iPMI Magazine Is Proudly Sponsored By:
For a healthier journey.

iPMI Magazine Has Moved

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

Peer To Peer Mutual Platform Targets Health Insurance

In China, a new model, mutual aid, is on the rise. Different from insurance, members on mutual aid platforms can lower the cost and increase their claim payment through mutual financial assistance and risk sharing.

Users can join this new mutual assistance plan with an advance deposit of only 10 yuan and get a repayment up to 300,000 Yuan. If there are 1 million users, when someone applies for 300,000 Yuan as mutual aid money, each user only needs to share 0.3 Yuan.

Zhongtuobang is the largest mutual aid platform in China with over 1.7 million members, which implemented blockchain technology when going online and launching in 2016.

Qiao Ke, founder of this Shanghai platform, says, " Mutual aid is assistance from the majority to the minority in case of low-probability events such as cancer and accident."

Zhongtuobang has launched multiple mutual aid products including Anti-Cancer & Disease, Travel Accident, Dad & Mom Mutual Aid, Women's Health and a Students Comprehensive Plan.

Ian Youngman, author of new report "Peer to Peer Insurance 2016" says, "This is not an insurer and not a broker but a promise to pay mutual platform that falls between current regulatory sectors. Chinese regulator CIRC, having just cracked down on peer-to-peer lending platforms with new rules and scaring owners by showing them Shanghai prison, has issued dire warnings to customers about the dangers of using such mutual help platforms. CIRC is believed to be working urgently on new legislation to ensure only regulated platforms can stay open."


No Part Of The Insurance Value Chain Is Safe From Change

Peer To Peer Mutual Platform Targets Health Insurance 

Peer To Peer Insurer Lemonade Launches In New York


The Health Insurance Group Revenue Up By 5%

The Health Insurance Group announced its 2016 half year trading results:

  • New business sales up 8% vs H1 2015, to £7.1m (Annual Premium Income)
  • Product portfolio increased by 8% vs H1 2015, to £124.7m (Annual Premium Income).
  • Revenues up 5% vs H1 2015, to £7.5m.

Brett Hill, Managing Director for The Health Insurance Group said, "Against the backdrop of a fiercely competitive private healthcare market and economic uncertainty we are delighted to report strong increases in sales, portfolio and revenues for 2016."

"In a varied yet progressive year we have continued innovating our core private healthcare programmes focusing on wellness and prevention while diversifying our expanding product portfolio, adding employee assistance services and specialist kidnap & ransom cover for international workers.  Meeting the obligations of auto-enrolment has posed a challenge for some SMEs, and we have made sure that we are able to support them in meeting their commitments through our partnership with Johnson Fleming."

"While the market will remain challenging and clients continue to make ever greater demands from us for excellence in service delivery, product diversity and value, the business remains resilient and continues on an upward trajectory.  We enter the second half of the year with some exciting innovations in development, giving us optimism and confidence that we are continuing to offer the kind of insurance solutions that meet the needs of our many UK and international retail, SME and small corporate clients."


Healix Appointed By Zurich As New Integrated Medical & Security Assistance Partner

Global risk management & assistance group, Healix International, today confirms it will be providing corporate medical and security assistance to customers of Zurich insurance in the UK.

The new agreement will see Healix providing the full range of medical and security risk management and response services to customers of Zurich’s commercial lines businesses.

“Our customers value the expertise we bring – and this includes from partnerships with selected third parties” comments James Dobson, Head of Accident & Health, Zurich Global Corporate UK.

“We wanted a UK partner with a global operational capability who could offer our customers the full range of risk management & response services - and Healix demonstrated that they fit the bill.”

Rob Upton, Director – Insurance Markets at Healix International adds “Zurich is a major player in the global corporate market place and we are looking forward to working together.”

Healix International is a global leader in international medical, security & travel risk management and assistance services. Working on behalf of multinational corporations, governments, NGOs and insurers, Healix is entrusted to look after the welfare of millions of expatriates, travellers and local nationals in every country of the world, 24 hours a day.

Zurich Insurance Group is one of the world’s largest insurance groups, and one of the few to operate on a truly global basis. Our mission is to help our customers understand and protect themselves from risk.

With about 55,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries, we aspire to become the best global insurer as measured by our shareholders, customers and employees.






Nearly A Third Of Millennials Travelled Uninsured Last Year

Millennials1 are most likely to put themselves at risk of sky high medical bills by not taking out travel insurance, according to new research by ABTA – The Travel Association. People aged 18- 34 who had holidayed abroad in the past 12 months are the least likely of all age groups to take out cover, with 31% taking a trip abroad uninsured2. Worryingly, only 16% of 18-34 year old holidaymakers strongly agreed that travel insurance is important for any holiday (regardless of whether it is abroad or in the UK), far below the national average of 26%.

The top reason for not buying travel insurance among younger people who had travelled without it is the belief that they don’t need it, this was true for almost half (46%) of 18-34 year olds. Despite the wide reporting of incidents abroad which leave travellers with huge medical bills, 38% of 18-34 year olds stated it was a risk they were prepared to take, while one in five (22%) said they forgot to buy insurance.

Confusion about European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) remains among 18-34 year olds, a quarter of those who had travelled (25%) now think they don’t need insurance in Europe when travelling with an EHIC compared to 22% in a similar survey last year3. They are also the most likely of age groups to think travel insurance is unnecessary because the UK Government will pay for their treatment if they become ill abroad – with one in ten (10%) expecting it would do so.                                                                 

More generally, the figures2 show that 22% of people who have travelled abroad in the past year did so without travel insurance. Across Britain, there is better understanding of the role of the Government, only 7% of people think the UK Government will pay for treatment abroad and 16% think they don’t need insurance in Europe if they have an EHIC card. These figures were 11% and 14% in a similar survey3 last year.

Additionally, ABTA is encouraging all consumers to take out insurance at the time of booking their holiday. This means they are covered should they need to cancel before they travel, (for reasons such as family bereavement, pregnancy or jury service) avoiding costly cancellation fees.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said, “As we head into the summer season, it is worrying to see younger people continuing to travel abroad without appropriate insurance, as well as a growing lack of awareness about the function of an EHIC card. Every year, we see cases of young people falling into difficulty after travelling without insurance. The risks being undertaken are great, and the costs of not being insured could be many thousands of pounds.”

1 – ABTA defines millennials as those between the ages of 18 and 34

2 – All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2031 adults of which 261 were aged 18-34. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 10th May 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

3 – Comparison to previous year’s figures refer to consumer research, conducted by Arkenford Ltd ( who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2015. Questions may vary slightly from the questions asked by YouGov in May 2015

Nearly A Third Of Millennials Travelled Uninsured Last Year


New Political Violence Extension for Property Coverage Protects Humanitarian Aid Organizations in High Risk Markets

Clements Worldwide has announced the launch of a new affordable solution for humanitarian aid organizations to cover all types of disbursements to at risk populations including, but not limited to, food and household items such as mosquito nets, cooking supplies, tents, and lanterns.

This is complementary to Clements Worldwide’s traditional property coverage that would include buildings, equipment, stocks & inventory, electronics, etc.

“We were finding that many of our humanitarian aid customers were reporting raids on their food and supply stores,” said Chris Beck, President of Clements Worldwide. “The black market for items such as mosquito nets is much higher than the purchase cost by the NGO, who might even be getting those items donated from multinational manufacturers.”

Many of these items were being distributed in conjunction with government grants that would not accommodate for this leakage, which could create further complications with the grantgiving entities. Property losses were revealed as the number one source of losses according to the Winter/Spring 2016 edition of the Clements Worldwide Risk Index, with humanitarian aid organizations more likely than other organizational types to list it as their largest source of loss.

Property coverage for larger assets is standard in the industry. When trying to find insurance coverage for humanitarian aid inventory, however, Clements would often find the cost prohibitive for its clients. This was often driven by the high-risk environment of the countries in which aid organizations operate and the extensive nature of the coverage that was required to accommodate for theft and looting, strikes, civil unrest, war and terrorism in addition to fires and natural disaster.

“We were able to present this unmet need to underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and negotiate an affordable proprietary offering for our customers,” said Beck. “The response has been appreciative, as many of our existing clients can now insure against this potential loss.”


Plug And Play Launches New Insurance Innovation Platform

In partnership with Founding Partner Munich Re, Sompo Insurance, and USAA, Plug and Play is launching their newest program, Plug and Play Insurance. This Innovation Platform is comprised of a network of industry leading reinsurers, insurance companies, brokers, and automakers built around a 12-week Silicon Valley based startup accelerator.

Plug and Play's model brings together a roundtable of complementary partners to guide the direction of the program and help decide which startups are accepted. Twice per year, participating corporate partners gather to determine the scope of the current round, and this will then be used to source 850-1000 startup applications looking to innovate in the insurance industry.

"The US insurance market is extremely complex. Through Plug and Play Insurance, startups targeting this space can gain guidance and insights from experienced industry players, while established insurers get access to innovative technology solutions that can help them remain relevant and competitive. There is enormous value for both sides in partnering," said Tony Kuczinski, President and CEO, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.

There is increased need for innovation in the insurance space, especially with the new opportunities that have emerged as the result of disruptive business models, large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging users. Plug and Play is facilitating this process by creating a platform to connect insurance corporations to innovative startup companies.

"USAA has always innovated in service of our members," said Jon-Michael Kowall, USAA's innovation lead for home and auto insurance. "Today's changing trends, including the growing sharing economy, make a commitment to innovation critical for all insurers. Plug and Play's innovation platform could lead to the next great ideas that allow the industry to lead the way into the future."

The US insurance industry alone produces more than $1 trillion of revenue a year and remains sturdy amid the fiscal downturns. But where there is room for growth, there is room for opportunity. At Plug and Play, we believe that we can take this established industry into a new space. It's a modern and exciting frontier.

Plug and Play has successfully launched Innovation Platforms in Brand & Retail, Financial Technology & Security, Connected Health, Internet of Things, Media, Travel & Hospitality, and New Materials & Packaging, and will look to replicate the success of their model in the Insurance industry. Startups considered for acceptance will be innovating in areas including disruptive business models, user centricity and experience, product innovation, advanced analytics, and distribution.

"We are pleased to announce the Plug and Play partnership with MunichRe, Sompo, and USAA with plans to leverage their deep industry knowledge and expertise to advise our investment strategy in the Insurance space," said Plug and Play CEO and Founder, Saeed Amidi. "With their guidance, we will look to invest $25,000 to $500,000 in up to 30 Insur-Tech focused startups from around the world."

The Insurance Innovation Platform is a 12-week program designed for early and growth-stage startups. Through tailored deal flow, themed workshops, and face-to-face interaction, Plug and Play Insurance enables corporations to engage with startups that may complement their respective suite of offerings or create new potential revenue streams. Startups accepted into the program receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects, all culminating at the Plug and Play quarterly demo day, EXPO. Dedicated startups will additionally get access to resources of the Founding Anchor Partner, Munich Re.

"We feel the time is ripe to focus our early stage investment strategy in the insurance space," said Candace Widdoes, Co-Founder and Head of Plug and Play's Corporate Programs. "There are many technology gaps that can be filled by our startup community and with our robust corporate network, we will make connections and create value for all involved."

The Plug and Play Insurance application will open at the launch event on May 26th. The launch event will feature 10 startups (seed to series B) in the industry and will bring together over 50 corporations and investors involved in the space. To learn more about the program and the corporate partners involved, visit:



How To Communicate In A Medical Emergency In Philippines

Pacific Cross International understand that when you live abroad or travel overseas, the simplest task can become a huge challenge. To find the right word is always a moment of distress and communication is critical, especially in the golden hour. The Pacific Cross International language tips info graphic will help you to stay calm in an emergency situation.

Pacific Cross International brings over 65 years of experience to the health and travel insurance industry in Asia providing health insurance to over 75,000+ people, representing 57 nationalities living in 43 countries. In 2014 the group provided travel insurance for 2,642,514 travel days for over 200,000+ people.


How To Communicate In A Medical Emergency In Indonesia

Pacific Cross International understand that when you live abroad or travel overseas, the simplest task can become a huge challenge. To find the right word is always a moment of distress and communication is critical, especially in the golden hour. The Pacific Cross International language tips info graphic will help you to stay calm in an emergency situation.

Click here to view info graphic

Pacific Cross International brings over 65 years of experience to the health and travel insurance industry in Asia providing health insurance to over 75,000+ people, representing 57 nationalities living in 43 countries. In 2014 the group provided travel insurance for 2,642,514 travel days for over 200,000+ people.


FWD Group Enters Singapore Medical Insurance Market

The insurance arm of Asia-based Pacific Century Group, FWD Group, has announced that it has acquired a 90% stake in group medical insurance provider Shenton Insurance Pte Ltd (“Shenton”) from Parkway Holdings Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of IHH Healthcare Berhad.  

Shenton will be rebranded to FWD in due course.

Singapore is the third new market in FWD’s regional footprint which now includes Indonesia and the Philippines, in addition to Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand.  As a leading and well-regulated financial centre, Singapore combines robust, high standards with a business-friendly environment. Its role as ASEAN’s pre-eminent financial services and risk management hub makes it a strategically important market for FWD – aligned to its pan-Asian growth aspirations and providing connectivity to the region.  

“FWD is dedicated to changing the way people feel about insurance across Asia, and Singapore is a fundamental part of our vision to become a leading pan-Asian insurer,” said Mr Huynh Thanh Phong, Group CEO of FWD. “The Shenton management team have built a strong foundation for FWD in the country.”

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences with easy-to-understand insurance solutions supported by digital technologies.  The company will continue with its existing business and intends to invest in expanding the business in Singapore and is committed to growing its activities in the region.


Allianz Global Assistance UK Appoints Kate Walker To Lead Insurance And Assistance Product And Service Expansion

Allianz Global Assistance UK has announced the appointment of marketing specialist Kate Walker, to a new position leading Innovation Development, within the dedicated Strategic Marketing and Innovations Team.

Reporting to Regional Strategic Marketing and Innovations Director for Allianz Global Assistance across Northern Europe, Rene Vermeule, Kate is responsible for driving UK innovations across the business, predominantly focusing on the home, motor and health insurance and assistance arena.

CEO of Allianz Global Assistance UK Serge Corel commented, "New technology and changing customer needs, as well as the evolution of new business models, increases the need for rapid change and adaptation of products and services to ensure we are always able to provide the best solutions. A dedicated expert to manage innovations, from research and market monitoring to creating proposals for new solutions, is the best way to ensure we are able to remain ahead of the competition. Kate's experience of B2B marketing within the insurance industry, and experience in new business and proposition development, means she is perfectly placed to take up this vital role within the Strategic Marketing and Innovations Team."

Kate added, "I am delighted to take on this exciting new role to explore new opportunities to transform our motor, home and health customer service offerings now and in the future.   I also have the opportunity to look at entering new markets that will support the future needs of our clients, placing Allianz Global Assistance worldwide at the forefront of innovation and development. That's exciting."

As part of the Allianz group, Kate will be drawing upon the successes of other business units across the globe to both create new products and solutions, and improve existing offerings to meet the changing needs of the UK market. The new role is a key investment for Allianz Global Assistance, demonstrating its commitment to providing industry leading solutions for their clients and their customers

Kate's previous roles include Global Propositions Design Lead at Bupa Global, as well as various marketing roles for insurers such as Bupa International, RSA Insurance Group and Norwich Union (now Aviva).  



Subscribe to this RSS feed

Medical, Healthcare, Expatriate And Travel Insurance

A guide to leading international medical, healthcare, expatriate and travel insurance underwriters, companies, providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate travel business markets, globally.