Slice ICS platform now used by top insurers in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Asia Pacific
NEW YORK – August 14, 2019 – (BUSINESS WIRE) — Slice Labs Inc., the first on-demand insurance cloud platform provider, announced today that it has entered into a proof-of-value contract with Sompo Holdings Asia (SOMPO), regionally headquartered in Singapore and part of Sompo Holdings, a top Japanese insurer.
This new partnership brings on-demand insurance to the fast growing Asia Pacific region of Asia, the first of its kind. SOMPO will license the Slice Insurance Cloud Services (ICS) platform to quickly deploy and test new digital insurance products. Compared to other, more traditional solutions, the Slice ICS platform allows insurers, like SOMPO, to leverage the flexibility, scalability, and security of ICS through a high-value subscription model.
There are a number of new risks in mobility, travel, and leisure on-demand economy segments that are impacted by emerging technologies. Large social platforms also represent new opportunities for digital on-demand insurance products to be embedded in the overall experience. The companies plan to roll out various on-demand products across Asia throughout their partnership. Slice will be opening an office in Singapore to support this and other initiatives in the region.
“The future of satisfying insurance customers in any country and product segment hinges upon the cooperation of insurers and insurtechs,” said Tim Attia, CEO of Slice. “SOMPO is a strong example of how this can work as they have helped our cloud technology quickly scale into another global region and ICS is helping them reimagine insurance customer experiences.”
About Sompo Holdings (Asia)
Based in Singapore, Sompo Holdings (Asia) Pte. Ltd. is the holding company for its Asia Pacific entities, except Japan and is part of Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc, which is a member of the SOMPO Holdings headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. With a trusted presence in Asia since 1942, our business spreads with over 4,000 employees across the region. We are now the Top 10 Largest Non-Life Insurance Companies in Indonesia and Malaysia, and we have forged strategic partnerships to access a wider network of resources and distribution.
Learn more about the Group by visiting www.sompo-asia.com
Slice Labs is the insurance engine behind tomorrow’s cloud-based, on-demand digital services ecosystems for the new economy. Through Slice’s Insurance Cloud Services (ICS) platform, Slice is enabling insurers, technology companies, and other service providers to build truly intelligent and intuitive, pay-as-you-go digital insurance products protecting the insured anytime and anywhere.
An unexpected flight interruption could blow up your travel budget like a balloon. A sudden storm or illness that forces you to cancel a pre-paid vacation could cost you even more. But, just as it can shift the potential burden of medical emergency costs, the right travel insurance can also limit your risk of unexpected trip expenses.
Q: What should I know about trip cancellation and interruption insurance?
Various all-inclusive travel plans provide coverage for medical emergencies as well as for cancelled or interrupted trips. If you do not require an individual medical policy, it’s possible to buy a stand-alone cancellation and/or interruption plan.
Q: How much would it cost me to purchase a comprehensive all-inclusive plan?
Prices vary from plan to plan, and from person to person. The cost of medical emergency coverage will typically go up with the age of the traveller and with any existing (or previous) health conditions. The cost of trip interruption coverage alone usually depends on age and coverage limit, while trip cancellation coverage will vary with the cost of your planned trip.
Q: What reasons would make me eligible for a trip interruption or cancellation claim?
You may submit a claim for expenses if one of the following interferes with your travel plans:
- a weather disturbance
- a medical or mechanical problem
- legal or personal obligations
- actions, threats, warnings, or decisions of others (e.g., governments and airlines)
Q: What is the most common reason for trip interruption claims?
“Typically trip interruption is associated with weather-type conditions. Any time we have a winter with a lot of snow in Canada, we definitely see an impact on our trip interruption and trip delay claims,” explains Rob Iafrate, assistant VP at Manulife Financial. “In theory, you are less exposed [to weather delays in the summer]. The exception a few years ago was when ash clouds from a volcano in Iceland disrupted travel during the European [travel] season.”
Q: Is the cost of trip cancellation and interruption coverage higher at certain times of the year?
Iafrate says no: “When you are putting the product together and trying to balance the ease or convenience of the application process and the pricing, you take a holistic view of the year and to what extent that type of claim happens over a 12-month period.”
Q: Is the demand for this insurance higher at certain times of the year?
The number of travel insurance purchases rise in Canada when families plan summer vacations, particularly costly trips to Europe, and winter vacations. Older snowbirds who drive south for long periods tend not to pay extra for trip delay or cancellation coverage, says Iafrate.
Q: Do consumers worry more about trip cancellation than trip interruption?
Yes. Consumers realize they can lose more money if they have to cancel a prepaid vacation because of illness, a death in the family, job loss, or a life-threatening event at their vacation destination. There are daily and total limits for the value of interruption expenses that may be claimed, but consumers may purchase much higher coverage limits for a costly vacation. Iafrate has observed that trip interruption due to weather is often an after-thought.
Q: When do consumers typically ask for trip interruption insurance?
“The only time trip interruption is brought up in a pre-sale discussion is if somebody is connecting (flying between airports before reaching a final destination),” says Iafrate. Travellers may be exposed to a loss if weather causes them to miss their connecting flight and they have to pay for another ticket.
Some travellers only add trip interruption to their next purchase of medical insurance after they have had to pay for a return flight, when delayed by a weather, medical, or other emergency, notes Karen Cullen, the Ontario regional director for Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd. (TIC).
Q: How are trip cancellation rates determined? Are the rates just a set percentage of the total trip cost, or are there other factors?
“Trip cancellation rates can be based on a percentage of trip costs—usually around 6 to 8 per cent,” says Cullen. “But this can vary significantly depending on the benefits you are purchasing. Some companies take the insured’s age and trip duration into consideration.”
Q: Why is medical information sometimes required when applying for travel medical insurance, but not trip cancellation and interruption insurance?
A medical emergency could cost an insurer millions of dollars, depending on the policy limits, but only hundreds or thousands of dollars for a disrupted trip. So insurers are simply more careful when screening applicants for medical coverage.
Q: What protection does cancellation and interruption insurance offer against hurricanes and other extreme weather?
A trip interruption policy will typically pay for extra accommodation and flight costs, up to a fixed dollar limit, if you miss a flight due to a hurricane or other extreme weather. Trip cancellation coverage would reimburse pre-paid costs you could not otherwise recover.
But if weather conditions merely delay arrival, you may be expected to proceed once it is safe. Cullen notes that TIC’s polices state that you would be covered to cancel if you are not able to depart on your trip because of adverse weather, volcanic eruptions, or a natural disaster that would result in you missing 30 per cent or more of your trip.
Q: Can I get cancellation insurance for a flight booked with rewards points?
“Reward point companies can sometimes offer protection (for a premium) so that, if you cannot travel, you may be able to get your unused points credited back to your account,” says Cullen. “Because there is no actual cash value assigned to rewards points, [other] insurers usually will not allow cash reimbursements back to clients if or when they have to cancel their trip.
While some travellers may accept the risk of paying extra costs when their travel plans are interrupted or may even be able to tolerate losing it all if a trip is cancelled at the last minute, trip cancellation and interruption insurance can lift any concerns for a set price. The cost of this type of travel insurance isn’t that high to begin with, and can be minimized by comparing plans and purchase options. It’s also good to know that there are annual plans available for frequent flyers that have a trip cancellation and interruption component.
All figures are expressed in Canadian dollars, except as noted.
WINNIPEG, June 3, 2019 /CNW/ – Great-West Lifeco Inc. (Great-West Lifeco) today announced its Colorado-based subsidiary, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A), has completed the previously-announced sale, through reinsurance, of substantially all of its individual life insurance and annuity business to Protective Life Insurance Company, the primary subsidiary of Protective Life Corporation (Protective).
The business sold includes bank-owned and corporate-owned life insurance, single premium life insurance, individual annuities and closed block life insurance and annuities. GWL&A retains a small block of participating life insurance policies which will be administered by Protective.
The reinsurance transaction with Protective includes business written in the U.S by GWL&A, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York and the U.S. branches of GWL&A’s affiliates, The Canada Life Assurance Company and The Great-West Life Assurance Company.
GWL&A’s retirement and investment management divisions, Empower Retirement and Great-West Investments, are not affected by this transaction.
For additional details on the transaction, please refer to the news release dated January 24, 2019, available here.
About Protective Life Corporation
Protective Life Corporation provides financial services through the production, distribution and administration of insurance and investment products throughout the U.S. The company traces its roots to the corporation’s flagship company, Protective Life Insurance Company – founded in 1907. Throughout its more than 110-year history, Protective’s growth and success can be largely attributed to its ongoing commitment to serving people and doing the right thing – for its employees, distributors, and most importantly, its customers. The company’s home office is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and its 3,000+ employees are located in offices across the United States. As of March 31, 2019, the Company had assets of approximately US$92 billion. Protective Life Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (TSE:8750). For more information about Protective, please visit www.Protective.com.
About Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company
Established 125 years ago, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company administers a total of US$638 billion in assets for approximately 9.5 million retirement, insurance and annuity customers, as of March 31, 20191. The company’s offerings range from investments, life insurance, annuities and executive benefits products marketed under the Great-West Financial brand to retirement savings products and services provided by Empower Retirement, the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by participants2.
Great-West Financial® is a registered mark of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. GWL&A is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and “A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies” ®.
About Great-West Lifeco Inc.
Great-West Lifeco is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. Great-West Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States and Europe through Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life, Irish Life, Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments. Great-West Lifeco and its companies have approximately $1.6 trillion in consolidated assets under administration as at March 31, 2019 and are members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies. Great-West Lifeco trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol GWO. To learn more, visit greatwestlifeco.com.
SOURCE Great-West Lifeco Inc.
New York, May 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Specialist insurer Beazley has updated its MediaTech insurance policy to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology market and cyber threat landscape faced by firms as they seek to innovate and grow.
Media and technology businesses are at the forefront of developing and applying new tools and systems. They need assurance that they are not only covered by a policy but also supported by expert risk management services that help reduce their exposure.
The Beazley MediaTech policy has been streamlined to provide clear and concise wording and seamless protection, combining comprehensive errors and omissions (E&O) and media liability insurance with cyber coverage.
As well as accessing Beazley’s newest, more comprehensive E&O coverage, businesses will benefit from our team’s experience in managing thousands of claims. E&O claims have involved software failures, hardware defects, implementation errors and downtime, as well as intellectual property rights and personal injury disputes arising from media content.
Beazley’s E&O and media coverage includes:
- Broad professional liability to address the need to cover non-technology professional services
- Unintentional breach of contract for professional liability exposure
- Online and offline media, including content published on social media
- A wide range of trade secret misappropriation claims
- Unfair competition alleged with copyright or trademark infringement
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Defamation, invasion of privacy and plagiarism.
Cyber coverage has also been incorporated into the policy. This includes:
- breach response costs
- first-party coverage for cyber extortion
- data recovery costs
- business interruption and dependent business interruption resulting from security breaches and system failures
- e-crime coverage for fraudulent instruction fraud, funds transfer fraud and telephone fraud.
To ensure clients can reduce their cyber exposure and be prepared in the event they fall victim to a breach, Beazley offers access to a full suite of pre-breach and risk management services through our in-house Beazley Breach Response Services team.
Bob Wice, Beazley’s head of US cyber & tech, said: “Beazley MediaTech has been designed to protect firms that are at the cutting edge of using and developing new technology in exciting and often experimental ways. We’ve enhanced our offering to ensure it keeps pace with the evolving risk landscape.
“Our policy is underpinned by a market-leading claims service, provided by our cyber & tech claims team, which understands the liabilities technology companies face and will provide first-class support in the event of a loss.”
Note to editors:
Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia. Beazley manages six Lloyd’s syndicates and in 2018 underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,615 million. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.
Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s.
Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business
The excerpted article was written by By Barbara Peterson | Consumer Reports
5 tips for navigating to the right choice for your trip
If you’re planning a summer vacation, thinking about what could go wrong is probably the last thing you want to do.
But travel insurance could come in handy if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a medical emergency, a natural disaster, or another unforeseen event. And deciding whether you need it—and if so, what kind—means planning for the worst.
The first question is whether you need a policy at all. The answer? Not always, according to Jeffrey Miller, a travel law attorney and professor at Florida Atlantic University, who says that much depends on your personal situation as well as the type of trip.
“The millennial going to Las Vegas doesn’t need travel insurance,” he says. “But if you’re in your 40s and have elderly parents who might fall ill and cause you to cut short your holiday, then yes, you should definitely get coverage.”
In general, it’s probably prudent to protect any trip that’s valued at more than a few thousand dollars. Beyond that, other factors to consider might be the age and health of the travelers and whether your itinerary takes you into remote or risky territory.
“Our No. 1 claim type is trip cancellation,” says Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection vice president Carol Mueller. So bear in mind that you don’t always need a Cadillac plan that covers everything from lost baggage to medical evacuation costs.
There are, of course, a multitude of plans to choose from, and you can narrow it down with the help of a travel agent or an online aggregator. Generally, policies fall into three categories—basic, midlevel, and premium—with coverage and prices rising accordingly.
Typically, premiums for comprehensive coverage range from 4 to 10 percent of the total tab of your trip. In recent years, however, travel insurers have come out with tailored policies at lower prices. For example, Berkshire Hathaway has a no-frills “Air Care” plan that just covers flight mishaps like delays or lost bags, starting at $26 for a simple round trip.
If you do decide you need to cover all bases, however, you might want a broad-based policy. Just bear in mind that it’s important to know exactly what’s covered.
Inquiries to travel insurance companies typically soar after high-profile events like acts of terrorism, or an outbreak of a disease like the Zika virus. For example, calls to insurers spiked after the recent grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, according to the comparison site Insure My Trip. But as anxiety-provoking as events like these may be, under most travel insurance plans, they’re not considered valid grounds to get a full refund if you cancel your trip.
Here, five guidelines to make sure you get what you need without overpaying.
Check Your Existing Insurance Coverage
You may already have some travel insurance as a perk of your credit card, but you’ll need to check.
Some credit card issuers offer coverage for car rental damage, lost luggage, or trip cancellation, but any protection they do offer is likely to come with some limits on the ultimate payout. For rental cars, your personal auto insurance may cover you, too.
Nonetheless, if you have credit card coverage, you may be able to get by with a less expensive general trip protection plan. And when it comes to baggage, know that coverage from travel insurers is typically considered secondary, meaning it will pay only for anything in excess of what you’re entitled to if you file a claim with your airline.
It’s also worthwhile to look into your health insurance and whether it will cover you when you’re on the road. Medicare, for example, won’t help if you’re not in the U.S., but other insurers might.
Aetna, for instance, covers policyholders on international trips, but the care is reimbursed as “out of network,” which means higher out-of-pocket costs. And if you have an accident and need to be airlifted to a hospital, the costs of care can skyrocket.
If you’re buying travel medical insurance, be aware, too, that some policies won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Even when they do, they’re often dependent on your purchasing the policy close to the date when you bought the trip. (Some have a “look back” clause that can search your health records for as long as a year prior.)
If your trip planning begins with booking an airplane ticket, you’ll almost certainly be prompted to buy trip protection from the airline before you hit the purchase button. Don’t rise to the bait, says Miller. “It’s better to seek out all the options before you buy.”
Whether or not you buy through them, websites like InsureMyTrip and SquareMouth provide free quotes from multiple insurers and make it easy to filter search results by your customized needs.
In many states, travel agents who sell trip insurance are licensed for that purpose, and their knowledge and experience can also help narrow your choices appropriately. Whatever source you use, think carefully about what benefits you actually need before putting your money down.
Be Aware of Timing Provisions
Perhaps it’s hurricane season, and you’re having second thoughts about having paid in full for that upcoming beach holiday in the tropics. Can you take out an insurance policy to ease your worries?
You might be able to, but don’t wait until a particular storm threatening your vacation is powerful enough to have been christened, advises Berkshire Hathaway’s Mueller.
“When a hurricane is named, it is no longer an unknown event and no longer covered as a reason for cancellation” if you haven’t already purchased the policy, she says.
That’s not the only timing factor to consider. A terrorist attack in your intended destination could be grounds to cancel under some policies with a terrorism clause. But usually that coverage applies only if you’re traveling within 30 days of the event. If your trip is still six months away, the insurance won’t pay out simply because you no longer want to go.
In general, you may be able to buy some types of trip protection up to 24 hours before your departure, but waiting until that point might mean you can get only basic coverage like baggage loss or damage protection and emergency medical coverage, according to Allianz Travel Insurance.
For more comprehensive coverage that includes benefits like a pre-existing medical condition waiver or protection if a trip is canceled because of a terrorist attack or an airline bankruptcy, a policy typically must be purchased within 14 days of making the initial trip deposit.
Look Into Annual Plans
If you’re taking more than two major trips per year, an annual plan could be a better deal than paying as you go with single-trip policies, according to Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com. Both types of plan can cover the same occurrences (trip cancellation, medical emergencies), but the year-long coverage could bring your pro-rated costs down.
For example, insurance provider April Travel Protection recently launched a customizable annual plan that covers an unlimited number of trips per year, both in the U.S. and abroad. Customers can choose their level of coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, medical care, evacuation, and other events.
Prices start at $75 for those under 30, rising up to $179 for those 60 years or older. This policy isn’t sold in all states, however, and the state of Washington doesn’t permit annual plans of any type to be sold there.
Be Careful About CFAR Insurance
Every insurance policy has sits own specific rules about what triggers coverage. That’s why you should be skeptical of “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) insurance, which sounds appealing but is pricey, frequently running 40 percent more than basic insurance. What’s more, this coverage often pays out only from 50 percent to 75 percent of your total expenses vs. the full cost paid by regular travel insurance.
Some states, such as New York, may limit or prohibit sales of CFAR policies. (The New York Department of Financial Services explains that because insurance is intended to protect against unforeseen events, CFAR can’t be considered real insurance since it allows the buyer to control the reasons for filing a claim.)
So keep in mind that trip insurance, like all other protection policies, is subject to state regulation, which can vary widely around the country. Check with your own state’s regulator if you’re concerned whether you can buy a particular type of coverage.