In an interview, Head of Global Individual Broker Sales at Cigna Global, Tim Slee told Global Health Insider what he has been busy with the past four months in his new role. Mr. Slee now works with the head office in Glasgow and local market sales teams in the UK, US, Brussels, Hong Kong and Singapore to put Cigna Global at the forefront for International Private Medical Insurance brokers.
The expatriate health insurance broker market veteran, with over 20 years of experience, said that Cigna Global appeals to brokers through a three-pronged approach – quality customer service, technology support tools and competitive reward package. Further, Mr. Slee brought us through the company’s focus on well-care, as well as claims process and policy.
I joined Cigna in January this year to lead global broker distribution for the individual expatriate business. My role oversees our in-market sales teams which provide local support to brokers and distribution partners around the world, as well as leading development of the individual broker proposition to make sure we are the first choice for brokers selling international medical insurance.
It’s been a hugely exciting few months for me: I’ve spent a lot of time on planes heading off to meet with Cigna teams and brokers all over the world, and I’ve been busy getting involved in projects which will open our broker business to a wider footprint of brokers in more countries than ever before. For me, the most important part of the job is getting to spend time face-to-face with brokers and having conversations about how we can work together to help our customers improve their health, well-being and sense of security. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the guidance and support of the teams at Cigna Global’s head office in Glasgow and the local market sales teams in the UK, US, Brussels, Hong Kong and Singapore. I’ve been extremely impressed by the support Cigna provides to brokers and it brings it to life when I can see the value brokers get out of this all over the world.
No, I have spent over 20 years in this market, the last 13 of which have been spent in International. After that length of time, it would be easy to make assumptions, but what I do know is that we’ll only be successful if we continue to listen to our brokers and customers and act on the feedback. That’s why I’ve been spending so much time out in the market with my sales teams working closely with brokers to understand their needs, and why my team takes broker feedback so seriously.
I get truly excited about what Cigna can offer to brokers. We’ve got a long-held reputation for delivering great service to our clients and customers in our employer healthcare business, and we’ve made some big investments in the last 12 months to truly bring that promise to life on the individual side. After all, if I were a broker I’d want to be 100% confident that I am getting good service when I contact an insurer I’m about to place business with, but I also need to be absolutely sure that my clients will receive the highest quality service when they contact the insurer with a customer service or claims enquiry. I believe Cigna lives that promise today.
We’ve also invested in building our technology proposition for brokers. It’s really all about making it easy. The Broker Quote Tool allows brokers to build a quote for a client in minutes without having to login or mess around with rate tables. AppLink on the other hand is our online quote tool for brokers’ clients – the broker simply puts the link on their website, drives traffic towards it and allows customers to get an instant price online.
Finally, no conversation about becoming a carrier of choice is complete without talking about reward. We offer brokers a very competitive reward package offering high first year and renewal commissions, as well as opportunities to join Cigna at regional and international broker events which help brokers to grow their business in the expatriate health insurance market. That said, it is the relationships we build and the genuine support we offer that makes Cigna a real carrier of choice for our broker partners.
At Cigna, we like to focus on well-care rather than sick-care. What do I mean by that? Well, we’re committed to helping customers improve their health and well-being by offering products which include things like a health app, online health risk assessments and access to screenings and check-ups.
When customers do need to claim, of course it’s our top priority. Customers call or email our Medical Assist service and get straight through to one of our claims teams in Scotland or Shanghai. The claims representative will put the customers’ mind at rest by checking the treatment is covered by the plan, and offer guidance as to which of Cigna’s 1 million+ clinical providers is nearby and offers the best specialists for the specific treatment.
In most cases, we’ll settle the customer’s treatment bill with the hospital directly, and where we can’t do that we’re committed to paying customers back their out-of-pocket expenses in five days when we have everything we need.
Broker sales and customer service is available in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch. Speaking our customers’ language is just as much about how we say it rather than just what we say. Many of our customer service representatives are expatriates themselves, and all are trained in understanding what’s important when you’re living outside your home country. After all, if you’re calling about treatment in a new country in a hospital system you’re unfamiliar with, you need someone supportive on the other end of the phone who understands what it’s like.
I really do believe that Cigna makes a great partner for any broker looking to break-into individual expatriate business, or for those who are well established in this market already. We offer an exciting product range which provides options for all different segments in the market from students and missionaries, to families and high-net worth locals in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. We’ve invested in making it easy for brokers with strong local-market sales teams supported by an efficient back-office in Scotland. As I mentioned before, technology is at the heart of this and with tools available to brokers to quote and to manage your existing policies, the technology is what drives the simplicity.