LONDON: Softbank's Vision Fund plans to pump more money into insurance, a sector it sees as both ripe for disruption and a potential booster for its bigger bets in cars, health and financial services, a Vision Fund executive told Reuters.In the past year, the world's biggest private technology investor has backed China's largest online insurer ZhongAn as well as PolicyBazaar, India's biggest online insurance distributor, and app-based U.S. home insurer Lemonade.And these and other insurance bets totalling nearly US$3 billion are just the start, Vision Fund dealmaker David Thevenon said. The Vision Fund has raised nearly US$100 billion, almost half of it from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund."We believe that technology and how data is used, processed and collected is going to transform insurance," Thevenon said.Softbank believes a new breed of "insurtech" companies can work with other firms within its portfolio such as local transport juggernaut Uber and office sharing firm WeWork … [Read more...] about Analysis: Softbank pushes link-ups as insurance strategy takes shape
Company private medical insurance
The Boston-based insurer announced Thursday that it would immediately begin moving life insurance policies to a "behavior change platform that rewards customers for the everyday steps they take to live longer, healthier lives." Policyholders will be asked to sign up online for fitness and nutritional advice, or may get premium discounts for using devices such as Fitbit or Apple Watch to monitor daily activities. "For centuries, the insurance model has primarily provided financial protection for families after death, without enhancing the very quality it hinges on: life," said Marianne Harrison, John Hancock president and chief executive. "We fundamentally believe life insurers should care about how long and well their customers live. With this decision, we are proud to become the only US life insurance company to fully embrace behavioral-based wellness and leave the old way of doing business behind." One of the largest US life insurers, John Hancock said the new offering is aimed … [Read more...] about Big life insurer shifts to activity tracking in health push
By Steve Morgan Opinion Tues., July 24, 2018 The Ford government’s decision to privatize much of OHIP+, the universal public drug plan for children and youth, will not save Ontarians money or provide better coverage. Here are four reasons why. First, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Private insurance companies do not pay for your prescription drugs. You do. So, as OHIP+ is eliminated for children and youth eligible for private insurance, hundreds of millions of dollars in new expenses will fall on Ontario business owners and workers. Privatizing pharmacare in this way is a tax by any other name. For workers, this will disproportionately affect the middle class: those doing well enough to have jobs with extended health coverage but for whom the increased premiums will represent a sizable share of take-home income. The consequences for small and medium sized businesses are also significant because government is handing them costs they cannot control and … [Read more...] about Should OHIP+ be privatized? No.
Just like people in Japan continue to outlive those in other countries, their pets are falling in line with longer life expectancies, thanks to advances in medical science. But as owners increasingly worry about soaring medical bills, they are taking out private pet insurance to lessen the burden. The market, which covers pets such as cats and dogs, has seen annual growth of nearly 20 percent and was worth about 49 billion yen ($450 million) as of the end of March last year, according to a private survey. The life expectancy of pets has risen partly because veterinary hospitals are taking care of a growing number of injured or sick pets. Faced with the prospect of shouldering huge medical bills, many pet owners have opted to take out insurance policies. The Japan Pet Food Association has estimated the population of domestic pet dogs at 8.92 million and pet cats at 9.52 million in 2017. While the number for felines has been unchanged in recent years, the figure for dogs has declined. … [Read more...] about Pet insurance market in Japan expanding due to rising vet bills
SINGAPORE: Singapore’s medical costs are projected to rise at a faster pace than most of the region, going by a report released on Saturday (Apr 7) by consulting firm Aon.The Aon Asia Healthcare Trends Report measured the medical inflation rate of 11 markets in the region through the Aon Medical Inflation Index (AMII) score.The score combines the average medical inflation estimates in each location for 2017 and 2018 with an inflation outlook for the next three years based on a survey of insurers.Singapore’s score was 95.1, higher than seven of the markets surveyed, which included China, South Korea and the Philippines.This is despite a decrease in overall medical inflation here, from 20 per cent in 2014 to 9.6 per cent last year, Aon said.South Korea had the lowest score of 64.3, with insurers expecting medical inflation to increase marginally in the next three years. The regional median was scored by Thailand at 82.7.Hong Kong scored 78.8, Taiwan 71.4 and … [Read more...] about Singapore ranks high in report on medical inflation in Asia