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[VIDEO] The Prime Times - September 2015

The Prime Times is back with another dose of health and insurance news from around the world. This month we look at insurance fallout from the recent explosions in China, an insurer who is focused on educating about fraud, and another insurance company that encourages its clients to live healthier lives.

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 by Travis Jones

For those in China, here's a link to this video on Youku.


China Explosion Fallout

The recent warehouse explosions in China, starting in Tianjin and quickly followed by another blast in Shandong, have had a serious effect on their communities, and raised serious questions regarding chemical storage not only in China, but across the globe.  The explosion in Tianjin, said to have been caused when several hundred tons of the combustible and toxic chemical sodium cyanide came into contact with water, has resulted in the death of over 130 people, with over 800 people injured.

In addition to the loss of life, many business sectors have been impacted by these disasters, especially the insurance industry.

Beyond the damage to human lives, structures and the property within them, more than 22,000 vehicles have been reported to have been damage in the Tianjin explosion, which impacted an area of several kilometers.

Insurance companies such as China Taiping Insurance Holdings, have already reported that 70 million Yuan in claims, equal to about 14 million US dollars, have already been made following the Tianjin explosion, with another 10 million Yuan of reinsurance.

 Another insurer, China Continent Property & Casualty Insurance, has reported exposure of 300 million Yuan to a single client, on top of another 8 million Yuan on another 130+ claims.

One of China’s largest insurers, Ping An Insurance Group stated that its exposure could be as much as 500 million Yuan.

China Daily even went so far as to report that total insurance claims resulting from the Tianjin explosion alone are likely to be between 1 and 1.5 billion US dollars.

For now, Chinese officials are ordering inspections of similar facilities all over the country. As far as the future, many people are concerned about the impact of the potentially deadly and toxic chemicals that were released into the environment as a result of the blasts, and there has been public outcry from concerned Chinese citizens regarding violations of safety regulations and their own safety.

Cleanup of the sites is underway, and investigations into the disasters have been launched, but it may be some time before we have a full picture of the events leading up to the explosions, and what their true impact will be.


AXA Educates on Fraud

Do you know what insurance fraud is? Are you sure about that?

Opportunistic fraud and exaggerated claims currently make up the largest proportion of all fraudulent insurance claims, and the insurance company AXA believes that there is a disconnect that exists between what the public considers to be insurance fraud, and what insurers and brokers actually define it as. Because of this, they will soon be launching a guide to help bridge this gap in perception.

The first guide in the 3 part series, titled “Making fraud clear”, will initially be distributed to customers through brokers, and aim to educate both groups about what fraud is, with a particular focus on opportunistic fraud.

Of course, knowing what fraud is can be very important for customers, as doing the wrong thing, even by accident, can lead to serious repercussions, including prosecution. AXA Global Fraud Control Officer Richard Davies commented that, “It is not necessarily a disconnect that we can work on by simply just prosecuting people. We have to explain to people what fraud is.” He went on, “There are a lot of statistics, media-type coverage and talk of prosecution of organized criminals, but there isn’t the education approach, which will make the bigger difference in the long term.”

As a larger part of AXA’s ‘making claims clear’ transparency initiative, the focus on fraud is key in making sure that new customers know exactly the limits of their insurance policies, what the policies will pay for, and what the consequences of dishonesty might be.


Insurance Encouraging Healthy Living

In more positive news, one insurance company is hoping to inspire its members to live healthier lifestyles by offering them incentive to do so.

Manulife in Hong Kong has developed what it calls an innovative approach to insurance the institutes an easy-to-use health and wellness program that rewards clients with discounted premiums for living more actively.

For Manulife, Hong Kong is the 1st market in Asia to have access to the new program called ManulifeMOVE.

MOVE works by keeping track of member activity via fitness tracking electronic devices. By helping to set goals, and encouraging physical activity and placing an emphasis on future health, Manulife is hoping to bring a more holistic approach to health insurance. Manulife Executive Vice President and General Manager for Greater China, Michael Huddart, said, “Hong Kong is a bustling international city, yet most people here aren’t physically active enough, and this has obvious health implications. In launching ManulifeMOVE, we want to play a proactive role in being part of the solution, and encourage people to move more and reward them for doing so.”

The idea for the MOVE program and rewarding healthy living came directly from the insurer’s younger, tech-savvy customers, who expressed that they wanted their insurance to work for them.

To attract Hong Kongers to their products and the MOVE program, Manulife has even gone so far as the name local pop music star Pakho Chau as its ambassador.

If you like the sound of saving on insurance for having an active lifestyle, Pacific Prime will be glad to tell you more about Manulife’s offerings. Give us a shout!

That’s it for this edition of the Prime Times. We’ll be back next month with another dose of health and insurance news. Until then, for all your international health insurance needs, be sure to check out!



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