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Insurance Industry to Incorporate Social Media Strategy

September 10, 2015

For years, many insurance agents have had the same sales pitch, “review your annual premium… here are the list of what needs doing… the important thing is”…

With the advancement of technology, those sales pitches are already obsolete. It’s time to change your own approach and get ahead before anyone else gets into it. Well, in fact, a lot of agents are already using far advanced tactics and incorporating technology to score an insurance premium.

Say for instance, Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies from its main office in Bermuda to branches in Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and to over ten states in the United States, has already incorporated the use of social media to its advantage and has set up a personal inquiry chat box in their website for clients who would want to inquire online. This strategy is not only done by major companies like Axis. Rampant use of online technology is also being integrated in insurance businesses in Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore, Tokyo, Japan, Jakarta, Indonesia and Seoul, South Korea.

However, social media is not just used to market insurance products. Companies are using social media in forensic data mining to discover workers’ compensation fraud. Moreover, social media is also being utilized as a customer service tool as well as a medium for insurance carriers to gather perceptions, suggestions, complaints and real time encounter and reactions from consumers about the various issues arising in the industry. Finally, insurance companies have increasingly utilized social media in post catastrophe events as an effective way to contact, inform and communicate with insured regarding the claims process and other relevant and timely information.

Before social media emerged, many insurance companies are spending billions of dollars for advertisements and campaigns. These marketing efforts are oftentimes rejected and face skeptical responses. Social media, on the other hand, allows companies to share as much information needed to better understand the business and use language that can be understood by average consumers.

Producers should also be interested in social media in order to relay the right information well. Historically, producers have networked within a defined geographic territory. Because people generally only buy from producers they trust, developing trust has generally meant face-to-face interaction. However, as people grow more accustomed to trusting relationships developed online, producers who excel at developing such relationships will likely pursue licenses and sales opportunities outside traditional geographic areas.

The Future of Insurance

September 4, 2015

A lot of experts have their own outlook on what the future would look like five or ten years from now. Every year, certain reviews and statistics are being presented to help businesses prepare for what their future would be not only on insurance companies but also to other industries. With simpler financial needs and a reliance on the online environment to conduct a great deal of their business, the potential is ripe for insurance companies and agents to capture this market.  

1.         Future Customers

Future customers will rely more on the internet, most probably Google to research and learn more about a company’s profile before making a purchase. They are less likely to talk to agents anymore since the people in the future are predicted to be busier than ever and would only want the product and the cost.

In order for their agents to take advantage of this possibility, insurance companies like Axis Capital, with their group of insurance and reinsurance companies from its main office in Bermuda to branches in Singapore, Australia, the United States and United Kingdom has set up trainings and online accounts for them to interact with these growing kind of customers. Now there are field agents and virtual agents as well which can take calls and inquiries in as far as Guam or Jakarta, Indonesia.

2.         Future Products

Since future customers are expected to have a mindset of being “too busy to die”, life plans’ policies are also expected to be simplified, probably downplaying the role of financial advisers.

Also, as many are filing complaints on the incapability of a premium of a specific home insurance to include flood or catastrophic events without corresponding warning, casualty insurance would probably be one of the highest in-demand products. Protection will be the driving force behind most products, as customers will not be interested in learning about cash value accumulation, tax advantages, or maturity dates. What customers will care about is knowing that in the event of a catastrophe, his or her family would receive a specific amount of money.

3.         Future Underwriters

The future may include a hybrid type of underwriter, perhaps a piece of technology accompanied by human review. More companies are making a push towards speedier underwriting and customers love the idea. Health care reform, which is relying heavily on electronic components, may assist in this process by pushing for one big network of up-to-date health records. In the further future we can look forward to technology creating a way for underwriting computers to instantly know where the individual’s health stands, where it’s going and rate him accordingly.

Buying Your Health Insurance Online

August 12, 2015

Health Insurance has been recognized in the market as one of the necessities in life since you wouldn’t know a tragedy or disaster strikes. Even the government has realized its worth that both private and public companies have been mandated to offer health insurance as one of the benefits to its employees. From the busy streets of Manhattan, New York to the traffic-congested business hub in Jakarta, Indonesia, all of these companies give out health insurance. And of course, there are private insurance if you want to get your own.

In today’s advancement, getting your own private insurance can be easier than it used to be. With the development of technology, you can easily access your internet and purchase your own private insurance online.

With a single click, a few moments of filling up the pertinent online documentation, different processes of health insurance are being developed by companies. Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies from its main location in Bermuda to its sub companies in Singapore, Australia, and United Kingdom and on more than ten states in the United States, is not the only one who had set up websites for ease of use for its clients. Creating online services is a great advantage to insurance companies who have clients all over the globe. It is also used to update customers on the whereabouts of their partnership.

Clients would have to be aware of how to shop for an online insurance policy. Here’s how:

1.            Assess you Needs

Purchasing health insurance is a financial commitment that can mean paying for more than you need or paying more for what you need if you do not select appropriate coverage. Review your thoughts and ask yourself the following:

•              How long will you need the coverage?

•              How will you use it?

•              Do you need to use it often?

•              Do you have any surgical needs?

•              What medications do you take?

•              Do you anticipate any medical change?

•              Do you have any hereditary traits which can risk developing in your life?

2.            Know your Budget

Paying premiums may hurt your budgeting. Are you able to afford it? Consider premiums, copays, coinsurance, prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and services which may not be able to be included in your policy. Knowing how much you spend can help you compare and look around when you are shopping online.

3.            Look at network providers

Take the top plans you are considering and examine their provider lists. Will you have in-network access to the doctors, specialists, clinics and hospitals you prefer or that are most convenient for you? You have to review the information provided more to know if you are dealing with a legitimate company. Many fraudulent websites are also expanding their business in insurance online. You may encounter some of them when shopping and comparing.

Co-Insurance and how it Works

August 4, 2015

We often see co-insurance clauses in our policies. Have you ever understood what it is? Co-insurance is one of the terminologies in insurance industry which are often misunderstood and misinterpreted. Of course, you can ask your insurance agent to better explain what it is.

For our readers, Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies scattered around globe from Bermuda to Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and more than ten states in the US of A, has summarized the definition of Co-insurance in layman’s terms.

Co-insurance, in a sense, is the amount you have to share for the cost of your insurance. It is often computed in percentage. For instance, a man’s health insurance covers 85% of his hospital dues. The remaining 15% of the fee is your coinsurance.

For that, you’d think you have figured it all out until you stumble upon the term, “deductible”. This in itself is a little bit similar with co-insurance and is often mistaken for the other and/or interchanged.

Deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance begins to pay. Blue cross has provided this best example: Let's say your plan's deductible is $1,500. That means for most services, you'll pay 100 percent of your medical and pharmacy bills until the amount you pay reaches $1,500. After that, you share the cost with your plan by paying coinsurance and copays.

This time, the term copay is mentioned. Copay is a fixed amount you pay for a health care service, usually when you receive the service. The amount can vary by the type of service. You may also have copay when you get a prescription filled. If you visit the doctor often, it is best to review a plan with the low copay for office visits and prescriptions.

For property insurance, coinsurance is basically a penalty imposed on the insured by the insurance carrier for under reporting, misinformation, declaring or insuring the value of a property of a business income. The penalty is stated under penalty as well and the amount should be under report.

The coinsurance clauses in developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore can be changed interchangeably with copay as it still more or less defines having to pay in a percentage. In Europe, however, coinsurance refers to the joint assumption of risk between various insurers. In some parts of the United States, when one party fails to pay the required amount in percentage, he is liable to pay both the parts if his arguments are proven to be moot and academic.

Uninsurance

July 28, 2015
In 2010, about ten million citizens in America have lived without any insurance for a whole year. In other developing nations where surviving the day is more important than ensuring for what the possible things to happen, it would be difficult to compute. Cambodia has reported that more than half of their citizens do not even know what health insurance is. Jakarta, Indonesia is reported to have sold more car insurances in the past years than health ones.

For many of these people, the consequences of living day to day are in dire disadvantages.

According to the studies submitted to Axis Capital and distributed to its insurance and reinsurance companies from its main location in Bermuda to Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and to over ten states around the United States of America, more and more citizens had dropped their policies. More than four million adolescents are medically uninsured. Their age estimate would be between 10-18 years old. In reviews, partners do not think it would be needed while their kids are young. Uninsured rates are higher among the poor and near poor, racial and ethnical minority and noncitizens than among young adults with obvious reasons. Others think they have existing insurance but turned out to be engaged in a scam instead.

Having health insurance does not ensure adolescents’ access to affordable, high-quality services given problems associated with high out-of-pocket cost-sharing requirements, limitations in benefit packages, and low provider reimbursement levels. For example, the current system for financing health insurance coverage leads to underinvestment in disease prevention and treatment in some areas that are particularly problematic for adolescents.

The following are the possible consequences for not taking any insurance:

1. Reduced Access to Timely and Quality Care
  • Uninsured adults and children are less likely to receive preventive care, including regular checkups, diagnostic screenings and tests and prenatal care for pregnant women.
     
  • Uninsured children are less likely than insured children to receive medical attention for common childhood illnesses or injuries.
     
  • Uninsured persons are less likely to have a regular source of care and more likely to seek care in clinic or emergency room, compared to the insured.
2. Premature Mortality
  • Uninsured individuals are often sicker than insured patients when seeking care.
     
  • Life-threatening diseases are more likely to be diagnosed in late stages for uninsured patients, reducing the likelihood of full recovery.
     
  • Newborns of uninsured mothers have a greater risk of adverse health outcomes at birth, including death.
3. Personal & Family Financial Strain
  • Without coverage, uninsured patients often face significantly higher charges for care than the insured.
     
  • High rates of personal bankruptcy result from lack of insurance coverage for significant medical expenses.
     
  • Uninsured employees are more likely to experience greater annual income losses, reduced labor force participation and diminished job productivity due to untreated illnesses and conditions.

Axis Capital Group Insurance Update: Asian Bi-annual Report

July 21, 2015
With the great rise in business development and industrial growth in Asia, asset values are generally enabling insurers to pay higher premium for increased protection levels. Not that the risk is higher but people have been slowly realizing the importance of private insurance. Life and non-life insurance have high number of patrons across the continent with the highest of mobile insurance policies provided in Jakarta, Indonesia and Bangkok, Thailand; life insurance in Singapore and health insurance in Seoul, South Korea and Vietnam.

Review of this past 6 months activity shows that regional gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to remain solid at 5.4%-5.5% this year and rebound to 5.5% - 5.8% in 2015. Inflation is also expected to remain benign across much of the region, except in India and Indonesia, where monetary policy will remain tight to fend off inflationary pressures.

For the next 6 months remaining of 2015, major developing countries are expected to grow by 5% more. Consequently, the region’s continuing appeal to foreign insurers seeking growth opportunities remains strong.

The opportunity to offer private health insurance in Asia is also expanding, due to rising individual income levels and government budget constraints. In China, the health insurance market is growing strongly as consumers turn to the private sector to fill in the gaps left by inadequate government schemes while everyone waits for the success of Indonesia’s own insurance scheme. India is another promising market for personal health insurance; only 15% of the population is covered by government health insurance and 2.2% by private health insurance.

In this evolving environment, insurance has also expanded to dominate online sources and this method has slowly been integrated to all operations in Asia. However, it would take time for Asians to adapt as there are also a lot of cyber insurance scams which pose as threat to insurer’s data and privacy. Insurers in Asia will need to consider the following adjustments to their service, products and compliance efforts in 2015:

1. Streamline the value chain via the cloud and traditional business process outsourcing (BPO)
2. Expand products and services to address the growing needs of the high-net-worth (HNW) market
3. Adapt product strategies to the changing regulatory environment
4. Increase compliance to respond to growing sales and consumer protection regulations
5. Develop capital and Merger and Acquisition (M&A) opportunities
6. Reposition investment strategies
7. Enhance data controls and metrics

Possible Reasons you are turned down for Life Insurance Application

July 13, 2015

 

It really is frustrating when you get rejected so many times when you are applying for one of the most vital necessities in our lives nowadays. Before you get frustrated and file any complaints against your insurance company, you should first understand the possible reason behind it.

 

The following are existing general policies in the insurance industry. Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda, Australia, United Kingdom, and Singapore as well as in on over ten states in the United States has these existing general policies in the insurance industry:

 

1. You have specific health condition

Critical health issues may affect your insurance application. Someone who has cancer or has had a heart attack might be declined for a traditional life insurance as they are perceived to require a more special policy and attention. There are, however, people who get declined for life insurance for health reasons simply because they applied with the wrong insurance company. For these cases, you have to inquire to high-risk insurance company to help you figure out the best course of action.

 

2. You participate in high-risk activities

Let’s be honest here. The possibility of underrated claim is high during these situations and the insurance company may face a lot of loss. Some professions which also require higher risk may also not be permitted. There are a few insurance companies which can insure scuba divers but this is depending on the type of diving and the frequency of your diving activities.

 

3. You have some financial issues

To get approved for a life insurance, there has to be financial justification. It’s would the best time to review your status as soon as possible. If you don’t have any income but your spouse does, you can typically get as much coverage as your spouse. If you don’t have income and can’t financially justify the need for life insurance, you might get declined for a life insurance policy.

 

4. You have a DUI

Driving under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense especially in cities and countries which has strict regulations against the use of illegal drugs or alcohol. In Jakarta, Indonesia, you’ll be lucky enough to pass their death penalty to file life insurance but it is highly unlikely.

 

If you have had more than three DUIs in the last 10 years, every insurance company would decline you. However, if you have one or two DUIs over the last 10 years, some insurance companies will decline you while others may not. If you have been declined due to a DUI, it is possible you applied with the wrong insurance company.

Data Controls and Metrics in Asia Pacific

July 8, 2015
 
 
Developed countries from the West are not the only ones who are upgrading their systems against insurance theft. With the widespread of technology and the integration of new knowledge and computer geniuses, even those living in the suburbs of Africa now has their own system to secure their data and confidential information.
 
Axis Capital, with group of insurance and reinsurance companies in Bermuda, Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore and in over ten states in the US, is one of the many companies reported to first integrate a more tighter security system in the start of 2015 in the Asia-Pacific.
 
Data theft and fraud are fast becoming key issues for regulators and law enforcement across Asia-Pacific, as elsewhere. Insurers are paying close attention to the new data privacy rules being drafted in response to the increased risks.
 
According to reviews, regional and global insurers with operations in the Asia Pacific region also are grappling with the issue of data sovereignty — which can be transmitted among jurisdictions — as the data privacy regulations vary across the region. More stringent data protection rules in Australia and Singapore also may create questions about the identity of countries in which insurers store their data. A subpoena issued by a government to an insurer to provide certain data requires knowledge of where it has been physically stored. Insurers also will need to identify new metrics and processes to monitor data security and compliance.
 
Many insurers in the region will continue to enhance their data controls in the latter part of 2015, prompted primarily by new and stricter regulations. Asia-Pacific insurers must pay closer attention to the changing cyber security laws and focus more stringently on data security, network crime legislation and law enforcement. Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act, for example, includes rules on the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data. The law establishes penalties for breaches and a “Do Not Call” registry.
 
Major developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, China, Tokyo, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam also are reviewing legislation and drafting bills or have set up government agencies and task forces to confront cybercrime. Insurers will need to review and adjust to consumer and distributor data privacy controls as regulations continue to evolve.
 
Despite the thriving state of security and protection within the region, there are still issues of sovereignty. Cross border sales between branches and main companies also pose as a challenge with different regulations and bylaws that are needed for each country. The data that can be transmitted are crucial to both investments and risk managements. With the help of cloud-storing, companies should be cognizant on their information.

Importance of Insurance for Retirees

July 3, 2015

We have so many things to worry about when we get older. As time flies by quickly, the pressure of keeping up to enjoy the future gets harder and harder. Some of us even tend to live by day, not thinking much of the future because what we have in the present seems hard enough to carry.

The question thrown: Why do I need insurance when I retire?

 The answer is simple: do you have any loved ones? Of course you do.

Now, let us review to the basics and details of it.

Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda and offices in Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore and over 10 states in the United States emphasizes the importance of insurance for retirees, even when you think you don’t need it anymore.

1.Source of Income

We all know that even if you retire, you would still have to take care of your own needs. You don’t want to depend entirely on your children, do you? Some children and grandchildren may be the ones to depend on you even if you retire. And of course, you can’t just turn your back from them. Life insurance can provide funds that you need.

2.Something to Leave Behind

We cannot deny that we will all be gone from this world. Do you have something to leave behind for your children or their education?

Many retirees from close family-knit cities like Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore turn to insurance in fear that their children would not be able to survive after they pass away. Life insurance is mostly important children with special needs as well to get them by when you are already gone.

3.You have a pension that dies with you.

If you have a pension with no survivorship option, how do you replace that income stream for your spouse? Once again, life insurance can replace the lost pension income by creating the assets that can be turned into an income stream.

4.Pay your debts

During the times that you are still working and active, there may been debts that you were not able to pay. According to some reports, most retirees have installment and education debts which remain unpaid. Some also have vehicle loans. Many retirees still have mortgage debt. You wouldn’t want to face files of complaints, would you? Life insurance can make sure these debts are paid off at the debtor’s death

5.You’d like to leave a legacy.

Life insurance is a very efficient tool to use for estate planning and the equalization of assets being left to heirs and for charitable planning. A small premium for life insurance can create the money at death to accomplish these goals.

Another option is to get insurance while you are still young. Be smart enough and enjoy a tax-free income stream in retirement from the cash-value of your policy.

Identity Theft in Insurance

June 30, 2015

In the development of today’s technology people are more aware of the existence of fraudulent acts, hacks and scams especially in the cyber world. In the vastness of the internet, someone out there is trying to find their fortune taking advantage of their technological intelligence. Since the details in our lives are almost all in sync within the internet, it would be critical if someone breaks our information and data. I know you would agree that it can even cost us our lives.

Last May, 2015, one of the clients of Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda and has branches all over the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and in almost ten states in North America, complained of the change of her physical address registered with the company.

Upon rechecking, it was confirmed that a person had called her agent requesting to change the address. The person, who happened to be a fraud, was able to verify the identity information of the client and was able to provide confidential information therefore, the request, was permitted. The client, who personally came to the head office, was then adamant that she had never authorized anyone to change her location nor did she make any phone calls with the agent. She was reviewing her accounts and policies when she saw the change of address. Fortunately, no loans were transacted and no significant cash value lost. After a long negotiation, both parties agreed to continue their partnership while the client didn’t accept any compensation the company tried to offer, insisting that there is no loss. In response, Axis has now fully installed a new security system and an overhaul and rechecking of other accounts to prevent any other possible scam to happen in the future.

Reports similar to identity theft using information included in insurance policies also exist not only in developed countries. In Jakarta, Indonesia, a man was put to prison when he claimed a policy for accident insurance which never happened. It turned out that he was also not the real client but a theft.

Question is, how can a client know he is safe with his insurance company? Review your policies more often than you have been. This is a new and troubling direction for fraud, which may have delays from the date of occurrence until you are notified in writing or email—or at all.

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