19May

Can You Over-Exercise?

Isn’t it true that exercising is always beneficial? Not necessarily. What matters most for your heart’s health is doing the right amount of exercise for you as an individual.

We’ve all heard it before: the more exercise we get, the better.

Exercise has two sides. We all know that regular exercise makes you feel better and happier, and it is linked to a longer life. In contrast, we’re learning more about the impact of exercise on cardiovascular health – the heart and blood vessels. In fact, the medical speciality of sports cardiology has recently emerged. It’s studying the cardiovascular systems of professional and amateur sportspeople. It was discovered over the last ten years that the amount of atheroma (heart artery blockage) in a person’s arteries is linked to their weekly exercise intensity and duration.

So what happens if we over exercise?

When you exercise, your body becomes inflamed, especially if you do extreme exercises. The system becomes overly activated. This can also cause collateral damage to the arteries, allowing cholesterol to enter the artery walls and form clogs. The flip side is that, because of the health benefits of exercise, most blockages never get too big.

So, for cardiologists – and everyone else – the challenge is to figure out what degree of exercise is safe.

A lot of individuals do not experience a problem developing within their body until they begin to experience symptoms. The condition may be quite advanced by the time they feel that something might be wrong.

Some of the physical symptoms from over-exercising include:

-Excessive fatigue
-Injuries, such as stress fractures
-Dehydration
-Lack of appetite
-Poor sleep quality
-Muscle soreness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take a break from your workout routine and restore your body to its natural state.

Finding balance

It’s a question of input and results in this case: there is a threat, but also an advantage. Despite the fact that there is no evidence that exercise kills, you can still benefit from it. If it makes you feel better and helps you get in better condition in general, it will help you live longer.

There should be a knowledge of the relationship between intensity and duration of exercise and degree of artery damage. Identify if you’re at risk and move from there.

Who is most at risk from over-exercising?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the risks associated with over-exercising can vary from person to person.

However, those who are most at risk of damage from over-exercising are usually people who are already in poor health, have a history of heart problems, or suffer from conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Additionally, older people who were active in their younger years may also be at risk, as they may not be able to handle the level of activity they once did.

What can you do to protect yourself from over-exercising?

The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of over-exercising is to be aware of your own limitations and exercise within them.

Need help finding the right health insurance for pre-existing heart conditions? Get in touch with us today. We specialise in finding the best policies for expats in Hong Kong.

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.

6Jan

Travel Trends in 2022: Domestic, Sustainable, Self-actualizing

Sustainability, domestic travel, and mental & physical wellness are set to be the biggest travel trends in 2022 – this is according to École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is a Swiss school that offers a Master of Science in Global Hospitality Management course in partnership with Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University.

The school conducted interviews and surveys with a wide network of industry experts, colleagues, and students from various backgrounds.

SUSTAINABILITY

Travel Trend 2022: Sustainability

The travel and hospitality industry needs to practice sustainability in most, if not all, aspects of its operations. Avid and casual travelers are now more aware and conscious of the environmental impact of visiting local and foreign places. Showing that your place of business takes steps towards eco-friendly practices increases visitor trust and preference this 2022.

What the pandemic has taught many travelers is the fragile state of man and nature whereby it’s important to disturb the natural state of things as little as possible – leaving as little carbon footprint as possible.

Sustainable measures include:

– Careful selection of consumable goods and building materials
– Increased use of green energy
– Hiring locals for manpower
– Offering more vegan/vegetarian cuisine options
– Better waste management

Such measures will appeal to more travellers who want to spend their time and money purposefully.

DOMESTIC HOLIDAYS

Travel Trend 2022: Domestic Holiday

The unpredictability of lockdowns and border entries has made international holidays less appealing. There’s added cost, time, and stress when all one wants to do is take a break. Staying closer to home is a practical choice and a great alternative where one can (re)discover their “backyards” and contribute to the recovery of their communities.

Hospitality businesses have also integrated the concept of “work and play” where there’s a pivot towards “workations” with facilities catering to fast Internet connectivity, meeting/break rooms for groups, soundproofed booths for video calls, and other offers.

Travel sites and apps have even been seen to feature long-term remote office stays. This will continue to evolve as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

SELF-ACTUALIZING

Travel Trend 2022: Solo Travel

The pandemic has also readjusted many of people’s perspectives on the things that matter most. There’s been a pseudo-Rennaisance of old crafts, art, special interests, and so much more.

Trends indicate a rise in solo travel as well as self-discovery experiences. With this increase in self-care and mindfulness, solo travel lets one appreciate time alone with meditative value, discovering the world without distractions while making new friends.

Flexible work has made all this possible with many companies using this benefit to keep good talent and acquire new ones. Work-life balance comes into the spotlight this 2022 and people have discovered new ways of achieving it with self-actualizing travel.

In addition, holistic services and amenities will be sought after (and perhaps expected) from hospitality businesses. This shift is an opportunity to expand, explore, and upgrade operations in a post-pandemic world.

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.

12Nov

3 Common Ways Ransomware Gets to Your Computer

There’s a 50% chance that your computer at work could be infected with ransomware especially with more online interactions.

With ransom transactions averaging over US$80,000 in 2019, malicious software is quickly becoming cybercriminals’ choice of weapon.

Ransomware uses internal systems to encrypt a series of files and deactivate troubleshooting processes, preventing access to your own data.  The hacker essentially holds your data hostage until your business pays up a substantial amount.

Is your business prepared to deal with these types of cyberattacks now that you’ve shifted to more digital processes?

Cybersecurity training plus a good cybersecurity insurance plan are two crucial ways to safeguard your company from liability and the cost of cyberattacks. But how exactly does ransomware get to your computers and devices?

1. EMAIL

Ransomware sent via email is what’s usually called phishing. A majority of ransomware is delivered via phishing. Hackers use legitimate-looking emails to trick recipients into clicking a link or downloading an attachment that contains malware.

The recipient will then get redirected to a malicious site that starts the download of ransomware. Attachments to emails come in various formats like Word, PDF, Excel or ZIP files to make the email seem safe. When the attachment is opened, the ransomware instantly uploads itself, encrypting and holding files for the hacker.

To minimize the chances of falling victim to phishing, manually entering the links in your browser, hovering over links, and expanding shortened URLs can help prevent you from clicking on them.

For attachments, check if the sender’s email address is legitimate by reviewing the domain extension (e.g. sendersname@gmail-net.com is a suspicious address). And only open files sent by people who you trust.

This site helps you check if a certain domain is temporary or a throw-away: https://www.block-disposable-email.com/cms/

2. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

RDP is a communications protocol that allows IT admins to get access to other systems (e.g. company employees).  During the process of gaining access to a system, a computer can become exposed to hackers for a window of time. This is when hackers attack and deploy ransomware.

Make sure your IT puts in place authentication factors and added security measures for all your ports. This is more of a task for the IT department but is still worth knowing when you’re running checks throughout your system.

3. Illegal or Pirated Software

Some companies cut costs by subscribing to pirated or unlicensed software because they don’t see the value of cybersecurity in relation to the tools they use on their computers.

Hackers can easily embed malicious ware when you download from unsecured software sites.

The quick solution to this is to invest in licensed software especially if you’re using it daily. To prevent ransomware infections via pirated software, avoid downloading activators, key generators and software cracks from torrent websites. It’s also best practice to use a complete anti-malware application to detect any installations happening in the background while your computer runs throughout the day.

There are other channels to which malware infects systems. Make sure your employees undergo cybersecurity training and have a robust liability insurance cover in place to protect your business.

2Nov

8 Useful Apps to Have When in Hong Kong

Be more equipped to navigate Hong Kong whether you’re just visiting or living here as an expat. Here is a handful of useful apps to download on your smartphone to make life much easier:

 

1. MyObservatory – Weather changes quickly in different parts of Hong Kong. Get location-specific weather updates as well as push notification services, useful for typhoon and rainstorm updates.

 

2. PayMe – HSBC is one of the most common banks used by expats. Send or receive money instantly with this peer-to-peer payment app from HSBC.


3. Toilet Rush – This is quite useful for anyone with small children. This app lets you know where the nearest public toilets are. Visitors will find this quite useful as well.

 

4. csl Wi-Fi – There’s no shortage of free WiFi hotspots in Hong Kong. Locate thousands of csl spots around the city.

 

5. Citymapper – Simply enter your destination and it will give you a guide on what public transport to use, as well as a street map for walking. Available for major cities worldwide.

 

6. HkingTrail HK – Provides offline map and over 100 hiking trails in HK, with supporting route drawing, route sharing, route length/gain/loss calculation, time estimation, GPS location, compass, track logging, deviation alert, and etc.

 

7. Hong Kong CityWalks – This handy application presents you several self-guided walks featuring the best of the city, from world famous attractions to hidden gems. There simply is no better way to see a city on foot, at your own pace and at a cost that is only a fraction of what you would normally pay for a guided tour.

 

8. Deliveroo – Get groceries delivered or order from your fave restaurants. Hundreds of cuisines to choose from.

Read through our recent blogs for more tips on living in Hong Kong as an expat or browse through our blogs with discussions about finding the best insurance covers in the city.

 

 

27Oct

Infographic: 5 Ways Travel Has Changed

COVID-19 is here to stay and so has the way we will all travel. Aside from the mandates and health documents that vary per country or region, travel behaviour is also expected to undergo several shifts.

This infographic shows 5 ways travel has changed – perhaps permanently.

Need help with travel insurance and other personal policies? We help expats find the best ones in Hong Kong.


Infographic: How Covid 19 has changed travel