15Sep

5 Common Excuses for Not Getting Cyber Liability Insurance

Increased online activity by businesses – from e-commerce to remote project management – requires an added layer of privacy security. Digital interactions with clients as well as between employees also means there is extensive sensitive data (e.g. addresses, credit card details, private messages, etc.) being shared and stored.

Businesses that ask for personal information places them in a position of possible liability should there be a breach in their system.

Cyber Liability and Data Protection Insurance is designed to safeguard online users from damage and loss upon exposure to hacking or system errors.

Unfortunately, most businesses do not see the need for this type of insurance for reasons such as:

1. My business does not store sensitive data.

Most businesses will hold information about their employees or suppliers as a standard practice, meaning these companies are at a higher risk of being targeted for a cyber attack. Downplaying the likelihood of having your valuable data stolen may cause irreparable damage to your company’s reputation and operations.

In a time when remote work and online interactions are the status quo, businesses need to have all bases covered.

2. I don’t sell anything online.

Chances are, your business still uses computers to store digital files of receipts, invoices, and names of customers. Having a local server and the absence of online commerce does not exclude your business from cybercrime.

One has to factor human error, malware, and phishing even if your company is not engaged with Internet commerce.

3. The Cloud is highly secure.

A company is legally responsible for the information that is stored in their cloud, even if a hacker accesses the cloud via a 3rd party. This also applies if you’re using an outsourced IT provider. If the provider’s system is breached and your data gets leaked, your business may incur notification costs (to both the Privacy Commissioner and the affected individuals), remediation costs and legal costs. Encryptions and 3rd party security measures will not cover these costs.

4. The IT Department will take care of it.

Does your IT department work round-the-clock? That’s highly unlikely. A lot can happen in a few minutes, let alone overnight when everyone is off.

Having cyber liability insurance in place will provide you with a 24/7 response team that can help mitigate further loss and damages when an attack occurs.

5. Our system is top-of-the-line and can’t be hacked.

There’s not a single system that is 100% secure. Technology is ever-changing and cyber attackers are constantly finding ways to access your data. And while you may have the most secure system now, that still requires everyone in the company to have the same knowledge and competencies in using, managing and maintaining it.

Again, human error can’t be discounted which makes cyber liability insurance all the more important for any business.

We can help your business find the best cyber liability insurance in Hong Kong.

21Aug

A Checklist to Know If You’re At Risk of Heart Disease

There are several risks factors for heart disease – some of which are preventable. They include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smokingdiabetes mellitusobesity, lack of physical activity and chronic stress. Genetics also plays a factor which can or can’t be controlled by medical measures. [1]

According to the British Heart Foundation, UK residents dying from heart and circulatory diseases before 75 was recorded to have risen in May 2019 for the first time in 50 years. [2] In fact, coronary disease is one of the top health problems among expats in Hong Kong. [3]

This is a cause for alarm given that pre-existing conditions such as heart disease makes one more susceptible to Covid-19. This is why it’s important to check-in if you or your family are at risk.

Simultaneously, we recommend that you revisit your current health insurance (if any), to see if you’re covered in case something happens.

Here’s a checklist to determine if you’re at high risk for heart disease:

> Increasing age – people aged 65 or older are at a higher risk

> Gender – heart disease is more prevalent among men.

> Family health history (as well as race) – Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop heart disease themselves. African-Americans have more severe high blood pressure than Caucasians, therefore, at a higher risk.

> Smoking – smokers and the people who regularly get second-hand smoke from them

> High blood cholesterol – note that a person’s cholesterol level is also affected by age, sex, heredity and diet.

> High blood pressure – this condition increases the heart’s workload, causing the heart muscle to thicken and grow stiff as one ages.

> Inactivity – a sedentary life can lead to poor blood circulation, high cholesterol, and other co-morbidities.

> Diabetes – Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics are prone to heart disease. The risks are even higher if blood sugar is not properly managed.

> Being overweight – obesity leads to heart disease and stroke even if there are no other risk factors.

If you think you’re at risk and checked off several of the factors mentioned above, visit a health professional and ask about preventive measures you can do to reduce risks.

In addition, make sure you’re health insurance can cover coronary disease-related procedures and check-ups to protect your finances and prevent the need to dip into your life savings.

Sources:

[1] https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/25/57.html

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/may/13/heart-circulatory-disease-fatalities-on-rise-in-uk

[3] https://expatliving.hk/how-to-prevent-heart-disease-cardiologist-hong-kong/

[4] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/understand-your-risks-to-prevent-a-heart-attack

2Jul

How to Reduce Covid-19 Risks on Road Trips

Air travel has certainly been impacted by the pandemic and it suffices to say that the frequency to which we travel overseas will significantly decrease.

In an interview with Axios, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky even said that global travel may never fully recover and that he foresees a future where people will opt to go on holidays within their own countries, possibly for longer stays.

BACK ON THE ROAD

It’s important to remind ourselves that the level of caution for this type of travel should be as equally serious as air travel.

The CDC also stresses that there’s no real certainty whether one mode of travel is safer than another. What we know however is that certain types of travel increase the number of places we can be exposed – airports, bus/train stations, and rest stops.

If you’re planning a road trip in the coming weeks, here are a few things you should consider:

1. Map out the number of stops you NEED. Minimise as much as possible by bringing your own food and water to decrease the need to step into a store with new groups of people. Bring a good amount of sanitation supplies in case you need to spend a night in a hotel or inn.

2. Prep your vehicle This should go without saying, however, taking that extra time to have your oils changed and tires rotated could mean the difference between safety and exposing yourself to new people in an unfamiliar auto shop on the road.

The smaller you maintain your network during the trip, the fewer risks you take.

3. Face shield and face masks are a must. Establishments have different policies about mask-wearing but the more crucial message here is to have a mindset that you may be an asymptomatic carrier. It’s part of everyone’s responsibility to wear masks to reduce contagion.

If you’re planning to travel with high-risk individuals such as diabetics or a person with a heart condition, DON’T. It’s not worth the risk. Road trips could also mean spending a large amount of time in places with very little to zero medical facilities.

4. Postpone if possible. Unfortunately, staying put is still the safest recommendation by the CDC and other health organizations. The illusion of safety by familiarity with friends and family members is emerging as one of biggest reasons for the increase in infection. If you can, reschedule that trip for a later date.

Lastly, if you MUST take that trip, be sure to have a health insurance cover that will take care of your emergency medical bills should the need arise. Don’t have one? Contact us and we’ll find one that suits your needs.

19Jun

Should I still get the flu shot during the pandemic?

Monsoon season signals the beginning of flu season – and with the world still trying to survive the coronavirus, is it still worth getting the flu shot even though it won’t protect us from Covid-19?

COVER ALL THE BASES

Stocking up on healthy food, vitamins, hand sanitizers as well as constant handwashing aren’t the only measures we can take to fortify our safety.

Getting the flu shot may not stop coronavirus but it could mean the difference between getting infected with mild symptoms or suffering (and possibly dying) from complications.

And since there’s a greater chance of a person getting the flu than the coronavirus, taking the vaccine is one of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid a mountain of medical bills.

Contact Village Insurance Direct for inquiries on medical insurance for expats in Hong Kong.

THE BEST TIME TO GET A FLU SHOT

In relevance to the ongoing pandemic and according to the CDC, people who have not received the flu vaccine for the current season and are planning to travel to regions where influenza activity is ongoing should get a flu vaccine to protect themselves during their trip.

In addition, the CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get an annual shot a three to six months before flu season starts.

STILL NEED TO TRAVEL? HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

– Be mindful and thorough with your research when you must travel to another country. The CDC provides updated information on seasonal flu activity throughout the world.

– During your trip, observe local guidelines such as mask-wearing and practice healthy habits.

– After a trip, closely monitor your health for seven days. In case one becomes ill with flu-like symptoms, immediately seek medical attention if they are severe.

For inquiries on travel insurance that covers repatriation and other measures to protect you during a pandemic, get it touch with us today.

11May

Rainy Season Diseases

Rain is associated with a throng of things, most of which are good.
So, naturally, the rainy season invigorates these good things such as: running in puddles, the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof that lulls you to sleep, coffees by the windowsill, and for the love-stricken, it’s the ultimate “cuddle weather”.

However, the rainy season brings more than the comfort hot cocoas and oversized sweatshirts.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ‘this is also the season for “seasonal” diseases. The quotation marks are there because these diseases are technically always present, however, because the conditions are more favourable in the rainy season, the risk of acquiring them is higher.
Here’s a list of diseases that you need to look out for in the season that keeps on pouring…diseases:

1) Dengue

Dengue is a mosquito-borne, fast-spreading, disease caused by the Flavivirus. It is one of the fastest-spreading diseases at present and, if left untreated, can lead to death.

In the Philippines, out of a total of 77,040 suspected cases, 328 deaths were reported in the first 20 weeks of 2019. Consequently, this makes it an urgent public concern. It is one of the most monitored diseases during the rainy season.

The cases of dengue increase during the rainy season because of the stagnant water that fills up make-shift or incidental “basins” such as pots or bottles which serve as a paradise for the virus-bearing mosquitoes. These areas act as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. If the area is unkempt or polluted, the happier the mosquitoes.

Further research for the cure for dengue is still underway, and definite
treatment for the diseases is still non-existent. The best way to handle a dengue patient is to bring them to a hospital for supportive care.

The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages early detection, awareness, and preventive measures to fight the spread of the disease. These preventive measures include cleaning the mosquito breeding sites, using mosquito repellents, and nets.

Furthermore, vaccination is encouraged. Aside from dengue, other vector-borne diseases to look out for during the rainy season are Malaria and Yellow fever. However, the incidence of the two is lower than that of Dengue.

2) Leptospirosis

An indirect disease associated with heavy downpour is Leptospirosis which is a bacterial disease caused by the spirochete Leptospira. It can be carried by a variety of animals such as rodents, dogs, livestock, and wildlife however, the poster boy of the disease are sewer rats.

The disease can be acquired when broken skin, just like in cases of lacerations or open wounds, is exposed to water or soil contaminated by the infected animal’s bodily fluids (urine, blood, saliva, etc.). This can also be ingested in cases wherein the water lines in domestic homes are contaminated.

Places, where there is a poor sewage system or sanitation, are prone to flooding. When there’s rain, there’s a flood, and that murky water is a mixture of animal urine and faeces. Hence, people who trudge the flood, especially those with wounds on their legs and feet, are prone to developing the disease.

If untreated, Leptospirosis will cause serious illnesses such as kidney or liver failure, meningitis, difficulty breathing, and bleeding.

Unlike Dengue, antibiotic therapy can be done to fight the disease, but early
detection is vital to the treatment. It is also stressed that prevention can be done by avoiding contact with contaminated water and soil by using appropriate, protective clothing. Prevention of rodent infestation by keeping your area clean is also highly recommended.

Other diseases that we should be vigilant for in cases of flood include typhoid fever, cholera, and hepatitis A.

If you’re travelling anywhere in Asia this rainy season, make sure you have the proper travel insurance cover to keep you protected from emergencies.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/exposure/hurricanes-leptospirosis.html

https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/detail/11-06-2019-dengue-increase-likely-
during-rainy-season-who-warns

https://www.who.int/hac/techguidance/ems/flood_cds/en/

14Apr

Hong Kong Federation of Insurance Urges You to Check Your Policies

With regard to the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus, the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) has provided the following information regarding various types of insurance you can get if you’re not covered yet.

Supplement your travel insurance policies if you’re planning to travel anywhere that hasn’t been affected by the flight bans in several countries.

We also recommend that you check your current policies if you’re covered. The actual coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of individual policy.

Medical Insurance

> Some insurance companies have announced that hospitalization/treatments prescribed for the Novel Coronavirus will be covered. If the insured person is diagnosed as suffering from Novel Coronavirus or is ordered mandatory quarantine, the insurance company will provide additional hospital cash protection. For customers taking out a new policy within a specified period of time, the waiting period for Novel Coronavirus will be waived.

> At the same time, some insurance companies have prioritized and simplified the outpatients and hospitalization claims diagnosed with the coronavirus.

> The above-extended coverage varies among insurance companies. Policyholders are advised to check with their respective insurance companies/intermediaries.

Employees’ Compensation Insurance

> Employees’ Compensation (EC) Insurance is statutory insurance. If an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, his / her employer is in general liable to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) and the common law.

> For example, if an employee suffers from a slip injury during work from home as arranged by the employer, he / she needs to prove that the injury is related to his/ her work. Otherwise, he / she may not be covered by the EC insurance. For common law damages, the employee must obtain proof that the accident was caused by the employer’s negligence.

> The Novel Coronavirus is not an occupational disease specified in the ECO. However, if an employee is infected with the Novel Coronavirus as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment as stipulated in the ECO, the employee can still claim for loss under this ordinance. Yet the final result is subject to the court’s judgment.

For any enquiries about the insurance policy, please contact the insurance company / intermediary directly.

Travel Insurance

> If the itinerary is cancelled due to restrictions on entry (such as refusal of entry or failure to obtain a visa), in general, it is not a named peril covered by the travel insurance. Passengers should apply to vehicle operators, such as airlines, for refunds of airfare (depending on the arrangements of the relevant organizations).

> If the insured person unfortunately contracts the Novel Coronavirus while he’s overseas, he can claim for the medical / hospitalization expenses. If the itinerary needs to be changed because of his health condition / medical treatment, the additional accommodation and transportation costs may also be covered.

> If the insured person unfortunately suffers from the Novel Coronavirus before the tour starts and cannot start the journey, he may apply for compensation on the tour cancellation.

As the products of different insurance companies vary, policyholders should pay attention to the terms and conditions of their own policy and should check with their insurance company / intermediary directly for enquiries.

29Mar

Infographic: Threats to Hong Kong’s Life Expectancy

Hong Kong is currently the country with the highest life expectancy in the world. Access to public health and healthy living is among the best worldwide, however, factors threaten to displace their ranking.

The infographic below discusses these factors.

13Mar

What If I’ve Booked My Flight? Covid-19 & Travel Insurance

As the coronavirus crisis grows, should you stay or should you go when you’ve already booked your flight?

 

Here are quick answers to your frequently asked questions:

Q: Should I still travel?

A: The advice is against ‘all but essential’ travel. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against travel to a number of areas due to the ongoing outbreak. Please check the UK FCO website for country-specific information.

Be aware that there may be enhanced screening/monitoring at entry and exit ports. In some countries, you may also be required to self-isolate for a set period, even if you do not have symptoms.

Q: Can I get a refund if my flight is cancelled?

A: Flights to affected areas are being cancelled based on FCO advice and some are solely due to a downturn in bookings.

If you booked directly with an airline, you are eligible for a refund or to rebook free of charge (although you may still have to pay any fare difference incurred). If you booked through a third party, you will need to contact them to find out your options.

Q: I’m apprehensive to travel but I’d like to push through. What does my insurance cover?

A: Airlines, tour companies and insurance providers have no obligation to offer refunds based on panic.

So if you decide not to travel to anywhere outside the FCO travel risk list, you are unlikely to get refunded. It’s worth checking because some providers may allow you to move the booking as an incentive or an act of goodwill.

Q: Am I insured for cancellations?

A: Contact your airline, hotel or tour operator to check their policy.

If they can’t help, you will most likely need to have travel disruption cover included in your policy if you plan on travelling and getting insurance.

AA, Co-op, LV and Virgin Money all have policies that will cover for cancellations based on FCO advice, and hotel costs should your flight be cancelled. You also have protection using a credit card if your booking was more than £100. 

Q: What if I end up in quarantine?

A: Comply with the rules of local authorities, which will probably involve a 14-day quarantine. It is unclear who will cover the cost of your journey home: either the UK Government could arrange a rescue flight or your travel insurance could cover your return. Check your policy provider.

Most insurance policies will cover medical costs should you become ill overseas but make sure you check the small print. If you’ve booked and simply don’t want to travel because you’re worried, you won’t have grounds for a refund.

Upon Your Return

Returned travellers who feel unwell with either a high temperature or new continuous cough, need to self-isolate for 7 days, see the Public Health England stay at home guidance. There is no need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. However, if symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, returned travellers in England, should contact NHS 111 online. Those without internet access, should call NHS 111 and for a medical emergency dial 999. In Wales and Northern Ireland contact NHS 111. In Scotland, phone your GP or NHS24 (111).

2Mar

Common Expat Concerns After Arriving in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities for expats. There is also a large expat community providing an easier transition for people who move to the country as singles or with their families.

The biggest adjustment is often the language barrier but on top of that, there are other common concerns felt by expat. InterNations conducted a survey on November 2017 and these were identified as the most common concerns:

SOCIAL CIRCLES

Missing one’s friends is normal. But there is an expansive network of expats whom one can treat as their close support group. There are also numerous interest groups and organizations to join. In addition, social networks and instant messaging has made it easy to stay in touch with people back home. Setting schedules to chat or video call helps make the distance seem smaller.

Business culture with coworkers also falls under this category as Hong Kongers are known to be very serious workers. The most important thing to remember is to remain open and flexible with the local culture because it’s you who needs to adjust. You’ll find that the experience is more pleasant than what you may have initially assumed. One way to initiate social interactions with coworkers is adding them as a professional connection through LinkedIn. This establishes a professional yet approachable means of reaching out to people you work with.

GIVING BIRTH IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong has one of the top medical facilities in the Asia. Having a child is not so much the issue but rather making the choice of giving birth in a public hospital or subscribing to private health care.

Having health insurance that can cover $100,000 or more for prenatal and postnatal care implies checking into a private hospital so you can choose your own obstetrician, have a private room, and get regular check-ups with the same doctor. This is not to say that public healthcare is bad in Hong Kong. In fact, public medical facilities are quite advanced, however, one gains greater control over what happens to you with insurance and private care.

Village Insurance Direct is one of the few companies that help expats find comprehensive health insurance in Hong Kong.

GETTING A NANNY OR DOMESTIC HELPER

Expat parents don’t have to necessarily get a domestic helper or nanny but it is one of the normal practices for dual earning households. Having a nanny to take care of the kids instead of leaving them in a day care is preferred by more expats.

We’ve written a blog which provides useful information on the process and expectations when getting a domestic helper. You can read it here: Expat Guide: Hiring a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

Note that employers are required to get insurance for domestic helpers. We also provide help in finding cheap insurance for expats.

IS IT WORTH LEARNING MANDARIN/CHINESE?

Taking on the challenge of learning a new language to better communicate with coworkers and new friends is worth the time and effort. Not only will it make life easier but you’ll find that you’ll be more open to exploring other activities outside of your comfort zone.

There are tutors that are available on an hourly basis. One can easily get an online tutor and conduct the lessons online to save the time of going to class. But learning is different for everyone so we recommend trying both to see which works for you.

Need help in finding personal, family, or business insurance? Contact Village Insurance for enquiries.