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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.

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Costa Fortune – Every 3 Minutes A UK Traveller Now Needs Emergency Medical Treatment Abroad, As The Medical Treatment Bill Hits An 8 Year High

Travel insurers are now dealing with the equivalent of one new claim every three minutes from UK travellers needing emergency medical treatment while overseas, with the medical bill at its highest for eight years according to analysis out today (19 August) from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

  • A claim for heart problems in the US cost £241,000;  £200,000 to treat a brain haemorrhage in China;  £153,000 to treat a fractured arm in San Francisco,  £89,000 following a heart attack in Turkey.

  • Yet amazingly one in five Brits still travel overseas without travel insurance despite the average cost of a travel insurance policy just £38. 

Charlie Campbell, ABI’s Manager of Health and Protection, said, “For too many people holidays can become horror days, if they fall ill or suffer a serious injury abroad. Needing medical treatment can be stressful wherever you are, without the added worry of how you can afford what can be sky high medical bills.  Yet the average travel insurance policy costs less than what an average family can spend on drinks and food at the airport and will pay emergency medical bills than can easily run into six figures.

“Also, if we leave the EU without a deal then the European Health Insurance Card will cease to apply, making travel insurance even more vital to have when visiting the EU.”

ABI analysis of the 500,000 travel insurance claims made last year reveals that:

  • Travel insurers helped 153,000 British travellers needing emergency medical treatment abroad - the equivalent of 420 people every day, or one person every three minutes.
  • The total medical bill paid by insurers was £209 million – £570,000 every day - the highest figure since 2010.
  • Of the £399 million paid out on all travel insurance claims, medical claims accounted for 52% of claim costs, followed by cancellation costs at 36%, then lost baggage or money at 4%.

Case studies of the jaw-dropping costs of needing overseas emergency medical treatment include:

  • £241,000, the estimated cost to treat a couple on holiday in Florida. Following hospital treatment for chest pains suffered by the husband, while on their way to the airport to come home, his wife collapsed with heart problems. After treatment, both returned home, accompanied by a doctor.
  • £200,000 paid to treat a traveller on a cruise in China who suffered a brain haemorrhage. This included an air ambulance back to the UK from Hong Kong.
  • £153,000 for treating a broken arm caused by falling out of a bed in San Francisco. This included paying for the flight back home. 
  • £137,000 to treat a fractured spine resulting from a bathroom fall in Thailand, including return to the UK.
  • £89,000 to pay the medical bill for a holidaymaker who suffered a heart attack while visiting Turkey.
  • £78,000 to treat an elderly visitor to Spain for a 23-day hospital stay to treat injuries and trauma following a road crash.

Air ambulance costs back to the UK can be jaw-dropping as well: typically, £75,000 from Asia, £50,000 from the US and £13,500 from Italy.


Five tips for a safer overseas holiday

Get an EHIC. Make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when travelling in Europe. It is free and gives you access to state-provided healthcare available to a resident. However, it is not a substitute for having travel insurance as it will not cover all medical costs, or the cost of emergency repatriation back to the UK. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and in the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, the EHIC will no longer apply.  This makes it even more important that you have appropriate travel insurance in place to cover medical costs while you are travelling in an EU country, in the same way as you would when travelling to a non-EU country. Find out more about the EHIC here. 

Take the emergency contact details of your travel insurer when you travel. Take the emergency telephone numbers of your travel insurer should you need to contact them urgently. They, or their medical assistance provider, can advise and arrange for any emergency medical treatment that you may need.

Take care and stay safe. Try to avoid putting yourself at any unnecessary risk and always act responsibly. For example, avoid excess alcohol consumption. Generally, travel insurance will not cover accidents if you have not taken reasonable care.

Check if you are covered by your travel insurance for any activities you may do If you plan any potentially dangerous holiday activity, such as bungee jumping, check if you are covered before you travel. If you are going on an activity holiday, there are specialist travel insurance policies to cover you.

Declare any pre-existing medical conditions before you travel.  Tell your travel insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions when you take out your travel insurance. Specialist insurers or an insurance broker can often help in arranging cover.


Latest ABI Analysis Underlines Importance Of Preparing For Business Travel Risks

Healix International, the global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, has responded to new data from the ABI regarding the costs of medical care overseas. 

Director of Operations, Marise Caunter said: “Whilst the ABI report was largely focused on claims from holidaymakers, there is no question that businesses need to take heed too.  The eight-fold increase in overseas medical costs will be particularly sobering for any firm that is regularly – or even occasionally – sending employees overseas.”

The ABI analysis of 500,000 travel insurance claims made in 2018 found that the total medical bill paid by insurers was £209 million – £570,000 every day - the highest figure since 2010.  And highlighting just how expensive medical care is overseas, a claim for heart problems in the US cost £241,000; treating a brain haemorrhage in China cost £200,000;  £153,000 to treat a fractured arm in San Francisco and providing the treatment for an individual who had a heart attack in Turkey cost £89,000.

“Of course, travel insurance is vital for business people travelling and working abroad – not only to ensure they are treated efficiently and effectively, but so that they can be repatriated as soon as safe to do so”, added Marise Caunter.  “But as crucial for firms is understanding the risks before employees are deployed so that adequate back-up plans can be put in place should the worst happen.”

Healix International works with organisations to ensure that the right processes are in place for employees working overseas to access medical – as well as security – support when they need it.  24/7 Operations Centres give companies and their employees direct access in a crisis to doctors, nurses and security professionals.

Healix handles almost 30,000 international in-patient cases and approximately 2,000 aero-medical patient transfers each year, via a network of over 55,000 primary and secondary healthcare providers based in every country around the world.

“Taking a proactive approach to mitigating international risk, utilising an integrated and worldwide network of security, medical and transportation resources, helps ensure the security of the global workforce”, concluded Marise Caunter.


How Safe Is It To Visit Hong Kong?

Healix International provides an insight into the current risks for business travellers and offers tips for firms sending employees to the region.

It is unlikely that businesses with operations in Hong Kong or sending employees to the region will be unaware of the current unrest.  But some employers may be uncertain about the scale of the risks and what guidance to give to employees. Sebastian Liu, Global Threat Analyst for the Asia Pacific region at Healix International, the global provider of travel risk management and international medical, security and travel assistance services, has identified some of the key issues that firms should consider.

“Overall, Hong Kong is assessed by Healix International as a LOW security risk country owing to the relatively low levels of crime, conflict, and militant activity. However, over recent weeks, ongoing unrest in the territory has resulted in significant operational and travel disruption, and has eroded confidence in the territory being a safe and reliable global hub for economic activity. Therefore, Healix currently assesses the risk of unrest to be HIGH in Hong Kong. 

“The likelihood of protests taking place in the short term is determined to be LIKELY and whilst the majority of the initial demonstrations were concentrated around government buildings in the vicinity of the Legislative Council (LegCo) in Central, more recently the protesters have changed their targeting patterns. Protests are increasingly impacting transport infrastructure, including Hong Kong International Airport [HKG], as well as the Mass Transit Rapid (MTR) network. Protests took place at HKG airport from 9th – 13th August, and resulted in the disruption of hundreds of flights on 12th and 13th August. Clearly this presents a very disruptive issue for businesses.

“The risk of foreign nationals being caught up in the protests has also increased as the decentralised nature of them is making it more difficult to project the next protest location; ‘hit and run’ tactics are increasingly being used, with demonstrators avoiding prolonged confrontation with the police and moving from location to location on foot or via the metro. 

“Whilst the unrest is the current focus on Hong Kong, there is also a HIGH risk of natural disasters in the region, predominantly deriving from typhoons. The rainy season tends to run from April until October annually and the highest risk period for typhoons runs from July to September. Strong intensity typhoons can cause damage and localised flooding, and result in a significant impact to business operations. 

“The risk to foreign nationals from crime is, however, considered LOW. Non-violent and opportunistic crimes, notably petty criminality in the form of pickpocketing and snatch theft, are the most common.  And there is a slightly increased incidence of such crime in areas frequented by foreign nationals, including the Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai districts, particularly around nightlife areas. Areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as the large marketplaces throughout the city and the MTR network, present attractive targets as perpetrators are able to utilise crowds to remain undetected. Other pickpocketing hotspots include tourist attractions, like the Peak Tram and Star Ferry.”

Healix advice to travellers visiting Hong Kong

  • Travel to Hong Kong can continue but itineraries should be flexible owing to likely operational disruption in the short-to-medium term.
  • Developments regarding the ongoing unrest should be closely monitored via social media, local news outlets, the Telegram encrypted messaging platform, and local internet forums, like the LiHKG website.
  • Routes should be planned to bypass the vicinity of planned protest locations, and flashpoints for unrest. It is important to not stop, watch, film or take photographs of protests owing to the incidental risk of violence. Civilians, journalists and bystanders have all been targeted or indirectly impacted previously.
  • In the event of encountering a potentially hostile demonstration, move from the area and return to a secure accommodation or office location.
  • Black and white clothing have both been associated with protesters and counter-protesters; it’s advisable to refrain from wearing these colours on protest days. Also, limit carrying any items that may give the impression to the authorities of involvement in protests; this includes masks, hard hats and umbrellas.
  • Refrain from political discussion in public and making statements on social media.
  • If travel is essential through protest locations, the MTR is likely to be a better option as opposed to over-ground transport. However, business people should be aware that MTR services have been disrupted previously and delays may be encountered. Airport Express services may also be impacted on days when protests are due to be held at Hong Kong International Airport [HKG].
  • Remain aware of surroundings, especially when using the public transportation system or in high congestion areas such as tourist attractions.
  • Abide by all official directives issued by the relevant authorities. Take note of typhoon warnings issued by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and the type of signal issued. Businesses and facilities are expected to close when a Typhoon Signal 8 or above is issued.
  • Utilise the ‘Watch Country’ function on Healix’s Travel Oracle app to receive notifications on alerts for potential security incidents and disruption.

For more information about the security and health risks in Hong Kong visit

Now Health International Bolsters Senior Leadership Team With Strategic Hire

Now Health International Grouph has appointed Michel Faucher as Managing Director Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Chief Commercial Officer to lead the company’s strategic development in the region. This newly created role forms part of the company’s continued investment in the senior leadership team to enable the business to realise its ambitious growth plans worldwide.

Michel is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years’ experience working on both the insurer and consulting side of the industry. He has extensive global commercial experience having previously worked across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, North America, and Europe, with a proven track record in delivering dynamic distribution strategies and leading mergers and acquisitions in emerging markets.

In his role Michel will be responsible for the company’s growth strategy in the Middle East & Africa region, supported by Sonja de Pattenden, General Manager - MEA. As Chief Commercial Officer Michel will also oversee all commercial aspects of the business including underwriting, marketing, and regional compliance. Michel will be based in Now Health International’s Dubai office.

To further enhance the leadership team and support the company’s regional operating model, Rob McIntyre, previously General Manager for Asia Pacific, has been promoted to Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Chief Distribution Officer. Meanwhile Alex Dalton will continue to oversee the Europe region and Operations function in the capacity of Managing Director Europe and Chief Operating Officer. 

Michel Faucher said: “As an innovative international health insurance provider, Now Health is at the cutting edge of the industry and I am thrilled to be joining the business at a time of rapid growth and transformation. I look forward to working with the team on a number of exciting strategic projects as we continue to expand in key markets, particularly here in the Middle East and Africa.”

Zahir Sharif, Managing Director, Now Health International added, “Michel’s appointment forms part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the senior leadership team is fit for our continued growth worldwide. As we further expand and mature as business it’s important that we invest in our people and talent for long term success, and I am delighted to welcome Michel to the team.”

iPMI Magazine Speaks With Janette Hiscock, CEO Of Global Solutions Europe, United Healthcare Global

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, sits down with Janette Hiscock, CEO of Global Solutions Europe for United Healthcare Global. They discuss in detail the newly formed European division of UnitedHealthcare Global (UHCG) including what makes UnitedHealthcare Global’s offering different, the new benefits and services added to insurance plans, member access to the best possible healthcare and what we can expect from UHCG in the future.

Please introduce yourself and your role at UnitedHealthcare Global:

My name is Janette Hiscock and I am the CEO of UnitedHealthcare Global Solutions Europe, leading the newly created European Division of UnitedHealthcare Global (UHCG) which launched its European insurance business last year. We provide in-house solutions for international medical insurance, wellness, security, assistance and remote medical services. Our range of solutions makes our offering unique in the European market.

Prior to this role, I oversaw the company’s remote medical services division based in the U.K. I continue to run this business, but I am now responsible for leading the insurance entity in Europe, which creates alignment under one European market.

I have more than twenty years industry experience managing health insurance, medical, assistance and security services businesses, and have held a variety of senior roles in sales, client management and proposition development.

Can you explain the changes that have been announced to UnitedHealthcare Global’s European operations?

We are very excited about UnitedHealthcare Global’s evolution in this market. UnitedHealthcare Global has combined its medical services and insurance businesses, enabling our European-based teams to bring a solution to clients with unparalleled in-house capabilities. This will provide a continuum of care for our members across insurance, assistance, security, wellness, clinical and medical services.

The launch of our iPMI business last year ensured we were able to align with our US-based business, leverage our Latin American businesses and develop products and services to meet the needs of globally mobile workforces.

Why have these changes been made?  

Since the launch of the European iPMI business, we’ve been investing in our products to ensure we meet the evolving needs of companies with globally mobile populations. Our solutions address our members’ needs at every stage of their deployment and there are a number of complementary services that sit in our medical services business that we can offer to iPMI clients.

It made perfect sense to integrate these two highly complementary divisions of our business under one single leadership in Europe, making it simpler for brokers and clients to access these services.

What makes UnitedHealthcare Global’s offering different?

At UnitedHealthcare Global, we see the many different interactions across the entire health care system – in a way no other organisation can. We are uniquely positioned to address global health care challenges for members and create real value for clients.

We understand that comprehensive and cost-effective health and well-being plans, aimed at companies with globally mobile workforces, are not just about managing illness. That’s why our offerings include proactive and preventative benefits to help employees actively manage their own health care while abroad.

Our aim is to support members to look after their health through innovative products and services. Simplifying the digital experience is hugely important to us, as we know it is something our members want. Through our apps and portals, our members can make a claim within 90 seconds or access a wellness coach. Our highly personalised service for both brokers and clients helps us to deliver the best solutions for globally mobile populations, and puts health care in the hands of the member.

As part of the world’s largest health care company, UnitedHealthcare Global employs 74,000 people, half of which are clinicians and health care professionals. This means our global reach as a health care company is unparalleled, providing better outcomes for all who we serve  

Since your launch in September 2018, have you added any new benefits/services to your plans based on the changes made to the business?

UnitedHealthcare Global is continually using our in-house capabilities to research, innovate, and provide new services and technologies to make the health care system easier to navigate for our members. A strong tenant of our business is based on preventative care. Since our launch, we’ve added a number of new services and benefits including Virtual Visits and our Global Health Management programme.

Virtual Visits is a secure telemedicine service that makes it simple for employees and their dependants to speak with a health care professional through their mobile or desktop devices while on assignment. From treating colds and fevers, to caring for migraines and allergies or getting a referral letter, it makes connecting with a doctor easy and free while on the move.

The Global Health Management programme is a proactive health management service available to all of our insurance members, to help them access the resources they need to manage their health, including chronic conditions. It focuses on an employee or their dependants’ specific needs, wherever they are in the world. Our clinicians provide targeted support to help expatriates and their families overcome the challenges of accessing care and resources for complex, high risk conditions. They create an action plan for addressing urgent needs and also work with the member’s schedule and location to ensure members can have a healthier, more successful assignment.

Using the breadth of capability from our medical services business and our in-house team of doctors, we have developed a new solution called Virtual Health Assessments (VHA) to help mitigate risks for employers sending people abroad. VHA is a specialised medical screening service which employers can use to screen their employees and their family’s at any point prior to, during and after their assignment. This is a standalone service from the iPMI plan and can be purchased with or without the iPMI offering.

Many of the illnesses and conditions faced by employees and their dependants when abroad are predictable and preventable. Our services help to ensure that any medical conditions which may impact a trip are identified well in advance of departure and actively managed with our clinical teams.

All of our programmes have been designed to help ensure, globally mobile populations thrive, by giving access to employers, employees and their dependants to the most cost effective, innovative, real-time and comprehensive health care.

How can you guarantee that your members will be able to access the best possible care?

UnitedHealthcare Global is part of UnitedHealth Group, the largest and most diversified health care company in the world. Because of this, clients and members benefit from our global networks, clinical insight, data analytics and innovation.

We work with local health care providers and clinicians who have the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure employees receive the best possible health care at every stage of their assignment overseas, no matter how complex their needs might be. We do this by providing access to high-quality, compliant and cost effective benefit programmes, helping employers mitigate risk and making their employees’ health and safety our priority.

Ultimately, our mission is to help people live healthier lives and help make the health care system work better for everyone.

What’s coming up next for UnitedHealthcare Global?

Following the successful launch of our iPMI services in Europe, we’re looking forward to making further exciting announcements, and discussing in greater detail our new proposition for the oil and gas market.  

Related: iPMI Magazine Speaks With David Powell, CEO Global Solutions, UnitedHealthcare Global And Claude Daboul, Managing Director, UnitedHealthcare Global Europe

Allianz Partners Appoints New Chief Financial Officer For International Health Brand, Allianz Care

Allianz Partners has announced a new appointment for its international health brand, Allianz Care.  Diane Babson will take up the role of Chief Financial Officer for Allianz Care, following the retirement of Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Frank Mee.

Diane joined Allianz Partners in 2015 as Chief Financial Officer for the US and Americas Region, bringing more than 15 years’ experience across multiple financial disciplines. Diane holds a degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Diane commenced her new role with Allianz Care last month on a three year assignment.

Speaking about the appointment, Chief Executive Officer, Ida Luka-Lognoné said, “Diane is a seasoned finance executive with vast experience and we are delighted she is joining us following a number of very successful years leading the finance operations for the US and Americas. Diane is a strong leader and strategic business partner, and I am very much looking forward to working with her at Allianz Care.”

Diane’s appointment comes as Frank Mee retires after more than 30 years of service. Frank began his career with Allianz in 1986 and was one of the founders of the international health line of business. 

Speaking about Frank’s retirement, Ida added: “It has been a privilege for me to work alongside Frank since I joined the company. His dedication to the business and wealth of knowledge has always been an enormous asset to the team. I wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.” 

For more information about Allianz Care, visit:

The Hearty Truth – UK Amongst The Worst In The World For Heart Health Awareness

Research shows one in six people have experienced heart problem symptoms in the past six months, yet only half (53%) know what signs to look out for.

The UK is suffering from a chronic lack of awareness with regards to detecting and addressing heart health problems and symptoms, new research from Cigna Europe reveals.

According to Cigna’s 360 Well-being Survey 2019, which surveyed more than 13,000 people across 22 different countries, Britain is the worst performing nation with less than four in 10 Brits knowing their blood pressure rating (37% vs global average of 66%).

The UK also performed poorly with regards to Body Mass Index (BMI), with less than a third of Brits knowing their BMI number (32% vs global average of 51%) – only above Canada (27%) and Korea (30%). Both measures are crucial to monitoring heart health and spotting the early warning signs of cardiovascular disease.

And, if the UK’s lack of awareness wasn’t concerning enough, more than one in six Brits (16%) have experienced symptoms of heart problems in the past six months, and more than a quarter (28%) haven’t done anything to alleviate those symptoms. Alarmingly, 17% of millennials had experienced symptoms of heart problems, more than any other demographic in the UK apart from over 50s.

Despite more than seven million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, just under three quarters of UK respondents (73%) are not concerned with heart disease at old age.

Phil Austin, Chief Executive Officer – Cigna Europe, said, “This research paints a worrying picture for the UK. The country’s poor ranking for BMI and blood pressure awareness – two key measures for tracking heart health – as well the lack of concern for heart health in later life, means we could be sleep walking into an epidemic of cardiovascular disease.

“More than a quarter of deaths in the UK are caused by heart and circulatory disease, so it’s important for companies to do all they can to help employees understand the importance of managing their heart health and help them better understand the early warning signs of poor heart health. Through making more information available to employees, employers can make a real difference to their employees’ lives and improve the state of the nation’s heart health.

“Cigna is committed to helping businesses identify and treat issues as early as possible. This is why we recently launched a dedicated preventive benefit in our health plans for SMEs, which recognises the importance that early awareness of potential health risks has on preventing more serious conditions from developing. The benefits can help pay for face-to-face health assessments and specified cancer screening.”

According to the survey, only one in every two Brits (53%) have an awareness of heart problem symptoms. Young people (those aged between 18 to 35) are most aware (61%), whereas those aged 50+ have a better knowledge of more symptoms. Key symptoms of heart problems include: pain/discomfort in chest, shortness of breath, light-headedness/dizziness, pain/discomfort in arms and shoulders, jaw neck & back pain.

To help people better monitor their heart health, Cigna Europe has outlined its top five methods that people who have experienced heart problem symptoms have taken to manage these symptoms. These are:

  1. Exercise more regularly
  2. Seek help from a GP
  3. Lose weight
  4. Eat a balanced diet
  5. Reduce stress

To read the full report, please visit: 2019 Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey - Well and Beyond.

CEGA To Expose Travel Insurance Fraud In BBC Series

Insurance claims validation expert CEGA Special Investigations, a Charles Taylor company, is to film next week for a new series of BBC1's Claimed and Shamed: the popular TV documentary that casts a covert eye over insurance fraud.

CEGA will share stories of real-life travel insurance fraudsters with over a million expected BBC viewers; reinforcing the message that fraudulent claims large and small will be found out all over the world, thanks to investigators on the ground overseas, interviews and state-of-the-art detection techniques.

CEGA Special Investigations consistently detects a significant proportion of the UK's annual travel insurance fraud savings. Working with Charles Taylor Adjusting and supported by the global presence of Charles Taylor, it also provides insurers with multi-sector claims validation solutions that incorporate loss adjusting and fraud investigation. This protects them from every size and type of global insurance fraud.

CEGA's Head of Technical Claims Simon Cook, who has been contributing to Claimed & Shamed since its inception, says, "Our participation in Claimed & Shamed is just part of our proactive commitment to add value for insurers; ensuring that genuine customers have their claims paid quickly and that potential fraudsters are educated about the severity of insurance fraud and deterred from dishonest activity."

Filming for Claimed and Shamed will start on Wednesday August 14th, with the series expected to be broadcast later in the year.

Related Reading: FOCUS ON FRAUD: iPMI Magazine Speaks With Simon Cook, Head Of Technical Claims, CEGA Group, A Charles Taylor Company

Read more news and views from CEGA on their company micro website on iPMI Magazine, click here.

AXA – Global Healthcare Appoints Gordon Delaney As Regional Head Of Europe

AXA – Global Healthcare, has announced the appointment of Gordon Delaney as Regional Head of Europe, effective immediately.

With 15 years’ experience in the financial services market, Delaney will oversee AXA – Global Healthcare’s newest distribution hub, based in Dublin. He will be responsible for driving distribution throughout Europe, retaining and growing business in the region, as well as continuing to develop relationships with key partners.

Having spent a large part of his career with Allianz Care, most recently as Head of Sales and Distribution for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, Delaney brings excellent knowledge and vast experience of working in international insurance markets to the role.

Commenting on his new role, Delaney said: “I joined AXA – Global Healthcare because of its unique position in what’s an increasingly complex market. With the weight of the AXA brand and the businesses’ global capabilities I feel the potential to collaborate and grow the business is massive. To do this it’s vital we put our customers first and the new European hub allows us to do so while providing a fantastic platform to develop the business further.”

The dedicated European hub, which opened in March 2019, is already supporting AXA’s customers and new business opportunities in the region. Despite changing regulations and uncertainty around the UK’s position in the EU, by working with AXA Insurance dac, another insurer from within the AXA Group, it means AXA – Global Healthcare is well prepared to take advantage of whatever the future holds. Delaney has extensive experience of the local regulatory market as well as other markets across the region in which AXA operates.

Kevin Melton, Global Head Sales and Marketing AXA – Global Healthcare, commented: “Considering his extensive experience we’re looking forward to realising the value that Gordon will bring to our global team. Together with our distribution hubs in the UK and Hong Kong, and AXA’s capabilities in the Middle East, our new European hub demonstrates our continued commitment to the global healthcare market and our ability to meet the regional needs of clients, on a global scale.”

Rising Regulatory Standards In Asia-Pacific Will Erode Protectionism Say AM Best Directors

In this AMBestTV episode, Myles Gould, director of analytics, Christie Lee, senior director and Greg Carter, managing director, all of AM Best said Asia’s insurance markets vary widely by size and levels of insurance penetration.

Click on to view the entire program.

Carter discussed growth in the Asia-Pacific insurance markets, noting that the region is very diverse, with mature markets down to those in the early stages of development.

“I think since the global economic crisis of 2008, the Asia-Pacific region has seen big opportunities for growth,” said Carter. “With those growth opportunities have come a lot of inward investment, a lot of capital that has been attracted to those markets in order to take advantage of those growth opportunities. That has led to the markets remaining quite competitive, and they are growing quickly. Different rates of growth are occurring across different markets.”

Another reflection of the region’s diversity is the different levels of regulation across the insurance markets.

“Some markets are very mature, while in others we're still seeing those early stages of development,” said Carter. “We’re seeing markets where there's still a degree of protectionism, but slowly, we’re seeing a trend of that breaking down. As regulatory standards rise, then those protectionist activities tend to fall away as regulators look to encourage growth and encourage competition. Generally, once you raise the standards and the capital requirements, then you get an improvement in credit quality over the longer term.”

Lee spotlighted some of the trends AM Best sees in China’s insurance market.

“The China insurance market is still leading global growth, and in 2018, the country continued to record double-digit growth in its life insurance market. However, the underwriting quality continues to deteriorate since the implementation of the motor de-tariffication in 2016. In addition, on the investment side, because of the trade war between China and the United States, there have been additional uncertainties to the country’s economic outlook. As a result, volatilities and investment returns, as well as overall underwriting and investment pressures have had quite an impact on the 2018 overall profit.”

Looking at the balance sheet performance of insurers in Southeast Asia, Gould believes them to be quite robust and adequate. However, he does see pressure on the profitability and operating performance sides. “If your company is not growing at the expected rate, you have got to manage your costs better, and obviously with the competition from a premium rate perspective, the loss ratios have increased in some cases,” he said.


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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.