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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 www.ipmiglobal.com

Remote Medical International® And Healix International Announce Strategic Partnership

Remote Medical International and Healix International, a global leader in medical and security assistance services, have today announced the establishment of a strategic partnership. Together, the two companies will leverage each other's extensive expertise to provide an exceptional and comprehensive continuum of care to clients with operations around the world.

"We are thrilled to offer our customers the level of service and support for which Healix International is known,” said Wayne Wager, CEO of Remote Medical International. "By partnering with a world-class assistance company like Healix, we can now improve the safety and security of our clients’ global employees and operations."

Remote Medical International provides critical onsite medical services to global companies across a wide variety of industries. These services include medical staffing, training, medical direction, and equipment procurement. Healix International excels at allowing global employers to fulfill their duty of care requirements by overseeing the health and safety needs of business travelers, expatriates, and their families in every country in the world.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with Remote Medical International to offer our clients a best-in-class solution for their on-project medical needs,” said Scott Sunderman, CEO of Healix International. “Having worked collaboratively on projects already, I have witnessed first-hand how our combined efforts can increase the level of care and reduce costs for our clients. The formalization of our relationship seemed like a natural step for us and will further our shared vision of improving the health and wellbeing of clients living and working in remote and challenging locations.”

Healix International and Remote Medical International both have proven track records of improving patient care while reducing costs, recordable incidents, and medical evacuations. Combined, both companies have an increased ability to offer seamless service integration and provide customers with access to trusted care and medical support wherever in the world they work.

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Cigna Global Health Benefits Appoints Javier Cano European Managing Director

Cigna (NYSE: CI) has named Javier Cano as Managing Director of its Global Health Benefits business in Europe to ensure the growing number of globally mobile customers benefit from Cigna's global capabilities and local expertise. 

Cigna Global Health Benefits is a leading provider of group healthcare and employee benefits solutions for globally mobile employees of small, medium and large businesses, multinational corporates and IGOs/NGOs. We are a truly international organisation with operations in more than 30 countries and over 50 years of experience. Currently, Cigna provides global health care insurance benefits and related services to more than one million customers worldwide. 

Javier joined Cigna in 2006 as Business Development Director for the Spanish business. In 2010 he launched Cigna’s Individual PMI business in Europe, building new direct channels alongside established intermediary distribution. Javier then became Spain Country Manager for Cigna in 2011 where he has successfully grown the business across the individual, domestic and global benefits’ segments. He will continue to lead Cigna’s business in Spain as part of his new role.

While Javier continues to be based in Madrid, he leads a team operating across Europe with key operational hubs in UK, Belgium and Spain.

Javier commented, “I’m delighted to bring together Cigna’s resources in Europe at a time when global mobility and demand for health benefits are both increasing. There’s no doubt that global mobility has an important part to play in economic growth. And I’m confident that Cigna is well-positioned to support the different global health benefits needs of employers across Europe.”

Cigna Global Health Benefits is part of Cigna, a US-based global health service company, dedicated to helping the people we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security. To learn more please visit www.cignaglobalhealth.com  and www.cignainspire.com 

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Insurance Capacity In Global Energy Markets Leaps To Highest Level This Century

Theoretical insurance capacities in both the upstream and downstream oil and gas insurance markets have increased to the highest levels seen this century. Heavily over-capitalised global (re)insurance markets combined with a glut of new capacity from non-traditional providers - such as pension funds, hedge funds and investment banks - has increased competitive pressures in the energy insurance market to unprecedented levels, according to Willis's annual Energy Market Review.

Total theoretical upstream market capacity now stands at US$5.7 billion and the equivalent downstream total is now at US$4.6 billion, according to the report. Meanwhile, statistics from Lloyd's of London suggest that the overall energy premium pool available to insurers may be reducing for both markets. Given these conditions, Willis expects it may take more than a run of catastrophic losses to provoke any significant capacity withdrawal from the energy sector. In 2013 the energy loss record was no worse than average, noted Willis's report.

On the upstream side, the Willis Energy Loss Database recorded only a handful of losses in excess of US$200 million, while on the downstream side, although there have been three serious incidents in Argentina, the USA and Canada, the loss record continues to improve. At the same time, the report notes that the energy industry itself might be sitting on an uninsured cyber-attack time bomb. While insurance cover is readily available for non-catastrophic cyber-attack losses to data and intellectual property, it can be much more challenging to access cover for a truly catastrophic event involving physical loss or damage or business interruption running into billions of dollars. Certain markets, however, have emerged recently with the appetite and capacity to provide energy companies with at least a degree of cyber-attack insurance cover.

Commenting on energy insurance market conditions, Alistair Rivers, Global Head of Natural Resources at Willis, said, "With no obvious alternative investment opportunities emerging, and with interest rates around the world still low in relative terms, capital providers are likely to maintain their funds in the (re)insurance markets where they are currently deployed - at least for the short term. Energy market capacity is therefore likely to continue to be available, even if the sector falls into unprofitability."

He continued, "The difficulty with predicting how market conditions will turn out in the next few years is that this is the first time we have seen capital deployed in the insurance markets that is unlikely to be put off by short term underwriting unprofitability. In previous market eras, we have always found that a major catastrophe or series of losses -- for example, Piper Alpha, 9/11 and the 2005 Gulf of Mexico hurricanes -- has led to a withdrawal of capacity and harder market conditions. But now we think it will take more than a headline-grabbing loss to precipitate a withdrawal. Capital providers would have to find an alternative haven for their money if they are to withdraw from the insurance arena."

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Shipping Losses Decline, Emerging Risks Pose Serious Challenges To Marine Industry And Insurers

  • 94 large ships lost worldwide in 2013, down 20% from last year, with foundering most common cause.
  • Piracy focus shifts away from Somalia to new hotspots: Indonesia and West Africa.
  • Indonesia attacks up 700% in five years. Evolving piracy tactics present new challenges.
  • Mega ships, Arctic shipping and alternative fuels create new industry risks.

Shipping losses continued their downward trend with 94 losses reported worldwide in 2013, coming in below 100 for only the second time in 12 years.

Losses declined by 20 percent from 2012 when there were 117 reported losses. The 2013 accident year also represents a significant improvement on the previous 10-year loss average with total worldwide shipping losses declining 45 percent since 2003.

“More than 90 percent of global trade is carried by sea so the safety of international shipping vessels and routes is critical to the health of the global economy,” said Tim Donney, Global Head of Marine Risk Consulting. “While the long-term downward trend in shipping losses is encouraging, there is more work to be done to improve the overall safety of these vessels as well as their cargo, crew and passengers, especially in Asian waters. As an insurer we are always concerned about recognized issues such as training and safety management, - human error is not something we can ignore and lack of skilled workforce is still an issue - but we also need to be alert for new risks as the industry continues to develop.”

Asia saw highest number of marine losses and continues to be an area of focus According to the report, more than a third of 2013’s total losses were concentrated in two maritime regions. As in 2012, the South China, Indo China, Indonesia and the Philippines region saw the highest number of losses (18 ships), closely followed by the seas around Japan, Korea and North China (17 ships).

More than two years after the Costa Concordia disaster, improving passenger ship safety continues to be a priority, with 2014 likely to see the 100th loss of a passenger vessel since 2002. Asia remains a hotspot for passenger shipping losses, especially for smaller passenger vessels and ferries as demonstrated by the sinking of the ferry St. Thomas of Aquinas as a result of a collision with another vessel off Cebu in the Philippines in August 2013, with the loss of at least 116 lives.

“We have to ask how some Asian ship operators measure safety and quality, particularly when speaking about domestic trade shipping in South East Asia,” said Captain Jarek Klimczak, Senior Marine Risk Consultant at AGCS. “The understanding of quality and standards can sometimes appear 50 years behind Europe – maybe even more.”

Around the world, more than a third of the vessels lost were cargo ships with fishery and bulk carriers the only other type of vessels to record double-digit losses. The total loss of two bulk carriers in Asian waters in 2013, Harita Bauxite and Trans Summer, highlighted the importance of proper cargo handling and stowage of bulk cargoes. AGCS experts believe high moisture content and subsequent liquidization, leading to free flowing instabilization of the cargo to be the primary cause of the accidents. The most common cause of losses in the past year was foundering (sinking or submerging), often driven by heavy weather, accounting for almost 75 percent of all losses, which was a significant increase from both 2012 (47 percent) and the previous 10-year average (44 percent).

For the first time the report includes not only total losses but also the total number of shipping casualties by region. The East Mediterranean and Black Sea region is shown to be a casualty hotspot, responsible for 464 casualties (18%) out of a worldwide total of 2,596 during 2013, including the year’s oldest ship to be a total loss:

the 108 year old Hantallar which grounded off Tekirdag, Turkey. This region combines busy shipping routes and a reputation for weaker safety management practices with a regional fleet that has a higher proportion of lower quality older vessels. The report also shows that over the past decade the British Isles have been the location of the most casualties, while January is the worst month for all casualties (including total losses) in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the Southern Hemisphere it is July. Piracy attacks still a concern – different models pose new challenges In 2013, piracy attacks declined 11 percent to 264 reported incidents worldwide according to International Maritime Bureau statistics - 106 of these occurred in Indonesia, which has seen a 700 percent increase in attacks since 2009.

Most of these attacks remain low level opportunistic thefts carried out by small bands of individuals but one third of incidents in these waters were reported in the last quarter of 2013, and there is potential for such attacks to escalate into a more organized piracy model unless they are controlled.

An emerging piracy hotspot with more organized crime is the Gulf of Guinea with 48 incidents in 2013, accounting for 18 percent of all attacks worldwide. Piracy attacks in Somalia have declined dramatically with only seven incidents in 2013 compared with 160 attacks in 2011. The report suggests the piracy model could be broken in Somalia in a couple of years if naval patrols continue.

Emerging Risks

An increasingly difficult operating climate for ship operators has forced a number of innovations, including larger ship sizes to capitalize on economies of scale, the use of alternative fuels and changes in ship designs. At the same time, more economical trading routes are fast appearing in Arctic regions during the summer months, but these present their own set of challenges.

Emerging risks identified include:

Vessel size: Last year marked the arrival of the largest container vessel on record, over 400 meters long and boasting capacity in excess of 18,000 teu. This trend is set to continue. AGCS estimates capacity grows by around 30 per cent every four to five years, meaning the arrival of 24,000 teu carriers can be anticipated around 2018.

“The claims arising out of maritime emergencies of these ‘mega ships’ can be huge. For example, just think of the business interruption of ports and terminals if an accident was to block the entrance,” said Dr. Sven Gerhard, Global Product Leader, Hull & Marine Liabilities, AGCS. “In addition, salvage might require unprecedented efforts and complex operations – in some cases it may take many months, or possibly a year or longer, to remove all the containers, particularly if the accident were to happen in a remote location. The large loss potential has increased for events which are not extraordinary on these big ships. And these are unchartered waters for salvors.”

Rise of LNG[1]-fueled vessels: Use of liquefied natural gas to power ships is expected to dramatically increase by 2020. There are safety concerns however, as the industry will see the rise of ports that have never previously handled LNG providing bunkering stations on dock.

“We need to ask what risks LNG-fueled ships will present to the industry. The concern is storing the LNG as fuel and handling it onboard. LNG expertise is not easily available – there needs to be a change in mindset and training,” said Capt. Rahul Khanna, Senior Risk Consultant, Marine, AGCS. Arctic trading routes: Shipping casualties in Arctic Circle waters have increased to an average of 45 per year during 2009-2013 from only 7 during 2002-2007. Damage to machinery caused a third of these incidents, higher than the average elsewhere, reflecting the harsher operating environment.

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Subsea Cables Identified As Major Insurance Risk For The Offshore Wind Industry

DNV GL, announced the launch of its guideline "Subsea power cables in shallow water renewable energy applications" (DNV-RP-J301), which provides a comprehensive review of subsea power cable practice and advice for managing the risk commonly associated with the cables.

The recommended practice, which is free to download from www.dnvgl.com/rules-standards/default.aspx#2, is the most comprehensive of its type in the industry. Technical guideline covers entire lifecycle of subsea power cables, from concept development to decommissioning, and is a comprehensive resource of project guidance.

Many existing offshore wind farms have faced subsea power cable problems caused by underestimation of complexities and interrelationships Guideline will become essential tool for stakeholders involved in renewable energy projects, improving safety and lowering costs for the wind industry Problems with subsea cables have affected many offshore wind farms and damage to cables has been identified as a major insurance risk for the offshore wind industry.

Cable related problems are costly and most often arise from inadequate risk identification, lack of planning, sub-standard design and deficiencies in how procedures are applied. To date, cabling failures have cost millions of euros in delays and numerous legal disputes.

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Afghanistan Travel Warnings: Credit Cards Not Accepted - ATMs in Military Camps

Carry sufficient cash in US Dollars for your visit. Credit cards are not accepted. Some ATMs in Kabul dispense dollars as well as the local currency, Afghanis. Banks are closed on Fridays, but there are ATMs in various locations in Wazir Akbar Khan and elsewhere. ATMs are located at military camps, but unless you have an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pass you will not be able to enter. Travellers’ cheques are not widely accepted and it can take a fortnight for them to clear.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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Travel Advice Philippines: 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits The Island Of Bohol

Around 113,282 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2012. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Bohol on Tuesday at 08:12 local time (0012 GMT).

The epicentre was 629 km from Manila. Cebu City is about 60 km away. There have been some reports of casualties on Cebu. The initial earthquake was followed by two aftershocks, each measuring more than 5.0 in magnitude. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a Pacific-wide tsunami threat. The United States Geological Survey have issued a yellow warning saying “some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localised.

Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.”

British nationals affected by the earthquake are asked to contact the Consular Section in Manila at +63 02 858 2200.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reasons. There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.

The FCO is aware of a credible and imminent kidnap threat against foreigners in Zamboanga del Norte Province in Mindanao.

On 10 October the US Embassy issued an emergency message to US citizens warning them of the continuing threat from terrorism in southern Mindanao, including Davao, North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudurat, Sarangani and Maguindinao.

On 16 September 2013 the Philippine Bureau of Immigration warned foreign nationals against joining rallies and other mass action protests. Foreign nationals taking part in these rallies may face deportation for violating Philippine immigration laws.

On 9 September 2013 armed clashes took place between militants and the Philippines security forces in Zamboanga city. Sporadic fighting continues and the city’s airport has been closed. A curfew is in place from 8pm until 5am.

The FCO advise against all travel to this region. Any British nationals in Zamboanga city should remain indoors and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, usually between June and November. You should monitor local weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. With the exception of Philippine Airlines (PAL), all air carriers certified in the Philippines are banned from operating to/from the EU. 

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MSO is a new IAG Assistance Partner in South Africa

Since January 2012, International Assistance Group has set the course for a new strategy: forge partnerships with quality providers. Meant to help its 49 partners grow organically, offering true quality and health-focused outcomes, IAG constantly develops, recruits and trains a comprehensive global network of quality assistance experts and accredited provider partners.

Today, International Assistance Group is happy to inform you that a 14th Partnership has been signed since January. MSO (Medical Services Organisation) has been approved as a new IAG Assistance Partner after a strict selection process. MSO, located in South Africa, is operational for medical cases in Republic of South Africa as well as in sub-Saharan countries.

Glenn Staples, Business Dev Director is happy to present MSO: "MSO International provides healthcare risk management services to the African and South African market with over 1 million contracted lives from private healthcare and insurance companies. MSO's strategy of providing a comprehensive managed care solution across Africa provides healthcare funders with significant and unique advantages that improve their competitive position. Since 2008, MSO has expanded its operations to include a dedicated international division with over 50 staff to manage claims, cases and admissions for international clients with members in Africa. With its head office based in Johannesburg, South Africa and access to more than 6,000 contracted providers across the African continent, MSO International provides the optimal healthcare solution for Africa".

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Round Table: Critical Considerations When Designing Individual Expat Medical Insurance Plans

Critical Considerations When Designing Medical Insurance Plans

Whats important when designing medical insurance plans for overseas assignments, relocation, business and leisure travel? How are insurers viewing the market and is there a shift towards short-term cover, for individual expatriates and travelers

Job Title: C-Level ONLY

Questions:

What factors must one consider when designing health and medical insurance plans for individual expatriates?

Talk us through your under writing capabilities and ideas: (think about Full medical underwriting, Continuing Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME) and Moratorium)

What benefits does full medical underwriting bring?

How do your private medical insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions?

What is the key to success when designing health insurance plans for individual expats?

Can you talk us through your distribution channels and any new trends you have identified?

How does designing a good expatriate health insurance product equal quality driven healthcare anywhere, at any time?

How important is the portability of an individual expatriate insurance plan?

How can insurers add value to expatriate health insurance plans?

Currently, what is your most popular and appropriate plan for an individual expat working on a short-term assignment?

What new plan features and benefits can we expect to see in the next 5 years?

Specifics: iPMIM Executive Round Tables are not open to all and remain invite only. You may apply for a position if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are a specialist and recognised underwriter or provider of private medical insurance products;
  • You have an established network of third party service providers including healthcare providers and distribution partners.

PLEASE note that satisfying the criteria and applying will not guarantee a position at the table.

Participants enjoy:

  • Complete inclusion in 4 executive round tables;
  • Full professional executive bio;
  • Company logo;
  • Company bio;
  • Single or double page advertisement;
  • Complete online promotion.

About International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) Round Tables

The aim of iPMIM Round Tables is to facilitate Dialog and Debate at an Industry and Government level. Bringing together International Industry Leaders and Policy Makers, iPMI Magazine Round Tables represent the perfect arena for educational, interactive, cross border, cross culture and cross industry discussion, at the highest level.

 

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Round Table: The Effects of the Maritime Labour Convention on the Global Insurance Industry

The Effects of the Maritime Labour Convention on the Global Insurance Industry

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is an International Labour Organization convention established in 2006 as the Fourth pillar of international maritime law and embodies "all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions".

Title 4 of the MLC covers Health Protection, Medical Care, Welfare and Social Security Protection

Medical care on board ship and ashore: Seafarers should be covered for and have access to medical care while on board; in principle at no cost and of a quality comparable to the standards of health care on shore. Countries through which territory a ship is passing should guarantee treatment on shore in serious cases.

Shipowners' liability: Seafarers should be protected from the financial effects of "sickness, injury or death occurring in connection with their employment". This includes at least 16 weeks of payment of wages after start of sickness.

Health and safety protection and accident prevention: A safe and hygienic environment should be provided to seafarers both during working and resting hours and measures should be taken to take reasonable safety measures.

Access to shore-based welfare facilities: Port states should provide "welfare, cultural, recreational and information facilities and services" and to provide easy access to these services. The access to these facilities should be open to all seafarers irrespective of race, sex, religion or political opinion.

Social security: Social security coverage should be available to seafarers (and in case it is customary in the flag state: their relatives).

Job Title: C-Level ONLY

Specifics: iPMIM Executive Round Tables are not open to all and remain invite only.

You may apply for a position if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You are a specialist and recognised underwriter or provider of private medical insurance products for the maritime industry;
  • You have an established network of third party service providers including healthcare providers and distribution partners.

Participants enjoy:

  • Complete inclusion in 4 executive round tables;
  • Full professional executive bio;
  • Company logo;
  • Company bio;
  • Single or double page advertisement;
  • Complete online promotion.

Click here to see a demo of how the round tables will be published.

Questions:

  • What has the Maritime Labour Convention meant for the insurance industry?
  • What insurance plan do you provide for the maritime and marine industry?
  • What opportunities exist for insurers in the maritime and marine business?
  • What challenges do insurance companies face in the marine and maritime industry?
  • How complex an operation is the repatriation of crew, to suitable medical facilities, in the case of an incident?
  • In the case of a mass casualty disaster, how prepared is the industry to respond?
  • How prepared are payor provider networks for such situations?
  • With an estimated 1.5 million workers, the Maritime Industry crosses cultural, political and physical borders every day.
  • How popular are value added services like Employee Assistance Services, in the maritime and marine industry?
  • What is important when designing maritime and marine insurance plans?
  • How can maritime insurance plans assist in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean?
  • How will the maritime and marine industry develop over the next 5 years and what will this mean for insurance companies?

About International Private Medical Insurance Magazine (iPMIM) Round Tables

The aim of iPMIM Round Tables is to facilitate Dialog and Debate at an Industry and Government level. Bringing together International Industry Leaders and Policy Makers, iPMI Magazine Round Tables represent the perfect arena for educational, interactive, cross border, cross culture and cross industry discussion, at the highest level.

To apply for a position please click here.

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Powered by iPMI Magazine, iPMI Magazine Round Tables facilitate the best industry dialog and debate, at an industry and government level. iPMI Magazine Round Tables host the most important industry players and VIP's from various sectors of the international private medical insurance industry.

International Private Medical Insurance companies, emergency assistance networks and all related service provider segments like air and ground ambulance are involved. Didactic, executive, informative and in-depth group business meetings.

Educate, discuss and lead from the front. Learn from peers and network with new clients, iPMI Magazine Round Tables are designed by the industry, for the industry.