasing Applying To More And More Cancer Sufferers, Says Medicare International

The ink had barely dried on a new paper published by Cancer Research in the UK in February announcing that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, when the BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, revealed he too was suffering from the disease and will be undergoing surgery to remove a lung tumour.

Cancer Research's more pessimistic prognosis of the number of people who can expect to get cancer is derived from a more accurate way of calculating the risk, rather than through any change in environmental factors. It means that half of those born after 1960 can now expect a diagnosis at some point in the future. For those born earlier, the risk remains at one in three.

Nick Robinson's case is an example of the way cancer is increasingly being seen as a treatable disease. According to Cancer Research, cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years as earlier diagnosis and treatment have both improved.

Now, 50% of adult cancer patients diagnosed in 2010-2011 in England and Wales are predicted to survive 10 or more years, all of which underlines the importance of expatriates having the correct international private medical insurance to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment, especially once they have moved abroad.

In Nick Robinson's case, his prognosis is good. Although lung cancer is the most lethal type of cancer in the UK, claiming around 35,000 lives per annum, Robinson is among the 1-2 per cent of lung cancer patients who have a very good chance of survival, because he has a rare carcinoid tumour. Carcinoid tumours are usually found in people aged over 60 (Robinson is 51) and they can exist for many years without causing any symptoms.

Nick Robinson was apparently diagnosed after feeling ''under the weather'’ for some days. His symptoms might have included something as mundane as a chest infection or possibly coughing up blood. The cancer would have been spotted following chest X-rays, CT scans and a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Surgery is the accepted treatment for an operable carcinoid tumour, as there is no substantial evidence that chemotherapy or radiotherapy are effective. Cancer can be treated, but the costs associated with this are often high.

Medicare International, a specialist international private medical insurer, reports that a significant and slowly rising percentage of its policyholders have suffered from cancerous conditions and for these clients, Medicare International has been meeting all associated expenses. Cancer costs can easily reach something in the region of £50,000 - £100,000, when complex drugs and treatment are needed. One patient living in Switzerland suffering from rectal cancer had to claim across three policy periods, with treatment costing £12,354, £35,829 and £36,550 - giving a total paid by Medicare International of £84,734. Another patient with breast cancer and based in the UK successfully recovered from the condition, with claims paid across two policy periods of £19,055 and £48,937 - total paid £67,992.

MediCare International managing director Debbie Purser comments, "Cancer treatments have advanced significantly over recent years, but are expensive, as many of the drugs needed are cutting edge. MediCare International health insurance policies cover not only the initial treatment, but also any ongoing costs associated with the condition. Our policies offer one of the most comprehensive levels of support for the treatment of cancer and chronic conditions, something we are justifiably proud of. There is clearly a higher risk with people who have already had cancer, but with the advances in technology, together with the high rates of cancer globally, Medicare International took the view that it was important to provide adequate cover for this category of client too wherever possible and without penalising them unduly for potential care costs in the future. Our position therefore is that we are able to ensure their care and prescriptions are paid for, without question, once they have qualified for one of our international healthcare insurance policies."


January Passenger Demand Signals Solid Start to 2015

Global passenger traffic results for January 2015 showing traffic growth (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) of 4.6% compared to January 2014. This represents a slower start to the year compared to 2014 full-year growth of 5.9%. However, results likely were affected by the timing of the Lunar New Year in Asia, which occurred one month later this year compared to 2014. January capacity rose 5.2% and load factor slipped 0.5 percentage points to 77.7%. While domestic markets drove growth in the latter part of 2014, international traffic was stronger in January.

“January traffic did not maintain the rate of growth attained in 2014; nevertheless, we are seeing healthy albeit slightly slower growth in the demand for air services. While January was a relatively positive start for the year, we cannot look ahead without seeing some significant risk factors in the macro-economic and political environment,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Passenger Markets

January international passenger traffic rose 5.4% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 6.0% and load factor slipped 0.5 percentage points to 78.0%. All regions recorded year-over increases in demand except for Africa. European carriers’ international traffic climbed 5.0% in January compared to the year-ago period, which was the largest increase among the three biggest regions. Capacity rose 4.6% and load factor rose 0.3 percentage points to 77.7%. Air travel growth in Europe reflects robust travel on low cost carriers as well as on airlines registered in Turkey which is helping to overcome some of the impact on travel of the ongoing economic weakness in the region.

Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 4.7% compared to January 2014, which is below the 2014 annual trend of 5.8% expansion. In addition, the seasonally-adjusted level of traffic has been broadly flat over the past five months. The timing of the Lunar New Year in mid-February (one month later than it fell in 2014) also impacted the results. Capacity rose 5.8%, pushing down load factor 0.8 percentage points to 77.6%.

North American airlines saw demand rise 2.7% in January over a year ago. While this was the weakest traffic growth for all regions save Africa, the US economy is a stand-out performer among developed economies. Capacity rose 3.8%, pushing down load factor 0.9 percentage points to 79.5%.

Middle East carriers had the strongest year-over-year traffic growth in January at 11.4%. Markit’s measures of business activity in non-oil sectors in the region’s economies continue to show improvement, suggesting Middle Eastern economies are comparatively well-placed to withstand the plunge in oil revenues. Capacity rose 13.3% and load factor dipped 1.3 percentage points to 79.7%.

Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 5.6%. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor climbed 0.4 percentage points to 81.2%, highest among the regions. While growth in the Brazilian economy has stagnated, regional trade volumes have continued to improve in recent months.

African airlines saw January traffic slip 0.7% compared to January 2014. The weakness in international air travel for regional carriers is not believed to be attributable to the Ebola outbreak. Rather, it appears to reflect negative economic developments in parts of the continent including Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, which is suffering from the collapse in oil prices. With capacity up 0.7%, load factor fell 1.0 percentage point to 68.1%, the lowest among the regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic air travel rose 3.2% in January year-on-year, which was below the full year 2014 result of 5.4%. Capacity rose 3.9% and load factor was 77.3%, down 0.5% percentage points. China domestic air travel rose just 2.1% January compared to a year ago. This in part is owing to the timing of the Lunar New Year falling in February (a month later than in 2014). But there was also a contraction in volumes in January compared to December, after adjusting for seasonal factors. Brazil’s domestic traffic climbed 5.6% in January. Nonetheless, growth in the economy is stagnant and persistently-high inflation remains a concern.

The Bottom Line: That the demand for connectivity drives economic activity was widely noted in media reports on the recent Lunar New Year Holiday which fell in February this year. The Chinese government estimated that the number of Chinese making overseas trips during the holiday period topped 5 million—a 10% increase on 2014. The China Tourism Academy suggests that this activity generated some $22 billion for the Chinese tourism industry. On the receiving end, it was widely reported that the 450,000 Chinese travelers who visited Japan over the period spent nearly $1 billion.

“Air travel drives business. The economic impact of travel during the Lunar New Year period is a tremendous example of how powerful a force travel can be. This is our message to governments: a successful air transport industry strengthens economies with broad economic and social benefits. The industry is committed to sustainable growth. But it is critical that governments do their part in ensuring cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate demand and not constraining growth with excessive taxation or onerous regulation,” said Tyler


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