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International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) is the ultimate Health and Medical Insurance Digital Media serving expatriate, corporate, health and travel insurance markets. Due to the nomadic nature of the international healthcare industry iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service, for worldwide healthcare professionals, who need to understand the impacts of healthcare and insurance policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Combined with in depth health insurance industry analysis, best-in-class health insurance industry data, and exclusive, C-Suite Executive health insurance interviews and round tables, iPMI Magazine bridges an information gap between healthcare payor, provider and patient. Written by the health and medical insurance industry, for the health and medical insurance industry, iPMIM is supported and designed by leading international medical insurance companies and service providers.

Website URL: http://ipmimagazine.com

National Friendly Appoints New Head Of Risk & Compliance

National Friendly, the Bristol-based mutual society, has appointed Lisa de-Laune as the new Head of Risk & Compliance. With over 20 years’ industry experience, specialising in risk and assurance, Lisa will be responsible for shaping the vision and strategy of the risk and compliance function.

Prior to joining National Friendly, Lisa has led risk, internal control, internal audit and change functions across financial services, predominantly insurance and banking. As part of the Executive Team, Lisa will play a key role in reinforcing National Friendly’s commitment to fair customer outcomes and delivering effective risk management and compliance oversight.

Lisa commented, “It is an incredibly exciting time to be joining the National Friendly team, with new products being launched and new partnerships being created. It is clear that customers are at the heart of everything National Friendly does and to see the genuine passion for delivering the right product for its customers is inspiring.

“As the insurance industry as a whole faces new regulation and complexities, National Friendly has made a clear commitment to ensure a sound system of internal control is in place to manage and monitor risk and compliance. I look forward to working closely with the team and supporting National Friendly as it evolves and expands on current opportunities.”

Jonathan Long, Chief Executive Officer at National Friendly, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lisa to National Friendly, which demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering the best possible customer journeys and outcomes.

“National Friendly has plans to launch a number of innovative products over the next year, into both emerging and existing markets. Lisa’s extensive experience will play a key role in bringing these new products to market, ensuring that we are fully compliant with new regulations and meeting consumer needs.”

Collinson Continues Medical Assistance Expansion With Aspen Medical Partnership

Collinson has further enhanced its medical assistance capability through a partnership with Aspen Medical, an Australian-owned global healthcare leader providing remote medical solutions across a range of sectors.

Aspen Medical provides innovative and tailored healthcare services, from the provision of a single paramedic to a full spectrum solution involving a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals. Further services include, ambulances, medical facilities, equipment, consumables, pharmacy products and aero-medical evacuation services (AME), including the company's own strategically-positioned clinics and aviation assets.

Often working in locations that are remote, challenging or under-resourced, its multi award-winning solutions provide clients with world-class healthcare services in any setting. The partnership will enable Collinson to extend its assistance reach and help customers to access quality medical services in locations where existing medical infrastructure is lacking. By augmenting Aspen Medical's ground-level capability with the wider Collinson global medical and evacuation network and its 24/7 always-on medical and security operations centres, the partnership will create a fully comprehensive assistance service for complex international deployments.

Aspen Medical's services also include managing environmental and public health projects, medical training and consultancy, providing occupational health and supporting major sporting events and conferences that need dedicated clinical support.

Scott Sunderman, Head of Assistance at Collinson, commented: "Aspen Medical is renowned for its high-profile contracts with defence, mining, oil and gas, government and humanitarian organisations. From running trauma hospitals in Mosul, Iraq, for the WHO or staffing and managing a UN facility for its personnel in Somalia, through to supporting the UK, US, Australian and New Zealand governments on the construction and management of Ebola Treatment facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia, our partnership with Aspen Medical truly gives us a global healthcare reach and access to expertise unparalleled in the market.

"This experience will be vital as we broaden our global medical assistance and travel risk management services to ensure clients have the best possible protection, wherever they may be located."

This strategic alliance further enhances Collinson's new 24/7/365 integrated travel risk management solution in partnership with global risk and security consultancy, Drum Cussac, as well as the appointment of its new Global Medical Director, Simon Worrell.

Glenn Keys, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aspen Medical, said: "Collinson is recognised globally for providing an exceptional medical assistance service. This partnership with Collinson further develops Aspen Medical's global capability with an integrated travel risk management solution. When combined with Drum Cussac's expertise, their global assistance App, security alerts, location tracking and monitoring, together we are delivering a very powerful new capability in the market for those seeking assistance in times of need."

Swiss Re First Quarter 2019 Net Income Reflects Excellent Life & Health Reinsurance Performance And A Very Strong Investment Result, Partly Offset By Large Losses

  • Group net income of USD 429 million in the first quarter 2019, reflecting excellent performance in Life & Health Reinsurance (L&H Re) and a very strong investment result, while large losses impacted property and casualty businesses
  • Property & Casualty Reinsurance (P&C Re) net income USD 13 million and return on equity (ROE) 0.6%, affected by large losses
  • Strong April P&C Re renewals supported by improved pricing, particularly in Japan
  • L&H Re posted record first-quarter net income of USD 328 million; ROE 19.6%
  • Corporate Solutions net loss of USD 55 million
  • Life Capital reported gross cash generation of USD 300 million
  • Very strong return on investments (ROI) of 4.5%; running yield at 2.9%
  • First tranche of the public share buy-back programme of up to CHF 1 billion purchase value to be launched on 6 May 2019

Swiss Re reported a net income of USD 429 million for the first quarter of 2019, reflecting excellent L&H Re performance and a very strong investment result, while large losses impacted the property and casualty businesses. Net premiums earned increased by 5.5% to USD 8.8 billion, reflecting growth across all Business Units. ROI increased to 4.5% from 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018. The Group ROE was 5.9%. Swiss Re is set to launch the first tranche of its public share buy-back programme of up to CHF 1 billion purchase value on 6 May 2019, highlighting the Group’s strong capital position and high financial flexibility.

Swiss Re’s Group Chief Executive Officer Christian Mumenthaler said: “While our property and casualty businesses were affected by significant large losses, Life & Health Re continued on its successful and steady path – a sign of the strength of our diversified business model. Another encouraging sign was the ongoing and accelerating improvement in the overall pricing environment for the property and casualty businesses, especially in loss affected markets. This continued positive momentum in renewals gives us confidence in our outlook.”

First-quarter net income reflected excellent L&H Re performance and a very strong investment result, impacted by claims from large losses

Swiss Re reported net income of USD 429 million for the first quarter of 2019, supported by the excellent performance delivered by L&H Re and a very strong investment result. Claims from large natural catastrophes and man-made losses included the North Queensland floods in Australia, Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the subsequent grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. In addition, a significant amount of late claims from prior-year events, mainly from Typhoon Jebi, also adversely impacted the result for the quarter.

Swiss Re’s investment portfolio generated a very strong ROI of 4.5%, driven by significant market value gains from equity securities. This compares to an ROI of 2.2% for the first quarter of 2018. The fixed income running yield was 2.9%.

Net premiums earned for the first quarter of 2019 increased by 5.5% to USD 8.8 billion year-on-year, reflecting growth in all Business Units. At constant exchange rates, the increase was 9.4%.

Swiss Re’s Group Chief Financial Officer John Dacey said: ”We are pleased with our premium growth and the very strong investment result in the first quarter of 2019. We continue to have an industry-leading capital position, providing us with high financial flexibility to support profitable growth. On Monday, we will start to return excess capital to our shareholders through the first tranche of our share buy-back programme – a clear commitment to our capital management priorities.“

P&C Re increase in premiums supported by large transactions; result impacted by claims from large losses

P&C Re net income of USD 13 million and combined ratio of 110.3% in the first quarter of 2019 were impacted by claims from large losses. This included claims of around USD 210 million from the North Queensland floods in Australia and around USD 90 million from the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the subsequent grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. Results reflected the significant impact from prior-year events, with the vast majority being driven by the increase in the loss estimate for Typhoon Jebi, in line with a material increase in the total market loss.

Net premiums earned increased by 10.9% to USD 4.2 billion, supported by large transactions.

Enhanced P&C Re portfolio through April renewals

In the April renewals, treaty premium volumes overall increased by 18%, and the price quality improved by 1%. This reflects the successful outcome of the Japan renewals, where Swiss Re could reinforce its strong position, often at preferential terms, increasing premium volume by 10% and improving price quality by 7%.

L&H Re delivered excellent result

L&H Re reported record first-quarter net income of USD 328 million with an ROE of 19.6%. The Business Unit delivered an excellent performance, driven by active portfolio management, improved mortality developments in the Americas and a very strong investment result.

Net premiums earned decreased by 6.0% to USD 3.1 billion, driven by unfavourable foreign-exchange movements and the termination of an intra-group retrocession agreement with Life Capital.

Corporate Solutions results adversely affected by prior-year events

Corporate Solutions reported a net loss of USD 55 million in the first quarter of 2019. The result was heavily impacted by large and medium sized man-made losses, in particular from prior-year events. The combined ratio increased to 116.3%, and the ROE was –12.1%. The Business Unit is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of all business lines and reserve positions.

Net premiums earned increased by 12.3% to USD 1.0 billion. The active pruning of the US General Liability portfolio was successfully offset by growth in Credit and Property as well as rate increases. Swiss Re expects the positive momentum in commercial insurance rates to accelerate during 2019, after a broad-based 5% rate increase in the first quarter of 2019.

Life Capital delivered gross cash generation of USD 300 million

Life Capital delivered gross cash generation of USD 300 million in the first quarter of 2019, including proceeds from the sale of a further 10% stake in ReAssure to MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc (MS&AD), as announced in December 2018 and completed on 20 February 2019. MS&AD’s total shareholding in ReAssure is now 25%.

The Business Unit’s net income was USD 7 million, supported by the favourable UK investment market performance, offset by ongoing investments in its open book business.

Net premiums earned rose to USD 426 million, mainly driven by the termination of an intra-group retrocession agreement with L&H Re. When measured in terms of gross premiums written and at constant exchange rates, the open book business reported strong growth of 14% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019.

Swiss Re continues to explore a potential initial public offering (IPO) of the ReAssure closed book business in 2019.1 As Swiss Re has previously communicated and demonstrated by the investment of MS&AD in ReAssure, securing third-party capital is an important part of the strategy to enable further growth of the closed book business.

First tranche of public share buy-back programme to be launched on 6 May 2019

Swiss Re will launch the first tranche of its public share buy-back programme of up to CHF 1 billion purchase value on 6 May 2019 having received Board and all required regulatory approvals. The programme was authorised by Swiss Re’s shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 17 April 2019 and underlines the Group’s policy of returning capital to shareholders when excess capital is available, in line with the company’s capital management priorities.

For further details on the share buy-back programme, please visit: https://www.swissre.com/investors/shares/share-buy-back.html

Strengthening the Group Executive Committee and outlook

Swiss Re announced today that Nigel Fretwell, Chief Human Resource Officer, and Hermann Geiger, Head Legal & Compliance and Group Chief Legal Officer, will become members of the Group Executive Committee as of 1 July 2019. The addition of these two senior executives underscores the importance of the human capital agenda as well as law and compliance at Swiss Re.

Swiss Re’s Group Chief Executive Officer Christian Mumenthaler said: “Based on the successful year-to-date renewals, we remain optimistic for P&C Re, while L&H Re continues to perform strongly. In Life Capital, we are focusing on preparing the potential IPO of ReAssure in 2019. Corporate Solutions continues to present challenges, and we are taking decisive measures to address recent performance issues. In this context, we are conducting a thorough review of the Business Unit, led by the new Corporate Solutions CEO Andreas Berger, which will be completed in the second quarter.“

First-quarter key figures (Q1 2018 vs Q1 2019)

 

 

Q1 2018

Q1 2019

Consolidated Group (Total)

Net premiums earned (USD millions)

8 316

8 775

 

Net income (USD millions)

457

429

 

Return on equity (%, annualised)

5.6

5.9

 

Return on investments (%, annualised)

2.2

4.5

 

Running yield (%, annualised)

2.8

2.9

 

Common shareholders’ equity (USD millions)

32 321

30 179

P&C Reinsurance

Net premiums earned (USD millions)

3 820

4 238

 

Net income (USD millions)

345

13

 

Combined ratio (%)

92.0

110.3

 

Return on equity (%, annualised)

13.5

0.6

L&H Reinsurance

Net premiums earned (USD millions)

3 287

3 091

 

Net income (USD millions)

201

328

 

Running yield (%, annualised)

3.3

3.4

 

Return on equity (%, annualised)

11.5

19.6

Corporate Solutions

Net premiums earned (USD millions)

908

1 020

 

Net income/loss (USD millions)

41

–55

 

Combined ratio (%)

100.2

116.3

 

Return on equity (%, annualised)

7.0

–12.1

Life Capital

Net premiums earned (USD millions)

301

426

 

Net income (USD millions)

3

7

 

Gross cash generation (USD millions)

705

300

 

Return on equity (%, annualised)

0.2

0.5

1 There can be no assurance that the exploration will result in an IPO of ReAssure, and there is no certainty as to the timing of, or the details relating to, any such IPO, including its terms, structure or the size of Swiss Re’s shareholding in ReAssure following an IPO. Further public statements will be made if and when appropriate.

Media conference call

Swiss Re will hold a media call with a dial-in possibility this morning at 8:30 am (CEST). If you plan to dial in, you are kindly requested to call 10 minutes prior to the start using the following numbers:

From Switzerland: +41 (0)58 310 50 00
From Germany: +49 (0)69 505 0 0082
From the UK:  +44 (0) 207 107 0613
From France: +33 (0)1 7091 8706
From the USA: +1 (1) 631 570 56 13
From Hong Kong: +852 5808 1769

Investors’ and analysts’ conference call

Swiss Re will hold an investors’ and analysts’ conference call this afternoon at 2:00 pm (CEST) which will focus on Q&A. You are kindly requested to dial in 10 minutes prior to the start using the following numbers:

From Switzerland: +41 (0)58 310 50 00
From Germany: +49 (0)69 505 0 0082
From the UK: 

+44 (0)207 107 0613

From France: +33 (0)1 7091 8706
From the USA: +1 (1) 631 570 56 13

 

Ending Out-of-Country Medical Insurance Too Quickly May Put Ontario Consumers at Risk

The Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII) has warned that the Ontario government's decision to end OHIP coverage for emergency services for Ontarians travelling outside Canada could result in many people travelling abroad without adequate insurance coverage if the change is implemented too quickly and without sufficient communication.

The Government has set October 1, 2019 as the implementation date to end OHIP's out-of-country coverage. But in order for consumers to continue to receive a high level of protection when traveling outside Canada, CAFII says more time is needed – at least a one-year transition period. This longer time frame would allow the Government to undertake a robust, multi-year communications campaign to inform Ontarians about the change and resulting implications. It would also give the industry more time to determine what the new premium rates will be, and to ensure its employees are ready to communicate about the changes and properly serve their customers.

According to CAFII, even under the current situation before the pending change, many Ontarians travel outside of Canada without adequate travel health insurance and without realizing they are at risk of incurring catastrophic financial costs. For example, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medical Services, the average cost of a three-day hospital stay in the United States is approximately US$30,000, and comprehensive care can run up costs of several hundred thousand dollars or more.

However, by allowing more lead time for the elimination of OHIP coverage for Ontarians travelling outside of Canada, it will provide an opportunity for the Government to inform consumers that OHIP will no longer cover them at all when they travel outside of Canada. It will also allow more time for both the Government and the insurance industry to address the dangerous misconception that private insurance is not necessary when consumers travel outside the country. 

"We believe a robust communications campaign by the Government that supplements what the insurance industry is already doing will be critical in mitigating the risk to the travelling public of this change in insurance coverage," says Keith Martin, Co-Executive Director of CAFII. "That communications campaign should emphasize to Ontarians the importance of having travel health insurance in place before travelling outside Canada, so that they and their loved ones will have immediate access to emergency medical care and related assistance, and can avoid exposure to potentially catastrophic and life-altering financial costs."

At present, OHIP covers out-of-country inpatient services to a maximum of $400 per day, and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient care. But when these amounts are no longer covered by OHIP, travel medical insurance will become even more important to have, and the cost will undoubtedly rise, says Martin.

Generali UK Says “DON’T Leave Employee Duty Of Care To Chance” As It Launches New Personal Accident And Multinational Solutions

Generali UK has launched Personal Accident and Multinational solutions, adding to its Business Travel Plan launched last year to bring a comprehensive range of local market tailor-made products. This range is designed to address the growing risk of exposure, helping UK and Multinational companies ensure compliance, cost efficiencies and personalised cover for all their people: whether home or abroad.

Available on a standalone or integrated basis, these solutions are suited to the needs of companies with 250+ employees with any number of subsidiaries (or just UK based) anywhere in the world*. They may also act as a stepping stone to a fully compliant multinational programme from Generali Group.

Drawing on Generali Group’s global network and insurance capabilities, combined with the expertise of its wholly owned travel assistance company Europ Assistance, Generali UK can now bring to its local market tailor-made Personal Accident and Business Travel solutions.

Advantages include:

  • Integrated insurance, accident and assistance networks
  • Highly flexible choice of cover
  • One flat annual premium resulting in minimal administration and accounting
  • Simple online claims submission tool, helping to ensure claims are processed quickly and efficiently
  • The backing of a major name in the global insurance arena
  • Global reach of the Multinational Network, allowing for the structure and management of fully compliant programmes from one centralised location

According to the GBTA BTI Annual Global Report & Forecast1, corporate travel spending is predicted to advance 7.1% this year, growing to $1.7 trillion globally by 2022. At the same time, with the increased utility of smart phones and a DIY culture more employees are arranging cover themselves.

Generali UK says that giving employees the freedom to ‘do it themselves’ when it comes to organising essential travel cover can increase non-compliance and, in particular, costs. Duty of care also becomes an issue with less visibility around, for example, the whereabouts of employees who have booked their own travel.

At the same time, the provider warns on the consequences of being left exposed to personal injury claims. This comes as stress, depression or anxiety now accounts for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 57% of all working days lost due to ill health. The primary cause is workload (44%)2.

Karoliina Gutaj, Head of Strategy & Marketing, Generali Employee Benefits Network, said: “Too many employers risk leaving employee Duty of Care to chance where DIY travel and lack of personal injury and accident cover is concerned. While profits and losses are closely tracked for things like materials and payroll, travel and accident are often left exposed. This could cost business’ financially and reputationally, impacting employee wellbeing and having a knock-on effect on recruitment and retention.

“The fact that all of our travel, accident and assistance solution are under one roof brings cost efficiencies and flexibility to business.”

Simon Thomas, Director – UK Employee Benefits, Generali, added: “Importantly, the launch of this comprehensive range of solutions also helps open up life / non life cross-selling opportunities for UK brokers.”

For more information, click here or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*Subject to local regulatory restrictions
1. GBTA forecasts global business travel growth, Buying Business Travel, Aug 2018 link 
2. Work-related stress, depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain, 2018, Health & Safety Executive, Oct 2018 link

3 Recommendations To Boost The Benefits Of Aviation In France

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that a strategic government agenda to improve competitiveness in France’s air transport sector could generate an additional 500,000 jobs and nearly €60 billion in extra GDP for the nation’s economy by 2037.

These conclusions were reached in a new IATA report on French air transport regulatory competitiveness, which contained three key recommendations to enhance air connectivity in France and boost economic and social opportunities in the country.

“Aviation is the business of freedom, and already creates considerable benefits for France. But France’s competitive position in Europe is notably weak in infrastructure costs, air traffic management efficiency, the quality of regulation, and the costs of social charges. There are huge opportunities for more jobs and greater economic growth if these weaknesses are addressed. The Assises Nationales du Transport Aérien explored these issues but with no significant follow-up measures taken to boost competitiveness. The launch of this competitiveness report with FNAM and the BAR France provides an opportunity to strengthen the foundations of the National Strategy for Air Transportation 2025, which was announced by Minister Borne at the Assises,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.

At present, aviation generates approximately €100 billion in GDP and 1.1 million jobs in France. Maximizing the competitiveness of the aviation sector could see these numbers increase to nearly €160 billion and 1.6 million jobs, by 2037.

The report’s three key recommendations for France are:

1. Reform economic regulation, such as by strengthening the independent economic regulator, to ensure charges are cost-related and efficient.

2. Implement a French ATM strategy to maximize capacity and efficiency of air traffic management.

3. Adopt smarter regulation principles, for example, promoting offsetting rather than taxation to tackle CO2 impacts from aviation.

Robust Environmental Strategy

Adoption of these recommendations could see passenger demand in France grow from around 90 million today to 142 million under the most optimistic scenario. The successful accommodation of demand for air travel, however, must sit alongside a robust environmental strategy to ensure a sustainable future for flight.

“Aviation must earn its license to grow by demonstrating its environmental credentials. We have ambitious global targets for carbon-neutral growth from next year, and to cut net emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. These targets are compatible with the wider goals of the Paris Agreement. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will generate $40 billion in finance for carbon reductions, but it needs strong support from the French government to ensure its success. Key to that is to resist calls for unilateral measures such as aviation climate taxes, which will provide no environmental benefit and could undermine the international consensus for combined action on aviation carbon emissions,” said Schvartzman.

“The French Assises du Transport Aérien did not conclude with significant measures allowing the French air transport sector to become competitive versus its competitors. The weight of taxes, specific charges related to the sector, and the social charges in France are way above the European average and constitutes a heavy handicap for the airlines based in France,” highlighted Alain Battisti, President of FNAM and Chalair Aviation.

“The capacity of the airspace and connectivity are two essential elements to the economic and tourist development of a country” said Jean Pierre Sauvage, President of BAR France.

The report on French air transport competitiveness benchmarked France against the rest of Europe across five key areas.

  • Passenger facilitation: France has successfully implemented automated border control systems, but visa application processes are lengthy.
  • Cargo Facilitation: Adoption of digital cargo processes such as e-Air Waybill is low, but initiatives to improve cargo movement facilitation are under way.  
  • Supply Chain Management: France has among the highest passenger charges and taxes in Europe, increasing the cost of traveling by air, and hampering connectivity. 
  • Infrastructure Management: France could improve its capacity use of existing terminals and runways, to allow costs to be reduced in the short-term, and create sufficient capacity for future longer-term growth.
  • Regulatory Environment: Many regulations that apply in France are inconsistent with smarter regulation principles, particularly adopting a more systematic approach to consultation.

March Passenger Demand Growth Slows On Later Easter Holiday

Global passenger traffic results for March 2019 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 3.1%, compared to the same month a year ago, which was the slowest pace for any month in nine years.

This largely was owing to the timing of the Easter holiday, which fell nearly a month later than in 2018. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the underlying growth rate has been relatively steady since October 2018 at a 4.1% annualized pace. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) for the month of March grew 4.2% and load factor dropped 0.9 percentage point to 81.7%.

“While traffic growth slowed considerably in March, we do not see the month as a bellwether for the rest of 2019. Nevertheless, the economic backdrop has become somewhat less favorable, with the IMF having recently revised its GDP outlook downward for a fourth time in the past year,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

MARCH 2019 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market 100.0% 3.1% 4.2% -0.9​% 81.7%
Africa 2.1% 2.6% 2.0% ​0.4% 72.0%
Asia Pacific 34.4% 1.9% 3.5% ​-1.3% ​81.2%
Europe 26.7​% 4.9% 5.4% ​-0.4% 83.7%
Latin America 5.1% ​5.6% 5.1% ​0.3% ​81.5%
Middle East ​​9.2% -3.0% 2.1% ​-3.9% ​73.9%
North America 22.5% 4.9% 5.0% ​-0.1% 85.0​%

International Passenger Markets

March international passenger demand rose just 2.5% compared to March 2018, which was down from 4.5% year-over-year growth recorded in February and almost 5 percentage points below its five-year average pace. All regions showed growth with the exception of the Middle East. Total capacity climbed 4.0%, and load factor fell 1.2 percentage points to 80.8%.

  •  European carriers saw March demand increase 4.7% over March 2018, down from 7.5% annual growth in February. The result partly reflects falling business confidence in the Eurozone and ongoing uncertainty about Brexit. March capacity rose 5.4% and load factor slid 0.6 percentage point to 84.2%, which still was the highest among regions.
  •  Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic climbed 2.0% in March, compared to the year-ago period, which was down from 4% growth in February. However, results were stronger on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Capacity increased 4.0%, and load factor dropped 1.6 percentage points to 80.1%.
  •  Middle East carriers’ passenger demand fell 3.0% in March, marking a second consecutive month of declining traffic. This reflects the broader structural changes in the industry which have been taking place in the region. Capacity increased 2.3%, and load factor plunged 4.0 percentage points to 73.8%.
  •  North American airlines posted a 3.0% traffic rise in March compared to the year-ago period, which was down somewhat from 4.2% year-on-year growth in February. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, traffic has been trending strongly upwards, however. Capacity climbed 2.6% and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 83.7%.
  •  Latin American airlines had the fastest traffic growth at 5.5%, compared to a year ago, up from 4.6% in February. March capacity rose 5.8%, and load factor dipped 0.2 percentage point to 81.9%. Latin America was the only region to show an increase in the year-on-year growth rate for March compared to February. In seasonally-adjusted terms traffic continues to trend upward sharply, notwithstanding economic and political uncertainty in some key countries.
  •  African airlines’ demand increased 2.1% compared to March 2018, down from a 2.5% rise in February. Capacity climbed 1.1%, and load factor strengthened 0.7 percentage point to 71.4%. The upward traffic trend has softened since mid-2018 in line with falling business confidence in some of the region’s key economies.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic demand rose 4.1% in March, which was a deceleration from 6.2% growth recorded in February that was driven largely by developments in China and India. Domestic capacity climbed 4.5%, and load factor dipped 0.3 percentage point to 83.4%.

MARCH 2019 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic 36.0% 4.1% 4.5% -0.3​% 83.4%
Dom. Australia 0.9% -3.2% -2.1% ​-0.9% 79.3%
Domestic Brazil 1.1% 3.2% 2.1% ​0.9% ​80.9%
Dom. China P.R. 9.5​% 2.9% 4.4% ​-1.2% 84.2%
Domestic India 1.6% ​3.1% 4.7% ​-1.4% ​86.6%
Domestic Japan ​​1.0% 4.2% 3.6% ​0.4% ​74.5%
Dom. Russian Fed. 1.4% 14.2% 11.1​% ​2.2% 80.5​%
Domestic US ​14.1% ​6.3% ​6.9% ​-0.5% ​85.8%

 

  •  India’s domestic traffic rose just 3.1% in March, down from February’s growth of 8.3% and well-off the torrid five-year average growth pace of close to 20% per month. The slowdown largely reflects the reduction in flight operations of Jet Airways—which stopped flying in April—as well as disruptions at Mumbai airport owing to construction.
  •  Australia’s domestic traffic fell 3.2% in March, marking the fifth consecutive month of contracting demand.

The Bottom Line

“Despite March’s slowdown, the outlook for air travel remains solid. Global connectivity has never been better. Consumers can choose from more than 21,000 city pair combinations on more than 125,000 daily flights. And air fares continue to decline in real terms.

Aviation is truly the Business Freedom for the more than 12.5 million passengers who will board flights each day. But it also remains extremely challenging, as the recent failures of Jet Airways and WOW Air illustrate. Airlines compete intensely with one another, but they also cooperate in areas such as safety, security, infrastructure and the environment, to ensure that aviation can accommodate a forecast doubling in demand by 2037. Next month, leaders of the industry will gather in Seoul for the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit where all of these items will be high on the agenda.”

CEGA Reaps Rewards Of Fraud Training

Claims management and assistance provider CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, announces that two further members of its Special Investigations Unit have gained Level 3 Professional Investigator accreditations; strengthening its claims validation capabilities in the multi-sector insurance market.

Callum Bates and Martin Weekes are the latest staff to gain the accreditation at CEGA Special Investigations, which counts household, personal accident, travel and private health insurers among its clients and is available as a stand-alone claims validation service.

Committed to optimising fraud awareness amongst its entire travel claims and assistance operation, CEGA also encourages its wider customer-facing staff to gain the Professional Investigator accreditation, and runs company-wide fraud training that covers fraud trends, front-end questioning techniques and more.

CEGA's Head of Technical Claims Simon Cook, comments "Putting training and professional accreditations high on our company-wide developmental agenda means that our specialist fraud and front-end claims staff alike are fully able to support our insurer clients in the fight against fraud.

"The result is that we make significant contributions to the ABI's annual travel insurance fraud savings, protect insurers' bottom lines and treat all customers fairly."

To read more news and articles like this please visit the CEGA micro website on iPMI Magazine, click here.

About CEGA Group

CEGA, part of the Charles Taylor Group, is a world-class provider of global medical assistance, repatriation, travel risk management and claims services. We manage over 45,000 cases per year and have more than 40 years' experience of supporting a blue-chip client base that includes many leading banks, insurance companies, charities, NGOs and other global brands.

CEGA Special Investigations was established in 2008 and is available as a stand-alone service, serving both CEGA's clients and external organisations. Its capabilities cover all areas of insurance fraud investigation, including household, personal accident, travel and private health claims. Desktop investigations, cognitive interviews and overseas inquiries on the ground (thanks to a network of global investigators) are among the many techniques employed by CEGA, both to detect fraud and to establish liability.

The unit makes a substantial contribution to the UK's insurance fraud savings and works closely with Charles Taylor General Adjusting Services.

www.cegagroup.com

 

QIC Group Net Profit Increases By 15 % To USD 75 Million In Q1 2019

Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African (MENA) region reports a net profit of USD 75 million for the first quarter of 2019.

The MENA markets continued to produce stable premiums with underwriting profitability, weathering geopolitical headwinds in the region. QIC’s international operations grew in select low-volatility segments and now account for 76% of its total portfolio. The Group’s gross written premiums remained stable at USD 969 million in Q1 2019. The combined ratio improved by 1.4 percentage points to 100.2%.

Commenting on the financial performance for Q1 2019, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “For QIC, the first quarter was a period of stability and consolidation. As part of our de-risking effort, we have adopted a more selective approach to writing new business, rewarded by an improving technical performance. QIC remains firmly committed to shifting to lines of business with lower volatility where we see a more attractive risk-return potential.”

He continued, “In addition to underwriting, QIC’s investment prowess and commitment to operating efficiency continue to bear fruit and are essential to sustaining the Group’s overall profitability. Based on the strength and diversity of our performance engines, I remain confident in QIC’s future growth and profitability prospects, which should further benefit from what appears to be a slightly firming global re/insurance trading environment.“

Overview of key financial results (year ended, December 31)

Figures, in USD million 2017 2016
Gross written premiums 3,203 2,720
Net written premiums 2,624 2,357
Net underwriting result* 32 232
Net investment result 248 223
Consolidated net profit 115 284
Return on Equity 5.1% 14.7%
Non-life combined ratio 105.8% 98%
Earnings per Share (in USD); 2016 restated 0.35 1.02
Total assets 9,540 7,889
Market capitalization 4,076 5,618
Shareholders’ equity 2,203 2,263

* Net underwriting result is defined as net earned premium reduced by the sum of (i) gross claims paid, (ii) reinsurance recoveries, (iii) movement in outstanding claims, (iv) net commission expense, and (v) other insurance income.

Financial performance

In Q1 2019, QIC adopted a more restrictive and selective approach to new business generation, reflecting the company’s continued focus on de-risking its book and placing more emphasis on lowvolatility segments. Gross written premiums (GWP) remained stable at USD 969 million.

The Group’s international carriers, namely Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and its Gibraltar based carriers continued to expand in select low-volatility areas and now account for approximately 76% of QIC’s total GWP, compared to 73% in the first quarter of 2018.

The Group’s net underwriting result improved by 45% to USD 46 million compared to USD 32 million for the same period last year. This positive development reflects the Group’s successful shift towards lower volatility business which provides a predictable long-term stream of profits. In addition, the improved technical performance is a result of the de-risking of non-profitable business across QIC’s international units in 2018.

For the first quarter of 2019, QIC reports a non-life combined ratio of 100.2%, compared with 101.6% for the same period of the previous year.

Overall, the Group’s net profit for Q1 2019 increased by 15% to USD 75 million, driven by both improving underwriting results and resilient investment income.

The Group recorded stable investment income of USD 76 million, compared to USD 75 million for the same period last year. QIC’s total investment return, including capital gains and losses, amounted to an annualized 6.2%.

QIC’s investment prowess continues to draw accolades from industry professionals, as most recently at the MENA Fund Manager Performance Awards 2019 where the company’s investment teams were awarded for the best fund performance in two categories: Qatar Equity Fund and QIC GCC Equity Fund.

During the reporting period, QIC has vigorously maintained its focus on streamlining operations in order to further improve its operational efficiency. At Q1 2019, the administrative expense ratio for its core operations came in at 6.1%. The Group’s ongoing endeavor towards process efficiencies and automation continued to yield fruit.

Management changes at Qatar Re and Antares

In January 2019 Gunther Saacke, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Re, the Bermuda-based reinsurer and member of QIC Group, announced his decision to leave QIC Group and Michael van der Straaten, Chief Underwriting Officer for Long Tail and Specialty Classes, was confirmed as new Chief Executive Officer.

In February 2019, Antares, the Lloyd’s Managing Agency and member of the QIC Group, appointed current Active Underwriter Jonathan (Joe) Battle as Chief Executive Officer, replacing Stephen Redmond who has assumed the newly created role of Group Transformation Officer.

For further information on QIC, please visit: www.qatarinsurance.com

 

Traveller Assist Reaches £1M Milestone With Insurtech, Payr

Payr, the insurtech global payment platform by Traveller Assist, has successfully facilitated claims payments of £1 million in its first six-months of operations.

Payr was developed by Traveller Assist as a faster, safer and cheaper way to pay medical bills and travel related expenses abroad on behalf of travel and health insurers.

The platform combines proprietary financial technology, blockchain and industry expertise with an independent global provider network to offer an innovative cost containment solution.

Traveller Assist MD, Jonathan Bancroft said: “We specialise in providing medical and security assistance in some of the worlds most complex environments. It was critical to have a reliable and affordable payment provider. Payr was created by solving our own problem, enabling us and our clients to expand our service offering even further.”

Payr has accounts around the world, linked together by smart technology enabling the platform to pay and receive funds in 75+ currencies across 120+ countries.

Insurers pay in their country, in their local currency. Providers are then paid in their country, in their local currency. In a majority of cases, no money crosses any borders.

Payr CEO, Xavier Durand said: Our clients are constantly looking for new ways to increase their product offering, and reduce their fees. Payr does both. It has significantly reduced banking and currency exchange fees on both sides of the transaction. Both payers and providers benefit.

Traveller Assist officially launched Payr in October last year at the International Travel Insurance Conference in Geneva and the response was very positive.

Traveller Assist Senior Case Manager, Sarah Jansen said: “Payr enables us to facilitate out of network payments immediately, enabling us to provide effective assistance without causing any delays in critical treatment of patients.”

Payr has enabled Traveller Assist to facilitate payments to hospitals, helicopter providers, airlines and boat charter companies in 23-currencies across 48-countries in the past six-months, totalling £1.1 million.

 

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