28Aug

Updates on Employees’ Compensation Ordinance in Hong Kong | Typhoon Season

The Labour Department has reminded employers to make prior work arrangements for staff to ensure the safety of employees and smooth operation of establishments now that it’s typhoon season.

The Labour Department (LD) reminded employers to make prior work arrangements for staff during and after tropical cyclone warnings, including arrangements on reporting for duty, release from work, resumption of work and work from home (if applicable) to ensure the safety of employees and smooth operation of establishments.

There are several changes to the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance in Hong Kong. Companies need to be aware of these changes which essentially means that more people are now eligible for compensation if they suffer an injury or illness as a result of their work.

The key details about the ordinance are:

1. The scope of coverage has been expanded to include those who are not employees, such as domestic workers.
2. The definition of ‘compensable injury’ has been broadened to include mental health conditions caused by work stress.
3. The maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded has been increased.
4. The time limit for making a claim has been extended from one year to three years.

How will this affect businesses in Hong Kong?

Companies will need to take measures to protect workers from injuries and illnesses, both physical and mental. This may include providing safe working conditions, and training staff on how to cope with work stress. They may also need to budget for higher compensation payments in the event that an employee does suffer an injury or illness.

The penalty for non-compliance is HK$100,000 and 6 months imprisonment.

The reaction of employers to the new ordinance has generally been positive, as they recognise the importance of protecting workers’ health and safety. Some have raised concerns about the increased financial burden that may be placed on businesses, but overall most seem to support the changes.

One way for employers to reduce the financial burden from their end is to purchase employee compensation insurance, which will now become even more essential.

The cost of employee compensation insurance for a small business is estimated at around $2,000 per year while it costs a medium-sized business $3,000 to $4,000 and a large business $5,000 to $15,000.

Domestic helper insurance policies cost about $500 per year for up to four helpers. Coverage includes personal accidents, hospitalization and repatriation expenses.

Employers and businesses are expected to comply starting from the first day of employees’ first policy year. Changes to the ordinance in 2022 will make it mandatory for all businesses with employees to have employee compensation insurance in place.

Need help finding an employee insurance policy? Our advisors can help you find the right cover for your business.

17Jul

The increased risks for directors and officers Post-COVID

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, directors and officers of companies have faced increased risks and liabilities. These risks include potential litigation from shareholders, employees, and customers, as well as investigations and regulatory actions.

 

 

To protect themselves from these risks, directors and officers need to purchase D&O insurance. D&O insurance will help to cover the costs of legal fees and any damages that may be awarded.

With the remote work environment and the increase in cyber-attacks, there is an increased risk of data breaches. Directors and officers need to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect the company’s data. One way to do this is to purchase cyber insurance. Cyber insurance will help to cover the costs of a data breach, including the costs of investigation, notification, and data recovery.

CASE STUDIES

One case study about D&O insurance during the pandemic is about a company named Blink. Blink is a smart home security company and their D&O insurance policy covered them when an employee made false statements about the company on social media. Litigation cost Blink the amount of $2.5 million and their D&O insurance policy covered $1.5 million of that.

Had the company not had the proper insurance coverages in place, they would have had to pay for the legal fees and damages out of their own pocket, which could have been detrimental to the company.

Another notable case of D&O insurance companies can learn from is the case of Hertz which filed for bankruptcy. During the bankruptcy process, it was revealed that the company did not have enough D&O insurance to cover all the potential claims that could be brought against the company. This led to the company having to purchase additional insurance to cover the potential risks.

If companies do not have enough D&O insurance, they may be left exposed to potential risks that could lead to financial ruin. It is important for companies to have the proper amount of D&O insurance in place to protect themselves from these risks.

 

 

The cost of D&O insurance in Asia post-pandemic is estimated at $600 million, which is a 50% increase from 2019. The rise in cost is due to the increased number of D&O claims being filed, as well as the increased amount of coverage that is needed.

Now more than ever, it is important for companies to have the proper insurance coverages in place. D&O insurance can help to protect the company from the increased risks that they are facing. Cyber insurance can help to protect the company from the increased risk of data breaches. companies should purchase the proper insurance coverages to protect themselves from the risks that they are facing.

30Jun

Travel is Back! What does this mean for insurers?

With international travel starting to pick up again after Covid-19, what does this mean for insurers?

There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a profound effect on the travel industry. According to the World Tourism Organization, global tourism arrivals declined by 70-80% in 2020.

This represents a loss of 1 billion to 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals and a revenue loss of US$1.2 trillion to US$1.3 trillion.

The good news is that travel is starting to pick up again. Europeans have begun jetting to popular holiday destinations like Portugal, Mexico, and The Caribbean.

What does this mean for travel insurers?

 

As travel starts to rebound, insurers will need to adapt their products and services to meet the new needs of travellers. For example, many insurers now offer insurance plans that cover Covid-19-related travel disruptions.

Some insurers are also offering Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which allows travellers to cancel their trip for any reason up to 48 hours before departure and receive a partial refund.

With travel starting to pick up again, it’s important for insurers to be prepared for the new reality of travel. by offering products and services that meet the needs of today’s travellers.

Countries That Require Travel Insurance with Covid-19 Protection

 

There are a number of countries that now require proof of travel insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19 in order to enter the country.

These countries include (This list may change over time so we recommend double-checking with each region’s policies):

– Germany

– Italy

– France

– Spain

– Greece

 

If you’re planning to travel to any of these countries, be sure to purchase travel insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19.

Asian countries that also require travel insurance with proof of Covid-19 coverage are (This list may change over time so we recommend double-checking with each region’s policies):

– Thailand

– Cambodia

– Laos

– Myanmar

– Vietnam

 

Do I Need Travel Insurance If I Have Health Insurance?

The answer to this question is, that it depends. Most standard health insurance policies do not cover you for medical expenses incurred outside of your home country. So, if you do get sick or injured while travelling, you will most likely have to pay out of pocket for all medical treatment.

Furthermore, even if your health insurance does provide some coverage for travel medical emergencies, there is a good chance that it will not cover the full cost. In these cases, travel insurance can help to cover the gap.

13Jun

The Value of Digital Health Services Post-pandemic

The pandemic has altered the way health care is given.

Insurance providers have reacted to the rising demand for digital and virtual GP services by developing products to fit customer needs.

Such programs have really taken off in terms of providing mental health support to consumers and those who have been affected by long Covid, and advisers recognise how crucial it is for clients to have access to them.

But, once Covid infection rates start to drop back, and restrictions are lifted entirely, will consumers continue using such solutions in the same way, or will they opt for face-to-face treatment as the country seeks to reclaim normalcy?

Increased Demand for Online Services

 

Jennifer Gilchrist, protection specialist at Royal London told Health & Protection said, “We’ve seen an increase in demand for digital health services coming out of the pandemic and people are becoming more used to virtual methods of accessing services.”

Gilchrist also added that many insurance providers devised more online and virtual capabilities quite quickly which has accelerated the digitalisation of an industry that’s been heavily reliant on more traditional processes when compared to other industries.

Ian Ranger, head of claims and medical underwriting from Canada Life also agreed and noted that a provider’s virtual support service was becoming part of customer expectations.

Health propositions lead at Aviva UK Health, Nina Brown, shared that for the first quarter of 2022, providers observed the average number of online appointments rise to 7,200 per month, with March seeing a record 8,500 appointments carried out.

Last October 2021, the average number of online appointments made was around 5,000 a month. These numbers are clear indications of continuing growth. Given this, healthcare providers, as well as insurers, need to respond to the demand and adapt.

Two factors must be kept in mind when innovating products/services:

1. speed
2. convenience

Less intrusive services and encourage patients to reach out more readily

 

The awkward waiting time at the doctor’s office or the energy-draining commute to the clinic can hinder some people to seek care. However, online services take away these factors and allow more people to reach out for mental health checks.

Virtual consults give plenty of breathing room for patients and lessen the anxiety some may feel when going to a therapist. Conducting a session in one’s comfort zone eases away a good chunk of the tension so there is more focus on more pending matters.

As the number of cases grows, digital delivery of services means long-term Covid patients don’t have to travel for treatment, as Dr Julie Denning, managing director of return-to-work rehabilitation firm Working To Wellbeing, points out.

“Those who have complex therapeutic demands, like those receiving cancer treatments or recovering from prolonged Covid,” Denning explained, “digital delivery means they don’t need to make additional travels outside of their home when they may be feeling exhausted, in pain, or concerned.”

The Demand for Digital Services is Unlikely Waning

While companies are making moves to return to work or have a hybrid setup, what healthcare providers and insurance can expect is the steadfast need for fast and convenient online services regardless of loose or non-existent restrictions.

Patients have realised the value of such services and there is very little sign of going back from this point forth.

 

10Apr

5 Tips for Claiming Health Insurance for First-timers

Filing a health insurance claim can be a daunting task.

We want to help make the process as smooth as possible for you. Our goal is to provide you with the information and resources you need to get through this difficult time.

Here are some tips for first-timers:

1. Gather your information. Make sure you have all of the necessary information to file your claim. This includes your insurance card, policy number, the name of your doctor and the dates of your appointments.

2. Call your insurance company. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you will receive reimbursement. Most insurance companies have specific time periods for claims so make sure to make note of that detail.

Common issues when claiming health insurance are :

– Filing a claim that is incomplete or inaccurate. And what we mean by this is, submitting a claim without all the necessary information or omitting critical details. This can result in the claim being denied.

– Not giving your insurance company enough time to process your claim. Each insurance company has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to processing claims, so make sure you are familiar with them before filing.

3. Submit your claim. This can be done online, over the phone or in writing. Be sure to include all of the information you gathered in step one. Some insurance providers even have apps to streamline the process.

4. Follow up on your claim. Checking in with your insurance company to make sure they have all the information they need and that your claim is being processed correctly is a good idea. This will also help avoid any delays. Insurance companies often take several weeks to process a claim, so be patient.

Claiming for critical illness insurance may have different requirements. For example, critical illness insurance for cancer treatment requires pre-approval from the insurance company. Upon getting the cancer diagnosis, the patient then has to contact the insurance company and provide detailed information about their prognosis including scans, pathology reports and doctors’ notes.

The patient will also have to agree to certain conditions, such as using specific hospitals or cancer treatment centres. If all of this is done correctly, the insurance company may cover 100% of the cancer treatment costs

5. Get paid. After your treatment is completed, you should receive a bill from the hospital or doctor. Once you have paid this bill, submit a copy of the bill to your insurance company for reimbursement or whichever payment process is involved. Most companies will reimburse you within two to four weeks.

So, there you have it. Five steps to filing a successful health insurance claim. By following these simple tips, you can make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Good luck!

Get in touch with us to find personal and business insurance in Hong Kong. We specialise in expat insurance needs.

5Apr

How Insurers Are Developing New Products Post-Pandemic

The current pandemic of Covid-19 has created a need for all people to have travel insurance. If you are planning on travelling in the near future, it is important to have protection in case you become ill or injured while travelling. Many travel insurance policies include coverage for medical expenses and trip cancellations.

WHICH ASIAN COMPANIES ARE OFFERING INSURANCE FOR COVID?

In Asia, many companies have developed new products to cater to new travel insurance needs after the pandemic. As travel restrictions and requirements with coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to evolve, many people are left wondering what the current travel insurance policies will cover.

For example, insurance company AIG has developed a travel insurance policy that includes coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. The policy also includes a $1 million USD limit for medical expenses.

Another company, Tokio Marine, has developed a travel insurance policy that includes coverage for Covid-19 related expenses such as cancellations and rebooking.

Hong Kong Life Health Amulet travel insurance has announced that it will be offering a new travel insurance policy to cover travel disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy will provide coverage for travel delays, cancellations, and lost or stolen luggage.

According to Hong Kong Life, the policy is intended to help both insureds and their families during an epidemic. During the period beginning March 1, 2022, and ending March 31, 2022, with a valid application for any insurance plans (except certain products1) from Hong Kong Life at its Appointed Licensed Insurance Agency in Hong Kong, and the policy being

Hong Kong Life is not the only insurer to offer new travel insurance policies in light of the pandemic. Many other insurers have announced similar policies in recent weeks.

COST OF PREMIUMS

Premiums for travel insurance have understandably increased over the past year. Airlines, hotels, and other travel-related businesses have all suffered losses as a result of the pandemic, and people are increasingly aware of the importance of travel insurance in protecting them from financial ruin in case of an unexpected emergency.

To be sure you're totally protected, we recommend paying a higher premium for policies that allow you to cancel a trip for any reason.

In general, most travel insurance policies range from 5% to 10% of the total cost of a trip. Insurers may look at how long passengers have been travelling and the age of those on board. However, insurers are yet to inquire about immunization against COVID-19.

WHAT’S WORTH HAVING IN A POLICY?

To be sure you’re totally protected, we recommend paying a higher premium for policies that allow you to cancel a trip for any reason. This is an upgrade, therefore the cost of coverage will be approximately 40% to 50% more. However, because of this benefit, you can usually cancel your trip for any reason that isn’t covered by standard trip cancellation.

Need help finding the right travel insurance? Get in touch with us today.

20Feb

Increased Cyber Risks from Remote Work

Working remotely has become the default mode for many businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic. While this allows companies to continue operations while reducing their employees’ chances of getting sick it also opens up the company to new cyber risks.

Working from home requires access to Wi-Fi that may be insecure despite thinking otherwise. In the case of home networks, they are usually set up in default mode that permits devices to connect without passwords.

This even includes Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, monitors, door locks surveillance cameras, speakers and more. Your corporate mobile device may be using this Wi-Fi network also. And even if you are able to use a VPN and private servers, this does not mean your confidential data is not exposed to grave cyber threats.

The multiple variables of all your employees’ home network means that your IT department has to cover more computers. In addition, there will be some employees who don’t completely understand the probability of a data breach with an unsecured network – especially if they access work through public Wi-Fi like coffee shops for instance.

What can companies do to reduce the risk of cyberattacks while working at home? 

> Reinforce the use of VPNs for all remote staff

> Teach employees to scan devices before allowing them to connect with access by unauthorized software or hardware

> Double-check and lock remote devices wherever necessary to help reduce the possibility of cyber attacks without negatively affecting user experience.

> Disable split tunneling for VPN profiles to ensure that virtual employees won’t be able to access Wi-Fi networks directly without going through the corporate network first.

> Companies should also practice scheduled analysis of work-issued devices’ log data to improve detection of cyber incidents.

More importantly, companies should also update their cyber breach response strategies for the entire remote staff and practice plans through exercises with IT and security staff, along with officers and directors.

Many companies in Asia have been able to restructure operations and adapt to virtual offices. They are calling the remote workforce ‘the new normal’. Companies need to anticipate similar incidents like this pandemic – some may even pose more challenges.

For now, what’s needed are immediate measures to tighten online security of remote workers and revisit liability insurance policies that may not yet cover cybercrime-related claims.

23Dec

4 Key Insurance Trends in Asia 2022

This 2022, we foresee insurance providers reacting to the long-term effects of COVOD-19 while innovating more products for digital insurance.

Evolving consumer expectations, climate change, and virtual work environments will all be factors in the new landscape of the insurance industry.

Let’s examine some of the most interesting trends coming to the insurance industry in 2022.

1. Working to rebuild consumer trust. 

Insurers will center around efforts to bring back their customer’s trust in the industry as well as minimise losses in lieu of rising premiums. Providers will undoubtedly aim to improve client experience with better transparency and by streamlining the claims process to increase retention rates and loyalty.

As consumer expectations adjust, insurance companies will have to adapt their business model to new demands. Insurers who promise to provide customer-centric products and services will do better in 2022.

2. Diverse Product Offers

Consumer data has improved the way insurance companies develop and market their products. Insurance providers will be looking into consumer behaviour based on how they search and research insurance products online.

By offering a diversified range of products, brokers will see that they can acquire more customers from existing policyholders with little extra effort. Essentially, products will become highly customised to fit a wider range of needs by high-conversion leads.

3. Insuretech on the rise

Statistics from McKinsey indicated that tech-based insurance funding increased year-on-year consistently since 2017 reaching an estimated high of €8.7B this year.

Throughout 2022, the launch of digitised insurance services including automation and AI will see a surge as more providers gain new knowledge in technology. Mobile-optimized apps that allow customers to choose policies or update existing plans will be observed globally.

In addition, products that focus on cybersecurity insurance will see exponential development in 2022.

4. Sustainability and Eco-Consciousness

It’s not just the insurance industry but all industries have been presented with increasing pressures to place climate and environmental issues at the forefront of business operations and processes.

Whether it’s zero-carbon emissions by 2040 or products that support environmental protection, decision-makers will need to provide clear and specific solutions for this crisis.

Need help in finding the best personal or business insurance in Hong Kong? Get in touch with us today.

8Nov

Misconceptions About Cancer Treatment Costs in Hong Kong: A Survey

The Cancer Information Hong Kong Charity Foundation interviewed 500 people and asked them how much they thought would be the overall cost of terminal stage colorectal cancer treatment.

Under the Voluntary Healthcare Insurance Scheme, which will be launched next year, cancer patients can claim a maximum of HK$80,000 for therapies.

Get in touch with us to find the right health insurance policy to cover critical illnesses such as cancer.

The Cancer Information Hong Kong Charity Foundation interviewed 500 people and asked them how much they thought would be the overall cost of terminal stage colorectal cancer treatment.

7Nov

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart to Avoid Heart Disease

Awareness of the risk of heart disease gives you a better chance of making the right lifestyle choices to prevent heart attacks. According to the Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong, heart disease ranks as the 3rd most common cause of death among the population as of Q4 of 2020.

Here are some of the risk factors you can control to prevent heart disease:

– Smoking
– High blood pressure
– High Cholesterol and triglyceride levles
– Pre-diabetic factors
– Weight
– Physical activity (living an active or sedentary life)
– Metabolic syndrome

Taking better care of your health to be in the normal range of the listed factors above can give you better chances of avoiding heart complications as you age.

Of course, there are also things outside of your control such as family history and normal effects of aging.

Heart health is crucial no matter your age.

This puts you indirectly at risk of other general concerns like:

– Ability to make a stable living
– The possibility of a disability
– Overall quality of life

To prevent heart disease, doctors recommend the following:

1. Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke. Nicotine constricts blood vessels including those in the skin and coronary blood vessels but also dilates blood vessels in skeletal muscle. This makes it harder for your heart to function.

2. Exercise! This prevention is quite obvious but needs constant reminding, especially with the fact that more people are staying in due to the pandemic. There are lots of ways to stay active even indoors. Obesity is preventable.

3. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity activities per day. Something as simple as brisk walking can help achieve this.

4. Lessen the intake of saturated fats. Eat your veggies! Go for low-fat, whole grain, and unprocessed diets as much as possible. Oats, beans, brown rice, and organic vegetables always work.

5. Get regular check-ups especially with your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels.

6. Know your family’s health history. Knowing if heart disease runs in the family (and if it can’t be helped) will allow you to make the necessary provisions for your health and finances such as having health insurance that covers critical illness.

Need help finding critical health insurance for expats in Hong Kong? Contact us today.