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Pacific Prime Announces New Series of Annual Medical Insurance Reviews

For over 15 years, Pacific Prime has been committed to providing quality information and advice to clients to help them find the medical insurance that best suits their needs.

Pacific Prime is pleased to announce its new development for clients – a series of informative insurance reviews on different regions and the industry's top insurance providers. Every two months, starting next Friday, October 4th, Pacific Prime will be releasing an online review of the medical insurance industry over the last 12 months in a specific region, such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UAE.

The regional review will include a round-up of any medical insurance news in the region over the last 12 months, an analysis of the major news from Pacific Prime's industry experts, and predictions for the medical insurance industry in that particular region for the next 12 months. In addition to the regional reviews, every two weeks, starting the following Friday, October 11th, Pacific Prime will also be releasing a review of one of the major providers of international private medical insurance, such as Bupa International, Cigna, Now Health, William Russell, InterGlobal, Allianz, AXA PPP, Aetna, and more.

Similar to the regional reviews, the insurer reviews will include a round-up of any news pertaining to the insurance provider over the last 12 months such as any changes to plans, premiums, or any other developments. The insurer review will also include an analysis of the major news and predictions for the insurer's next 12 months. The first annual review will be for Hong Kong, and it will be released next Friday, October 4th, on Pacific Prime's website. Clients can also expect the reviews for a specific insurer or region to be released on an annual basis moving forward. With these new reports, Pacific Prime is continuing its mission of providing quality information to clients to help them make more informed decisions about their medical insurance.

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Travel Advice and News Thailand

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Over 800,000 British nationals visit Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but incidents of crime (sometimes violent) can affect visitors.

Rubber farmers in Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand have been involved in violent anti-government protests which have blocked roads and caused disruption.

You should avoid demonstrations and protests.

The majority of road traffic accidents in Thailand involve motorcycles, but accidents involving other vehicles including cars, coaches and mini-buses also occur.

By law you must carry your passport with you at all times.

Tourists have been arrested because they were unable to produce their passport.

Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs are severe and can include the death penalty.

Medical, Travel, Health Insurance for Expatriates, Business Travel and Leisure Travelers/Tourists

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Thailand.

Top tips for Travel to Thailand

Seeking medical, health, travel or expatriate insurance for travel or relocation to Thailand?

You can find a wide range of medical, travel, expatriate and health insurance companies that may be able to provide insurance plans and cover, for group and individual healthcare, when travelling to Thailand, in the iPMI Magazine Thailand Travel, Medical, Expatriate and Health Insurance company guide, click here.

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Colorado Travel Advice and Warnings

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Colorado has suffered severe storms and heavy rains, which has led to flooding, landslides, mudslides and roads being washed away in parts of the State. For more information and advice visit the website of the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

The hurricane season normally runs from June to November and can affect US coastal regions. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Centre website. Forest and brush fires (wild fires) are a danger in many dry areas in the summer months. High winds can cause fires to spread very rapidly.

There are a number of wildfires currently burning in the western United States including in Idaho and California. Visitors to Yosemite National Park may want to be aware that Highway 120 is closed. The effect of the US sequestration has increased waiting times at major US international airports.

Contact your tour operator or airline for flight information before travelling.

The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa. If you’re arriving by air or sea, you must get an authorisation via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) before you travel. If you’re arriving by land from Mexico or Canada and you qualify for entry to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, you won’t need to complete an ESTA.

You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime.

Around 5.5 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free.

Medical, Travel, Health Insurance for Expatriates, Business Travel and Leisure Travelers/Tourists

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Colorado.

Top tips for Travel to Colorado

Seeking medical, health, travel or expatriate insurance for travel or relocation to Colorado?

You can find a wide range of medical, travel, expatriate and health insurance companies that may be able to provide insurance plans and cover, for group and individual healthcare, when travelling to Colorado, in the iPMI Magazine Colorado Travel, Medical, Expatriate and Health Insurance company guide, click here.

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Travel Advice France

Around 17,100,000 British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Industrial action by public sector workers on 10 September 2013 may have a limited effect on travel to, from and within France. Check with your travel provider before you leave. There is a general threat from terrorism. The French authorities announced in January 2013 increased security around public buildings and on transport.

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. 

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Travel Advice USA

The hurricane season normally runs from June to November and can affect US coastal regions. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Centre website. Forest and brush fires (wild fires) are a danger in many dry areas in the summer months. High winds can cause fires to spread very rapidly.

There are a number of wildfires currently burning in the western United States including in Idaho and California.

Visitors to Yosemite National Park may want to be aware that Highway 120 is closed. For more information on the rim fire see the Incident Information System website. The effect of the US sequestration has increased waiting times at major US international airports.

Contact your tour operator or airline for flight information before travelling. The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa.

If you’re arriving by air or sea, you must get an authorisation via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) before you travel. If you’re arriving by land from Mexico or Canada and you qualify for entry to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, you won’t need to complete an ESTA. There is a general threat from terrorism. You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime.

Around 5.5 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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Archipelago Insurance Ltd Enters Malaysian Medical Insurance Market

Archipelago Insurance Ltd Enters Malaysian Medical Insurance Market

Archipelago Insurance, a general insurer, licensed by the Labuan Financial Services Authority is launching Ultracare medical insurance plans, developed by InterGlobal, a UK private health insurer. Ultracare will be marketed through both offshore and locally registered insurance brokers, plus through licensed financial advisors at the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Commenting, Archipelago Insurance Group director Alan Chew Cheong Yew said: “We hope to attract 500 clients within our first year of selling the product, generating about RM7.5 million in gross premiums.”

According to Chew, the target market will be expatriates and high net-worth individuals looking for customized comprehensive international private medical insurance plans that will provide the right cover, at the right time. Target market will initially focus on the Klang Valley growing to include areas with high a concentration of expatriates like Johor Baru, Penang and cities in East Malaysia.

The International consultant company Roland Berger Strategy Consultants recently reported, that Malaysia’s medical and insurance sector is expected to more than triple by 2020 to reach US$5 billion, from its current US$1.5 billion, presenting excellent growth opportunities for the health insurance sector.

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A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of TOWER Medical Insurance Limited

A.M. Best Asia-Pacific Limited has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” of TOWER Medical Insurance Limited (TMI) (New Zealand). The outlook for both ratings is stable. TMI was sold as a wholly owned subsidiary to nib holdings limited (the nib group) in November 2012. The nib group is a health insurer established over 60 years ago and is the only listed health insurer on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Currently, the nib group provides health insurance to over one million Australian and New Zealand residents. The rating affirmations reflect TMI’s consistent underwriting results and good liquidity position, which indicates adequate margins of protection for unexpected claims and liquidity needs. The ratings also consider the nib group’s parental support in areas of strategic initiatives and risk management.

Offsetting these positive rating factors are the dividends paid by TMI over fiscal year 2013. Although TMI’s premiums continued to grow and generate positive earnings, the amount of dividends paid exceeded its net profits earned. This resulted in a decline in TMI’s risk-based capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR).

An upgrading of TMI’s ratings is unlikely in the near term. Negative rating actions may occur if economic and/or industry factors lead to underwriting losses or there is a significant and continuous deterioration in the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization. The methodology used in determining these interactive ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process.

Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication, and unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication. A.M. Best Asia-Pacific Limited is a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company. A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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Pacific Prime Clients with Aetna Gain New Medical Insurance Options in Saudi Arabia

The medical insurance provider Aetna has formed a new strategic alliance with The Company for Cooperative Insurance (Tawuniya) allowing for new options for Pacific Prime clients in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The alliance will allow Aetna to provide health care services to expats living in Saudi Arabia and Saudi citizens living either in the Kingdom or abroad.

As part of the alliance, Aetna is providing cooperative cover for roughly 80,000 Saudi students while they are attending college or graduate school in the United States on scholarships provided by the Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission. Tawuniya is providing cover for the students during the period when they are back home in Saudi Arabia.

The alliance will also supplement Tawyuniya's global coverage for the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Aetna's global medical network, which includes more than 100,000 hospitals and doctors outside of the US, will be available to Tawuniya's members. Aetna is also providing Tawyuniya with reinsurance and product development consulting. Members of both groups will be served through Aetna's Arabic-speaking call center in Dubai.

Pacific Prime analysts view this expansion as a natural step for Aetna as the company been experiencing a great degree of success in the Middle East in recent years. In 2012, Aetna managed to grow its medical portfolio in the UAE by 35%. The insurer has also received recognition from notable players in the region.

In 2013, Mena Insurance Review (MIR) named Aetna International the “Health Insurer of the Year”, praising the insurer for its rapid development in the Gulf region and its focus on helping people lead healthier lives. Pacific Prime analysts are eager to see how Aetna's presence will develop in Saudi Arabia and how PPI clients in the region will respond to the insurer's offerings.

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Mobile Workforce As Popular As Ever

Organizations all over the world are leveraging the benefits of a globally mobile workforce. According to a KPMG International survey, 72 percent of over 600 respondents use global mobility programs to support overall business objectives. KPMG International’s 15th annual Global Assignment Policies and Practices (GAPP) survey provides a wealth of information for those responsible for or interested in global mobility. The detailed data found in these pages is an opportunity to compare or contrast one’s current practices to those of their peers or other types of organizations. Further, it allows for critical learning of best practices and new ways of thinking.

“A globally mobile workforce is as popular as ever,” says Achim Mossmann, Principal, KPMG’s International Executive Services, KPMG in the US. “Over the 15 years of this survey’s existence, in those companies where use of mobility is the norm, we have seen continued expansion and adaptation to the programs. We even see companies with headquarters in Nordic and Asia Pacific regions beginning to jump on the globalization bandwagon and needing to move their people to new strategic growth locations.”

Flexibility and adaptability of programs to address changing demands is strongly evidenced through the variety of assignment types offered:

  • 81 percent offer short term assignments;
  • 96 percent offer long term assignments;
  • 47 percent offer permanent transfer/indefinite length assignments.

Surprisingly, given the current economic environment, and the noted desire to support the business, only 12 percent of survey participants say that cost control and assurance of an acceptable return on investment (ROI) are of importance.

According to Mossmann, “Having agreed upon metrics to demonstrate ROI helps any global mobility program demonstrate objectively their value to the broader organization and secure continued program funding. However, a notable amount of survey participants struggle to track ROI information as it relates to international assignments—27 percent do not know the percentage of assignees that leave the organization within 12 months of repatriation and 31 percent do not know why they leave.”

Encouragingly, survey participants, year-on-year, continue to exhibit inclusionary mindsets as it relates to the definition of a “family” within their policies for benefit purposes. Fifty-five percent include unmarried domestic partners/companions of the opposite gender and 49 percent include unmarried domestic partners/companions of the same gender.

These broader definitions are most evident in European and Asia Pacific-headquartered organizations, and also within the financial services and high technology industries. In circumstances where organizations may offer incentives for assignees to accept international opportunities, many survey participants also take into consideration dual-career couples and their children.

For instance 21 percent provide job search support in the host country and 21 percent reimburse education expenses for the spouse/partner. Forty-one percent offer language training and 37 percent offer cross-cultural training to the assignee, spouse and their children.

Overall, the use of international assignees will remain the same amount or more for 86 percent of survey participants.

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Impact Forecasting Launches The First East Africa Earthquake Model

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, has launched the first catastrophe model for the East Africa region. The model quantifies the financial impact of earthquakes and in turn allows insurers and reinsurers to gain a better understanding of their exposures in this growing market. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON). Areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are seismically active and prone to earthquakes due to their position in the East African rift system.

The region is prone to earthquakes as the rift system has two tectonic plates which are separating and diverging. There have been a number of recent earthquakes (Lake Tanganyika, M6.8 in 2005 and Arusha, M6.0 in 2007) which have affected the region. Similar events could more strongly affect Kampala, Nairobi and other major cities, which would have implications for the insurance and reinsurance markets.

The model is developed using the latest earthquake data from local and international experts, including the University of Pretoria Natural Hazard Centre Africa. To assess the impact of the hazard against the building resilience, the model analyses over 500,000 events against three occupancies (residential, commercial and industrial) and 24 structural types including three height and age categories. Portfolios can be modelled using CRESTA and State administrative levels. The model brings the following key benefits for insurers and reinsurers underwriting business in the region:

  • Ability to model loss to both property and life to in turn shape reinsurance buying;
  • Model can also be used for underwriting purposes of large commercial and industrial risks;

The model is available in ELEMENTS, Impact Forecasting’s loss calculation platform, which is transparent with detailed documentation, open and with customisation possibilities for individual clients including custom vulnerability functions, adding new events etc.

Simon Chikumbu, CEO of Aon Benfield Africa, said: “The African economies are growing pretty fast and so will insurance penetration in the region. Insurers and reinsurers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are therefore seeking a greater understanding of the seismic risk in the region. This is to gain greater knowledge and better insights of their exposure and enable better decisions on matters such as capital, risk pricing and reinsurance requirements Up to now very little scientific research has been put into action in such a model to understand this risk in the region.”

Chris Ewing, catastrophe model developer at Impact Forecasting, added: “The East Africa earthquake model is an important addition to Impact Forecasting’s African Earthquake platform, which also includes South Africa and the Maghreb region. Impact Forecasting is committed to supporting our clients and catalysing their growth in the right direction, with the right tools in regions where no other modelling solutions exist.”

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Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation