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.

 

12Oct

4 Factors to Consider When Buying Cybersecurity Insurance

Risk awareness is paramount when shopping for the right cybersecurity policy for your business.

As “work-from-anywhere” becomes the norm, insurance providers in Asia have started revisiting current policies and integrating more cover for remote teams and increased digital interactions between team members.

For risk managers, we recommend noting these four considerations when selecting a cover:

1. Identify your business’ specific risks.

Start by making evaluating your weak points online. The nature of these risks will be essential in determining the right type of cover for you. Remember that insurance policies will differ based on your industry.

Unlike other types of insurance, deductibles in a cyber insurance policy are based on a specific timeframe, usually 72 hours, instead of an amount.

Look for an insurance policy that specifically covers potential damages from, say, cloud-based storage of payment information, customer data, or other sensitive information.

How secure are financial transactions such as wire transfers? Check if the policy will cover your risks in case you’re a third-party vendor for payments.

2. Does your business practice BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?

Again, with more businesses shifting to remote offices or a hybrid work set-up, it’s very likely that employees will be taking company-issued devices with them. In case of loss or theft, will your cyber insurance policy cover the potential cost of, not just the device, but more importantly, the information saved in those devices?

Do you trust your team to manage sensitive data as they would their own? Have they been educated to practice security practices?

3. The value of the insurance and triggers

Do the maths to get the average cost of one stolen record with sensitive or confidential information and multiply that by the number of sensitive records you have in storage plus a projected number of growth in the next two years (at least). That is the amount your cyber insurance should cover.

On top of the value amount, make sure to ask what will trigger the insurance. Will the policy take over only with a deliberate attack, or will any type of breach like an unintentional human error trigger it?

4. Consider buying cyber insurance from a one-stop-shop 

Unless you already have a firm helping you secure your system, might we recommend getting a policy from an insurance provider that can also provide cybersecurity? Partnerships between insurance companies and cybersecurity firms have become more common in the Asian market.

Cybersecurity companies may offer a service that audits a company’s current capabilities so they can make policy applications easier for insurance agents. It is a mutually beneficial partnership that will give all parties involved an advantage and it will make it easier for businesses to cover all their bases in one go.

One-stop shops may also offer custom policies with add-ons that can fit your need. We can help you find the best ones so feel free to inquire here.

Email us or chat with us for more questions about personal and business insurance for expats in Hong Kong.

8Oct

5 Personal Insurance You Need Plus Pro-Tips Before You Buy

It’s impossible to eliminate all risks from a single insurance plan. However, layering your personal finances with a handful of essential covers immensely help with risks.

So what are the important insurance types you need to protect yourself and your family?

  1. HEALTH INSURANCE

There is a multitude of insurance plans to help you with the cost of healthcare. Health insurance takes care of hospital costs when you’re sick or in an accident. Most will acquire this type of insurance through an employer. Self-employed individuals will have to get this from the open market on their own.

Pro-tip on what to consider:

– Cost of premium
– The amount of deductible (out-of-pocket cost before the insurance comes in)
– Co-payment amount (the amount paid for a particular visit)
– Co-insurance (cost divided between you and the provider)
– Cap out-of-pocket cost (maximum cost before the insurance starts)

An important thing to remember when shopping for health insurance is that you should be aware of your anticipated health needs so that you can check if it’s part of the plan. So if you have a history of heart condition in the family or cancer is involved, be sure to find a plan that will assist with the cost of those specific conditions.

  1. LIFE INSURANCE

Life Insurance Tip from Village Insurance: How much life insurance do you need?

There are two main types of Life Insurance: 

(1) Permanent Life Insurance – covers your lifetime
(2) Term Life Insurance – covers a certain period of time (e.g. 30 years)

Pro-tips: Term Life Insurance is generally more cost-effective because it protects you for a period when you’re least likely to die. This is, of course, if you get the plan at an early age.

In terms of the cost (how much you need to have covered), Village Insurance will always advise clients to consider their annual income. So if you need to replace your entire income, then you will need 25x your annual salary which is understandably a substantial amount. A positive outlook while thinking of that amount is that your family can withdraw around 4% from that amount for as long as the insurance is in place. If you want to replace an amount that covers certain things such as the mortgage, then you’ll need less.

  1. DISABILITY INSURANCE

This insurance plan also comes in two variants:

(1) Short term – for medical emergencies that prevent you from working (e.g. having a baby)

(2) Long term – for events that inhibit you from making a living for months or years.

When do you need short term disability Insurance? Blog: Village Insurance Direct

Pro-Tips: Short-term disability becomes quite handy when your employer doesn’t offer paid maternity at work. To determine how much you need, make a budget plan for the amount you’ll need while you’re unable to work.

Also, keep in mind that long-term disability insurance has a 3-4 month waiting period before it begins replacing lost income. On top of running through a budget plan for how much you’ll need, check if your plan is subject to taxes as well as your condition’s impact on your social security disability income.

  1. DENTAL INSURANCE

Health insurance plans do not automatically cover dental. Dental care can be quite expensive especially in Hong Kong. Treatments beyond preventative procedures can cost thousands of dollars. Teeth implants and other restorative treatments are often overlooked but once they’re there, you’ll be glad to have dental insurance when you see the cost per visit.

Pro-tip: Get dental insurance before you actually need it, meaning, get it while you’re young. Premium will cost less. Also, like some insurance covers, there may be a waiting period for expensive treatments so add that into consideration when scheduling your appointment.

  1. HOMEOWNER’S/RENTER’S INSURANCE

How to choose renters insurance and home insurance. Pro tip from Village Insurance Direct

Homeowner’s insurance covers both the house and all its contents. On the other hand, renter’s insurance covers what’s inside the rented space. 

Renter’s Insurance is a must-have in Hong Kong. Some landlords may even ask for additional liability insurance from renters to cover the entire building in case of damage.

Pro-tip: There are plenty of reasonably priced renter’s policies in the market (some as low as $20 monthly). Village Insurance recommends getting this so you won’t have to worry about damages to the apartment that are beyond your control such as a fire. 

For homeowner’s insurance, check your policy if it covers the current value of the property or the replacement value. You may also look for a plan that has add-ons to cover the cost of high-value items inside the house (e.g. jewellery, computer equipment).

Again, layering your finances with different insurance policies to take care of anticipated needs is the best way to protect you and your family from extreme loss of income. 

Get in touch with us if you need help finding specific personal as well as business insurance while you’re staying in Hong Kong.

 

27Sep

5 Ways Cyber Insurance Will Change Cybersecurity

2020 changed the course of cybersecurity and the way we look at cyber insurance. Increased online interactions in both personal and business facets have highlighted possible points of attack on data which can lead to significant loss and security threats.

1. Increased scrutiny on claims and security in phone apps and software

There will be a greater emphasis on explicit details about cybersecurity measures such as employee online security awareness training, dark web monitoring, and verified back-ups (or how a provider stores and secures backup data).

Businesses can also expect cyber insurance providers to conduct network scans to see and experience how secure an app or software appears. Having these basic security measures in place will help cyber insurance providers determine the cost of premiums for a business.

2. Some industries may have a harder time finding insurance cover

Some of these industries are:

– SMBs with a high record count (e.g. medium-scale medical practices)
– Companies that move large amounts of money like manufacturers
– Organizations with historically poor security (e.g. local government units)

This does not mean cybersecurity will be completely inaccessible to these types of industries. It does imply that these groups will have to pay more or will need more effort to find a cover for them.

3. Specific features may be amended or taken out

Many cybersecurity insurers are making changes to help cover areas that may be more prone to risks or they may recommend add-ons for new security requirements.

Check the value of ransomware payments if it matches your business’ needs. Policy limits may be lowered so double-checking this feature is a must.

4. Higher premiums are inevitable but will be a NEED

The end of finding the cheapest cyber insurance came early this year when there was a global shift in how businesses should be looking at cybersecurity and the huge impact of hacking. Acting too late this 2021 will result in higher premiums in the future.

Most companies only think about cyber insurance after falling victim to an attack. Remember that your history as a business plays a significant factor in how much your premium will cost in the end.

Of course, there will still be good deals, especially from the venture capital side.

5. Validation of increased expenses in cybersecurity

This means is companies will have to really look at their liability insurance policies and include cyber insurance as an essential. Zero dollar deductible policies or cheap policies won’t cut it anymore.

Increased budget for the IT department will certainly become a trend with an emphasis on tools for better security measures as well as company training for online safety awareness.

This increased expense is a positive change for both business and consumer in the long run.

We will continue to see more shifts in the cybersecurity and cyber insurance space now that businesses have seriously considered pivoting to hybrid work set-ups. Stay tuned to see our analyses.

Need help finding cybersecurity insurance for your business in Hong Kong? Get in touch with us today.

 

7Sep

COVID-19 Common Liability Concerns for Businesses

While the vaccine rollout in Hong Kong is ongoing, COVID-19 still raises several liability concerns for customers or employees who may become sick due to alleged negligence by an organization.

For these types of concerns, it’s necessary to take the following insurance considerations into account:

– Commercial liability insurance— protects your business from financial loss should you be found liable for personal harm (like a customer getting sick) caused by your product or services, or due to business operations in the case of employees. This general liability insurance can cover costs correlated with bodily injuries, damage to third-party property, personal injuries, medical expenses, litigation and more.

In the time of COVID, commercial liability insurance should provide coverage and allow organizations to defend claims. For a claim to be valid, the claimant would have to claim that the virus was contracted due to the organization’s or business’ oversight and detail how, when and where they got sick—all of which may be difficult to prove.

– Directors and officers (D&O) insurance— Shareholders can sue a business in case there’s a failure to respond competently to COVID-19 concerns. Specifically, shareholders may dispute that Directors and Officers failed to plan for adequate contingency plans or detail how the pandemic could affect the company’s finances.

Here’s a recent blog we published with examples of D&O Claims.

It should be noted that most D&O insurance excludes cover for bodily harm but may offer some protection depending on specific accusations. That said, it’s important for businesses to examine the scope of their D&O insurance to verify that they are covered in the event of such events.

EMPLOYEE’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE

In events when an employee makes a claim that they contracted COVID-19 at work, a number of employee compensation factors come into play. For workplace illnesses, most policies only pay out benefits if the disease in question is occupational in nature. This may imply that communicable diseases are generally excluded from most employee compensation policies.

However, a policy may be triggered if the illness came about during the course of employment. Generally, these scenarios are reviewed on a case-by-case basis but could include instances for:

> Healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 at the hospital where they work.

> An airline employee contracts COVID-19 from a passenger.

> A hospitality employee gets COVID-19 that can be linked to a large event at their place of work.

Poor insurance cover or the lack of any type of cover that specifically addresses your business’ liability with COVID will deter you from making meaningful recovery this year. Although there is some positive outlook on financial recovery in Asia, this should not be the time to loosen one’s sense of cautiousness.

Need to update your company’s liability insurance? Get in touch with us today.