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The magazine from the uk’s leading employee benefits advisory

Visit us on your smartphone Advogroup.co.uk

Spring 2012

Advogroup.co.uk

Expacare Beverly cook Interview Page 18

Linkedin The essential group to join Page 23

featured

unum exclusive interview marco forato chief marketing officer Page 10 “one of the greatest opportunities within financial protection is in group income protection”


Advogroup.co.uk | editor’s note

Meet the team Advo group Larry Bulmer Chief executive lbulmer@advogroup.co.uk

Colin boxall Director, corporate cboxall@advogroup.co.uk

Chris mccracken Director, commercial Cmccracken @advogroup.co.uk

Sharon harwooddavis consultant manager sharwooddavis@advogroup.co.uk

Welcome to the first edition of ADVOcate. This publication is bought to you by advogroup.co.uk ....

Editor’s note Welcome to the first edition of ADVOCATE. This publication is brought to you by advogroup.co.uk. This magazine is a chance for us to bring you some of the very best exclusive interviews from our site, the latest industry and news from ADVO Group itself as well as the latest market trends. In our exclusive interviews we caught up with Marco Forato, Chief marketing Officer at Unum (page 10) and Beverly Cook, Managing Director at Expacare (page 18). There has also been a huge amount happening at ADVO Group including the acquisition of Oxfordshire-based Health Care Plus (page 04) as well as ADVO group Chief Executive Larry Bulmer appearing in Health Insurance & Protection magazine's 'Boardroom Briefing' (page 08). And as well as all the latest news we are also giving you the fantastic chance to win an Amazon Kindle! For full competition details see page 05. Remember you can keep up-to-date with all the latest happenings at ADVO Group by joining over 2.7k followers on Twitter at @advogroup. You can also find us on Facebook at facebook.com/advogroup, on YouTube at youtube.com/advogrouptv and you can also search for us on Google+. In addition we have a group on LinkedIn full of the leading industry professionals, simply search for 'Health insurance Industry UK' on the group search and look for the ADVO logo. We hope to see you soon!

Chris fiander Web content controller cfiander@advogroup.co.uk

Scan for more team info Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 02


Advogroup.co.uk| contents

contents

advo magazine summer 2012

Issue #01 ADVO Group aquisition of health care plus "the acquisition further strengthens the group's portfolio" page 04

Page 10

competition win an amazon kindle "simply subscribe to our mailing list" page 05

simplyhealth simplyhealth acquires health care plus "we’re now the uk’s fifth largest private medical insurance provider" page 06

health insurance & protection boardroom briefing "a lot of insurers have been happily doing 'soft' open referral for many years" page 08

unum marco forato "There is a natural synergy between PMI and GIP" page 10

twitter Page 18

the health insurance industry has moved ...to twitter "stuck for who to follow on the twittersphere?" page 16

expacare beverly cook "i also foresee that insurers will continue to innovate with their use of technology" page 18

linkedin

Page 08

the health insurance group you need to join "Our new group 'health insurance industry uk' is what you've been looking for" page 23

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 03


Advogroup.co.uk | advo group acquires health care plus

Advo group acquires Oxfordshire-based Health care plus & seeks further growth advogroup.co.uk ADVO Group have confirmed the acquisition of Oxfordshire-based healthcare advisor Health Care Plus ADVO Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of Health Care Plus (HCP), a specialist medical insurance intermediary based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition further strengthens the group’s portfolio and its reputation as one of the leading independently-owned specialist health intermediaries in the UK. Health Care Plus was established in January 1994 and has won a raft of awards, as has its new owner. Health Care Plus’s Sue Smith will remain with the business, which will retain the Abingdon office, adding to ADVO’s presence in London and Maidstone. Sue Smith commented “Health Care Plus is delighted to become part of the ADVO Group, a

company that is tremendously well respected by both intermediaries and insurers. This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to working with ADVO and contributing to its future growth and success whilst continuing to offer a high level of service to my clients.”

ADVO Group is one of the UK’s leading specialist independent healthcare intermediaries. Established in 1997, the group has grown partly through acquisition and partly through sustained organic business development. Organic growth was 11% in the last 12 months.

Larry Bulmer, ADVO’s CEO, added:

The company attributes its success to its investment in customer services and clientfacing technology.

“This is a tremendous transaction both for ADVO and for Sue, and we look forward to working with a highly respected member of the specialist intermediary community. The acquisition demonstrates ADVO’s commitment to expansion through acquisition of partners of similar outlook and values. We are always open to discussion with intermediaries, and our flexible approach allows us to structure exit strategies either in stages or via a single transaction.

Advocate spring 2012 | adadvogroup.co.uk | 04

You can keep up to date with all the latest ADVO Group news via our news section at www.advoblog.co.uk.


Advogroup.co.uk| competition

competition An amazon kindle could be yours! Fancy getting yours hands on an Amazon kindle? All you have to do is subscribe to our mailing list and you'll be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize! simply scan the qr code below or click here to open the sign-up form! The deadline is 31st may to make sure you get your email registered today You can check back on all the competition details at facebook.com/advogroup For the full terms & conditions visit ow.ly/b90AM

Scan the code below to get the competition details on your smart phone

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 05


Advogroup.co.uk | simplyhealth

simplyhealth completes purchase of groupama healthcare & plans new product Simplyhealth.co.uk After announcing the acquisition of Groupama Healthcare in August 2011, Simplyhealth has now fully completed the purchase. Find out below what plans this may lead to in the future as well as the comments on the acquisition from Jamie Wilson, Sales and Marketing Director at Simplyhealth. Following from approval being given from the high court on 26th April this year, the Groupama Healthcare policies have now been transferred to Simplyhealth. Simplyhealth’s Sales and Marketing Director, Jamie Wilson (pictured right), commented on the recent acquisition “We're very excited to have completed our acquisition of Groupama Healthcare as it means we can help more people with their health. We're now the UK's fifth largest private medical insurance provider and we're pleased to be building a stronger company, while staying true to the mutual values we have followed for 140 years. The purchase, together with our acquisition of Denplan, means we now serve nearly four million

people and help 20,000 businesses with their healthcare needs. Groupama Healthcare had built a strong reputation for customer service and this is something we are firmly committed to continuing. We will ensure that all policyholders, intermediaries and corporate clients receive the same personal service they have always had. The terms and conditions, benefits, and contact details that customers are used to have not changed. To make things easier for our intermediary colleagues we have transferred EasyAdmin to the Simplyhealth website so they can amend details of policies that were formerly with Groupama Healthcare. We will be launching similar online capability for all our policies very soon”.

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk| 06

Sante by Groupama Healthcare has been re-named to Sante by Simplyheath and will be operating in the same way for the time-being in terms of members being able to renew their policy and quotations being available. Simplyheath have, however, revealed that they are hoping a new medical insurance product will be able for quotations by Autumn of this year. The aim is for the new product to combine the key areas from what is now ‘Sante by Simplyheath’ with ‘Preferential’. Preferential is a comprehensive plan currently offered by Simplyheath. You can keep up-to-date with the biggest stories from Simplyhealth via the ADVO news section at www.advoblog.co.uk.


Advogroup.co.uk | simplyhealth

We're very excited to have completed our acquisition of Groupama Healthcare as it means we can help more people with their health

�

Jamie Wilson, Sales and Marketing Director, Simplyhealth

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk |07


Advogroup.co.uk | boardroom briefing

Advo group in the latest boardroom briefing Health insurance & protection hi-mag.com Health Insurance & Protection have published the latest in their 'Boardroom Briefings'. Giving his thoughts at the meeting was ADVO Group's Chief Executive, Larry Bulmer ADVO Group’s Chief Executive, Larry Bulmer has appeared in the April edition of ‘Health Insurance & Protection Boardroom Briefing’. The gathering of leading health insurance professionals to discuss the major issues within the market was set against the backdrop of the last few months being what David Sawers, the magazine’s editor, called the ‘liveliest’ for quite some time. As David Sawers explains “Tensions have been running unusually high between hospitals, consultants and insurers. Uneasy bedfellows at the best of times, recent months have seen heated disputes between the three parties spill onto the pages of Health Insurance and beyond.

And while this was happening,

health insurance intermediaries have been working hard to ensure that their corporate clients retain valuable healthcare benefits in the face of economic pressures and rising costs. Principles which have been fundamental to the world of corporate healthcare for years are being questioned as insurers introduce new strategies in a bid to control costs. But what does this mean for employers and employees? And what does it mean for intermediaries advising on and selling corporate medical schemes?” On the issue raised of open referrals within the industry, Larry Bulmer commented: “A lot of insurers have been happily doing ‘soft’ Open Referral for many years. People ring up and they’re directing it

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 08

differently. It’s not quite case management, it sort of sits between two schools when they’re doing it.” The members of the Boardroom Briefing were in agreement that the supplier landscape would change in the future due to new providers entering the market, including a predicted increase in NHS private patient unit (PPU) capacity. Larry Bulmer said that ‘he could even envisage scenarios where employers contracted directly with local PPUs as capacity and quality in them increased’.


Occupational health Improve the health and wellbeing of your workforce

For details contact info@advogroup.co.uk or call 0845 2578833

info@advogroup.co.uk www.advogroup.co.uk


Advogroup.co.uk | excusive interview

One of the greatest opportunities within financial protection is in Group Income Protection Marco forato, unum unum.co.uk At the end of last year, Unum protected more than 1.8 million people in the UK, and paid claims of £288 million! We caught up with Unum UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marco Forato to find out, amongst other things how the idea of the infamous tablecloth trick TV ad came about... What is it that makes Unum unique? As one of the few UK companies to specialise in Group Risk we deliver more than just financial protection products. Our clients can call on our award-winning in-house team of rehab professionals for help from day one of an employee’s absence, and our common sense approach to medical underwriting means that once we’ve underwritten someone, we’ll never need to underwrite them again for Income Protection. We’re also one of the few insurers to consider offering Income Protection (IP) cover to people with a history of diabetes, cancer, paraplegia, heart attack and back pain. How has the company evolved over the years?

Has the focus of the business shifted to any different or new areas or markets over that time? Unum has largely evolved through various mergers and acquisitions, all underpinned by our commitment to bringing financial protection to workers in the UK. We have always specialised in providing protection insurance benefits through the workplace. We’ve grown to have around half the Group Income Protection market, and this is increasingly a focus for us. We see Income Protection at work as being the largest growth opportunity in financial protection. To support that, we began major marketing investment to drive Group Income Protection demand, and have doubled the

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 10

number of employees willing to ask about it at work. 10% of HR managers report having had conversations with staff in the last 6 months, and we have had several significant sales opportunities coming directly from employees asking their employers for a back-up plan. What direction or increased specialisation do you see Unum taking in the future? What are the future plans for the company? We are committed to focusing on the employer-paid benefits market to achieve our key objective of bringing financial protection to more of the UK’s workforce. Currently only 1 in 10 employees in the private sector has a back-up plan in case of long term illness or injury and


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview

Advocate spring2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 11


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview we want to greatly improve this. It is going to be challenging as we are trying to change behaviour in a market that hasn’t changed in 30 years, but we are gradually getting our messages across. Our awareness campaign begun in 2011 brings together advertising, PR, public affairs and social media into a holistic long-term marketing plan aimed at achieving this. With our focus very firmly on three key audiences: UK workers, their employers and financial advisers, we are going forward with an expanded portfolio of products offering an element of financial protection that can match every need and budget: Classic – Provides extensive benefits cover with a wide variety of tailored options available. These include varying levels of cover and the length of time for which the payments will continue, and can be tailored for specific categories of employees to address both business needs and budget. Foundation – Ideal for those looking to put in place a core level of financial protection for their employees, that simultaneously fits in with their benefits budget in the current economic climate. This can be built-on when budgets permit or needs increase. Unum Select – An innovative approach offering flexible funding options that enable employers to bring the benefits of IP to more of their workforce. Employers can fully fund, part fund and ask employees to pay the difference. What future trends do you see emerging for the UK financial protection insurance

market as a whole? First, across all product types, the industry is buzzing with talk of the Government’s “Simplified Products” initiative. However, a key trend we think will emerge is not so much simplification of products, but simplification of the way we talk about them. Using plain English, with small print kept to a minimum, that clearly explains what the product is and isn’t, and when it’s useful, will go a long way to establishing trust in our industry, and supporting growth. This is a problem we started to tackle in 2011 and will continue to lead on.

As our awareness building campaign drives demand, and as other insurers join our efforts to educate the market, we believe there will be significant, sustained growth.

And talking of growth, one of the greatest opportunities within financial protection is in Group Income Protection. As our awareness-building campaign drives demand, and as other insurers join our efforts to educate the market, we believe there will be significant, sustained growth. In our view the workplace is the best place to get IP, and we believe the majority of growth will therefore come from Group IP. Product innovation will continue, to ensure product fit to both need and budget. Through this, plus an increasingly holistic approach to how & why benefits packages are designed, we expect

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 12

IP to become a normal, ‘everyday’ part of a typical benefits set. Let’s remember that only 1 in 10 people have Income Protection, compared with 6 in 10 having life insurance, yet the risk of needing IP is 3 times greater than death during your working life. This is by far the largest protection ‘gap’, and therefore the largest growth opportunity. Life insurance is comparatively well-penetrated in both individual and group, and is an increasingly price-driven commodity. Here, cost management and automation are likely to be major factors. What does your typical day at Unum involve? My time is spent focusing on two key imperatives: Supporting growth: this includes providing support to our sales team, overseeing the consumer awareness campaign we have embarked on, ensuring we have the right suite of products to meet needs and budgets, and helping the organisation build a distribution network for future growth Development of, and support for, my Marketing and Business Development team, so that I have the right group of people and skills, forged into a high-performing team, to deliver that growth agenda A typical day might include a catch-up with my immediate team, followed by a telephone interview with a journalist, a meeting with one of our key brokers and preparation for a presentation to one of our sales offices – all I know for sure is that each day is very different


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview

from the last! The recent advert with the now infamous table cloth trick seems to have really taken off (click on image above). How did the company come up with the idea? We started by looking for ordinary people with a unique skill which could be used to demonstrate some aspect of the IP message we wanted to get across. In fact, when we came across Mat Ricardo and his extraordinary skill in removing (and replacing) a tablecloth from a laid table, we realised that we had the perfect metaphor for what IP does for you ‘when the rug is pulled-out from underneath you’: IP puts it back. Obviously this is only the beginning of a continuing campaign utilising PR, advertising, media partnerships and public affairs – we’ll be back on TV in October! What part of your role at

Unum gives you the most satisfaction? I love sharing the stories of people we’ve helped at a very difficult time in their lives – either with financial support, in helping them return to work, or both. It is also extremely satisfying to see our awareness campaign gaining momentum and the ‘buzz’ created by our innovative ads. Ultimately, seeing our work resulting in sales is the greatest reward. Unum has a strong social media presence across Facebook and Twitter. What type of company or industry information can we expect to find on each of these? Facebook is directed primarily at consumers who have little or no knowledge of IP, and is designed to reinforce the Back-up Plan message. The site aims to explain what IP is, why you may need it, why it’s a great back-up plan and ultimately how you can get it. It’s

done in a way that’s easy to understand and engaging. The tone is light-hearted, to fit in with the context of Facebook and we produce content that is fun and shareable. The apps we have like the Penny Jar, which shows you how long you could last without your income, or the Perkulator that helps you understand what your benefits are worth on top of your salary, are fun to use but have serious messages at their heart. www.facebook.com/BackUpPlan UK Our Twitter feed gives us a daily voice and links most closely to the AskUnum audience (see below). On here we highlight content which might be relevant to our followers, whether that’s on our own sites or on those of third parties. It is another route for people to ask us questions, and gives an opportunity to react very quickly to anything we see that is of interest. It’s particularly valuable for us to keep in direct

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Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview touch with influential people, like key corporate advisers, trade and national journalists, and specialist bloggers. It is very much a support to both Facebook and AskUnum www.twitter.com/AskUnum We also have AskUnum, our own social hub and blog platform, where consumers, employers and advisers can have their questions answered personally by both Unum staff and independent experts. We post the most relevant and interesting answers on the site so it becomes a resource tool for others to use. We also post relevant and interesting blogs and have helpful downloads that give practical advice, for example, how to ask about IP at work. It allows us to link to other interesting sites and broadens the appeal of what we do beyond the narrow niche of IP. www.unum.co.uk/AskUnum Finally we have a dedicated YouTube channel to host all our videos, including our TV ads and other video content that is then showcased on AskUnum or Facebook. It is also a place we can direct people to who want to get a feel of what we are about as a company, underlining the tone of openness of our consumer campaign. www.YouTube.com/unumuk How do you see the role of the intermediary in business development? Intermediaries are key partners for us, both in securing increased penetration at the smaller end of the market and in increasing cover for all employees at the larger end. Overall, as greater

pressure is placed on every penny spent, payroll budgets need to work harder. This provides the ideal chance for advisers to provide insightful and imaginative consultancy to their clients, and add value by helping them create benefit packages that work better for their businesses. This may be by means of rebalancing their current benefits package or considering a different product option. We want intermediaries to take advantage of the awareness we are creating and the consumer education we are providing, in order to start conversations with their clients. We are also looking to partner with IFAs who provide advice to owners or directors of SMEs with a view to growing workforce penetration. There are over 150,000 companies in the UK with less than 50 employees and more often than not they don’t get the expert support they need. Through their existing relationships with small business owners and directors, who already understand the value of workplace IP through their own Executive policy, IFAs could easily step in and fill this gap.

There is a natural synergy between PMI and GIP. A PMI scheme is there to ensure speedy medical treatment where required.

Why is Income Protection such a natural sell alongside Private Medical Insurance (PMI)? There is a natural synergy

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 14

between PMI and GIP. A PMI scheme is there to ensure speedy medical treatment where required. IP complements this by providing a financial safety-net if the employee’s recovery process means they’re unable to work for a long period of time. Whilst great medical treatment means we survive serious illnesses or injuries far more than ever before, in many cases incapacity to work is permanent. IP ensures the medical crisis doesn’t become a financial one as well. Also, the IP provider will, where appropriate, work with the employer and employee on helping that employee return to work as soon as possible. Sometimes an experienced claims or rehab specialist might suggest a suitable treatment or route that could be funded by the PMI policy. It seems strange that, whilst a lot of employers offer private healthcare to their staff when the NHS is also available to them, fewer employers offer IP when only limited help is available from the State for a member of staff who is off work for a considerable amount of time. Visit this interview on advogroup.co.uk to leave your comment. You can also scan the code below to view the interview on your smart phone


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Advogroup.co.uk| twitter

The health insurance industry has moved ...to twitter twitter.com/advogroup Stuck for who to follow on the twittersphere? The health insurance market has well and truly made itself at home on Twitter. Below is a rundown on all the leading health insurers that you can follow @aegonuk AEGON is the new name for Scottish Equitable. AEGON has approximately 28,000 employees and serves 40 million customers worldwide. Follow here

@aetna In 2008 Aetna was selected by Fortune Magazine as the most admired company in the 'Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care' category. Aetna currently have over 1,500 followers. Follow here

@alchealth ALC Health specialises in international private medical insurance (IPMI). ALC provides medical insurance on the individual level as well as for small and large organisations. ALC health are posting a range of great articles to their Twitter account. Follow here

@allianz Allianz offer both individual and group international medical

insurance through 'Allianz Worldwide Care'. They have 75 million customers in 70 countries. they currently have over 1,700 followers Follow here

@askunum The Titter account of Unum. UNUM provides a range of financial services for both individuals and group employees amongst which are health insurance policies. They are a 'Fortune 500' company which means they are ranked within the top 500 American companies based on revenue performance. Follow here

@avivauk AVIVA are the UK's largest insurance group, and sixth largest in the world. AVIVA have a very active Twitter account with over 3,600 followers. Follow here

@axappphealth AXA PPP offer cover across all business sectors and have always been at the forefront of policy innovation. AXA PPP have a

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 16

very engaging Twitter account with over 3,400 followers Follow here

@bupauk BUPA are the market leader and operate throughout the world. Bupa cite their Twitter account as providing latest news, financial results, careers, sustainability info and more. Follow here

@canadalifegrpuk Canada life offers life insurance policies, some of which can build tax-advantaged savings. They also offer critical illness cover helping you manage the financial burden of such suitably significant illness. Canada Life's Twitter account provides a great array of links and news Follow here

@cigna Cigna has a selection of policies to choose from for both individual and group cover. Their group cover has options for large, medium and small groups as well as expatriates. Their Twitter


Advogroup.co.uk| twitter account is approaching 4,500 followers. Follow here

@cna_insurance The Twitter account of CNA. CNA have more than forty years of experience in the healthcare industry. Check out their Twitter account for the latest news. Follow here

@dencover Dencover offers a wide range of dental insurance cover which centres on encouraging regular dental examinations and hygienist visits. Follow here

@denplan Denplan is the UK-based dental payment plan specialist. It has over 6,500 member dentists across the UK, approximately 1.8 million patients and has over 300 employees. With over 2,000 followers, Denplan have created a great twitter presence. Follow here

@exeterfamily Exeter Family Friendly has over one-hundred years of experience. They have two healthcare policies under their 'private medical insurance section; 'Health Cover For Me' and 'Health and Stuff'. Follow here

@firstassistuk First Assist's Twitter account. First Assist offer a wide range of financial services amongst which are their healthcare products. These healthcare products include benefits such as cash benefits and lump sum payments. Follow here

@freedom_2travel The Twitter account for Freedom Insure. Freedom specialise in providing travel insurance to people with pre-existing medical conditions, something usually excluded within the health insurance industry. Follow here

@friendslifetalk The Twitter account for Friends Life. Friends Life was acquired by Resolution Limited in November 2009. In September 2010 Resolution acquired the majority of AXA UK's life businesses which will be combined with Friends Provident to create one of the largest providers of protection, pensions and annuities in the UK. Follow here

healthcare cash plan providers. Follow here

@nat_friendly Nation Friendly's Twitter account. National Friendly was established over 140 years ago in 1868. Its main products are individual cover, group cover and a life plan for people over fifty. Follow here

@pruhealth PruHealth launched in October 2004 and is backed by two large international financial services companies - Prudential and Discovery Holdings. More recently PruHealth acquired Standard Life Healthcare in 2010. PruHealth publish a wide range of great articles to their Twitter account. Follow here

@general_medical General & Medical offer a variety of healthcare insurance products. These range across use for individuals, companies, companies with employees working overseas and sports clubs amongst others. Follow here

@simplyhealthuk The Twitter account of SimplyHealth. With over 140 years of experience, SimplyHealth are the UK's biggest cash plan provider and a major player in the private health insurance and mobility markets. Follow here

@interglobal InterGlobal provides international health insurance for expatriates. It also covers people who travel frequently and international business people all over the world. InterGlobal cover individuals, families and corporate or affinity groups Follow here

@medicash Medicash has almost 140 years of experience. They specialise in low-cost cash plans for both individuals and employees. Medicash is now one of the UK's biggest and longest-running

@westfieldhealth With over ninety years of experience, Westfield Health now provides healthcare plans for approximately 370,000 policyholders throughout the UK Follow here

@advogroup With over 2.7k followers, following ADVO Group on Twitter is one of the best ways to keep up to date with all the latest health insurance industry news. Follow here

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 17


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview

I also foresee that Insurers will continue to innovate with their use of technology Beverly Cook, Expacare Expacare.com Expacare is an international health insurer providing cover in over 140 countries across the globe. In our exclusive interview with Expacare’s Managing Director, Beverly Cook, we discover Beverly’s predictions for the international health insurance market as well as uncovering what the most exciting things are about operating across such an enormous range of countries. What is it that makes Expacare unique? Expacare prides itself on offering the highest levels of medical protection for its members wherever they are in the world. This is probably best illustrated by our current advertising headline, 30 years experience, 150 nationalities insured, 147 countries covered. During this time Expacare has innovated and led the market in a number of areas, examples of this being, the introduction of MHD underwriting for small company paid schemes (5 employees or more) as well as the provision to cover schemes with one employee on a simplified medical underwriting basis. We believe that this is still something that is not offered by our competitors currently. We also have always provided cover in full for chronic

conditions and cancer coverage and members are also covered for medical emergency evacuation as standard. Finally, we do not operate a hospital network meaning our members have the freedom to choose where they get treated without restrictions form us. Of course we will always be happy to help a member find a suitable facility. What direction or increased specialisation do you see Expacare taking in the future? This is an interesting question as at the moment we are actually looking to see what additional products and related services we can offer our clients. As clients become more sophisticated and demanding in their requirements we believe

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that they will be looking for an insurer who can offer a holistic approach to their needs and in this regard we would like to enhance our customer service proposition both in terms of product by offering related add on covers such as life assurance, income protection, travel insurance cover etc, as well as extending our online e commerce facilities which will give member greater control and access to manages their policy and claims. What are the future plans for the company? As stated above, we are looking to strategically grow our company and market position by way of organic growth through product and service innovation. What future trends do you see emerging for the


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 19


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview international health insurance industry? The marketplace has grown significantly in recent times, with new entrants emerging on a regular basis. I would therefore suspect that we will shortly reach saturation point at which time a period of consolidation may well take place as it has done in the UK Pmi marketplace. I also foresee that Insurers will continue to innovate with their use of technology, this is likely to involve giving members online underwriting and application facilities, membership adjustments, claims submission, tracking and settlement advice etc. The other area I see that is likely to change is in claims, this being principally driven by the need to control and manage costs as a result of increased incidence, innovation and medical advances in areas of drug technologies. How this is to be achieved is a little difficult to predict, however this is an area that needs to be looked at by the industry moving forward. I also see a tremendous period of growth for Expacare over the next five years. What does your typical day at Expacare involve? Sounds clichéd; however I am pleased to say that there is no such thing as a typical day at Expacare. That having been said, I will usually start the day by catching up with our risk and pricing director in order to ascertain any evacuation or large claim notifications that she is working with our claims administrators on. I will then speak with our head of sales and marketing to discuss new business opportunities and market trends that need to be considered. I may then spend some time on my role as

secretary to AIMIP (Association of International Medical Insurance Providers), who are currently working with the Heath Insurance Counter Fraud Group on an industry wide initiative to combat claims fraud. Then I may have meetings with our underwriters Brit Insurance to discuss product changes and the likely implications this will have on our performance and profitability. Finally I will then catch up on emails and other messages dealing with both client and broker queries. What part of your role at Expacare gives you the most satisfaction? The most satisfying part of the role is always being able to make a positive difference by providing a quality of claims management care and service to someone when they are experiencing what for them is very often a life threatening situation. A close second would be the thrill of working on a new business proposition and client pitch and being told that Expacare have been selected as their IPMI partner.

The world has changed so much since 1982 however in all that time a client’s basic requirements remain unaltered

Expacare has experience going back to 1982. What do you see as being some of the key changes and developments that have happened during this time? The world has changed so much since 1982 however in all that time a client’s basic requirements remain unaltered, in so far as they are paying Expacare for a

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 20

promise. A promise that when they need us to, we will efficiently pay a claim for them within the terms and conditions of our policy. How that is achieved, what is covered, where that cover is effected have all altered markedly in thirty years, the promise however has not. Key to this has been technology and the way that this dominates our lives and those of our members. Who in 1982 when we were still receiving two day old telex communications at the office can have imagined the possibility that we could have a video conference call with a client anywhere in the world and if supporting documentation was required this could be sent to us electronically whilst we were talking. Expacare offer benefits to 150 countries worldwide. What opportunities or exciting elements has this provided? Another interesting question and one that is clouded a little by regulatory and licensing requirements that are beginning to spring into place around the world. Inevitably however it brings to mind claims scenarios that have occurred such as members we have evacuated and who have subsequently gone on to make full recoveries from the emergencies that they had suffered. Has it also caused any barriers to overcome at any point such as with regard to the multitude of languages or logistics involved? Language and logistics always present challenges; however both our in-house administration team and our claims service partners are used to working and


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview

the other area i see that is likely to change is in claims, this being principally driven by the need to control costs as a result of increased incidence, innovation and medical advances in areas of drug technologies.

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Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 21


Advogroup.co.uk| exclusive interview dealing with clients in a multitude of languages. What is Expacare’s relationship with intermediaries and do you see scope for further development? Expacare has always had strong and good relationships having worked with brokers from day one and during the thirty years they have given us great support and business volumes during that time, but we would always like more. To this regard we have focused the launch of our new small group product ‘Choices’ to the intermediary market. For the future we are keen to continue to build these relationships and as part of this process actively involve intermediaries in product development and service innovations at the earliest opportunity prior to them being launched. We would like them to share their opinions on how they and their clients would like Expacare to develop over the next thirty years. Visit this interview on advogroup.co.uk to leave your comment. You can also scan the code below to view the interview on your smart phone

info@advogroup.co.uk www.advogroup.co.uk

Advocate spring 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 22


Advogroup.co.uk| linkedin

The essential health insurance group "health insurance industry uk" 'health insurance industry uk' on linkedin Wondering what value you can gain from using LinkedIn? Our new group 'Health Insurance Industry UK' is what you've been looking for. Submit your entry request now Group vital stats 270+ members the leading insurers daily disussions latest industry news posted Since launching our LinkedIn Group 'Health Insurance Industry UK' we have seen the group already really take off. The group already has over 270 members and this is set to rise fast. It's not just the quantity of members that is making the group stand out, however. The members you will find within the group are comprised of the leading figures within the health industry with nearly all the leading insurers being represented in membership. This makes the group an excellent

networking and discussion resource to discover the thoughts from the leading insurers on a range of topics. The group is also a great way to keep track of the most up to date news as we post a range of news discussions on a daily basis directly into our discussion feed. By gathering your news via our discussion feed you can make your opinion on the day's news heard more easily than ever before by posting your comments and engaging in discussion with the industry's leading figures.

The group is monitored and updated several times a day so submit your membership request and get approved into the group today to join one of the most rapidly expanding health insurance resources on LinkedIn. Visit this group on linkedin and submit your membership today. You can also scan the code below to join the group on your smart phone

We also have a company profile on LinkedIn which you can follow for all the updates on ADVO group and the services we can offer you.

Advocate spring 2012 | linkedin| 23


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info@advogroup.co.uk www.advogroup.co.uk

Advocate Spring 2012  

ADVO Group aquires Health Care Plus, exclusive interview with Unum's Marcho Forato, Health insurance & Protection's latest Boardroom Briefin...

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