12Sep

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.

8Aug

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.

7Aug

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.

 

15Jul

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.

 

20Jun

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.

18Jun

What You Should Know About the Revised Compensation Items Under the Employee’s Compensation Ordinance in Hong Kong

A Resolution was passed at the Legislative Council meeting last March 17th, 2021 to change the levels of compensation of nine (9) compensation articles under the Employee’s Compensation Ordinance. This is a compulsory provision and all employers must comply.

Employers will have additional liability starting April 15, 2021.

What you should know:

> Your insurance provider will have to charge an additional premium estimated at around 2% of the initial cost up to the end of your Employee Compensation Insurance policy.

> Additional gross premium will be acquired.

> Additional gross premium less than HK$200 will be waived

> Employees’ Compensation Insurance Levies & Premium Levy (if applicable) will be charged on top of additional gross premium

Items under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance

The increased levels of compensation will enhance the protection for employees injured at work or sufferers of occupational diseases as well as family members of deceased employees or persons who die of work injuries or occupational diseases.

For more information about how the new ordinance will affect your current policies, get in touch with us today.

15Jun

Cyber Insurance Outlook in the Next 5 Years

The need for cyber insurance has grown especially with the business shifts that occurred due to the pandemic. Remote work and the increasing technological and operational demands of businesses has also highlighted the importance of insurance for any type of business.

Given the current state of Asia (and the world), here are our predictions for the next five years for insurers as well as businesses in terms of managing cybersecurity.

Immense industry growth is ahead.

Most if not all businesses agree that there will be an increase in cyber insurance premiums. Standard & Poor’s Corp. stated that they foresee an increase of 20% to 30% per year on average in cybersecurity premiums.

The recent hacking at Colonial Pipeline resulting in a US$4.4 million ransom makes a strong case for companies to revisit and evaluate their current online security and the lack of infrastructure in place to protect them from such breaches.

A Standardized Cyber Insurance Cover

Cyber insurance covers differ in limits, features, and terms. At the moment, these variations are not fully intentional and is a normal part of the industry’s process of learning and adapting. Having said that, this current state also poses challenges for policyholders who may not understand which policy they need for their business. It also results in issues for reinsurers in evaluating their exposure to varied risks.

We see a more stable outlook in 2025 with the language and terms used for cyber insurance. As the market hardens, policy providers have already avoided ambiguous terms that may result in confusion for the insured.

In addition, regulations for cyber insurance will be more mature and regulatory bodies will enforce higher standards of information collection and will require regular reporting about cyber risk exposure.

Flexible Policies As the Norm

COVID-19 has taught many providers that rigidity and failure to adapt can do plenty of damage. As a solution to the current and very likely future events, we predict policies that offer monthly premiums or credit plans for add-on features based on regular reevaluated risks as well as incentives for taking preventative actions.

Cyber Insurance Providers Will Have Dedicated Cyber Risk-driven Models

Hackers will continuously find more and more ways to breach systems alongside the efforts to reduce cyber attacks. This means more complicated and highly dynamic risk assessment models for insurance providers in the foreseeable future.

A huge cyberattack is always impending and it can very well happen before 2025. Knowing this reality, we foresee providers investing in dedicated talents who specialize in cybersecurity to provide comprehensive risk models.

Companies worldwide have now been propelled to enter and quickly grasp a fast-moving and highly digitized facet of business transactions.

Alternative and cyber insurance products will become more interesting, flexible, and specialized. The task at hand for insurance providers is to innovate and design the right products to bridge market gaps that leave businesses exposed to the next attack.

Need help finding the right insurance plan for your business in Hong Kong? Contact us today.

4Apr

Understanding Professional Indemnity Insurance with Examples

Let’s first define what professional indemnity (PI) insurance is.

This is a type of insurance cover that protects a company from incurring legal costs and expenses in their defence, as well as any damages or costs that may be awarded if they have been alleged to have rendered inadequate advice, services or designs that caused a client to lose profit.

It’s also often referred to as professional liability insurance.

In Hong Kong, it is compulsory for some businesses to take out liability or professional indemnity insurance before they can operate.

Here are some examples of professional indemnity insurance claims you may find useful:

Case Study 1

Government Statutory Board | 6 Staff members | HKD5.5M turnover

Background: 
A claim was made against the Insured by one of its former clients. The claim alleged that the Insured failed to protect the claimant’s medical conditions whilst acting for the claimant in court, resulting in the claimant’s identity being easily searched online and discriminated against.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist with managing the dispute. The Insured incurred defence costs of HKD280,800 which were indemnified by the Policy.

Payment: HKD280,800

Case Study 2

Insurance Broker | 5 Staff Members | HKD3.9M turnover

Background: 
A claim was made against the Insured by their client, a recreation club. The client alleged that the Insured misrepresented that their Directors and Officers Policy would cover the club’s own rights which were, in fact, incorrect when a claim was presented to the insurer and was declined. The claimant further alleged that the Insured failed to exercise reasonable skill and care whilst advising and obtaining adequate insurance.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist in defending the matter against them. The claim was settled at mediation. The Policy paid a total for settlement costs of HKD1,482,000 and defence costs of HKD351,000

Payment: HKD1,482,000 plus HKD351,000 in defence costs.

Case Study 3

Logistics Operator | 8 Staff Members | HKD1.95M turnover

Background: 
The Insured, a logistics operator, was storing vaccines in its Cold Room for their client. A claim was made against the Insured by their client alleging that there had been a fall in temperature in the Cold Room which was a result of a hardware malfunction, which damaged their products. The Insured notified Insurers for their Fire Policy as well as their PI Policy. The Insurers of the Fire Policy indemnified the Insured to the sum of HKD1,287,000 which was insufficient to meet the total replacement cost of the vaccines due to a global shortage in certain of those vaccines. One of the vaccine’s cost had increased from HKD29.02 to HKD519.87 per vial. The Claimant sought further damages of HKD1,950,000.

Outcome:
The Insured appointed panel solicitors to assist with managing the claim against them. The Policy was triggered and paid for defence costs of HKD117,000. The claim was settled at a mediation for HKD319,800 which was also indemnified by the Policy.

Payment: HKD319,800 plus HKD117,000 in defence costs

Need PI Insurance for your business in Hong Kong? We can help find the best insurance covers for expats.

25Mar

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.

20Jan

The Increased Risks for Directors & Officers in the Time of Covid

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant financial and operational damages in various business sectors around the world.

Many companies have reported drops in revenue at the end of 2020 with foreseen losses continuing this year. Some have need to stop all commercial activities altogether, let go of employees and sell company assets in order to maintain cash flow.

In addition, many businesses have shared that they have received numerous requests for the renegotiation or termination of initial contracts with some requests leading to litigation given the shifts in some employee duties and tasks.

In this context, it is easy to picture conflicts involving directors and officers liability – for instance, with respect to their selection of loss-mitigation actions which may later result in a loss of revenue.

In such situations, it can be difficult to determine which damages were actually because of the company’s decision-makers or which were solely a consequence of the pandemic.

Insurance providers are facing the same challenges as their policyholders. In Asia, insurers have taken the steps to determine the new risks for managers and executives.

There’s increased risk for directors and officers  – thus the need for more comprehensive D&O Insurance policy because of the following:

Company directors may be held liable for losses when they cannot supply customer demand due to COVID-19. Threats of litigation over a supply chain disruption are quite possible for large losses.

Lay-offs, non-payment of disability pay, and loss of employee healthcare have been a reality for many companies. This opens directors and officers to lawsuits for wrongful termination or breach of contract on a massive scale.

In the event of essential businesses that require employees to come to work instead of working from home, decision-makers may also be liable when members of their operations staff get sick with the virus. This is especially a liability risk if the company is found negligent of observing proper health protocols.

Watch this 2-minute video to further understand the value of a D&O insurance policy:

In complicated situations such as the current pandemic, directors and officers are held to higher standards of diligence. Their jobs require careful calculations, planning and strategising. There should be a great consideration for the risks of fraud and other unlawful acts.

Thus, the expectation from managers increases simultaneously with the level of severity of a situation in which their decisions are regarded.

As 2021 progresses, more questions have arisen about the scope of a manger’s or director’s responsibilities. What’s certain is that last year’s events have forced companies to troubleshoot unique situations with plenty of uncertainty on how to do so.