14Jan

2019 Global Insurance Trends: What to Expect

The advent of modern times has brought about new workarounds to various issues at hand. However, it comes as a double-edged sword in the case of insurance or business, which are also hounded by new issues of the last decade.

Organizations work like clockwork and will stop at nothing to catch up and still make waves in the modern world. And as modernization goes, there is a need to understand the trends to follow this year to properly take on these newly-presented challenges.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency explained

The previous year has explored (and exploited) the notoriety behind these two words.

Blockchain often described as a “distributed ledger”, is by literal means, a chain of digitalized information. The blockchain is the main gear that makes “bitcoin” tick. Bitcoin is the very heart of cryptocurrency and is by far, a more familiar term with the masses.

Some corporations are eyeing blockchain as the next form of technology of use. However, some have yet to jump to the bandwagon as it is still slow in traction because of the lack of familiarity and the cost of upgrading systems.

The future: AI and Driverless cars

What was once a mainstay of sci-fi fiction is nowhere. Even if the thought scares you, there’s nothing else to do but to take advantage of what’s already in store.

Automobile accidents and other road-related problems are complicated even after the incident. Insurance companies and manufacturers scratch heads when it comes to the legality of things. However, with the arrival of driverless cars, and the absence of human control that comes with it, there will be a shift when it comes to drafting insurance policies.

Artificial Intelligence has also reached new heights this year. A concept already baked since before the dawn of the 21st century, it has opened new avenues in the industry, such as from customer service and communications to advanced “chatbots” that are all over the web for different purposes.

“New is always better”

Old business may have a few tricks up its sleeve, but technology and the internet will always have their own edge. As for the case of commoditization, for example, there are some net pages called “aggregator sites” which provide the consumer comfort and ease when it comes to comparing prices. The advantage isn’t always with the one who offers the best products: but with the one that provides the best user experience.

As far as globalization trends go, for example, corporate giant Amazon has been involved in rumors regarding discussions with certain insurance executives in the United Kingdom. This move, for example, can cause a big shift as the entry of a big corporate entity when it comes to business may cause changes even in this specific field of insurance.

The gig of the “Gig Economy”

Everything these days comes through an “on demand” service. Airbnb and Uber are just the starts of the many items on this list. The heart of these services rests on the idea of a “gig economy.” It isn’t just them either: Even P2P or Peer-to-Peer based activity of several online based platforms are making waves. The best strategy is to be aware of how services like these can change insurance policies and separate what functions as commercial to personnel policies, and/or to add them as “add-ons.”

For inquiries on insurance for expats living in Hong Kong, get in touch with us today.

 

7Nov

Traveling for Food: Exploring food allergies

What draws you to travel?

What blossomed in the East started to find its way into the global palate. Expats from Europe and the US have made gastronomic trips to Asia to further understand the culture of each different country, from the bowls of spicy noodles to the more exotic street and hawker stalls.

However, there is a limit to knowing the world through cuisines. Embedded within us is a limiting agent in the form of allergies to remind us that our body can only handle so much.

Allergies are our body’s unique way of telling us what is compatible and what is not to our system. The reactions extend to the basic choices we make such as “tasty” or “not”.

By law, the FDA has listed eight categories as designated food allergens (Milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans).

The categories seem easy on first glance until you realize that food allergies vary individually. Recent researches highlight the stark contrast with allergens through regions, such as in the West versus the East. This is vital information for travellers.

Here are a few common food allergies to help backpackers, expats, and casual travellers be more cautious while they explore Asia through food.

food allergies while travelling - Village Insurance Direct Hong Kong

Shellfish

According to a paper written in 2013, shellfish tops the list in food allergens in Asians, particularly in children, mainly due to its availability and demand in the region. A 2014 study from the Singapore Medical Journal, also reinforces the idea. While a lot of Asian cuisines is built on shellfish, a large chunk of the population remains highly allergic to it.

Peanuts

Peanuts remain as the top allergen in America and in some parts of Europe. The total number of cases in Asia is relatively low, but in some areas like in Singapore, the statistics prove otherwise. A good 15 years ago, peanut allergies had lower cases and aren’t considered a top allergen, until recently. This is a testament to the changing diets Asians have had through the years.

Wheat

Rice is the staple carbohydrate of every Asian. But to have wheat included in the list makes you want to feel bad for craving for bread as much as the next guy. Japan and South Korea, two countries famous for revolutionary modern takes on bread, suffer from prevalent cases of wheat allergy. They also rake in high numbers of anaphylaxis cases from this specific allergen.

Travel as much as you like, and eat as much as you like. Food allergies exist to make you aware of your limits, but not to scare you to crawl back to your comfort zones. Be bold and stick NOT with what you’re always comfortable with, but with what you’re COMPATIBLE with.

Serious allergic reaction to food can cause some people to be hospitalized. To be more secure during your travel, make sure you find a travel insurance that covers emergency hospitalization in the country you’re travelling.

We find the best travel insurance for expats living in Hong Kong.

30Apr

Singapore or Hong Kong? Where Best to Do Business

Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the best east Asian countries to start establish a business. Hong Kong has taken the lead for the past years but Singapore has been quickly making great strides to compete further.

Companies and brands from the US and UK have had relatively easy entries to both markets. The most common business has to do with building a regional headquarters for a global company as an expansion strategy and amass the Asian market.

HERE ARE HELPFUL INSIGHTS FOR EXPATS WHO ARE CHOOSING BETWEEN HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE TO DO BUSINESS.

As an overview of the two country’s strengths:

  • Singapore has the top destination for maritime trade.
  • Hong Kong is your choice if the objective is to eventually start business in Mainland China.
  • Both have incredibly accessible international airports with hundreds of direct flights from Western regions on a daily basis

LEGAL PROTECTION

It’s a must to have business cover like public liability or product liability insurance. It’s a pre-requisite for any business in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Both countries have strict legal systems with regulations in place to help you with intellectual property rights and dispute resolution departments. However, Singapore wins over Hong Kong in terms of enforcing contracts and property registrations.

GLOBAL RANKINGS

World Bank’s 2017 Ease of Doing Business ranking places SG at #2 and Hong Kong at #5. New Zealand was #1 last year.

In the annual Z/Yen survey of global financial centres Hong Kong beats Singapore but as the entry way to China, Hong Kong is the 3rd most powerful financial hub globally. Singapore is currently in 4th place.

Hong Kong ranks 1st in terms of financial services and financial technology.

The criteria for the rankings above are:

  • infrastructure
  • business environment
  • financial sector development
  • human capital
  • reputation

Business registration can both be done online via website registration.  The headline Singapore tax rate is 17% whereas it’s 16.5% in Hong Kong. There are also many tax exemptions available for both.

In Singapore, one of the directors must be a citizen while Hong Kong allows 100% ownership by expats.

Ready to get started with your new businesses? Get in touch with us for all your business insurance needs.

4Apr

Top Health Issues Among Women in Asia

This infographic provides a list of the top medical issues faced by women in Asia today. Village Insurance Direct provides help for expats in Hong Kong in finding the most affordable and comprehensive insurance covers. Inquire today!

village insurance direct top health issues women asia

 

4May

Mark Bromhead to Speak at Asian Club Managers’ Conference 2015

May 4-6, 2015 ,Hong Kong — Mark Bromhead, Founder and Managing Director of Village Insurance Direct, will one of the guest speakers for this year’s Asian Club Managers’ (ACM) Conference to be held at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre.12450903-acm-conference-2015

As an industry expert on insurance and its crucial role in the business and human resources, Bromhead will be discussing how clubs can use Health Insurance as a means for running an effective and successful business.

Themed “Food, Fun & Bubbles: Making Your Club THE Destination of Choice,” ACM 2015 is an 3-day action-packed programme encompassing 1.5 days Conference, Golf Day, Welcome Reception, Gala Dinner, HOFEX Show Visit, Clubs Tour, Cocktail Party and Happy Valley Horse Racing. Check out the brochure on the left for further information!

ACM is open to:

Club Managers and Executives
Club Industry practitioners
Researchers and Consultants in Club Industry
Tourism authorities and marketing organisations
Editors of tourism and hospitality-related journals

Other objectives of the conference is for attendees to expand their peer network through a series of networking events and meet people they can use as resource for innovative ideas and strategic insight.

For more information, you may visit http://acm-conference.com/registration/
Follow Mark Bromhead on Twitter at @BromheadMark and LinkedIn at http://hk.linkedin.com/in/markbromhead

17Mar

Village Insurance Direct CEO to Speak at Annual Health Insurance Asia Conference

PRESS RELEASE, SINGAPORE — Mark Bromhead, CEO and Managing Director of Village Insurance Direct, will be speaking in The 9th Annual Health Insurance Asia to be held on the 8th to 11th of June 2015. In addition he will be chairing one day of the Conference.

The conference provides a platform for senior executives from private insurance, brokers, providers and industry experts to discuss business potential in the billion-dollar Asian health insurance market.

Mark Bromhead will be one of the keynote speakers on the discussion of:

  • Health Insurance Outlook

  • Expanding the Market with Engagement and Education

  • Closing the Protection Gap with Innovative Products

  • Addressing Cost Containment

  • Stakeholder Collaboration to Enhance Profitability

  • Engaging the Connected Customer

  • Gain insights into the regulatory, cultural and competitive landscape in Indonesia, China and Indo-China region

  • Market trends and opportunities in specific Asian regions.

Experts estimate that health expenditures will maintain their growth trajectory, with overall health costs in the region reaching US$173 billion by 2020.

The industry outlook is promising with economic growth driving demand in Asia and high out-of-pocket expenses further fuelling Southeast Asia’s appetite for private health insurance. But key challenges remain including educating the customers, balancing product affordability and coverage and coping with ballooning medical costs.

Attendees will have an opportunity to create networks with industry players as shown below.

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Mark Bromhead will be discussing the given key topics from the perspective of an industry specialist on expat insurance. Village Insurance is one of the leading insurance brokerages in Hong Kong that has been bridging the gap between expat insurance needs and Hong Kong insurance providers.

Other featured keynote speakers include Barry Chan of Bupa Hong Kong; Simon Pepper, Head of Underwriting & Claims for Asia, Pacific Life Re, Singapore; and Elaine Chan, Senior Head of Medical Division, Zurich Insurance Company, Hong Kong.

For details on the conference, visit http://www.healthinsurance-asia.com/