Page 1

the magazine from the uk’s leading employee benefits advisory

advocate

summer 2012 | issue#2

advogroup.co.uk

advo group check your policy details on the go! page 06

bupa

latest research says stress isn’t recognised in uk’s small business page 10

exclusive

hr dept

exclusive interview tom doherty general manager, hr dept page 22 “access to health insurance as an employee benefit should be in any hr department’s toolkit”

visit us on your smartphone advogroup.co.uk


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 harwood-davis consultant manager sharwood-davis@advogroup.co.uk yvette butterworth corporate manager ybutterworth@advogroup.co.uk

...advo goes mobile, our exclusive interview with human resource experts ‘hr dept’, bupa’s latest research into workplace stress, advo flu vaccinations and more!

” Editor’s note Welcome to the Summer 2012 edition of Advocate magazine! In this issue; ADVO goes mobile, our exclusive interview with Human Resource experts Hr Dept, Bupa’s latest research into workplace stress, ADVO flu vaccinations and more!

For those that saw our Spring 2012 edition, you may notice this Summer edition looks a tad different from the first. The first change you may notice is that we are now bringing you twice the amount of content. We simply had too many great interviews, breaking industry news stroies, events and articles to narrow down. In this edition we’ve also included a company introdution on the next page so that you can familiarise yourself with who we are, what we do and where you can get in touch with us. Alongside our cover stories this month this edition also features BIBA’s warned changes to travel insurance, National Friendly’s claims admin gets re-assigned to Simplyhealth, exclusive interviews with ALC’s Andrew Apps, Friend’s life’s Steve Payne as well as a range of articles including ADVO Group’s recent appearances in a range of industry publications. If you have any questions or suggestions for the magazine then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

scan for more team info

chris fiander web content controller cfiander@advogroup.co.uk advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 02


advogroup.co.uk | who we are

advo group who we are and what we do...

Advocate magazine is produced by ADVO Group.

get in touch

ADVO Group is an employee health benefit advisor looking after the requirements of many customers from small businesses up to multi-national organisations.

advogroup.co.uk

ADVO Group can help you find the right private medical insurance cover from over twenty leading insurers. We are independent health and risk specialists. We offer a free independent market review so we can advise you on what will best suit your needs both now and in the future. Our main office is based in Maidstone, Kent and we also have an office in Essex Street, London. Call now on 0845 2578833. We publish advocate magazine quarterly so be sure to keep an eye out for the autumn 2012 issue coming soon!

news news.advogroup.co.uk facebook facebook.com/advogroup twitter twitter.com/advogroup linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid=4326347 google+ search ‘advo group’ youtube youtube.com/advogrouptv

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 03


advogroup.co.uk | contents

contents issue#2 summer 2012 news Page 06 | ADVO’s award-winning Clarity service goes ................mobile Page 10 | Stress is not recognised in UK’s small businesses ................according to latest BUPA research Page 12 | ADVO Group official sponsor of next year’s HR ...............directors business summit Page 14 | BIBA warns of changes to travel insurance Page 16 | National Friendly’s claims admin is reassigned to ................Simplyhealth

interviews Page 22 | HR Dept’s general manager Tom Doherty gives a ................fascinating take on PMI from the HR viewpoint Page 30 | Friends Life’s managing director of protection, ................Steve Payne, shows what an average day involves Page 38 | ALCs director andrew apps gives us his predicted ................market trends

advo group Page 28 | ADVO’s Colin Boxall answers this months cover ................magazine case study on the best oprions for pre................existing heart conditions Page 34 | ADVO Group’s Chris Fiander discusses the ................importance of social media in the modern ................marketing mix

articles Page 18 | Keep healthy this winter with ADVO Group flu ................vaccinations Page 26 | Discover which leading insurers have joined ................Google+

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 04

page 22 exclusive interview with hr dept’s general manager


advogroup.co.uk | contents

page 06 the award-winning clarity service goes mobile

page 18

page 10 latest research into stress

page 18 keep healthy this winter advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 05


advogroup.co.uk | advo group goes mobile

check your policy details while on the go! advo group launches mobile version of website and clarity! advogroup.co.uk ADVO Group’s website and award-winning technology service Clarity are now available in a fully optimised mobile version. Find out exactly what possibilities this can have for policiy holders with ADVO Group. To access the mobile version of the ADVO Group website simply visit advogroup.co.uk on any mobile browser and you will instantly see the optimised verison of the site.

menu button > choose existing clients > then CLARITY. MCE gives employees access to Click on the Employees button, their key benefit information enter your email address for policies that are held with and password (as supplied). ADVO Group such as policy Finally, click on the log in benefits, policy hospital button to access all your vital Alongside the mobile version search, direct access to their policy information wherever of the general website is the ADVO Group account manager you are! mobile verison of CLARITY. and more. As mentioned mobile Mobile CLARITY for As MCE is a web-based CLARITY offers access to key Employees (MCE) works as a application you can access it policy information. To find Web-based application created via a mobile web browser this invaluable information for for ADVO Group’s customer’s (Safari or Chrome on an your policy with ADVO group employees to access their iPhone or any mobile browser follow the steps listed below policy information from a ie HTC or Blackberry). (screenshots also opposite). mobile device. To access MCE on your Access MCE as outlined in the browser simply follow preceding set of instructions. clarity is an award mobile the following instructions Once you have logged in with winning technology (screenshots opposite). your details you will be shown of the different types service that you will only Open your mobile browser and aoflist policy that are held with find at advo group type the following URL into ADVO Group. Click on the the bar http://soc.advogroup. appropriate policy type. Then Just as with the non-mobile co.uk/mobile or go to http:// click on the benefits button. verison of clarity, you won’t www.advogroup.co.uk which Then simply scroll down to find it anywhere else, it’s an will take you to the ADVO view a thorough list of all the award-winning technology Group mobile website where essential information for your service that you will only find you can then click on the particular policy.

with ADVO Group!

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 06


advogroup.co.uk | advo group goes mobile

easy and quick to use!

accessing mobile clarity for employees

using mobile clarity to access vital policy information advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 07 15


advogroup.co.uk | advo group goes mobile Another fantastic feature of MCE is that it gives covered employees access to search by their postcode for covered hospitals.

great features.

The mobile verison of the site offers all the content and information that you will find on the non-mobile version of To perform this search funtion the site you are used to but begin by logging in to MCE now made to easily display with your log-in details. You on your mobile browser. The will then be shown a list of navigation on the mobile site the types of policies that are is also incredibly intutive to held with ADVO Group. Click follow. on a policy type and then click on the ‘hospitals’ button. Links to all of our social media Enter the first two letters of sites, for example, are instantly the postcode area required accessable via the main menu and click on the search button within the ‘Social’ button. to display a full list of all the relevent hospitals. You can The news section of the then click on any of these website has also underdone a listed hospitals to view all complete transformation for the contact information you the mobile version. The news will need along with a Google feed is instantly updated in powered map to allow easy real-time to make sure that location all within the the you always receive only the CLARITY system. most up-to-date news stories for the PMI, HR and employee MCE can also easily be added benefits industries. to the home screen on your iPhone as a shortcut by The mobile news section also following the following simple contains all of the additional instructions. news features you will find in the main, non-mbile version Access the MCE on your of the website. Simply drag iPhone. Click on the Share down the arrows at the top button (at the bottom of the of the main mobile news browser). Then select “Add page to reveal a wide range to Home Screen”. This will of tools and options. You will display the “Add to Home” be able to search the entire page where you can change news section, go to certain the name displayed and see key news sections and even the icon that will be displayed submit your email address on your home page. Click the to subscribe to the mailing ‘Add’ button at the top of the list. Subscription here will page. The icon will be added to enable you to receive email your home screen like an App alerts each time we publish a from the App Store. new news post, making sure you will never miss a piece of The launch of the mobile breaking industry news again. version of the main ADVO Subscription will also enable Group website also offers some you to receive our monthly

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 08

newsletters which are packed full of only the biggest industry news stories, exclusive interviews and company news from ADVO Group.

The launch of both the mobile version of the ADVO Group website and our Clarity service marks a huge addition to the mobile realm for PMI and employee benefits resources

The launch of both the mobile version of the ADVO Group website and our Clarity service marks a huge addition to the mobile realm for PMI and employee benefits resources. If you would like to know more about either the mobile or non-mobile verion of Clarity than don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to arrange a free demonstration of the service at your place of work. Alternatively, please feel to ring us on 0845 2578833 or email us at info@advogroup.co.uk to discuss Clarity our any aspect of how our independent, specialist advice can fulfill your employee benefit needs.


free review your family your company yourself call now on 0845 2578833 or email info@advogroup.co.uk

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


advogroup.co.uk | bupa research

Stress is not recognised in UK’s small businesses according to latest bupa research bupa.co.uk Recent research from Bupa highlights the importance of recognising stress in small businesses and has lead to the introduction of ‘Bupa Stress Management’. Stress in the workplace can have a devastating impact for a company as well as the wider economy. It is estimated that stress costs the UK economy £26 billion a year. However, even with such a potentially high financial cost for businesses with stressed and unhappy employees it is believed that over a quarter of owners of small businesses in the UK would be unable to identify and address psychological ill health in their employees, according to the latest research form Bupa. Furthermore, it is believed that over 40% of the same small business owners never speak to their employees about their psychological or physical health.

them to create strategies and plans to generate greater psychological wellbeing in their employees. The research from Bupa, which lead to the launch of the new stress management initiative, also found that there is a often prevalent attitude from employers that feels unwilling to wish to begin to look at stress related issues. For example, the research claims that almost one in three bosses feel that it is none of their business to get involved in the psychological wellbeing of their staff.

One interesting comparison found that discussing the weather, often seen as the archetypal example of trivial To try and tackle this problem, small talk, was found to be Bupa have recently launched very commonly discussed ‘Bupa Stress Management’. between small business The new initiative from the owners and their employees insurer aims to help business (55% of those studied) but that owners firstly identity talking about their employees problems with stress in their health was only discussed with workforce and then help a fraction of the frequency,

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 10

with only 27% of those studied falling into this category. Tony Wood, Sales and Marketing Director at Bupa said: “Stress is a huge issue for small businesses, with owners and employees alike often taking on multiple roles and committing massive emotional investment into the business. The pace at which many small businesses have to work, especially in a struggling economy, means that health can be overlooked in the drive to get things done. It’s never easy to tackle personal issues with employees, but a workplace environment that champions open lines of communication can prevent issues from snowballing. A big challenge is addressing the stigma often attached to any form of mental illness, particularly in an economic environment where there is uncertainty on job


advogroup.co.uk | bupa research

Understanding these barriers is what inspired us to create Bupa Stress Management, which has been designed to help small businesses to identify and deal with stress issues, without taking up too much time or investment.”

Stress is a huge issue for small businesses Dr Jenny Leeser, clinical director of Occupational Health at Bupa, said:

“If health issues such as stress are not addressed, employees suffering in silence can lead to small issues becoming bigger problems in the long term and ultimately affecting productivity. Nobody expects bosses to solve all of a person’s issues but there may be adjustments that really help, such as altering hours on a temporary basis. Bupa Stress Management can help guide such decisions and provide individual support for employees. All companies have

a Health & Safety policy, so why not a Stress and Mental Health policy too?” Make sure your work-force is healthy and happy by utilising the group benefit solution that is the ideal fit for your business. To speak to one of the expert advisers here at ADVO Group call us now on 0845 2578833 or email at info@advogroup.co.uk.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 11


advogroup.co.uk | hr directors business summit 2013

ADVO Group official sponsor of HR Directors Business summit Summit 22nd -23rd January 2013, icc birmingham hrevent.com ADVO Group are proud to announce their official sponsorship of the eleventh annual HR Directors Business Summit 2013. The major event in the HR calendar will take place on the 22nd -23rd January 2013 at the ICC in Birmingham. With over 650 HR Directors solution providers and and over 100 confirmed consultancies. exhibitors, the event promises to be the largest meeting for • Discussion provide lively those in the HR profession in debate and interaction with 2013. your HR peers.

The event will also host the 2013 HR Distinction Awards. These awards are seen as the key award within the HR industry with last year’s judges including representatives from companies such as Hrevent.com, the event’s • Workshops,with interactive McDonalds, Tesco and The official website has confirmed participation, specialist Carphone Warhouse, amongst the following highlights for the advice and Q&A sessions. others. January show; • Exhibition where you The 2013 event will build upon • Streamed sessions with can identify the latest the success of the previous in-depth presentations technologies to support ten years. Only last year’s providing you with the your HR function. event needs to be look to for largest most choice excellent testimonials from possible across all HR The event will also cover a an extensive range of industry disciplines. range of key themes which leading HR professionals. For are quoted from hrevent.com example, Kevin Hull, Group • Case studies from experts as including organisational Human Resources Director at detailing practical advice information - moving from Marshalls Plc said of last year’s and best practice for recession proofing to future event all human resource proofing, talent management professionals. for sustainable growth, “Continues to set the leadership - new directions, standard in terms of business • Pre-scheduled one-to-one new goals, new approaches, networking and stand out HR meetings, maximising HR - moving from reactive topics of the day”. your networking to proavtive and learning & opportunities with all HR development.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 12


advogroup.co.uk | hr directors business summit 2013

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 13


advogroup.co.uk | biba research

reseach from BIBA shows drunken travellers may be unable to claim on their travel insurance and the cost of treatment abroad biba.org.uk Those leaving for their summer holidays abroad could potentially find themselves in trouble when it comes to making claims on their travel insurance. Recent research by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has warned travellers that their travel insurance could become invalid if they are under the influence of either alcohol or non-prescription drugs when it comes to making a claim. BIBA’s research took an in depth look at twenty of the leading travel insurance policies on the market and found a consistency across all policies in the survey with them all making exclusions, to some degree at least, to claims where the policy holder(s) would be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The consistency found in the research, in terms of all the insurers making exclusions to some degree at least, seems to be reflective of a market trend in the last few years which has seen insurers take an increasingly strong stance against alcohol and drug related travel insurance claims. However, the research also found a high degree of inconsistency as to the actual

level of exclusion being applied from insurer to insurer. Some insurers, for example, have tried to define the level at which the amount of alcohol consumed would nullify the insurance claim. For example, by quoting the level of alcohol intake as being ‘excessive’ or ‘drinking so much alcohol that your judgment is seriously affected’. Other insurers seem to have taken a more tee total approach to the claims procedure by claiming that any claim that results from alcohol intake will not be valid. The later of these two will certainly be easier to quantity as the more lenient policies may find it quite difficult to apply their definitions as to the exact level of intoxication.

“We believe that travellers will be surprised that there is such a variety of exclusions within policies and they need to understand what level of alcohol could invalidate a claim and if excessive, it almost certainly will.” Leighann Forsyth, BIBA’s Head of Communications, added: “Travel insurance is vitally important. Travellers could be confused by the different attitudes that are taken by insurers so it is important for them to check their specific policy wording, stay safe and speak to an insurance broker to fully understand the policy cover and conditions.”

BIBA explained their concern Following on from the study, that people travelling with a Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s Head travel insurance policy need to of Corporate Affairs, said: fully understand what their

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 14


advogroup.co.uk | biba research policy covers and does not cover including the rules around alcohol consumption.

“The biggest cost if something goes wrong on your holiday will not be a lost passport, delayed flight or stolen BIBA further went on to camera: it will be the medical explain that this is particularly treatment that may be needed important in light of how if you, or someone in your expensive it can be to pay for family, gets hurt or falls ill. medical treatment abroad with Medical costs abroad can the average cost for overseas run into tens of thousands of treatment last year reaching pounds which makes travel in at £2,040. There have also insurance absolutely essential. been a significant number of You must disclose all previous other reports and published medical conditions to make research which further sure you are covered. Call your highlight the startling cost of insurer to talk it through if uninsured overseas medical you are not sure. All travellers treatment. should ensure that they take details of emergency medical For example, Sainsbury’s helpline telephone numbers Finance last year published included in their travel policy research which also to call for advice and help highlighted just how expensive should they fall ill.” getting essential medical treatment abroad can be without being insured. They the cost of medical claimed that the cost of appropriate treatment if expenses has increased by you suffer a heart attack, 270% in the last six for example, can run up to £12,500. years

find themselves in a situation where they are unable to make the potentially vitally needed claim due to the rules and regulations relating to alcohol intake. If you take away those penalised for alcohol consumption from the small number of holiday makers that have taking out a policy, it may be the case that very few people travelling abroad will be able to make a claim. Do you think consuming alcohol should affect whether your travel insurance policy is valid or not when it comes to making a claim? Is it simply a question of whether or not alcohol has been consumed at all, or is it rather a question of how much alcohol has been consumed? To have your say on these issues scan the QR code below and register your opinion on the poll and discussion on our LinkedIn group.

Make sure you get all the information you need about In light of this collection your travel insurance with of research it can easily be ADVO Group’s expert advise. argued that travel insurance is Call now on 0845 2578833 or a modern necessity given the email at costs of uninsured treatment info@advogroup.co.uk. abroad. The problems are that, firstly, not enough people are taking out this necessary insurance. For example, the earlier cited reseach from Sainsbury’s Finance also claimed that only one out of every five Brits aborad Nick Starling, the ABI’s will have a travel insurance Director of General Insurance policy in place. The key issue and Health commented on the here though is that those findings of the ABI research by who have taken out a travel saying; insurance policy may then The Association Of British Insurers (ABI) also published some starting research figures last year which stated that the cost of medical expenses has increased by 270% in the last six years (published August 2011). ABI also quoted that a claim dealt with by insurers included paying £11,00 to treat a holidaymaker in Spain who suffered a broken arm after falling.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 15


advogroup.co.uk | simplyhealth

Simplyhealth is assigned to administer National Friendly’s PMI claims over 17,000 people’s policies to change administrator simplyhealth.co.uk Simplyhealth has been appointed by National Friendly to take over the running of its PMI claims administration. The three year contract will see Simplyhealth taking over the running of over 17,000 people’s policies on a three year contract. Kelly Morris, head of major corporate sales at Simplyhealth, said that Simplyhealth is delighted to be working with National Friendly.

appointed a dedicated team to manage its customers (source: http://www.hi-mag.com/ health-insurance/productarea/pmi/article400958.ece).

Simplyhealth is

Ian Talbot, National Friendly commercial director, said: delighted to be working “Simplyhealth’s ability to with National Friendly and deliver managed care services, enabling our customers to get has appointed a dedicated the maximum value from their team to manage its policies, was instrumental in our decision to appoint customers it as our sole PMI claims administrator for the next It has been reported that three years”. National Friendly finished issuing new PMI policies in Kelly Morris, head of April 2011. major corporate sales at Simplyhealth also commented This transference of the on the transferring of the administration of National claims and administration by Friendly’s PMI claims sees saying that Simplyhealth is Simplyhealth make it into delighted to be working with the ADVO Group news National Friendly and has pages once again this year

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 16

following a recent series of key developments for the company. This included the company’s purchasing of Groupama’s Sante health insurance policy. In December last year it was also announced that Simplyhealth successfully completed it’s purchase of AXA’s Denplan. To keep up to date with the latest news on Simplyhealth be sure to check out the news section of the ADVO Group website at news.advogroup. co.uk. It is also possible to only view Simplyhealth related news stroies by visiting news.advogroup.co.uk/tag/ simplyhealth.


free review call now on 0845 2578833 or email info@advogroup.co.uk

your family your company yourself

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


advogroup.co.uk | flu vaccinations

keep healthy this winter get your flu vaccinations with advo group advogroup.co.uk The time to organise flu vaccinations for your staff is now and ADVO Group are at hand to make the process as easy as possible! The burden of sickness absence related costs is something that all companies share, not to mention the associated disruption to workloads and colleagues.

For companies concerned about the ever increasing cost of sickness absence, business continuity and the welfare of staff, a flu vaccination is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting your staff’s health and productivity.

and mobile population. With 5.3 million tourists expected this year, many from other high risk countries such What Is A Flu Vaccine And as South Korea, Netherlands Why Should You Consider It? and Germany H1N1 (Swine Flu) is one of the strains The vaccine contains of Flu that are causing the inactivated virus (you are authorities concern. Currently not able to get the flu from vaccinations for Swine Flu the jab) that stimulates the are only available on the NHS immune system to make to “high risk groups”, leaving antibodies. These protect it the majority of the population against the strains of the virus vulnerable as it can be spread predicted by the World Health very easily through surfaces, Organisation (WHO) as the sneezes and dirty tissues. most likely to hit the UK. In Our Flu vaccinations will also addition, this year’s vaccine contain protection against the also provides protection H1N1 (Swine) Flu strain. against H1N1 (Swine) Flu. The importance of getting The risk of a flu pandemic vaccinations against Influenza spreading in the UK will be is something that has been significantly increased this emphasised by a vast number year as tourists flood to the UK of sourecs over the years. For this summer in time for the example, as the World Health Olympics. Organisation explain

By using ADVO Group Ltd you can arrange for a nurse to come to your office location(s) to vaccinate staff onsite, or alternatively provide staff with vouchers which will enable

Britain is already one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to the spread of the flu viruses (second only to Singapore) due to our highly populated cities

On average 10-12% of all sickness absence can be attributed to influenza forcing staff to take up to a week off when affected. Influenza spreads rapidly through coughs and sneezes of infected people the symptoms of which can start quite suddenly and severely which antibiotics cannot treat.

them to obtain their vaccine at a time and place more convenient for them.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 18

“Since 1973, the World Health Organisation has provided formal recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines based on the information provided by the


advogroup.co.uk | flu vaccinations

“

since 1973, the world health organisation has provided formal recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines based on the information provided by the world health organisation global influenza surveillance network (GISN) world health organisation

�

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 19


advogroup.co.uk | flu vaccinations World Health Organisation bulk orders. Please contact Global Influenza Surveilance us for more information and a Network (GISN).” formal quotation (Source: http://www.who.int/ influenza/vaccines/virus/en/) nurse to attend office ADVO Group are able to provide a range of vaccination options ensuring you get the perfect vacine solution for you and your employees. These options include our basic vaccine through to having a nurse provide vaccinations at your office loation. The full list of vaccination options along with their corresponding costs are as follows

Vaccine £12.50 per vaccine There may be discounts for

£65 per hour

Vaccine vouchers £12.50 This can be redeemed at - Morrisons - Tesco - Superdrug - Cooperative - Lloyds Pharmacy

Included in the cost - Access to a Doctor help line 24/7 before, during and after

ADVO Group are able to provide a range of vaccination options ensuring you get the perfect vacine solution for you and your employees

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 20

the vaccine for all staff - Online booking system where required - No booking fee - No deposit - No cancellation charge - No travel costs for the nurse (Mainland UK) - Letter to distribute to staff informing them of the Flu vaccine offering - FAQ leaflet for staff - Posters To experience the ADVO difference and take advantage this offer please contact Sharon Harwood-Davis at sharwood-davis@advogroup. co.uk, or call on 0845 257 8833 by Friday 15th October 2012.


the latest industry news... straight to your inbox! subscribing to our news feed is quick, easy & 100% FREE subscribe now at news.advogroup.co.uk/subscribe

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


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive contents interview |hr dept

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 22 04


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | hr dept

Access to health insurance as an employee benefit should be in any HR department’s toolkit tom doherty, hr dept

hrdept.co.uk

Providing HR solutions to companies from a network of over 45 offices across the UK, HR Dept are truly experts in the HR field. In our exclusive interview with the company’s General Manager, Tom Doherty, we discuss the value of PMI in the employee benefits mix, the company’s aims for the future and much more. The HR Dept provides outsourced HR services to small to medium sized businesses. The services we provide are everything you would expect from an in-house HR department in a large corporate but at a fraction of the cost. Many smaller firms do not require a full time HR presence but still need to “prevent people problems”. We have 45 offices across the UK providing local and personal HR support for SMEs.

there is freedom to choose on treatment options. It is also an investment in your staff’s health and wellbeing and part of a brand building exercise. Has this changed over time at all?

With access to more and more schemes it is probably more now about choosing the right one to suit your cost and demand. In a time where all costs are being examined, it is important to recognise the How central do you see value of having a PMI (private health insurance as an medical insurance) scheme employee benefit in the that could cover unforeseen human resource industry? costs like a key worker not being able to get treatment Access to health insurance as quickly through the NHS and an employee benefit should the impact of this illness on be in any HR department’s your business and workplace. toolkit. Whether it is provided for key members of staff or What kind of articles or it is offered as a universal information can be found on benefit, it means medical your company blog? advice, attention etc can be utilised without having to Our ‘preventing people wait on NHS waiting lists as problems blog’ (www.

preventingpeopleproblems. blogspot.co.uk) contains a unique blend of HR stories, comment and funny HR tales from around the world (see one of our recent blog posts on the reasons why men die first and how health and safety can explain this!). We try to give our readers useful and timely HR information, top tips, and videos so the blog is used as a resource and we do this in a light-hearted way that all can understand. What is it that makes HR Dept unique? The HR Dept is unique because we offer a local and personal, practical and pragmatic service and we ensure all advice is tailored to each business we work with so they receive the best value service, rather than an ‘off the shelf’ solution. We are proud to deliver a service that isn’t from a call

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 23


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | hr dept centre. The HR Dept local offices help their local clients with their workforce so that employers can concentrate on growing the business. Clients receive one to one support on the phone as well as onsite assistance locally. The business is built on word of mouth marketing so we work hard on building trust to enhance our model of building long term relationships with our clients. What does your typical day at HR Dept involve? For an HR Dept office a typical day can range from answering queries on all aspects on how to handle HR/ employment law issues such as disciplinary issues, absence and performance management problems, through to helping businesses with recruitment and selection and then of course managing the growth of our brand.

Our recent survey of all HR Dept clients revealed a 9.1 satisfaction score (out of 10)

What are the future plans for the company? We aim to continue what we do best. Our recent survey of all HR Dept clients revealed a 9.1 satisfaction score (out of 10) which we are really proud of. It sets a new benchmark every year to achieve even better! By end of 2013 we hope to reach 75 offices. HR Dept has quite a

strong social media presence with a great number of followers on LinkedIn and Twitter. What can we expect to find on each of your different social media accounts?

well has been very powerful. Dealing with mental health issues in the workplace can be very sensitive and sometimes because the affects cannot always be physical seen, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a profound impact on any We use our twitter account to individual. Employers must connect with our followers in recognise there are many an informal capacity. We like support organisations out to share articles, photos and there which can advise on comments we hear. We love reasonable adjustments in to receive comments on our the workplace to support an blog and the newsletter ‘People employee affected by a mental Matter’ (http://hrdept.co.uk/ health condition. People-Matter.htm) to create a bit of debate around the There are some great topics. We’ve had some great free resources on your feedback which has really been site. What would you encouraging. We keep on top particularly recommend of all things HR in the news employers to access here? and in recent employment tribunal cases so that we can Thank you very much! point out the sublime and Our newsletter ‘People ridiculous cases but at the Matter’ contains articles on same time highlight that this employment law updates, HR could happen to any employer issues, tales from around the who doesn’t seek advice on world, and vital statistics for their people problems. Our all employers. LinkedIn account works well to showcase our products What do you like about and services in a way that ADVO Group? connections can recommend particular products and Access to wide range of services. In the near future providers, plans and options. we are hoping to create more If you would like more discussions within LinkedIn so information, please go to our we can really engage with our website www.hrdept.co.uk followers. Tom Doherty is the General In your last newsletter you Manager for The HR Dept Ltd talked about the recent and can be contacted on 0800 Mental Health Awareness 610 1166 or tom@hrdept. Week. What is the co.uk./ importance for employers in recognising these issues If you’re looking for an in the workplace? employee benefit solution for your HR needs then speak to We thought the recent one of our advisors at ADVO campaign about Mental Health Group on 0845 2578833. Awareness in general as

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 24


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview

the latest hr news visit news.advogroup.co.uk & subscribe for alerts at news.advogroup.co.uk/subscribe

info@advogroup.co.uk advogroup.co.uk advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 04


advogroup.co.uk | google+

the leading insurers have moved google+ join them on the runaway social site plus.google.com Following on from a look at the PMI market on Twitter in the Spring edition of Advocate magazine, this issue we look at how the market is beginning to make its way onto the social networking site that everyone’s talking about... Google+! Google+ has well and truely proved all the nay-sayers wrong and shown that it will continue to have a major presence in the social media landscape for a long time to come. It was only a few weeks into 2012 that the social networking platform reached the massive 100 million members benchmark and it is predicted that by the end of the year it’s membership will have sky rocketed to between 300-400 million members! With the site being able to offer a unique range of tools for companies to be able to engage with their audiences, more and more leading health insurers are now representing themselves on this fantastic platform. Below is a rundown of the main insurers you can find on the site and what their page can offer as well as what to expect from the official ADVO Group account.

Allianz Having such a huge range of product areas, and operating on a global scale, there are several key Allianz pages on Google+.

including a company Pinteret profile. They also cover topics ranging from Olympic infographics to NASA’a space shuttle programme!

However, the main verified Aviva uk Google+ page for the company is the one to keep an out for. Another impressive page on Google + belonging to one of With an incredibly impressive the industry’s leading insurers approximately 900 +1s on is Aviva’s. their main official page, it’s no surprise to find that the This is another page with a insurer are sharing excellent similarly impressive number content on a highly consistent of +1s on the main profile well basis. into the several hundreds. It’s not just simply the frequency of posting, however, that is enabling Allianz to create such an engaging page, it is just as much down to the wide range in the type of content being shared. The company provide links to their website as well as to their other social media sites

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 26

The Aviva page focuses highly on audience interactivity, uploading people’s sent in photos, linking to live social media enabled Q and A sessions, links to games and much more.


advogroup.co.uk | google+ The page also features some excellent research including the recently posed question “We’ve found that although the typical UK family have debts of £9,314, 1 in 5 families won’t give up their summer holiday - whatever the cost. What one thing could you not give up?”

pru health

advo group

The Pru Health Google+ page is a really nicely laid out page and features some content that distinguishes it from the rest of the pages here by giving a behind the scenes look at the company with uploaded staff photos.

You will also find ADVO Group on Google+.

The page also features a link to a great calorie calorie counter The page also links to some tool, making you know what great content from a range of your exact intake should be. sources such as The Guardian and the BBC featuring articles such as ‘how to avoid running injuries’ and ‘smoking and health, 50 years on’. Axa ppp healthcare

The thing you will notice about the ADVO Group Google+ page is the volume on content. We add new posts to our Google+ page on a daily basis. Part of the content you will find on the page are links from the news section of our website (news.advogroup.co.uk) which we also update on a daily basis.

We also link to a range of other news sources such as The AXA PPP Healthcare health news from the BBC as Google+ page is one to watch well as our other social media for the future. With blog posts simplyhealth pages including our pages on including vital advice on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, medical issues such as mouth Another excellently Issuu.com. Paper.li and cancer, the page could well be presented and laid out page, set to heavily expand into the Simplyhealth Google+ page is YouTube. Our LinkedIn page, in particular, is a great page near future. very rich in content. for us to link to as it allows us to bring the top discussions The most recent post on from the LinkedIn group to a the page links to their latest new audience on Google+ and Facebook competition to win a friends life invites them to have their say foot spa. on the discussion either as a Started in January this year, comment on the Google+ post the Friends Life Google+ page Simplyhealth also just or to follow the link through to features some excellent posts announced on the 19th June the LinkedIn group itself and including news posts, research the launch of their new official have their say within the actual company blog so you will find statistics, blog posts from LinkedIn discussion. all the links to their main blog visionsofbritain2020.co.uk posts on their Google+ page. (which is a blog well worth Keeping an eye on our Google+ checking out). posts is also a great way not to You’ll also find links to a miss the future publications of One of the most striking facts range of other sites on the Advocate magazine! We post page such as slidshare.net and recently published on the whenever a new edition of the their company Flickr account Friends Life Google+ page magazine is released online. which features an absolutely is that 14% of Britons would You can also make sure you huge number of photos from automatically take out pet don’t miss another copy by insurance, but only 6% would within the Simplyhealth offices checking out our issuu profile as well as at corporate and take out income protection. at issuu.com/advogroup. company event given a real in depth view into the company.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 27


advogroup.co.uk | colin boxall

ADVO Group’s Colin Boxall answers Cover Magazine’s July case study The best options for pre-existing heart problems advogroup.co.uk “My client, a company director of a medium sized firm, has recently been diagnosed with heart problems due to a virus. He has no cover and providers have now refused to insure him. What other options can he explore?” This was the case study question posed in this month’s edition of Cover Magazine. In this latest edition of the magazine, you will find ADVO Group’s Colin Boxall giving his expert advice. “As an individual with impaired health, insurers will shy away. But as viral heart conditions can have a good longer-term prognosis and can leave no lasting tissue damage there may be options available in the future” explains Colin Boxall. “For example, individual PMI with moratorium underwriting will exclude heart related claims. It will offer cover now for unrelated and new conditions with a possibility, after a future twoyear treatment-free period, of including future heart claims.

to support the client and other employees. Depending on the employees covered, collective underwriting can allow the inclusion of past and current conditions.

be viewed longer term for potential pitfalls.

It can, however, come at a price. Initial costs can be reasonable but future pricing is dependent on claims. With group risk, a freecover limit may not give all the cover required but is available. PMI can also cover past conditions depending on the number of employees included and may include a premium loading.

Although start up costs may be considered reasonable, future premiums will be driven by claims.

Although these arrangements If cover is needed immediately, can produce results for the insuring on a group basis individual and valuable staff offers options depending how benefits for other employees, much the employer is prepared the arrangements have to

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 28

PMI will not only cover past conditions for the client but also all other employees.

Allowing past and current conditions to be included for all could spiral future costs.” Colin Boxall is Corporate Director here at ADVO Group. Get the specialist healthcare advice from the ADVO Group team by calling us now on 0845 2578833 or email at info@advogroup.co.uk.


advogroup.co.uk |colin boxall

“

as viral heart conditions can have a good longer-term prognosis and can leave no lasting tissue damage there may be options available in the future.

�

colin boxall, advo group

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 29


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | friends life

We have a busy time ahead of us and it is important that strategies are in place to handle regulatory change smoothly and with minimal impact to our customers steve payne, friends life friendslife.co.uk

With over five million customers customers, Friends Life is a major insurance provider that also offers a range of financial services. In our exclusive interview with Steve Payne, Managing Director of Protection, we discover the company’s history, their strong on-line presence and much more. What is it that makes Friends Life unique?

of the milestones over this What are also some of expansive period? the key changes and developments that have As an organisation we strive When Friends Provident, happened in a more to really understand our now part of Friends Life, was contemporary sense, over customers, look out for them founded in Yorkshire in 1832, the last few years or so? and be there for them when its purpose was to provide life they need us. In terms of assurance for members of the This year we celebrated our protection, there are a number Society of Friends, commonly first birthday as Friends Life. of things which sets us apart – known as Quakers. Since then It’s been a transformational for example, we offer fracture a lot has changed; we are now year for our business with a cover for critical illness policy a leading provider of financial significant amount of change holders, as well as access to services to over five million and delivery. Best Doctors for a second customers. With key business medical opinion. lines in corporate benefits, Key milestones in the last year individual protection and include the appointment of a Friends Life has an retirement income, we also new CEO, Andy Briggs, who astonishing over 200 offer a wide range of services joined in June 2011- and a new years of experience. What to IFAs. CFO, Tim Tookey, who joined do you see as being some earlier this month.

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 30


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | friends life

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 31


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | friends life There has also been the creation of a heritage business, specifically to meet the needs of customers with ‘legacy’ products and the launch of a retirement income business in August 2011. We’ve created a workplace savings platform for UK employers, which was announced in January 2012. New propositions for the individual and group protection markets have also been launched in the last 12 months, so it’s been a busy year! What direction or increased specialisation do you see Friends Life taking in the future? As well as developing our group and individual protection propositions, we also have the new retirement income business which will be continuing to grow throughout 2012. We continue to innovate – last year we announced our new partnership with Best Doctors, which means that we will work with Best Doctors to develop innovative services in the IFA market. Plans are also in place to build on our successful propositions in the corporate benefits market, as we have also launched our Corporate Platform, an online workplace savings platform offering a pension, cash and stocks and shares ISAs, and investment accounts to employers.

With gender-neutral pricing, RDR and Solvency II on the horizon I think the future of the protection market looks set to be interesting. We have a busy time ahead of us and it is important that strategies are in place to handle regulatory change smoothly and with minimal impact to our customers. What does your typical day at Friends Life involve?

which includes updates on breaking news, our views on key issues and our T20 cricket sponsorship. We also have a @VoB_2020 account which includes updates on our latest Visions of Britain 2020 thought leadership campaign. We also have a dedicated Visions of Britain microsite which houses blogs, mini polls and news items relevant to the research. It can be found at www.visionsofbritain2020. co.uk.

I am an Early Bird, so am at my desk just after 7 a.m. A typical day will include some internal planning or review meetings and a meeting or dinner with a key distribution partner.

What part of your role at Friends Life gives you the most satisfaction? That is easy. Paying the claims when our customers need us most. Ensuring we meet our customers’ expectations quickly and efficiently is important. It is very rewarding for the team when our claimants recognise this and write in to thank us.

Friends Life has a strong social media presence on Twitter. What type of company or industry information can we expect to find here and other there any other social media sites that Friends What future trends do you Life can be found on? see emerging for the UK health insurance market Friends Life is active on as a whole? Twitter through its @ FriendsLifeTalk account,

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 32

I see even more opportunity to work closer with them (intermediaries) to ensure that our mutual customer expectations are met

Friends Life has won a large array of awards over the years. Do any of these awards stand above the rest as being particularly special to have received? We were particularly pleased to achieve Defaqto 5-starrating for Protect+, our critical illness and income protection product. The market response has been the best I can remember for a new product and Friends Life will continue to lead the market for quality Protection. For more news and exclusive interviews visit news. advogroup.co.uk.


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | friends life

This year we celebrated our first birthday as Friends Life. It’s been a transformational year for our business with a significant amount of change and delivery steve payne, friends life

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 33


advogroup.co.uk | social media

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 34


advogroup.co.uk |social media

When communication is transferred down social media channels it is not just in support of the product for the broker but actually works more as part of the product itself chris fiander, advo group advogroup.co.uk

Recently published in Corporate Advisor magazine, Chris Fiander, Web Content Controller at ADVO Group discusses the importance of health insurance intermediaries to be fully utilising social media… “As the pace of technology quickens with each passing year so does effective marketing. The change in just a few short years is astounding. Ours is a people business, supported until only recently by paper and the telephone, but the rapidity of the online takeover seems barely credible. Yet many in the health insurance industry struggle to maintain an up-todate website. I wonder how these organisations will fare in the near future without fully embracing the cyber-world. Social media is radically changing marketing as we

know it. Many organisations are run by an older generation without any conception or understanding of our new online world. The arrival of the internet should be seen as on a par with the invention of the steam engine and unless companies embrace it they will surely be left far behind.

The relevancy these new social media marketing practices have are unquestionable. Social media has sufficient longevity and usage behind it for it not to be seen as a quirky solution for just a select few industries; rather, it is now centred as a fully mainstream communication technique.

We all know of Facebook and Twitter, but how many of us are aware of ’stumbleupon’ or Google +? Already the marketing comparison is now moving beyond those who are only using Facebook and Twitter against companies utilising wider tools such as LinkedIn and others.

The health insurance industry is ideally suited to and relevant for social media. Social media offer a wide array of tools that are increasingly viewed as vital due to their ability to effectively target new clients through a bespoke message to a selected audience. The broker side of the industry, in particular, is tailor made

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 35


advogroup.co.uk | social media for the modern social media landscape. When communication is transferred down social media channels it is not just in support of the product for the broker but actually works more as part of the product. The tools are out there to make the process highly targeted and effective and it extends far beyond simply using Facebook and Twitter. One of the biggest and more significant tools available now is LinkedIn, the business version of Facebook. Until its arrival LinkedIn was sorely missing from the social media landscape, which is apparent from the site’s enormous levels of growth in a relatively short space of time. LinkedIn reports that it has an astonishing 161m members. The most obvious company representation on the site is the familiar company profile page. However, one of the best features, and most often overlooked, is their group feature. This allows the creation a forum to discuss leading issues, bringing in wider industry knowledge and pulling in clients and interest from all over the world. ADVO Group’s own LinkedIn group, ‘Health Insurance Industry UK’, is an example of how leading industry figures can come together through social media. With all the leading insurers represented in membership, the group is becoming a real communication

hub for the industry. We have been surprised by the wide acceptance and global engagement of the membership. Many organisations are run by an older generation without any conception or understanding of our new online world. Unless companies embrace it they will surely be left far behind

The health insurance industry is well on its way to utilising social media marketing strategies, with a huge number of insurers having active, engaging and popular Twitter accounts

Another excellent tool is Google+. It is perhaps the most cutting edge site as it has only allowed business to be set up within the last few months. Besides excellent value for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, the great communication tool ideally suited to our industry is that you can filter and adapt the message. For example, targeting medical and dental cover to the most likely demographic rather than the traditional ’scatter-gun’ approach. The filtering of content is something which we have utilised on the ADVO Group page on Google+ to great

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 36

effect. We also include YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention facilitating the sharing of content on sites such as Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious and many more. The health insurance industry is well on its way to utilising social media marketing strategies, with a huge number of insurers having active, engaging and popular Twitter accounts. Some brokers are also waking up and starting to follow. It is a brave new world out there. Those that understand and appreciate the change in landscape will have a definite edge over competitors. We are no longer restricted to our own location and can reach out effectively to the whole world”. Leave a comment on this article by viewing it on http:// news.advogroup.co.uk/timefor-health-networks-to-getsocial/. You can find us on all the social media sites mentioned in this article n the addresses below Facebook - facebook.com/ advogroup Twitter - @advogroup YouTube - youtube.com/ advogroup Issuu - issuu.com/advogroup LinkedIn - search for ‘ADVO Group’ for both our company page and our group ‘Health Insurance Industry UK’ Google+ - Search ‘ADVO Group’.


free review your family your company yourself call now on 0845 2578833 or email info@advogroup.co.uk

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

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


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | alc health

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 38


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | alc health

In the past 12 months we have added to our existing online capabilities by introducing a number of new web based options andrew apps, alc health alchealth.co.uk

ALC Health has been providing international health insurance for over ten years and currently provides coverage across over 140 countries! In our exclusive interview with Andrew Apps, Director of ALC Health. We discover how the business has grown over the years, Andrew’s predicted market trends and much more. What is it that makes ALC what difficulties that have to Health unique ? be faced when living in an unfamiliar country so are able We never forget that iPMI to work from experience when is at the end of the day a supporting our members. people business first and foremost and we understand ALC Health has operated how important our clients for over ten years. How are to the success of our has the company evolved business. Our products, the over that time? Has the way in which we look after focus of the business our policyholders and our shifted to any different or flexible approach to finding the new areas or markets over right solutions for each risk that time? is perhaps what makes ALC Health that little bit different From our humble beginning, from the larger brand iPMI ALC Health has always providers. With a wealth of in- followed the mantra of doing house industry experience and what it does best rather than a real understanding of what trying to be something that it is like to be an expatriate it isn’t. This has allowed the (many of ALC Health’s company to build a reputation staff have lived and worked for service excellence overseas), we know combined with product

innovation that reflects the lifestyles of our members. As a mid-sized iPMI provider we are better able than most to adapt to market changes and the needs of the expatriate and international traveller so enabling ALC Health to deliver a quality proposition across our chosen markets as they emerge and develop. The growth areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America are starting to take over from the traditional centres of Europe and the Middle East where over-capacity is starting to see a change in the way in which iPMI is sold and delivered. What direction or increased specialisation

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 39


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | alc health do you see ALC health taking in the future? What are the future plans for the company? For many expatriates the internet is their ‘window on the world’ and which is going to have an increasing importance to the iPMI industry as the demand for greater online capabilities takes hold.

to be linked to expat residency visas in some countries and this is something that is likely to increase as it offers governments a cost effective way of passing the burden of providing medical care for non-nationals away from the State.

With this new demand, so is the need for more flexible and innovative product solutions, and the old adage In the past 12 months we have that ‘one size fits all’ is no added to our existing online longer relevant. Regionalised capabilities by introducing product design will become of a number of new web based greater importance and with options to enable our members an increasingly cost conscious to submit their claims online, world, so will the demand for arrange for pre-authorisation ‘comprehensive’ become less of in-patient hospital attractive. treatment and enquire about an existing claim, with plans to But despite this, the number add additional complementary of specialist iPMI advisors services over the coming remains confined to just a months. handful of players leaving the door wide open for anyone New regional products are that wants to move into a currently in the planning stage growth market. and with an annual review of our core products, our aim For many employers is to keep our products and services fresh, affordable and iPMI is low on the list of innovative.

“” priorities

What future trends do you see emerging for the international health insurance market as a whole? Without question the market is changing and fast. The demand for iPMI has never been greater as an increasing number of state healthcare systems start to buckle at the sheer cost of providing medical care to ever increasing populations. iPMI is starting

A recent article on the ALC health blog suggests that many employers lack a full understanding of the health insurance policy their employees have when based abroad. What do you think are the barriers that can prevent employers from understanding the policy their employees abroad may be on?

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 40

For many employers iPMI is low on the list of priorities when it comes to sorting out the overall benefit and remuneration package of their overseas employees. As a result, we often see employers confused as to what they really need to offer their employees and what logistical issues needed to be addressed. Sending staff a booklet about their cover simply isn’t enough. How many people reading this article have read their motor insurance policy documents recently? Very few I suspect, and the same can be said about iPMI documents. It is important that employees consider carefully how they get the message across to their staff particularly when there is a change of insurer at renewal and not just assume that nothing has changed, but the changes of which there will always be some, are communicated clearly and timely. At ALC Health we provide many of our corporate groups with dedicated web pages, precover information newsletters and webinar / on-site seminars to help explain what their new cover offers, what to do when they need to make a claim and what to expect from the group health programme. What does your typical day at ALC health involve? I wish I could say there was a ‘typical’ day but the very nature of our business is that the nature of iPMI is that we are dealing with different


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | alc health

“

The growth areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America are starting to take over from the traditional centres of Europe and the Middle East where overcapacity is starting to see a change in the way in which iPMI is sold and delivered andrew apps, alc health

�

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 41


advogroup.co.uk | exclusive interview | alc health things each day, often unscheduled. That said, much of my time is spent working with our global network of broker partners, providing information on our products, preparing quotations for group risks and continuing to develop the ALC brand. ALC Health has handled cases in over 140 countries worldwide. What opportunities or exciting elements has this provided? Has it also caused any barriers to overcome at any point such as with regard to the multitude of languages? Our business by its very nature is about ‘health’ and ‘peoples lives’ and with that comes both excitement and heartache. One minute there is a high of sending out a ‘Huggie’ (ALC Health’s teddy bear that is sent out to each new-born child as a way of saying ‘welcome to the world’) and the next dealing with a member who has been involved in a life threatening incident on the other side of the world. Each case is different and it’s important to be able to quickly adapt from one event to another. After all, for most people, requiring medical treatment comes at a point where they are at their most vulnerable, perhaps in a state of stress because they are far from home and it is up to us to make sure that not only things go according to plan but that we are here for them when they need help and support.

Languages can play an important part of the treatment journey and whilst we are lucky in one sense that English is widely spoken, being able to communicate with local doctors and medical service providers in their own language can make all the difference and help to speed up the process of approving a particular procedure and settle claims quickly.

being able to communicate with local doctors in their own language can make all the difference

expatriates in particular, the web, e-mail and social media is their platform for finding out what’s happening, where and how so it makes sense for iPMI to adopt and embrace the media. Our online news blog which is available via our website, via twitter and via Facebook has proved particularly effective in getting information about health warnings and what to avoid when travelling overseas, straight to our members in a concise, easy to understand and no nonsense way.

ALC World provides our members with a free, instant online via PC, Mac or web enabled mobile phone to the ALC Health has a strong very best medical facilities social media presence and resources from across across Facebook, Twitter the globe including carefully and LinkedIn. What type researched doctors and of company or industry medical facilities in more than information can we expect 175 countries, destination to find on each of these? profiles covering over 1,500 cities worldwide, useful Ten years ago, even five medical terms and phrases years ago the idea of social translated into a choice of media was something that widely spoken languages, cross few could have predicted referencing of country-specific and even for those of us who brand names and generic have been ‘around for a few equivalents for over 350 years’ the continuing growth medications and all important of Facebook, LinkedIn and security and health news from Twitter has been staggering. around the world. ALC Health have found that these new channels to communicate with our members and potential clients to be a highly effective way of getting our message across to an audience that is spread across the four corners of the world. After all, for most

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 42

As a former expat, I know what it’s like to be living in an unfamiliar country and having access to information that you can trust really can make a difference. For more news visit news. advogroup.co.uk.


advogroup.co.uk | summer 2012

thank-you for reading! see you in autumn for the next edition of advocate magazine issuu.com/advogroup Thanks for catching up with us at ADVO Group for this Summer 2012 edition of Advocate magazine. Be sure to keep a lookout at issuu.com/advogroup for the Autumn 2012 edition of Advocate, coming soon! The Autumn edition of Advocate magazine is going to continue to provide the biggest news stories, exclusive interviews, features and more making it an invaulable resource to anyone in the PMI, employee benefits and human resources industries. You can see all editions of Advocate magazine as well as more of our online publications, including our 2012 brochure, on issuu.com/ advogroup. Don’t forget to also find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. Just to remind you about who we are and what we can offer, ADVO Group is a multi award winning employee health benefit advisor looking after the requirements of many customers from small businesses up to multinational organisations. Whatever your private medical insurance or employee benefit needs, we are here to help. So don’t hesitate to call us now on 0845 2578833 to speak to one

of our expert advisors. You can also email us at info@advogroup.co.uk. In case you missed our key contacts at the start of the magazine you can get in touch with them on the details below.

larry bulmer chief executive lbulmer@advogroup.co.uk

If you have a news article you would like to promote through Advocate magazine, or if you would like to take part in one of our interviews for the magazine of the ADVO Group website then please get in touch at cfiander@advogroup.co.uk. Thanks again and see you back in the Autumn!

colin boxall director, corporate cboxall@advogroup.co.uk chris mccracken director, commercial cmccracken@advogroup.co.uk

chris fiander web content controller advo group

sharon harwood-davis consultant manager sharwood-davis@advogroup. co.uk yvette butterworth corporate manager ybutterworth@advogroup.co.uk

advocate summer 2012 | advogroup.co.uk | 43


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 advogroup.

Advocate Summer 2012  

BUPA's latest research into stress, how drinking abroad can effect your insurance, who's on Google+, excluisve interview with HR Dept's Tom...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you