Posted on Jan 07, 2013 by Sergio Ulloa
InterGlobal has been a leader in the health insurance industry for over a decade now and despite experiencing some difficulties in recent years, the insurer has had a positive 2012 and is set for another strong financial year. Globalsurance has seen a number of improvements made to several areas by InterGlobal, allowing the insurer to gain an increased share of the market in the increasingly competitive health insurance industry.
Since overcoming a slump in business in 2009, whereby a rapid growth in the corporate insurance sector lead to operational and underwriting problems, InterGlobal have refocused their individual and SME health insurance products directed at expatriates worldwide and have seen very positive results since.
The restructuring of InterGlobal has focussed on key areas aimed at improving client experience and customer support, with the added obvious aim of creating growth in the industry. Some of the more significant changes are highlighted below:
2011 saw the opening of InterGlobal's Singapore office but in 2012, the office matured significantly and made a large contribution to the insurers successful year. Globalsurance also operates out of Singapore and through the close partnership between InterGlobal and Globalsurance, both companies have begun to create brand awareness in the country leading to increased growth potential in the region.
2012 also saw several changes made to InterGlobal coverage options after Fully Medically Underwritten plans (FMU) were introduced, allowing policyholders to have the option of covering pre-existing conditions with a premium loading. FMU plans should give InterGlobal the ability to cover a much larger percentage of the health insurance market, as it is believed that the majority of people over 40 will suffer from some kind of pre-existing condition. Including pre-existing conditions in a plan will result in an increase to premiums, but this is still beneficial to many who do not want to risk being uninsured for medical conditions that could result in costly treatments. Despite the fact that pre existing conditions are not always serious, they can still require expensive medication or regular treatments and check-ups that can quickly add up in expenses. InterGlobal plans are therefore highly favourable and show an intent to provide clients with plans that meet their needs and provide them with customer satisfaction.
Another area in which InterGlobal have made positive changes to is their Direct Billing options. These have been expanded around the world, particularly in the key markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. In Dubai, InterGlobal and Globalsurance have entered into an exclusive agreement to offer Direct Billing services for individual out-patient procedures, furthering the growth of their partnership. Direct Billing for outpatient services is one of the key criteria that clients tend to look for when choosing a health insurance plan, yet many insurers do not provide this option. By providing this service, InterGlobal should increase both customer satisfaction and their potential market share in the region.
InterGlobal have also increased their emergency assistance support service in line with the desire to improve client satisfaction. They have facilitated this through their extended relationship with Red24, as well as working with Global Doctors in Dubai to provide telephone assistance to those in the Middle East in need of help. When clients call the first line telephone assistance, they will be advised as to which facilities throughout the Middle East are best suited to treating them.
As part of their 2012 strategy, InterGlobal have increased their relationships with insurers in China in order to strengthen their well established presence and acquire more of a market share in the Chinese Health Insurance industry. Having already partnered with RSA and AXA MinMetals, 2012 saw MinMetals replaced with ICBC leading to a newly forged partnership between InterGlobal and ICBC AXA. This has allowed InterGlobal to make moves that will hopefully garner growth in the region through a strong and effective distribution and operations model.
Finally, in regard to corporate structure, InterGlobal has been an insurer with the backing of UK equity firm Alchemy since 2007. The insurer received increased investment towards the end of 2011 from the parent company of InterGlobal's principal reinsurer - AXIA Capital. The support from AXIA Capital shows the company's dedication to InterGlobal's business, and demonstrates that InterGlobal are making moves in the right direction for a profitable and successful year of growth in 2013.
All in all, the expansion InterGlobal has undertaken throughout 2012 has put the insurer in a great starting position for 2013. Globalsurance CEO, Neil Raymond commented on this: "InterGlobal was one of the first dedicated international private medical insurance companies in the market and they continue to be in a unique position. They have a lot of distribution capability and some good products"
Mr Raymond continued: "We feel that the increased focus on service and profitable and sustainable business in really important for them. It's clear that the management team at InterGlobal are becoming very specific about how to go about this and this is great news for the future".
In this competitive market with well established rival companies such as Cigna and NowHealth, it appears that InterGlobal have already made good moves to maintain a strong position amongst these competing health insurers, and clients can be confident that there insurer has taken the right steps toward a successful year ahead.