5Feb

4 Ways to Lower Auto Insurance Cost in 2023

A combination of factors including inflation, rising interest rates, and fluctuating gas prices, made life difficult for drivers in 2022. The added strain of increased auto insurance prices only added to the financial pressure.

The main factors behind the increase were more people driving and cars being more expensive to repair. The company predicts that the average annual rate will go up another 7% to $1,895 this year, but they may not stop there. It could be several years before prices fully stabilize.

A recent survey from the insurance comparison website Insurify found that nearly half (47%) of US drivers saw their car insurance costs increase in 2022. Experts believe that insurance companies will continue to raise rates across the country.

According to a recent Yahoo article, auto insurance rates are expected to rise 8.4% in 2023 in the US, and this trend will likely follow in Hong  Kong.

While the continued rise of inflation may cause auto insurance rates to go up, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact on your monthly budget.

1. Shopping around for coverage and comparing quotes.

If you haven’t recently reviewed your car insurance options, you may be overpaying for your coverage. Gone are the days of a tedious comparison process – modern technology has streamlined the process of obtaining quotes from various providers. Make sure you understand the value of your car and the cost of repairs or replacement when considering the amount of coverage you need to buy.

2. Keep your driving record clean.

Safe driving can also help lower your rates, as can having a claims-free or violation-free driving record.

As reported by Insurify, a single infraction on your driving record could cause a surge in your auto insurance premium, with an average increase of 34%.

Many insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who maintain a clean driving history and pose minimal risks on the road. If you have prior driving incidents, you can regain your insurer’s trust and improve your chances of getting a discount by taking an accredited vehicle safety or defensive driving course.

3. Increasing your deductible.

When purchasing car insurance, you must agree to a deductible, which is a specified sum you must pay from your own pocket before your insurance company starts covering the costs of a claim.

By increasing your deductible, you have the opportunity to significantly reduce your monthly insurance bill. Keep in mind, however, that you must have enough funds readily available to pay the full deductible if you need to file a claim in the future.

4. Consider using a pay-as-you-go insurance plan.

Usage-based insurance or pay-as-you-go insurance allows you to pay for the driving you actually do rather than the assumptions made by your insurance company.

To facilitate this type of coverage, the insurance company will either provide a plug-in device or a mobile app to monitor your driving habits, including the frequency and distance of your trips, your driving patterns, and your driving style.

You may be eligible for a discount from your insurance company if the data gathered reflects safe and responsible driving habits, such as infrequent and short trips focused on following traffic laws.

However, this system operates in both directions. Engaging in risky driving behaviors, such as driving long distances or frequently braking hard, can result in penalties from your insurance company.

If you need help finding the best auto insurance cover that fits your budget, we can help. Village Insurance Direct specializes in sourcing personal and business insurance for expats in Hong Kong.

14Jan

What Does Pilot Insurance Cover?

Pilot insurance is an essential component of any aviation operation, whether it is for commercial or private use. It provides financial protection for pilots and aircraft owners in the event of an accident or incident. Without insurance, the financial burden of an accident or incident can be catastrophic, potentially leading to financial ruin for the pilot or aircraft owner.

The basics

Pilot Insurance is a type of liability insurance cover for pilots, whether they’re manning an aircraft professionally or for recreation. Student pilots can also get this insurance coverage.

An insurance policy can cover the pilot and their aircraft for a variety of risks, including:

– physical damage to the aircraft
– liability for injury or death of passengers or third parties
– loss of income due to an inability to fly

The insurance may be purchased by an individual pilot or by the aircraft company. The type and amount of coverage will depend on the specific policy and the intended use of the aircraft.

Examples of when pilot insurance would be utilized include:

– If a pilot collides with another aircraft while taxiing on the runway, liability coverage can help pay for the damage to the other plane.

– If a student pilot causes damage to an instructor’s plane during a difficult landing, a non-owner liability policy can help the owner cover the repair costs.

– In case of a fatal accident during a personal flight, if the plane owner is sued by the passenger’s family, an aircraft liability policy can help compensate them if the lawsuit is successful.

What’s the Cost of Pilot Insurance?

Pilot insurance in Hong Kong is affordable. The actual amount depends on what type of coverage you need as well as other factors such as:

– The type of aircraft
– The pilot’s level of experience
– The intended use of the aircraft

What Kind of Aircraft Does Pilot Insurance Cover?

It’s not just airplanes. Available insurance solutions for pilots also includes:

– Helicopter and rotorcraft
– Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)
– Experimental Aircraft
– Home-builts and kits
– Ultralight aircraft
– Vintage and antique aircraft

Having adequate pilot insurance can help mitigate the financial risks associated with flying, allowing pilots and aircraft owners to focus on the safe operation of their aircraft. Additionally, many airports and other aviation-related facilities may require that pilots and aircraft owners have insurance before they are allowed to operate on their property. The importance of having pilot insurance cannot be overstated, as it provides peace of mind, financial protection and compliance with the regulations.

Village Insurance Direct finds the best pilot insurance coverage in Hong Kong.

4Jan

3 Insurance Trends that Are Changing the Industry

The insurance industry has shown its ability to withstand challenges and change with the times in recent years. By using advanced digital technologies, insurance companies have been able to improve their efficiency and undergo positive changes.

Overall, the past year has had its ups and downs. While there were increases in premiums in both personal and commercial insurance and challenges such as crises and natural disasters, new companies entering the market struggled to effectively innovate in the industry.

From a “glass half full” viewpoint, we did see that ongoing competition encourages innovation. We observed a growing interest in cloud transformation (despite some delays). The emergence of modern ecosystems was also observed. In the middle of all these changes, carriers also grasped the importance of a diversified talent pool and gave hiring, development, and retention top priority.

We foresee three trends that will probably influence the insurance sector in 2023 and beyond, given the industry’s continuous struggles with issues like inflation, rising interest rates, climate change, and a skills shortage.

1. Emerging and Evolving Risks

Insurance companies find it challenging to navigate the risk landscape due to uncertainties sparked by international problems, governmental rules, and economic forces.

Additionally, these types of risks tend to be intricate and interrelated. For instance, extreme weather and natural disasters can create vulnerabilities for businesses and make the workplace hazardous and properties uninhabitable.

Another growing risk is cybersecurity, with a rise in the frequency and intensity of ransomware attacks. Cybersecurity is no longer just a matter of technology but a business risk as well. To address these interconnected threats, insurance companies must be quick to respond and adapt. This means being flexible and proactive in using tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to prevent and mitigate risks. In the coming year, data management systems and decision-making tools will likely play a central role in helping insurance companies operate efficiently and effectively.

2. Tech Integration to Normal Life

Insurance companies are focusing on reducing costs and promoting long-term growth as they look ahead to the new year. Some companies are modernizing their technology systems, either by streamlining their legacy systems or adopting new technologies. Others are using insurtech solutions to enhance their offerings.

Ultimately, insurance companies are working to build flexible, scalable, and resilient technology systems that can support growth and add value. This may involve automating certain parts of the claims process, using data from third parties to better assess risk, or implementing digital customer service tools to improve satisfaction. By starting with a strong foundation, insurance companies can take advantage of these opportunities and continue to shape the industry in the coming year.

3. A More Human Experience for Clients

During difficult times, it’s important for insurance companies to remember the emotional impact their actions have on their clients. Customers often want more communication with their insurers, especially when they are in need.

Engaging with agents and providing high-touch support can make customers feel heard and kept informed. Customers also appreciate being able to choose the communication channel that best fits their needs, whether it’s a website, smartphone app, or live conversation.

A poor customer experience can cause people to switch to a different brand, so it’s important for insurance companies to prioritize the customer experience and shift from a policy-focused business model to one that is customer-centric. Companies that do this well will likely find success in the long term. Providing personalized and omnichannel experiences can improve the customer experience and streamline processes.

28Dec

Five Tips for Making A Business Preparedness Plan

After a calamity, maintaining your business requires more than good fortune and hope for the best. When the unexpected occurs, a solid business preparedness plan may help you keep your doors open and resume regular operations.

Although nobody can anticipate whether or when a disaster will occur, it is preferable to take preventative measures to safeguard your business. Consider these five stages when building a business preparedness strategy and plan ahead:

1. Establish program management

Everyone on the premises, including people with disabilities, must have their physical safety considered part of your preparedness strategy. You’ll also want to create instructions for continuing business with minimal disruptions.

– Create a department or group that will be responsible for creating and updating your business continuity strategy.
– Set aside money for any backup plans the group comes up with. (This may involve discussing with your agent whether your small business insurance coverage meets your needs.)
– Determine any laws or corporate rules that might impact your plans.

2. Gather information about hazards and assess risks.

This should involve figuring out which events are more likely to happen in your areas, such as whether your company is situated in a flood or typhoon-prone area.

Do a business impact analysis to ascertain the likely effects of a business disruption. Then, examine and take into account strategies for risk reduction and loss mitigation.

3. Determine resources and train staff on how to implement those plans.

Make a plan to help ensure your business has all the resources it needs on hand by evaluating what resources you might need in the event of a disaster, from personnel to communications equipment to other needs.

In the event of an emergency, be prepared to communicate critical information to your staff, clients, and other stakeholders. Make a plan for how you’ll access your electronic data and information technology systems in the event of an emergency.

4. Conduct a test run.

To assess how well-versed and effective your employees are in the plan, conduct a variety of exercises. The evaluation of the established plans and procedures and the personnel training on their responsibilities may benefit from this phase.

5. Update and improve your plan based on the test run.

Review your plan bi-annually or once a year. Then, ensure your employees are reoriented with any changes in your plan. Keep in mind that any significant adjustments to the business or its personnel may necessitate a review of the emergency plan.

If you need additional coverage for disasters, taking note from the COVID years, we recommend getting in touch with us so we can help you find a plan that fits your evolving business needs in Hong Kong.

20Nov

Infographics: The State of AI in Business

The possibilities for how businesses communicate with their customers in real-time, manage their operations, and maintain business continuity during the pandemic are expanding thanks to AI capabilities. Companies are figuring out new ways to innovate and grow as technology develops.

Here are statistics on AI in terms of its use and value in business.

The state of AI in business infographicsWith the inevitability of AI growth and use in a business’ day-to-day transactions, it also asks whether enterprises are taking enough measures to protect themselves from liability while using AI.

If your need help finding liability insurance for your business in Hong Kong, connect with us today.

13Nov

Four Cybersecurity Outlook for Small and Medium Businesses in 2023

In the post-COVID-19 era, the market for cybersecurity insurance is anticipated to grow from US$ 11.9 billion in 2022 to US$ 29.2 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 19.6%.

Cyber insurance will be bought by more SMBs than ever. Industry research found that only 15% of SMBs had purchased some form of cyber insurance, even though cybercrime was one of their top concerns. This means that for the foreseeable future, cyber insurance represents the single biggest growth opportunity for carriers, brokers, and MGAs.

According to a recent survey by Inc.com, which found that there are more than 30 million small top midscale businesses in the US alone, 77% of these companies believe that adopting technology throughout their company is a key factor in their growth.

Cyber insurance will be a part of every organization that depends on digital technology currently or in the future.

Here are four outlooks for cybersecurity in 2023:

1. Insurance companies will factor in a company’s existing (or non-existing) cyber security measures.

For carriers and policyholders that lack an active risk management system for these risks, the cost of mitigating and insuring data breaches and other cyber catastrophes will keep rising. For small and medium-sized firms, a cyber event often costs insurance more than US$150,000.

The average cost of a cyber incident for large businesses is around US$10 million. Carriers will demand more security from businesses to buy insurance to reduce those expenses and keep a successful book of business.

We predict that, at the very least, policies with limits of more than $500,000 will need to have anti-virus, firewall, two-factor authentication, backup, and encryption.

2. Companies that’ve already experienced data breaches will have a harder time finding a cyber insurance provider.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office  (gao.gov), the increasing threat of a cyber breach will drive an upsurge in cyber insurance premiums while reducing availability.

In 2020, 47% more buyers chose cyber coverage, up from 26% in 2016. The cost of cyberattacks roughly doubled for American insurance companies between 2016 and 2019. And as a result, there was a significant rise in insurance prices. Due to the current shortage of insurance capacity in the market and the fact that many firms are unable to obtain cyber insurance at an acceptable price, costs are likely to increase.

3. Costs are projected to rise as a result of the market’s existing lack of insurance capacity and the fact that many businesses cannot find cyber insurance at a competitive price.

Brokerages must now be ready to discuss a packaged approach: a pre-placement cyber risk report, a competitive cyber insurance policy, and a platform that continuously monitors exposures throughout the policy’s lifetime and notifies the insured before a breach occurs. This will help clients avoid a price spike following a breach and a claim.

This strategy may lessen the need for some coverage restrictions or exclusions while preventing premium increases.

4. The adoption of AI-powered automated underwriting for cyber policies will keep expanding.

Providers can help their clients in getting the coverage they require, lower the chance of a breach, and prevent premium increases when carriers and MGAs use tested automated underwriting supported by tested technology. In order to provide the SMB market sector with a cyber insurance policy, automated data-driven solutions are essential.

If your business needs help finding the right cyber insurance, get in touch with us at Village Insurance Direct.

4Nov

Is there insurance for pilots who lose their license?

If a person finds themselves unable to work, they may be able to rely on income protection insurance for many various industries and forms of employment.

It’s not nearly that easy for pilots. You work in a dangerous sector as a pilot, facing several strains and difficulties that the general public is not exposed to. Your ability to perform your job depends on your mental and physical health. Ordinary protective items frequently don’t meet the special needs of pilots, calling for a higher level of protection.

Fortunately, there is an insurance policy that can cover pilots who lose their license to fly in Hong Kong.

Pilot’s Loss of License insurance is designed specifically to meet the needs of pilots and aircrew, eliminating many of the usual problems that pilots run into with more conventional forms of insurance, such as Disability Income Protection or Critical Illness coverage.

These plans are available for individuals or employers needing cover for their entire team. There are other insurance options that can be used to “top up” any existing Loss of License insurance you may already have.

Specific plans can cover the following:

– Commercial Pilots
– Airlines and Pilot Unions
– Student Aviators and Instructors

Plans for pilots who lose their licenses in Hong Kong can be tailored to your unique needs. A pilot’s loss of license insurance coverage may provide the following benefits:

– Monthly Expense for Temporary Loss of License
– Lump Sum Payment for Permanent Loss of License
– Mental Wellness Cover
– Drug and Alcohol Illness Cover
– Worldwide cover

Annual premiums for a Pilot’s Loss of License Insurance can range from US$2500 to US$6300, depending on certain factors and add-ons.

If you’d like to know more about this type of insurance, get in touch with us at Village Insurance Direct. We find the best personal and business insurance for expats in Hong Kong.

3Oct

What are 5 tips for saving money on health insurance?

Hong Kong was recognized as the nation having the world’s most effective healthcare system in 2019. Both the public and private sectors have access to top-notch hospitals, cutting-edge technology, and highly skilled medical professionals. Hong Kong currently boasts the second-most expensive healthcare system in the world, only after the United States, thus this excellent quality of care also comes at a hefty cost. How can you reduce these costs, then?

Here are 5 tips to make sure you’re only spending what you need on health insurance.

1. Shop around for health insurance quotes. There are many different health insurance providers available, and the prices can vary greatly. Compare quotes from different providers to find the best deal.

Signs to look for when it comes to a good health insurance cover include:

-A provider with a good reputation.
-A provider with a wide range of cover options.
-A provider with good financial stability.
-A provider with a low premium price.

2. Consider using a health insurance discount. There are many health insurance discounts available, and finding one that is suitable for you can save you money.

Some common health insurance discounts include:

-Special discounts for members of particular health insurance schemes.
-Discounts for people who have a certain level of health insurance coverage.
-Discounts for people who live in a certain area.
-Discounts for people who are aged over a certain age.

3. Review your health insurance policy regularly. Regularly reviewing your policy will help you to identify any changes or updates that may need to be made, and will also help to ensure that you are fully covered.

Some things to look out for when reviewing your health insurance policy include

-The cover that is available to you.
-The exclusions that are included in the policy.
-Any changes to the premium price.
-Any changes to the cover that is available.
-Any changes to the conditions that are included in

4. You might think about choosing a co-insurance or annual deductible if you want to save money on your health insurance plan without sacrificing complete coverage. Your annual premium will drop dramatically if you choose one of these options.

The amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance plan will begin to cover medical costs is known as a deductible. For instance, you have to pay the first $1,500 of your insurance’s coverage out of your own pocket before it starts to pay for your medical costs. Once you have paid the annual deductible, which is typically per year, any medical expenses that are covered by your plan will be fully reimbursed. If your work currently offers medical insurance but you would like to supplement your coverage and raise your level of benefits, taking on a deductible can be very appealing.

Choosing a co-insurance percentage is another way to pay a lesser premium. For instance, if you select a 20% co-insurance percentage, you will be responsible for 20% of all out-of-pocket medical expenses while your insurance will pay the remaining 80% in full.

5. Most health insurance providers give their customers the option of having private rooms available to them if they are hospitalized. Even while some extra comfort and privacy are necessary if you have to spend the night away from home, opting for a semi-private room would ultimately result in lower hospital and surgical costs.

The cost of a hospital stay will be reduced if you choose a semi-private room or a ward (which you may share with three people or more) if you don’t have access to private medical insurance or if your coverage for hospitalization and surgery has a low cap.

For example, a private room costs HK$3,300 per night at the Matilda Hospital, a well-liked private hospital among expats, whereas a night in a ward only costs HK$900.

In addition, hospital expenses and doctor fees are assessed independently in Hong Kong. This implies that the physician’s costs will be more expensive the higher the room standard. By selecting a shared room, you can reduce your costs while still receiving the same level of services.

In summary, you can save money on health insurance by researching different providers, reviewing your policy regularly, and choosing a co-insurance or deductible. By taking these simple steps, you can save money on your health insurance premiums.

17Sep

2022 Stats on Cybercrime and Cyber Security

Today’s internet users and businesses need to have cybersecurity. Consider it to be your home’s equivalent of an alarm or automated lock system. Your home door shouldn’t be left unlocked for criminals, and the same goes for your computer. The dark web is absolutely not where you want any of your confidential information, especially those of your customers, to end up.

Reduce liability by increasing cyber security. This year, concerns about malware and phishing have increased because there are significantly more online transactions for businesses.

Here are stats to keep in mind:

2022 Cybercrime stats infographicsNeed help finding cyber insurance and liability cover for your business? We can help.

4Sep

4 Ways to Know If You Have Enough Life Insurance

Thinking about death and what happens to the family we will leave behind is not really an experience we want to go through. However, practicality encourages us to do so, specifically if we’re talking about the financial aspect of it.

Most of us are not prepared for death. Besides not having our will ready, we also don‘t have enough insurance coverage to take care of our loved ones in case of our untimely death.

Some of us think that life insurance is enough to take care of the expenses that our family may incur after our death. But is that really enough?

Life insurance is important, but it will never be enough to fully cover the financial needs of our family. There are a lot of factors that come into play when we die. And this includes:

the funeral and burial expenses
debts and other financial responsibilities
and even the lifestyle that our loved ones will have to adjust to

Funeral and burial expenses are one of the major expenses that a family will have to shoulder after the death of a family member. In Europe, the average funeral cost is around5,000. So, how much life insurance is enough?

Here are ways to calculate it:

METHOD 1: 6x to 10x annual earnings

A suitable sum for life insurance, according to the majority of insurance firms, is six to 10 times the yearly earnings. If you multiply your annual earnings by ten, you would choose coverage of $500,000 if it were $50,000. Some suggest increasing the coverage over the 10x threshold by an additional $100,000 per child.

METHOD 2: Years before retirement

Multiplying your yearly income by the number of years until retirement is another method for determining the required amount of life insurance. For instance, a 40-year-old would require $500,000 in life insurance (25 years x $20,000) if their current annual income is $20,000.

METHOD 3: Standard of living

The standard-of-living approach is based on how much money surviving family members would require to maintain their quality of living in the event that the insured party passed away. That sum should be multiplied by 20. The idea is that survivors can invest the death benefit capital and earn 5% or more while taking a 5% annual withdrawal from the death benefit, which is equal to the standard-of-living amount. The term “human life value (HLV) approach” is occasionally used to describe this kind of calculation.

METHOD 4: DIME

The DIME method is an additional approach (debt, income, mortgage, education). This is designed to provide just enough insurance to pay for the family’s costs in the case of an untimely death. Using the DIME method, you should have enough coverage to pay off all of your debts, including your mortgage, cover the cost of your children’s schooling, and replace your income for however many years it takes for your children to reach the age of 18.

It is crucial to understand how much and what kind of life insurance you require if you do. For the majority of people, renewable term insurance is enough, but you must consider your unique circumstances. To prevent being stuck with insufficient coverage or paying for pricey coverage that you don’t need, decide on what you’ll need in advance if you decide to purchase insurance from an agent.

Do your study to make sure you buy the greatest life insurance you can since knowledge is key to making the right decision in both investing and life insurance. Find and contrast life insurance quotes to see which one would best meet your specific requirements.