HOW TO: Manage Stress. Part I: What Stresses you out?

Stress is built into our system, its part of our ‘fight or flight’ system. Its how our bodies adapt to challenging situations. That said, we seemingly believe that stress is always bad for you. This is not true.

stressed out
Confused? Keep reading

Upto a certain level stress is good as the adrenaline keeps us going, and helps us overcome our struggles. However too much stress affects you negatively by disrupting your sleeping patterns, causes difficulty in concentrating on tasks and makes people a lot more irritable and anxious. In a nutshell, stress can be visualized onto a graph such as this:

stress

How do you know if you’re stressed? Here are the signs.

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling irritable
  • Frequent headaches
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep

 

destress
Identify what makes you stressed out, and learn to relax

Common Stress Triggers

Now that you can understand when you’re stressed, its necessary to know what causes stress. Common stress triggers often include the following, but aren’t limited to:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Getting injured or badly ill
  • Traumatic events such as war, violence or natural disasters.
  • Emotional issues such as anger, depression and low self esteem
  • Work stress
  • Significant life events: losing a job, death in the family, moving to a new country, divorce, getting married.
notepad
Homeowork: Write down your stress triggers

Now, Ask yourself: ‘What stresses me out?’ and write these down. Now that you know what your stress triggers are, you will be more prepared to deal with stress the next time it happens. We will cover this more in part II. Until then, have a low-stress week!

Note:– If you think you need a rest day, you might use the upcoming long weekend to relax and take a rest day.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

5 Easy Steps to Prevent Identity Theft

Identity Theft is an area which most of us don’t think about… until we are victims of it ourselves. That said, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to protect yourself. Check out our 5 step checklist below:

1. Review financial statements & discard them properly

Shred or tear up the following documents before you throw them away: debit/credit card statements, old ATM cards, bank deposit slips and other documents which contain details about your finances. Furthermore, look at your statements to see if there are any financial irregularities (ie: excessive spending, transferring of money to other accounts etc). If you spot any, notify your bank immediately.

Note: If these are documents which you need to keep, ensure that you store them in a safe place.

If possible, shred documents which you don’t need

2. Be smart with your behaviour online

  •  Watch for SPAM. Here’s a good rule of thumb to observe if something is SPAM or not: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Sent it straight to your junk folder.
  • Where possible, visit secure websites: (look for an “https” in the address bar or search for a padlock. This indicates that the website you are on is secure. Banking websites and online shopping sites like amazon & ebay have this level of security in order to protect your information.
  • Never send credit card information over email-especially the 3 or 4 digit security code at the back of your card.
  • If you can afford it, keep your computer protected with good anti-virus/anti-spyware protection.
padlock
Visit secure sites (with a padlock or https://) whenever possible

3. Get a Credit report

This is a summary of your credit score and impacts your ability to purchase a loan for a vehicle, house etc. Make it a point to get a credit report annually. Dont know how to get one? try this link from the Credit Information Bureau (CRIB). This lets you keep track of your credit reports and you can monitor any activity which seems out of the ordinary

4. Watch out for Fraudulent calls/scams

If you ever receive an email or phone call from an institution you do business with (university, charity, bank, insurance company etc), DO NOT give out personal information to the caller as the request may not be legitimate. Ask for the person’s name and branch. Even If you believe that the call is genuine, call the company back on their hotline and double check if they did send a call/email. Its much better to be safe than sorry.

5. Create Strong Passwords 

Make it a point to create strong passwords; using a mix of letters and numbers will ensure that hackers find it harder to break into your accounts. thereby improving your chances of preventing identity theft. Not sure how to do so? Check out the image below:

password
Here’s what a strong password looks like

Enjoyed this article? Give us your best suggestions on preventing ID theft in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for more articles!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

INFOGRAPHIC: Happy Avurudu to all our Fans!

For all of us in Sri Lanka, April means only one thing: its time for the Sinhala & Tamil new year! Its a time of reflection and new beginnings, where people from near and far get together to celebrate. Naturally, a significant part of the new year is focused on the delicious cuisine prepared by hard working Sri Lankans.

On that note, we present you the most popular Avurudu foods in Sri Lanka. We would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a joyful & prosperous new year. Happy eating!

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What Paul Walker’s Death in ‘Fast & the Furious 7’ teaches you about Insurance

The Fast and the Furious 7 has come to cinemas in Sri Lanka. Although the trailer focused on its usual buildup, nearly all of the attention is focused around the demise of Paul Walker, one of the lead actors of the Fast and the Furious franchise.

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Paul Walker, who played Brian O’Connor in the movie franchise

It was a tragedy when Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were involved in a car crash. It’s a harsh lesson about the importance of having insurance. Universal pictures claimed for a $50million Key Person Insurance payout. This is to cover various elements such as the loss of a high profile star, cost for getting replacements, production delays, time off taken for cast and crew to recover from the tragic incident etc.

Even in Sri Lanka, there are individuals who work in large companies who apply for key person insurance or life insurance in order to protect those who are most important to them.

At this point, we just want to say thank you: Thank you to Paul Walker for his amazing work in the Fast & the Furious franchise, for he has inspired millions around the world to take a look at the glitz & glamour of cars. In a cruel twist of fate, his life was tragically cut short. However, he has lived a life worth living.

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

HOW TO: File an Insurance complaint in 4 Steps

Normally, most people run through the insurance process pretty well: They sign up for a policy, sometimes they make an insurance claim and the insurance firm does what needs to be done smoothly. However, there are times when matters go unattended and then, you as a customer need to make a complaint. So what should you do if the situation is unbearable?

Step 1: Reach out to your Insurance Company

Most companies are usually able to sort out complaints within a few weeks, if not a lot less. Go to your insurance companies’ website and contact them first. If a reasonable period of time has passed (a maximum of 1 month from the date of the initial complaint), then you can go to step 2.

Note: If you need to reach HNB Assurance, contact us here

complaint
Unhappy customer? Tell your Insurance company first

Step 2: Insurance company doesn’t  provide a good solution? Call the insurance ombudsman.

The Ombudsman acts like a referee and mediates disputes between parties, usually between the insurer and insuree. The following shows the type of complaints the Ombudsman can resolve and is taken from the Insurance Ombudsman’s FAQ’s section.

ombudsman

Step 3: Making the Actual Complaint

– Yes, making a complaint to the Insurance Ombudsman is free

– Making a complaint is fairly straightforward: You need to write out your complaint in English, Sinhala or Tamil and email/fax it to the Insurance Ombudsman’s office, details which have been provided below:

Fax
+94 11 452 8670, +94 11 259 5625

Email
info@insuranceombudsman.lk

paperwork
Ensure that you provide the Insurance Ombudsman with the necessary details

Step 4: Give the Necessary Information

– Your full name and contact details (mobile/landline, address)

– A brief summary of the complaint

– Name of the insurance company

– Insurance policy number

– Other details (ie: provide vehicle number if the complaint is about settling a motor vehicle claim)

– You do not need to submit policy documents: the Insurance Ombudsman will acquire these from the insurer. However, it would be wise of you to keep copies of any evidence (ie: complaint letters, documents including originals and copies).

After you submit a complaint, the Ombudsman’s office will contact you and seek to settle the dispute. Usually, the complaint can be settled without having to call an official inquiry. If there is a need for the parties to be present: an inquiry will be held and the Ombudsman will take a decision, which is considered final.

Still stuck?

We hope you find this information useful. If you need more assistance in clarifying this information, do send us a message in the comments section. We’re always glad to help!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.