Travelers Institute to Tackle Distracted Driving, Cybersecurity, Severe Weather in 2019

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 13, 2019–The  Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:  TRV ), today announced its series of 2019 educational forums focused on combating distracted driving, managing cyber risks, insuring autonomous vehicles and preparing for severe weather events. Programs are free and open to the public.

“We saw great engagement throughout our symposia series in 2018 and look forward to continuing to raise awareness of important social topics across the United States and Canada,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “By bringing together community members, entrepreneurs, business leaders and students, we hope these events will help to identify solutions that will generate real change for widespread societal issues and help people and businesses stay safe.”

The first symposium of the year will be “Disrupting Distraction,” part of the Travelers Institute ® Every Second Matters℠ series. It will be held today at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. This series brings attention to alarming distracted-driving trends contributing to traffic fatalities and highlights innovative approaches to help prevent distractions and encourage safer behaviors.

“Constant connection is so highly valued in our society, but the urge to stay in touch can have devastating consequences,” said Lane. “The Every Second Matters initiative and today’s event will take us a step closer to reducing avoidable fatalities and injuries, and we’re proud to be a part of the effort.”

Travelers has also developed a new video series — “Unfinished Stories” — as part of its efforts to discourage distracted driving. The videos honor victims of distracted driving by imagining what might have been if the crash never occurred. The series is being shared across the company’s social media channels and during Travelers Institute and other events. To see the latest video and other distracted driving content, click here.

Additional educational forums planned for 2019 include Cyber: Prepare, Prevent, Mitigate, Restore ℠, a series that provides guidance for small and midsize organizations to help them prepare for and respond to data breaches and other cyber incidents, and the annual “Kicking Off Hurricane Preparedness Season” symposium to be held at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, as well as other events focused on natural disaster preparedness, autonomous vehicles and small business solutions.

Visit the  Travelers Institute website to see the schedule of upcoming events and learn more about these initiatives.

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for autohome and business. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.

Allstate Benefits Launches Enhanced Critical Insurance Offering to Protect Canadians & their Families

Critical Illness coverage provides vital financial support and medical guidance services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 12, 2019 /CNW/ — A critical illness diagnosis can be devastating for an individual or family. Medical appointments, tests, treatments and medications only add to the stress and make the road to recovery even more difficult. That’s why Allstate Benefits is introducing Critical Illness with Medical Care Support Services protection, an enhanced offering that not only helps provide financial support if someone is diagnosed with a covered critical illness, but also offers medical guidance to help give peace of mind. This enhanced product is available now throughout Canada.

“We are thrilled to announce this enhancement to our industry-leading Critical Illness product for Canadian employers and their employees,” says Greg Guidos, Allstate Benefits president. “We have proven experience as a provider of group voluntary benefits, as shown by the more than 45,000 employers and four million employees we help protect in the United States and Canada. By creating innovative products, we’re reinventing protection to help businesses add value, engage employees and ultimately help improve customers’ lives.”

Critical Illness coverage is vital, since employer-paid insurance plans and Provincial Health Insurance often cover only some of the costs associated with treatment. Customers choose the benefits that best protect them and their family members. Then, if diagnosed with a covered critical illness, they receive a cash benefit based on the percentage payable for the condition.

The cash benefit can be used for any expense. For example, it may be used to cover the cost of prescription drugs not covered by health insurance, travel required to receive treatment in another city, or regular daily living expenses. The benefit helps offset revenue shortfalls created while on leave from work, and helps protect savings and retirement plans from being depleted.

As part of the coverage, Critical Illness with Medical Care Support Services provides access to medical support services through best-of-class partners Medisys Corporate Health in Canada and PinnacleCare in the United States.

Medisys Corporate Health is the first point of contact for plan members, and offers one-on-one personalized support while navigating the Critical Illness claim process. A dedicated Medisys Nurse Navigator team will discuss the diagnosis, concerns, treatment options and second opinion services to ensure a seamless experience for the beneficiary. If a consultation in the U.S. is desired, Medisys will partner with PinnacleCare to provide expert medical opinion services, treatment options, access to medical Centers of Excellence in the U.S. and facilitated physician appointments.

“Imagine being seriously ill and having to miss work. Imagine the stress and fear that exists,” said Guidos. “This product not only helps provide financial support when an insured is diagnosed with a covered critical illness, but it also offers advisory services and guidance. This product helps the insured shift their focus to getting better rather than stressing over financial worries.”

To learn more about Critical Illness coverage from Allstate Benefits, visit allstatebenefits.ca.

About Allstate Benefits
Allstate Benefits is a leading provider of voluntary employee benefit products in the U.S. and Canada. Protecting approximately 4 million individuals from life’s uncertainties through supplemental insurance options, Allstate Benefits also offers value-added services such as benefits technology solutions, legal support and concierge health management. The Allstate Benefits product portfolio includes six LIMRA top-rated products including Accident, Critical Illness, Cancer, Hospital Indemnity, Disability and Life.

Allstate Benefits is the marketing name used by American Heritage Life Insurance Company (Home Office, Jacksonville, FL) in the U.S. and also a trademark of Allstate Insurance Company, used under license by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. Allstate Benefits helps deliver the Good Hands® promise every day with the name that many know and trust. More information on Allstate Benefits can be found at www.allstatebenefits.com.

SOURCE Allstate Benefits

Insurance Companies Use Emerging Technologies & Business Models to Shake Up Competition

Led by insurtech disruptors, novel business models are causing disintermediation in the insurance industry and altering power dynamics. The rise of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and smart devices is placing the spotlight on flexible services based on usage-based insurance, on-demand insurance and Prevention-as-a-Service models, which are redefining the role of insurance in people’s lives. These models will especially appeal to Millennials and Generation Z, the newest buying groups.

Lines of business such as liabilityproperty, and casualty will especially gain from models such as Prevention-as-a-Service,” said Lauren Martin-Taylor, Visionary Innovation Principal Consultant at Frost & Sullivan. “Even though insurtechs and start-ups are leading in addressing shifts in social, mobility, and technology trends by pioneering innovative business models, traditional insurers often back them or play an integral role.”

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, The Future of Insurance, analyzes emerging insurable markets and business models, evolution in operations and the value chain, as well as disruptors and opportunities in various lines of insurance. It also covers technologies such as AI, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), blockchainwearablesimplantsself-healing materials, and automation. An overview of the trends and challenges in each market is presented along with industry best practices, notable activity, and case studies.

Forward-thinking insurers will look to realign their business strategies to tap the growth opportunities presented by:

  • Medical advances, wearables, and growth of the elderly population.
  • Rise in urban population density, particularly in Asia and Africa.
  • The largely untapped low-income demographic in developed countries, which holds huge potential for microinsurance and automation advances.
  • Biological augmentation technologies, which can transform the markets for life insurance and reinsurers.
  • High levels of digitization, increasing data breaches, and cyber threats.

“The auto insurance industry will be one of the most affected by the rising adoption of advanced technologies, as connected and autonomous vehicles will generate real-time data and improve underwriting accuracy,” noted Taylor. “In due course, the focus will shift from insuring drivers to insuring the vehicle, systems, and technology.”

The Future of Insurance is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Visionary Innovation (Mega Trends) Growth Partnership Service program.

About Frost & Sullivan

For over five decades, Frost & Sullivan has become world-renowned for its role in helping investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies, Mega Trends, new business models and companies to action, resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success

A car burst into flames Monday after it plunged nine stories down a Miami parking garage.

MIAMI – A car burst into flames Monday after it plunged nine stories down a Miami parking garage.

The fire started around 6 p.m. at a parking garage on Biscayne Boulevard.

The garage uses a lift mechanism to park cars. A white Acura TL somehow fell from the lift into an elevator shaft and caught fire.

No one was hurt.

The car’s owner, Matt Olechnowicz, said he had just let work when he asked one of the valets to get his car.

“When I called for the car all of the sudden I thought I heard my car alarm going off and I hear a big bang,” Olechnowicz said. “I turn around and the car had fallen down the elevator shaft.”

He had spent years upgrading the car with custom parts.

“I saw it burn up. That’s the hard part. The car was almost like a kid to me,” Olechnowicz said. He thinks the valet left the manual car in gear when he put it on the lift.

“I believe they left it in gear and somehow the car started and it fell down nine floors,” he said.

Olechnowicz said the parking garage company promised to cover the costs of a replacement. It will certainly be an interesting insurance claim.

Source: NBC2 News

 

These Are The Most Common Travel Insurance Mistakes

The excerpreted article was written by Christopher Elliott

It’s peak season for travel insurance claims, a time of year when vacationers are sending their reimbursement requests for their ill-fated year-end holiday getaways. If you’re one of the unlucky travelers who are about to file a claim, be careful to not make one of several common travel insurance mistakes,` any of which can potentially lead to a rejection of your claim.

Travel insurance claim denial rates are not publicly reported, but they are said to be somewhere between 2% and 5%.

Don’t worry, you can easily avoid the most common travel insurance claims mistakes. All you need is a cheat sheet of the most common claim mistakes and a few insider strategies for getting around them.

If you’ve purchased a policy through a third party, there’s good news: The company will help you and ensure that you’ve filed all the paperwork correctly. For example, G1G.com, a travel insurance comparison site, can process a claim either through a customer care representative or through an online portal.=

“Unfortunately not all travel insurance companies claims process are as easy as they should be,” says Zubair Jeewanjee, G1G’s CEO. “As a result, travelers often miss out on valuable compensation due to antiquated and time-consuming claims procedures. The best way to avoid claims mistakes is having us do it for you.”

These are the most common travel insurance mistakes

As a consumer advocate, I deal with travel insurance claims — especially denied travel insurance claims — on an almost daily basis. Travel insurance companies with great customer service reputations handle their claims quickly and fairly. Others — not so much.

It’s the perfect time to think about this problem. More people than ever will buy travel insurance in 2019. A survey by Squaremouth, a travel insurance site, predicts 24 percent more travelers will need to insure their international trips because of new travel regulations.

Here’s a list of common travel insurance mistakes:

Incomplete paperwork

That’s the most common obstacle to getting a travel insurance claim paid, according to Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com. “While not especially difficult, filing an accurate claim requires attention to detail and having your travel documents and receipts organized,” he says.

Insider tip: Keep either an electronic copy or hard copy of all of your travel purchases in one place. If you experience an unexpected issue while traveling that you believe is covered under your travel insurance, keep all of those receipts in a separate folder or envelope. “If you have to file a claim, you’ll already have most of your documents organized,” says Sandberg.

Bad timing

Another common claim problem: Your claim occurs before your effective date. “Most people naturally purchase coverage for the first day of their arrival at their destination,” explains Justin Tysdal, CEO of Seven Corners, a travel insurance company. “But what you may not think about is what can happen during your travel. Especially if you’re spending a whole day traveling across the world. You could sprain your wrist picking up heavy luggage, or you could eat some iffy airport food and end up sick. But if your coverage doesn’t start until the next day, you could be stuck with the doctor’s bill.”

Timing, as they say, is everything.

Another common timing problem is waiting too long to file the required paperwork. You typically have 90 days from the date of your loss to submit your claim. If you miss that deadline, you could get an automatic denial from a travel insurance company.

Insider tip: Make sure that coverage starts the day you begin your travel and that you file your claims paperwork as soon as you can. “Plan ahead so that if you do get sick or injured in an airport in a foreign country on a layover, you’ll be protected,” adds Tysdal.

Inadequate documentation

This may be one of the biggest roadblocks of all. If you can’t prove you have a claim, you’re out of luck. “The biggest barrier to processing a claim is missing or inadequate documentation,” says Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice. “Just like with your auto or home insurance, when you file a travel insurance claim most plans require backup in order to process your claim.”

Insider tip: Providing correct, complete documentation from the start can mean faster reimbursement. To make sure you’ve covered everything, call your travel insurance provider or check its app or website to confirm what you need to submit. “Different scenarios require different documentation,” explains Godlin. “For example, travelers might need to provide a completed attending physician statement, along with the original trip itinerary, for a trip cancellation due to a medical reason. For a trip delay, they might need to provide receipts for extra costs incurred, or verification from their airline in order to be reimbursed.”

Filing an invalid claim

This is perhaps the most frustrating of all blocks, and it’s a permanent one. “When it comes time to file a travel insurance claim, many travelers don’t read the fine print of their policies,” explains Joe Cortez, NerdWallet’s travel expert. “Just because a plan says ‘trip cancellation,’ it doesn’t mean they can cancel their trip for any reason. It’s important for travelers to understand what situations are covered and not covered before they make any decisions about that would result in an insurance claim.”

For example, a State Department travel advisory may not be enough for a successful travel insurance claim, but getting involved in a car accident while on the way to the airport could be a covered situation.

Insider tip: You can avoid filing an invalid claim by understanding what’s in your travel insurance policy before you leave. And it works both ways, Cortez adds. “Many travelers don’t realize when they are covered under a travel insurance plan,” he notes. In other words, you might not file a travel insurance claim even though you were covered for the event.

What are your travel insurance claims stories?

I asked readers to share their favorite travel insurance claims stories, and, did I get an earful. It turns out that making a travel insurance claim mistake is too easy.

“Before you buy a policy, read it,” says Paula Miller, a retired teacher from Kitty Hawk, NC. “And known the difference between canceling for a covered reason or cancel for any reason.”

Miller bought insurance for her last trip through Expedia. Her mother-in-law died the day she was supposed to leave. Fortunately, she knew what was in her policy and what she had to send her insurance company.

“The claims process has been pretty smooth,” she says.

Shirley Kroot, a retired teacher from Huntley, Ill., says she’s learned to hold on to every piece of paper, particularly when she’s seeking medical attention.

“This would be the procedure for minor medical expenses, such as having a cold in a foreign country and going to a walk-in clinic or needing to go to the medical office due to a fractured clavicle on a ship,” she says. “I experienced both, the first in Perth, Australia, and the second on a cruise ship in Norway.”

Kroot says she buys all of her policies through Travelex Travel Insurance. “We have never had a problem with claims,” she says.

Choose the right policy for you to avoid a travel insurance claim mistake

I second that. I have an annual travel insurance policy through Allianz and have found that the claims process is dead simple and payment is lightning fast. My last claim, for a doctor’s visit on Hawaii’s Big Island, was processed within 24 hours — now that’s quick!

Even better: Having a third party like G1G or Squaremouth that can advocate for you if something goes sideways with your claim. I also have some claim advice on my consumer advocacy site, just in case your claim falls through the cracks.

Bottom line — chances are you’ll buy travel insurance this year. And if you have to file a claim, you can avoid a rejection by reading your policy, ensuring your paperwork is in order and filing on time.

Source: Forbes

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t.

I’m a consumer advocate. I write about customer service.

 

Apple Teams Up with Insurance Giant Aetna for New iPhone, Apple Watch App

BY  | IC 

US-based medical insurance firm Aetna and Apple have teamed up for a new iOS app called ‘Attain’, that provides rewards to members who engage in healthy behaviours, such as getting regular exercise and more hours of sleep. The app will be released later this year for both the iPhone and the Apple Watch (via CNBC).

The upcoming app, which the two companies have been working on since 2016, also provides enrolled Aetna members with reminders like getting an annual flu shot or taking their medication on time. Users who aren’t signed up with Aetna can also earn rewards, including a free Apple Watch, through other wellness programs.

Users who enroll with Aetna but don’t already have an Apple Watch will receive a Series 3 device from Aetna with the option to pay out of pocket for an upgrade to the latest series 4. They can then “earn” back the price of the device over the next two years by meeting fitness goals.

“Alternatively, points can be used to redeem things like corporate gift cards. Those who stop participating may be required to pay a portion of the Apple Watch out-of-pocket. But Aetna said that members can notify its customer service team if they have a health issue, such as a surgery or pregnancy, that might prevent them from meeting their goals.”

The program is voluntary and is eligible to Aetna members with an iPhone 5s or later. You can get more information at this link.

In Canada, Canadians can get rewards from the Manulife Vitality program, which integrates with Apple Watch.

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