Second opinions, you, and your insurance: Getting it right

second opinions

If you’re like us, you live in a world where time is the most precious resource around. We take care to fill every moment with our days to the point that we even plan out specific windows with which to relax, and then we’re right back to the grind. Perhaps because of this, getting injured or sick is more of a distressing event now than ever before.

The idea of visiting the doctor or hospital, or even worse, being bedridden for a period of days is enough to send us into full on freak out mode. If our timeline is thrown off, it can feel like our whole lives have been thrown for a loop, and yet, inevitably, we will get sick or injured at some point; most likely numerous times. We’re not superheroes, after all, as much as we like to tell ourselves that we are.

Still, when we are put out of commission, so to speak, we nevertheless want to be able to get back to our thriving, dynamic selves as soon as possible. This is why the thought of being misdiagnosed by a trusted medical professional can be so off-putting, as well as why it can be so valuable to seek a second opinion when it comes to matters related to our health. However, many people never bother to seek a second opinion, sometimes to their own detriment.

Here, Pacific Prime discusses seeking second opinions, why it can be so valuable, and how second opinions relate to health insurance providers.

Why don’t people get second opinions?

Are people really not seeking second opinions? Largely, the answer is no. Using the United States as an example, research has shown that anywhere between 50-70% of the American population never bothers to seek out a second opinion in medical matters, or even do independent research on their condition.

To be sure, not every condition or ailment that occurs will need a second opinion in order to get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan, so it is fine in many cases to not seek additional consultation. However, the more serious the issue, the more relevant it may be to get a second opinion. In these instances, there are many reasons that one is not sought, and here are just a few:

  • Confidence in a trusted medical professional: In countries and healthcare systems where family doctors are common, relationships can be formed with medical professionals over a lifetime. In these cases, a person may just trust their doctor so much that it would never dawn on them to seek advice elsewhere. Feelings of guilt or fear can even develop at the thought of seeing another doctor.
  • Belief in the authority of doctors: Even in the absence of a family doctor, some people simply feel the medical professionals must be right. After all, they’re professional doctors, right? It should always be remembered that doctors are human beings that also make mistakes, and that two different medical professionals may diagnose and treat the same condition in different ways.
  • Time concerns: Many times people are in a hurry to address their medical problems, and want to get treatment underway immediately in order to get back to full health as quickly as possible. Patients should not be so hasty, though, as rushed medical care can result in a misdiagnosis that could lead to problematic or even disastrous health outcomes.
  • The doctors came recommended: Sometimes a patient may have a concern that, if they seek a second opinion, not only might they offend the doctor, but also the person who referred them to the doctor. However, when it comes to health matters, it’s important that we don’t let something like worrying about what someone else might think jeopardize our health.

Reasons to get second opinions

Having identified some of the reasons people may not seek a second opinion when they should, let’s now look at the real benefits of getting a second opinion:

  • Ensuring the correct diagnosis: Again using the United States as an example, in 2012 it was shown that around 12 million Americans get misdiagnosed every year, and that anywhere from 5% to 28%  to 40% of doctor visits featured diagnostic errors, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis. Even at the lower end of these figures, it’s understandable why anyone would seek a second opinion to make sure that what a doctor tells them they have is what they actually have.
  • Avoiding risky treatment: The right diagnosis and treatment are critically important to patient care, and yet doctors will frequently vary greatly in how they feel they should approach treating a given condition. If you ever receive a treatment plan that involves a significant amount of risk to you, or that you are uncomfortable with for any reason, you should certainly seek out a second opinion and make your concerns known. There is a reasonable chance that another medical professional may have a course of treatment that carries less risk, or that addresses your concerns.
  • Treatment plans really do differ between doctors: It has been reported that, in cases where a second medical opinion is sought, only a low percentage of diagnoses may change, but up to 90% of treatment recommendations will differ from those of the first physician consulted.
  • Second opinions are easier to get than ever before: Are you familiar with telemedicine? Well, if not, it refers to medical consultations that are performed online via teleconferencing services like Skype. This practice is becoming more and more common, and it can allow you to get a second opinion right from your home with minimal time or effort expended. If you do end up getting a second opinion with telemedicine, just be sure that the consulting doctor has access to all of your relevant medical records, as they will not be able to perform any tests on you over an electronic device.
  • An improved bottom line: If you are an employer or have a business that provides health insurance plans for your employees, you would do well to make sure that medical second opinions are utilized regularly. This is because second opinions can oftentimes lead to surgical cost savings, resulting in group health insurance plan savings, as well as other long term benefits, including improved productivity, and reduced absenteeism and disability claims due to prolonged recovery times.
  • Peace of mind: Just think about it. If you get a single diagnosis and treatment plan, there may always be a modicum of doubt in the back of your mind that your doctor got it completely right. However, if you have a second, unaffiliated doctor confirm everything that the first doctor told you, that doubt will most likely vanish.

Second opinions and health insurance plans

Speaking of peace of mind, when talking about medical treatment, the only way to have full peace of mind is to make sure that you do not have to worry about the costs of treatment. Of course, the best way to ensure that such costs are covered is to have a private health insurance plan in place. How do health insurance plans interact with second opinions though?

To be clear here, most health insurance providers will provide coverage for second opinions. This is due to the fact that it oftentimes makes good financial sense for the insurer, in addition to the improved health outcomes for a policyholder that can come with a second opinion. In fact, due to the real benefits inherent to second opinions, some health insurance providers or plans will make obtaining a second opinion mandatory in certain situations. Situations where this will apply mostly involve major surgical procedures or other expensive treatments.

If you have any questions about your health insurance plan and how second opinions fit into it, contact the helpful insurance experts at Pacific Prime today! They are available to give you answers, and even have a look at your current policy to let you know the finer points of what it will and will not cover. They can also compare it to other plans on the market and give you free quotes if you find one that is more appropriate for your medical needs.

Announcing Pacific Prime Dubai

Pacific Prime Dubai example

After many years of working in Dubai via a partnership in the Emirate, Pacific Prime is proud to announce the opening of our very own office! Now fully licensed as a broker of both local and international health insurance inside of Dubai, this new office will be branded as Pacific Prime Dubai. The office will be supported by over 100 staff members who will be providing all manners of sales, support and administrative services to individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations.

Insurance plans on offer through Pacific Prime Dubai include:
● DHA compliant health insurance plans
● Maternity insurance
● Family medical insurance
● Group medical insurance
● Travel insurance
● And more

Pacific Prime Dubai Corporate Sales Director Colin Ward said of the announcement, “We are both excited and proud to be operating on our own with the establishment of Pacific Prime Dubai. Our parent company has already been successful with a unique service offering that is unmatched by any of our competitors, so we know that we have a lot to offer people in the Emirate. We welcome everyone in the area to contact us and find out how we can simplify insurance for them.”

Pacific Prime has been monitoring the market closely ever since the DHA’s announcement of the new mandatory health insurance scheme, and Pacific Prime Dubai is well versed in local regulations. Emiratis and expats in Dubai both can take advantage of knowledgeable, professional insurance advisers that can provide them with unbiased insurance advice, price comparisons featuring plans from major compliant Dubai insurers, free price quotations, and answers to all of their questions.

View the new website here. Or, if you are in Dubai, feel free to contact our team for a quote!

Employee Benefits Plans: Important things to remember when structuring

employee benefits plans

If you are a Human Resources professional, or otherwise administer your company’s group health insurance plan, it can oftentimes feel overwhelming. It’s hard enough to keep up for those that have been dealing with employee health insurance for years. This group no doubt already has learned many of the ins and outs of obtaining, managing and renewing a company health insurance policy. However, those that are newer to this area could likely use some input on navigating the waters on the seas of employee benefits plans. Here, Pacific Prime will look at the ways in which businesses are structuring health insurance, employee benefits and wellness plans successfully.

Blending benefits

At Pacific Prime we provide group health insurance solutions for thousands of different organizations, and we are always looking out for hot trends in the world of group health insurance so that we can use our specific members’ experiences to help the entire community we serve.

With this in mind, we have noticed that it is becoming increasingly common to see more variety in the employee benefits plans provided by our members to their staff. Yes, comprehensive insurance is the norm, and in many cases – especially with expatriate employees – entire families are being covered by a company plan, but plans today can include so much more.

Now you can find that forward-thinking companies are able to not only make themselves more attractive to new hires, but also improve the morale of current employees by including benefits like wellness plans, dental and vision coverage, employee assistance programs, both short term and long term disability insurance, and more fringe benefits. From this point, companies are able to keep tabs on which benefits are more and less popular with employees, and make subsequent decisions about where to focus their employee benefit budget.

There are even newer types of plans that will allow for ‘flexible benefits’, meaning that employees can choose which benefits they would prefer to have from a list of what is available to them.

Placing a focus on prevention

While many healthcare systems and insurance plans around the world are focused on the reactionary treatment of acute health problems at hospitals after they have already occurred, more recently people, governments, and healthcare systems have taken aim at preventive medicine to a greater degree.

This is where benefits such as nutrition and healthy living seminars come into play. Companies will actually have expert speakers come in to inform employees about how they can live happier, healthier lives, and thereby avoid health problems that might not develop until years or even decades into the future. As well, gym memberships are being included in wellness programs in order to keep employees fit and healthy.

Emphasis on education

Quite similarly to the previous point, employers are finding that there is so much more to properly taking care of their employees than just healthcare. However, this is a world where there are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns; which is all a way of saying that sometimes people don’t know the slightest thing about a topic that could really help them and their families when it comes to healthy living.

For example, we have come across members that saw employees having both physical and mental health issues as the result of stress, both inside and outside of work. A bit of digging revealed that some of these employees were constantly worrying about financial issues, and really didn’t know how to go about addressing them.

In this instance, the company decided it prudent to bring in a financial consultant to present to all employees of the company on the basics of financial planning, and to work more closely with employees that felt they may additional counseling.

Data diving

Certainly there is much more to employee benefits plans than just what employees can see. If you work in HR, you know that keeping on top of just a group health insurance plan is a never ending battle. However, to be clear, it is the companies that are putting the most effort into analyzing plan data that are having the easiest time with plan renewal, negotiation, and management.

Is your company actually getting the most out of its health insurance and employee benefits plans? Only proper data analysis can reveal the true answer. It’s important to examine the ratio of how much you are paying versus how much your plan is being used. Believe it or not, there are actually times where we find that a company is seriously overpaying for the benefits it provides to its employees. In such cases, with proper ongoing data collection, our advisers are able to recommend specific benefits that the employer can reduce benefits, or even cut outright, with very minimal effects on employees. If they don’t use it, lose it!

Expecting increases

If you have dealt with health insurance in any capacity, you most likely have realized that prices tend to increase on an annual basis. There are specific occasions in which this isn’t true, but by and large it is.

Claims data can reveal a lot about whether or not increased premiums are warranted or not. For example, there are times our members will have their insurance provider proclaim that premiums will need to be raised significantly on the policy due to its heavy usage in a given year.

Fortunately, Pacific Prime is there to analyze claim data on their behalf. Oftentimes we are then able to highlight anomalies and expensive one-time procedures that will artificially inflate the costs to insurers during a short time frame. By highlighting these instances and projecting that subsequent years will not see the same trends, Pacific Prime has been able to renegotiate premium increases with insurers, and our members have seen significant savings as a result.

Employee benefits plans through a broker

Now, of course, we may be a bit biased on this point, but we wholeheartedly feel that a company’s best way to go about creating their employee benefits plans is to start out by partnering with a knowledgeable insurance broker, like Pacific Prime.

As an insurance intermediary, we are an impartial third party that works on your behalf, and not the insurance company’s. Furthermore, Pacific Prime provides added value as part of our basic service that truly helps us stand out versus the competition, including the types of claims, data analysis, renewal, and negotiation support the likes of which is alluded to above.

To find out more about how Pacific Prime can help your company ensure its has the very best possible employee benefit and group health insurance plan for its needs, contact us today! We can provide your company with a dedicated team that will be happy to start out by providing you with a free plan comparison and price quote.

Silver Tsunami Survival: Aging Populations and Your Business

silver tsunami

Over the past few decades the world has seen a trend that is both good and bad: People are living longer than ever before. This mass aging in many developing and developed countries is often referred to as the ‘silver tsunami’ due to its far-reaching and unavoidable nature. “How could this be a bad thing?” you might ask. Obviously, everybody wants to live as long as possible, however this trend has been having effects on sectors of our everyday lives that can be considered negative. The negative effect of the silver tsunami that this article will focus on is the impact it has on healthcare systems and corporate health insurance around the world, and in Asia in particular.

The silver tsunami and healthcare systems

Healthcare systems are already burdened today, but this is likely to get worse in the not-so-distant future as the silver tsunami puts pressure on the likes of which has never been seen before. Virtually all healthcare markets in Asia will likely require an increase in their number of hospital beds. At least 25% are needed, if not more, and that is just to maintain current levels of occupancy, which are already too high in some areas. However, with the anticipated continuing shift of focus from local to international patients, and the resulting increase in demand from medical tourists, some nations will likely need this increase in available beds to be more like 100-250%.

There are certainly many perils stemming from modern living. As we have seen from the experiences of numerous developing and developed countries, there is a whole array of common societal and physical ills that come along with it. This includes poor diet and nutrition, sedentary living and lack of exercise, associated weight gain, and an increased prevalence of chronic conditions and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In fact, the rate of increase in the occurrence of NCDs has been rising in developing Asia at over twice the rate see in Europe and America, due to the quick advancement and shifting demographics in the region. Because of this, it is projected that this figure will be 21% in Southeast Asia, while developed Western markets will see instances of NCD-related deaths rise by 2% from 2008 to 2030.

To be sure, this would essentially constitute a serious health crisis in the region. This is relevant for elderly people, as they are the ones most likely to develop many NCDs.

The tsunami lands in Asia

Why the silver tsunami could potentially be especially devastating in Asia is due to the landscape of healthcare systems here.  Many countries in the region have placed an emphasis on hospitals and medicine that treats acute health problems, as opposed to preventive care. This makes these countries less prepared to promote the lifestyle changes among their populations that will need to be instituted in order to reduce the threat posed to healthcare systems by the silver tsunami.

This is because, in many cases, the kinds of non-communicable diseases that older people struggle with are difficult to treat after they have developed, whereas implementing lifestyle changes years prior to diagnosis could have stopped the disease from developing entirely. Therefore, if a person is going to the hospital to have an NCD treated, it may already be too late to achieve the best possible outcome.

This is why Asian governmental health organizations should be shifting their focus to programs that emphasize preventive care. Yet, even the most developed healthcare systems in the region (such as those found in Hong Kong and Singapore) currently see less than 50% of their citizens utilizing a primary care physician for their care, instead opting to rely on whichever doctors happen to be staffing local hospitals and emergency departments, as well as specialists rather than GPs.

A tsunami of costs

Governments seem to continue to focus more on subsidizing care for acute conditions, and less on incentives for using preventive care. For example, it is estimated that, in Hong Kong, almost 40% of total admissions to local hospitals could have been avoided through improved primary care efforts.

So what does this mean with regards to the costs of health care and health insurance as we proceed into the future? Let’s examine medical costs first. If you have been paying attention to medical costs in the same nations where the silver tsunami is becoming a major issue, you will no doubt see that the real costs of medical care are rising steadily. While there are many factors at play when medical costs rise, when it comes to caring for the elderly, simple supply and demand is a huge one.

Basically, the longer people live, the more likely they are to need medical treatment, whether for acute or chronic conditions. Since average ages have been rising steadily in recent years, and the number of elderly people has been consistently growing, there has been more and more demand for medical services. This, in turn, means that care providers raise their prices due to increased demand, making having medical insurance is more important to have than ever before.

While many countries do have publicly subsidized healthcare to take care of their citizenry, it is also true that private hospitals are the place to go for the best quality healthcare. So is it true that the costs of care in private hospitals are across the board higher those found in public medical facilities. Since the care in these costly private hospitals is not usually subsidized, receiving the best care without breaking the bank will require a quality comprehensive medical insurance policy.

The silver tsunami and your company’s health insurance

Fortunately for people that are still employed later on in life, they may have access to a group health insurance plan through their employer that will provide coverage for their medical costs. Unfortunately for the employers, they are the ones that will have to deal with the increased cost of health insurance that results from rising medical costs. However, there are steps that your business can take to address this.

Firstly, unlike the governmental health organizations mentioned previously, your company can take a team-based approach to healthcare in the hopes of managing your employees’ lifestyle, thereby leading to better health outcomes later in life. By implementing a wellness program, organizing healthy living seminars, promoting good nutrition, or a whole host of other programs, your business can not only end up saving money on health insurance policies in the long term, but also become very attractive to top tier applicants when seeking out new talent.

Another way to control your medical costs in the long term despite the silver tsunami effect is to partner with an experienced insurance broker that has an intimate knowledge of your local health insurance landscape. Pacific Prime is just such a partner. In fact, many unique aspects of our service make us a preferred partner for over 3,000 businesses and other organizations all over the world.

These include providing a comprehensive comparison of available insurers so that you can identify your best options, examining your company’s claims data to spot trends, negotiating with insurers at renewal time to help keep costs down, and generally making sure that your employees and your company are getting the most from your group health insurance.

To find out more about your best options for group health insurance, and how best to survive the silver tsunami, contact the professionals at Pacific Prime today for a free quote! We can answer all of your questions, analyze where you current plan may be falling short, and recommend new plans that suit your specific needs.

Global health insurance provider Aetna buys Bupa Thailand

global health insurance provider Aetna acquires Bupa Thailand

At the end of July, leading global health insurance provider Aetna Inc. announced that it had acquired UK-based Bupa Group’s Thai business, Bupa Thailand, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition allows Aetna to significantly increase its presence in the Asia region, and is key to their strategy to go ‘broader and deeper’ into local healthcare markets around the world. Shortly after the acquisition was announced, Aetna also outlined the launch of its new service approach for large organizations with over 1,500 staff overseas.

Read on to learn more about Aetna’s acquisition of Bupa Thailand, and to find out about the global health insurance provider’s new service approach for international corporations.

About Aetna’s acquisition of Bupa Thailand

Aetna’s latest acquisition strategically combines the strengths and deep reach of both insurance companies to provide enhanced offerings to health insurance customers in Thailand. Bupa Thailand’s in-depth knowledge of the Thai healthcare market, system and culture, coupled with Aetna’s vast product portfolio and global health insurance expertise, will ultimately result in broader insurance product offerings in Thailand, as well as build on Bupa Thailand’s exceptional service.

“This is a significant and exciting expansion for Aetna in Asia, and clearly demonstrates our commitment to investment and growth in the region and globally”, commented Richard di Benedetto, President of US-headquartered Aetna International. “Thailand is an important market for us, with increasing local wealth driving greater adoption of health insurance.  Aetna’s wide product portfolio, together with an excellent talent and knowledge base transferring from Bupa, will put us in a very strong position in the local market.”

Established more than 30 years ago, Bupa is one of Thailand’s top health insurance providers, with over 300,000 members and a network of over 400 medical providers in the region. For a short period of time, Bupa Thailand will continue operating under the Bupa brand name before rebranding as Aetna.

Thailand: A lucrative market for global health insurance providers

As one of Asia’s most lucrative markets, Thailand continues to attract the attention of world leading global health insurance providers, many of whom are keen on establishing and growing their presence in the region. One key reason for this is continual economic growth in Thailand, which has resulted in a wealthier population.

According to our Cost of International Health Insurance – 2017 report, it is anticipated that the middle class population in Thailand will exceed 200 million by 2020. Not only are we witnessing a growing middle class, but the number of High Net Worth (HNW) individuals is also increasing. For example, the number of HNW in the region increased from 49,800 in 2009 to 95,700 in 2015. This increase in wealth has led to a growth in demand for both local and global health insurance products in Thailand.

Aetna’s new service approach for international corporations

Shortly after announcing its latest acquisition in Thailand, global health insurance provider Aetna also outlined the details of its new service approach for international corporations with over 1,500 staff overseas. Following detailed health insurance broker consultations, the company has developed a fully flexible solution designed to meet the corporate insurance needs of large companies with international operations.

Damian Lenihan, Executive Director of UK Distribution at Aetna International, outlined the new service approach in this article by Health Insurance & Protection Daily. According to Lenihan, the proposition consists of the following four main pillars:

Member support

By focusing on member needs, employer-provided health insurance policies should cover both core benefits (like inpatient and outpatient treatment), as well as additional health and wellness benefits (like dental insurance), as per customer requirements.

Service delivery

Everything from language needs to claims processing requirements should be tailored around member specifications. Aetna will also be able to provide solutions to clients looking to self-insure.

Full program transparency

“Granular analytical data and bespoke management reporting” are instrumental in helping employers understand their group policy’s medical costs, and where savings are made.

Partnership approach

By adopting a partnership approach, Aetna focuses on providing clients with a fully resourced and responsive team, who are able to deal with and handle every eventuality.

Pacific Prime: Your global health insurance specialist

With almost two decades of experience advising and matching clients with the best global health insurance solutions, Pacific Prime has developed longstanding partnerships with the world’s largest and most reputable insurers, including Aetna, Bupa, Liberty Insurance, Cigna, MSIG, and many more. As we are not beholden to one particular insurer, you can rest assured that we will find you a local, regional, or global health insurance plan that provides the best value for your specific needs and budget requirements.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about your insurance options, be sure to get in touch with one of our helpful advisors today. Those looking for further information on corporate insurance solutions can also check out our new online resource for corporate clients here.

Cyber attacks vs natural disasters: Which cost more?

cyber attacks

It’s a sad thing to say, but there have been a plethora of storms happening recently. At the time of this article’s writing, much of Houston, Texas is underwater. Hurricane Harvey barreled down upon the city, dumping over 11 trillion gallons of water on the area and causing widespread flooding that has devastated the local community. We at Pacific Prime certainly wish Houston a speedy recovery from Hurricane Harvey, but as insurance professionals, we know that once a modicum of normality is restored to Houston and the surrounding area, insurance companies are going to be counting their losses and comparing this disaster to those in history. To be sure, hurricanes and typhoons are incredibly destructive and costly occurrences, but a new report from Lloyd’s puts these massive natural disasters on par with a danger that is not as much in the forefront of the average person’s mind: cyber attacks. Here, we discuss the report’s findings and examine the potential magnitude of large scale cyber attacks with regards to potential financial losses.

Superstorms cause super losses

In Pacific Prime’s headquarters city of Hong Kong, there were recently two separate typhoons in a single week. The first of which, Typhoon Hato, has been estimated to have caused about USD1 billion in damages. Being a city that is strongly constructed out of steel and concrete, this is actually not nearly as high a figure as it could have been, even though Hato was one of the strongest storms in Hong Kong’s recorded history. Hato’s damage to Macau, which was substantially more affected by the storm, remain unclear at this point.

Unlike Hong Kong, the homes in Houston, which are generally constructed from wood and other materials that are lighter than what is usually found in a Hong Kong skyscraper, are less able to resist the forces of a large storm. Couple this with the flooding that occurred and the fact that so many more homes are on ground level, and you have a recipe for major damage to property and financial loss. Of course US insurers are highly concerned with how much Hurricane Harvey will cost them in the end. Preliminary reports suggest that losses may come in at around the same amount incurred following landfall of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which ended up being the United State’s most costly natural disaster in recorded history.

Hurricane Katrina was a somewhat similar situation to what is happening in Houston, as a powerful storm resulted in the flooding of New Orleans, Louisiana and surrounding areas. The damage caused by Katrina was to the tune of USD108 billion! As high as this number seems, it is very possible that Hurricane Harvey will create a similar loss figure.

A digital perfect storm?

Considering that all of the above mentioned losses come from huge natural disasters that affect millions of lives in a single go, it might be hard to believe that a single cyber attack could possibly result in as much damage (monetarily, at least). So if this Lloyd’s analysis is true, how exactly would a cyber attack go about doing as much damage as Hurricane Harvey has done to Houston? Lloyd’s wanted to get the point across that cyber crimes, while they may not get the attention in the media that natural disasters do, can affect people and businesses on a very large scale.

As Lloyd’s reports, a hack which takes down a single cloud service provider could see cumulative losses up to USD121 billion, while a virus affecting computer operating systems for many global businesses could come with a USD28.7 billion price tag. What’s more, while Cyber Insurance is gaining popularity around the world, in the event that such a cyber attack were to happen, a large majority of those affected would have zero insurance coverage. So, depending on the degree to which a business is affected, a large loss due to a cyber attack could be back breaking. Even if money lost to hackers is not a major worry, the damage that can be done to a company’s image or reputation can be irreparable. This is because clients and partners can begin to question the security a company has in place, and may think that they are exposing themselves to too much risk.

From an insurer’s point of view, cyber attacks can be just as much of a headache as a natural disaster merely due to the logistics of addressing claims related to large scale attacks. The more people that are affected, the more claims that are made, the more manpower that must be put forth by insurance company staff. Beyond reimbursing damages to policyholders, this is an additional costs that insurers must consider. Of course, not having to send out agents to assess physical damage is certainly a savings for insurers servicing Cyber Insurance policies versus property insurance policies.

Cyber attacks case in point

One need not search too far back in history to find a cyber attack that caused huge losses for businesses and individuals around the world. As recently as May of 2017, a widespread ransomware known as WannaCry began infesting the systems of Windows operating system users around the world. Exploiting a security flaw that had already been known and addressed by many through Windows updates, the virus made its way into unprotected computers and held all the data on them for ransom. If users did not pay the amount stipulated by the software, it would erase all data on an infected computer.

This ransomware attack alone resulted in a total global loss of approximately USD4 billion.

Preventing damage with Cyber Insurance

Much like no amount of Home Insurance can stop a hurricane from wreaking havoc upon a person’s belongings, Cyber Insurance is not a fail safe against being hacked, having computer systems become infected with a virus, or data loss or theft. Ensuring computer systems and data security is something that every business needs to work closely on with their IT team. However, where Home Insurance can repair or replace damage to one’s belongings, Cyber Insurance can go a long way towards protecting a business and ensuring that it weathers the proverbial ‘storm’ of cyber attacks.

Cyber Insurance provides policyholders with different levels of protection. First off, liability for the loss of others’ data is addressed with payouts up to maximum amount, so the insured will likely be protected from all litigation as long as their maximums are set to an appropriate level.

Another way in which Cyber Insurance can provide protection is by making up for the lost revenue that may occur due to a stoppage of business. If, for instance, a cyber attack caused lengthy downtime while computer systems are rebuilt, Cyber Insurance can help to pay for overhead costs that may become burdensome on a business without a continuous flow of income coming in.

Additionally, Cyber Insurance will address costs related to actually restoring computer systems and lost electronic data.

Finally, many will no doubt want to attempt to catch the individual(s) responsible for hurting their business, so Cyber Insurance can provide benefits to go toward investigation of cyber attacks in the hopes of identifying perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

Of course, like cyber attacks themselves, Cyber Insurance is changing and evolving all the time. For more information on Cyber Insurance, contact the knowledgeable insurance professionals at Pacific Prime today! They can answer all of your questions and get your started on the path towards peace of mind both personally and professionally.

Pacific Prime launches new corporate section for global businesses

corporate section

Never ones to rest on our laurels, Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers is proud to announce the launch of a new section on our website, PacificPrime.com! The new corporate section is an enhanced one-stop shop for all business insurance needs! If your company has any questions related to group health insurance, international health insurance or any other related topic, be sure to check out this new section, the homepage of which can be found here.

So what’s on offer? Let’s find out:

Insurance solutions

What kind of group health insurance coverages are out there? In the insurance solutions portion of the corporate section, find out about the various facets of group health insurance plans and why you might want to consider each for your employees. Medical insurance does not just mean coverage for medicine, hospital stays and surgeries. There are a number of other benefits that you can consider. This includes dental, vision, wellness, maternity, disability and life insurances, and more!

Outside of these above solutions that will address the needs of your employees, Pacific Prime also provides in this section information about some of the business-specific benefits that every company should know about, including:

  • Property insurance
  • Liability insurances
  • Group travel and accident insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Business interruption insurance

With information on comprehensive medical and corporate insurance solutions, this page is a great place to start when searching for group and corporate insurance information.

Our approach

Lots of companies sell insurance for businesses and other organizations. Where Pacific Prime really shines, however, is in our methodology. With over 17 years of insurance broking experience, we now have the various processes that our members use down pat. Not only in assisting with making claims, but also when going through other planning and analysis. Not only do we provide policy broking service, but also consulting and plan administration, which you may not get with other brokers.

Even our closest competitors cannot match the technological advantages that Pacific Prime provides, including:

  • Census and premium management/accounting tools
  • A claims management tool
  • A document management platform

These in-house systems are all yours to take advantage of at zero additional costs versus going with an insurance company directly.  Check the ‘Our approach’ page to start to find out about why Pacific Prime will be your preferred choice.

Partners

As a corporate insurance broker, everything that we offer is one consideration, but it’s still only one piece of the equation where your insurance needs are concerned. We work with a good number of the world’s best global insurance companies, as well as the most highly regarded local insurers in the countries where our offices are located. Our ‘Partners’ section is the place where corporate members can go to find out more about our relationships with insurers.

Beyond the insurers we work with, you can also find out about some of the prestigious members that have made Pacific Prime their choice for group health and corporate insurance benefits. Learn some of the industries that we have the most experience with, such as professional service firms and schools. Then dig a little deeper to find out how our experience translates to advantages for our members when it comes to negotiating plans with insurers at renewal time or analyzing claims data.

Corporate section resources

The last part of the corporate section to mention is our resources page. Here, for corporate members that like to stay up to date on the latest in international insurance data, Pacific Prime regularly publishes reports related to various important industry trends including the cost of health insurance, international medical insurance inflation, and industry trends. Want to know how insurance in the countries in which your organization operates compares to policies found in other areas? Look no further!

Purchasing corporate insurance is no small decision. Pacific Prime recognizes this and wants to make sure that you are delivered the plan which best fits your needs, at a value that fits your budget. We have created the new corporate section to give a great introduction to what we can offer you, but there really is no better way to figure that out today than to contact us! Do so now and get advice directly from one of our insurance advisors. They can provide you with a plan comparison and free quote.

Health insurance claims: Should you submit them on your own?

health insurance claims

Have you ever had to make health insurance claims on your own? If so, then you likely know how much of a hassle the process of being reimbursed by your insurer can be. If not, then you have a great opportunity to learn about making health insurance claims by checking out Pacific Prime’s new infographic!

‘The Claim Train’ infographic and your health insurance claims

When it comes time to make a claim with your insurance company, in the absence of direct billing you basically have two options for being reimbursed for medical expenses. The first of these is to handle the claim on your own, which will leave you to deal with the insurance company on your own. The other option is to utilize an insurance broker like Pacific Prime. Using a broker has numerous possible benefits that you can find out more about by reading the infographic. In the end, the goal of the infographic is to express the differences among these two claims processes and allow the reader to decide for themselves which method for processing a claim is right for them.

Click here to read ‘The Claim Train’ infographic!

About Pacific Prime Guides

Home to our various infographics, guides and reports, PacificPrime.com’s Guides section is your home for insurance information made for a number of different audiences, be it our members, un-insured individuals, corporations, human resources managers or insurance industry professionals. This section has a little something for everyone:

  • For those new to the ins and outs of insurance, our infographics are great places to learn the basics in a visually appealing way that will aid in achieving full comprehension of important insurance terms and features.
  • Pacific Prime publishes annual reports that are read by insurance professionals around the globe on topics relevant to the international insurance market. These include the Cost of Health Insurance Report, the International Private Medical Insurance Inflation Report, and the Medical Insurance Trends report.
  • Our various regional websites also have guides that are specific to each location. These guides provide solid background information for consumers on topics including maternity insurance, IVF treatment, public and private hospitals, and top-up insurance.

Click here to visit our Prime Guides page!

Or click below for guides for you specific country:
China
Hong Kong
Singapore

Pacific Prime joins Worldwide Broker Network

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HONG KONG – Leading insurance intermediary Pacific Prime has just been announced as the newest Asia Pacific Region member of the Worldwide Broker Network ™ (WBN), a global network of commercial insurance brokers and employee benefits consultants.

Connecting with more than 100 firms across six continents, Pacific Prime is now in a better position than ever to support its clients with the same high standard of customer service it delivers now. Becoming a Worldwide Broker Network member gives the Hong Kong-based intermediary access to a much wider network of leading brokers than before, which will help to support Pacific Prime in providing client-centric solutions.

“Ultimately, it’s about expanding our reach and services for the good of our clients.” says Pacific Prime CEO, Neil Raymond. From its beginnings in Hong Kong, Raymond has grown the company to include 400 staff across seven offices.  “The privilege of joining such a comprehensive organization of brokers is one that supports our client-centric focus and we look forward to offering the WBN our 17 years’ experience in the Asia Pacific region.”

WBN Chief Executive, Francie Starnes, has welcomed Pacific Prime’s membership. “Pacific Prime is bolstering the representation of WBN in the Asia region, which is a critical and growing market for our network. We welcome this expansion of client based services to our members, and look forward to adding Pacific Prime’s expertise to the expansive network.”

The WBN boasts local knowledge and experience through its global network, made up exclusively of top quartile firms that are independently owned and managed. It encourages cross-border collaboration and operates under a member-to-member accountability model that promotes quality service whilst still maintaining the independence of its member firms.

Global Director of Corporate Accounts at Pacific Prime, Pierre de Mirman, will be the primary contact for all Employee Benefits and Property & Casualty opportunities. Working with the WBN to meet membership standards, de Mirman says his team are keen to utilize the benefits of the Network to widen Pacific Prime’s insurance solution capabilities for its corporate clients.

About Pacific Prime

Pacific Prime was founded in 1999 by Neil Raymond as an expert P&C and Employee Benefits consultancy. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company operates from a number of licenses in many countries around Asia and the Middle East, serving more than 500,000 clients with its over 60 insurer relationships.

Website: https://www.pacificprime.com/

About the Worldwide Broker Network ™

Founded in 1989, Worldwide Broker Network has grown from nine member firms in Western Europe to more than 100 firms spanning the globe and serving clients through 500+ offices in six continents. Today, as an important part of the insurance industry’s distribution network, WBN generates over $5 billion in P&C and Employee Benefits revenue annually.

Website: https://wbnglobal.com/

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Pacific Prime Wins Bupa 2016 Innovative Excellence Award

The Pacific Prime China team at Bupa's award showcase

(Hong Kong, March 6, 2017) Pacific Prime is proud to announce that leading insurance provider Bupa Global has awarded Pacific Prime with the Bupa 2016 Innovative Excellence award at the 2017 Bupa Global Greater China Distributor and Partner Conference.

The Bupa 2016 Innovative Excellence award was presented to Pacific Prime in recognition of their latest achievement as the brokerage that displayed the most innovative sales and marketing strategy in the Asia region in 2016.

Neil Raymond, Managing Director at Pacific Prime, commented: “We are honored to receive such prestigious industry recognition, as meeting the needs of our clients and the industry are integral to everything that we do. By leveraging our 17 years’ experience in the industry, the innovative solutions that we provide to individual and corporate clients are at the forefront of the insurance industry.” 

The Bupa award for innovative excelence awarded to Pacific PrimeThis prestigious award took into account Pacific Prime’s bespoke approach to delivering an outstanding customer service experience, which is backed by their ‘Broker Framework Model’, a holistic value system that embodies all aspects of the firm’s consulting, policy broking, and plan administration strategy. Pacific Prime’s innovative approach to individual and corporate sales is also backed by dedicated sales and renewals teams, and further streamlined by their state-of-the art CRM system.

Bupa Global further recognized Pacific Prime’s innovative excellence in marketing, particularly their dedication to releasing insightful industry reports on International Private Medical Insurance, including the Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2016, and the International Private Medical Insurance Inflation 2017 report. Besides further establishing Pacific Prime’s reputation as a key knowledge leader in the insurance industry, the reports help customers to make more informed purchasing decisions and act as a valuable benchmark that allows insurers to see what other providers in the industry are doing.

Sheldon Kenton, Managing Director at Bupa Global, commented: “Pacific Prime has consistently pushed the envelope in terms of maximizing their digital customer relevance and natural search authority via in depth reports on the industry, a very clear and consistent target customer focus and smart content marketing. I congratulate them on this well deserved award.”

Pacific Prime has worked in partnership with Bupa Global for over 13 years, and these awards are a continued reflection on the longstanding, successful relationship between two major players in the insurance industry. On this, Raymond expanded saying, “Pacific Prime continues to push for innovation and taking a proactive approach to helping our clients, and have been recognized by Bupa and most of the insurers on the market for our continued high level of consulting and servicing provided to individuals and groups throughout the world.” 

About Pacific Prime

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Pacific Prime is an award-winning insurance intermediary that leverages its longstanding partnerships with over 60 leading insurance providers to provide the best value insurance services and products to individual and group clients. For more information, visit: https://www.pacificprime.com/