Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Who's This Lloyd Guy & Why Should I Trust Him?

Clearing confusion: Understanding an insurer older than great grandpa's antique computer 

Most people have heard of Lloyd's of London at some point, often thinking of them simply as the insurer behind Jennifer Lopez's behind. Others are just often thinking of her behind.  When people speak with me about Lloyd's, I usually hear them call it an insurance company.  "Au contraire!" I shout, "Lloyd's is an insurance market, not an insurance company".  Generally, I am then escorted out by security. Assuming the conversation continues (I keep a spare handcuff key), I go on to explain that Lloyd's is 'A' rated and has paid every valid claim presented for more than 320 years.  Doubtless that because of this, the Lloyd's insurance market has become the largest the in the world.  That's right, 100% for three centuries - beat that Jiroemon Kimura and Matt Stutzman! Lloyd's is comprised of a number of syndicates, which are actually more like what people think of as insurance companies.  These syndicates take on only certain categories of risk.  So, while Azimuth in partnership with Lloyd's won't provide protection for Ms. Lopez's posterior specifically, Azimuth does provide exceptionally high value international health and international travel medical product options to cover your....um.....person.  Azimuth Risk Solutions is what's known as a Lloyd's Coverholder, a Managing General Underwriter or even as 'having the pen for Lloyd's'.  All are ways of saying that Azimuth does all the business functions, administering the claims, client service, developing the plans, marketing, etc. except for insuring the risk; we even pay the claims on behalf of Lloyd's.  Good thing too, because all I keep in my wallet is a driver's license, lots of lint and a claim ticket from a long defunct dry cleaner - I fear I'll never see my feather boa again.  As a Lloyd's Coverholder, Azimuth places risk at Lloyd's for international health and travel medical insurance plans on a worldwide basis for many thousands of clients located in, or traveling to and from virtually every country in the world.  With all this going on, you would think I'd be getting more postcards, sigh...  Lloyd's is the oldest, largest and most recognized name in insurance in the world.  If you're like me....wait, nobody is like me - count your blessings.  Then you may want to know what all this fancy-schmancy financial heft means for you. Having a massive financial behemoth behind you while you're traveling the world (a world apparently lacking post cards in the souvenir shop, double-sigh), means you can be confident that the market will still be there if you have to file a claim.  The fact that the Lloyd's name is so widely recognized and respected greatly increases the likelihood the medical provider will agree to direct settlement of eligible charges with us for an international health or travel medical claim when our clients pre-certify.  Pre-certification means (conditions & exclusions do apply - this is not complete description) insured members must contact Azimuth in advance of scheduled surgeries, diagnostic tests and within 48 hours of an emergency hospital admission or as soon as possible.  Let me answer the question before you ask (I've been practicing on my mind reading act): "If an insured lost consciousness and was unable to pre-certify would it lower his benefit?"  Most certainly not.  The 'as soon as possible' part is there to cover the client's, um, Jennifer Lopez.  Fortunately, we make pre-certification easy.  Azimuth is available anytime, all the time via international collect calls (we accept the charges), fax, email and carrier pigeon, but require they are sent with strict instructions to potty before they arrive.  Otherwise, I might have to break out great grandma's recipe for pigeon-in-a-blanket mmm, mmm.  Recipes aside, by pre-certifying an insured makes certain they get the full amount of his benefits while making it much more likely the medical facility won't ask him to assault his wallet and pay the bill. Usually, the medical providers will pre-certify on behalf of the client, still it's a good idea to make certain they have contacted us. 

When I write 'we' and 'us', in really doesn't include me, because the staff invariably suggest callers speak with someone...anyone other than me (in that whimpering, pleading tone of voice they use).  Then they mutter about being embarrassed and me needing an unlisted number.  Instead, medical service providers will reach our highly knowledgeable, trained and experienced professionals.  See, I've got to tell the truth about them, even if they DO pretend they don't know me when I see  them outside of the office.  That's okay, I'm going to go do a mix-and-match of the contents of everyone's lunch items in the refrigerator.  I need some entertainment after all.  You needn't worry about the ramifications, because I have a very good lock on my door; which I installed after the last time they chose to attack.  Now if only Lloyd's had a coverage for a mutiny like this - I'm too much a risk.  No wonder they have been around for so long.

PS. Insurance is the Brussels sprout of subjects.  You know you need to understand it for your own good and I'll work to make it palatable (if it doesn't work, feed me to the dog under the table).  So, if you enjoy learning a little more about it in an (occasionally) entertaining way, then someone else might too.  Share the love via social media or get on the subscriber list.  After all - Don't cost nuttin' 

PPS. Living or traveling internationally now or soon?  Contact your insurance agent and demand to see what Azimuth Risk Solutions can do for you.  Or, visit www.AzimuthRisk.com to learn more