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.

paul walker
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.

UPDATED: All Things Insurance: Answers to your Top FAQ’s

Like most insurance firms, the call center at HNB Assurance has a lot of questions. Sometimes, the same questions are asked often, such as “What is My Pension?”. We had a chat with our call center team/head of call center dept and have compiled your Frequently Asked Questions and decided to answer them for your convenience.

Updated: March 30th, 2015

Q: What’s your hotline/contact number for HNB Assurance & HNB General Insurance?

A: Since the Insurance industry  split from Jan 1st 2015, all our Life Insurance solutions are under HNB Assurance. You can call the number for HNB Assurance, which is 0114-384-384 for all your life insurance needs. On the other hand, call the HNB General Insurance number on 0114-883-883 for Motor insurance, Home Insurance, Travel insurance and business insurance solutions. 

Q: What should I do in case my vehicle meets with a motor accident?

A: Just dial our 24 hour hotline for HNB General Insurance on 0114-883-883 to report your accident to one of our customer service representatives. They will take your information and reassure you while an assessment officer arrives to inspect your damaged vehicle. After inspection, you will need to produce a repairer estimate (from your vehicle repairer) to go to the next step of your claim.

motor accident, road accident, vehicle accident
Image Credit: SundayObserver

Q: OK, I’ve got a Repairer Estimate, what do I do now?

A: Simply forward your repair estimate via e-mail, fax or hand it to your closest HNB General Insurance branch or our Motor Claims Department located at 51A, Dharmapala Mawatha Colombo 03 and we’ll take it from there.

Q: How do I report damage caused to my home, if I have a Home Insurance Policy with HNB General Insurance?

A: Call our hotline on 011 – 4 883-883 to report your loss. One of our team members will be there to help. Once you have provided your details of damages caused to your home, our representative will document this information and send an assessment officer to meet you and inspect the damages caused.

customer service, call center
Our amazing customer service team

Q:  I want to get a Motor Insurance Quotation, but I don’t have the time, can you help me?

A: Gone are the days when you had to run around and wait for insurance quotes. The HNB General Insurance ‘Motor Guard’ series gives you the convenience of getting the best vehicle insurance rates instantly by sending a SMS to your mobile phone. Simply Text MQR to 0720 200-200. Here are in depth-instructions in case you get stuck.

Got a question for us? Ask away in the comments section!

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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.

Going Drinking? Here are 3 Painfully Easy Steps to get Home Safe

This week is a pretty good week to be Sri Lankan: Two holidays in the same week!! During these holidays, people choose to relax. For all you adults out there, this usually involves going to a friend’s place for a glass of alcohol (sometimes more!). Here are 3 steps to ensure that you have fun, and still get home safe and sound.

If you are throwing a party

Offer non-alcoholic beverages: The best hosts never push their guests to drink. Be a good host and offer non-alcoholic beverages: juice, water, soft drinks. Chances are some of your guests may not seek to over indulge.

Have some food: A well filled stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption. Make it a point to serve many appetizers (everybody loves chinese rolls) or even a good meal, if your budget allows it.

Keep an eye on your friends: The funny thing about alcohol is, you know when somebody has had too much. If your guests show any signs of being overly tipsy, ensure that you arrange a cab or pair them up with a sober friend. Hiding their keys is a good option if they are a really close friend. After all, you wouldn’t  want your friend to get hurt… do you?

DO NOT drink and drive

If you are going out to drink

Be responsible: You are a consenting adult and should know your limits. By all means, have fun. However, the last thing you want to do is to be that person who drinks too much and is the embarrassment of the party or worse, get involved in a nasty accident.

Choose a designated driver: If you are going out with some friends, decide who will be dropping you off, and ensure your driver doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages.

Call a cab: If nobody in your group is sober, take another way home. The cab may get delayed on popular holidays, but its better getting home late by 30mins than not getting there at all. Make it a point to have enough money to call a cab/tuk when you are going drinking. It gives you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that you will be back home alive.

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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.

VIDEO: Amila Nadeeshani’s Accident: a Lesson in Viral Videos

amila nadeeshani
Amila Nadeeshani gets into an ‘accident’

The accidentIn my last post, I wrote about how we built trust via social media. Today, I’d like to show our latest Youtube video, which has already had over 17000 views (see below). In case you haven’t heard, Sri Lankan actress/singer/entrepreneur Amila Nadeeshani met with an ‘accident’ two weeks ago. Fortunately, she is covered by HNB Assurance.

Positive engagement: From crash to claim settlement

As an organization known for its positive engagement with its customers, we made this video to illustrate how policyholders of HNB Assurance (represented by Ms. Nadeeshani) can breathe easy after a road accident. Look at our employees in the video: the staff member at the call center, the assessor and the garage mechanic. We make dealing with a road accident- from crash to claim settlement, a hassle free experience.

‘What kind of advertising is this?’

This is NOT conventional advertising. These are new methods used by individuals and organizations to raise brand awareness. Think of videos which have gone viral: Gangam Style by PSY, ‘First Kiss’ by clothing company Wren, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Emma Watson’s UN speech and ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams, which has led to countless spinoffs such as the one by MAS Linea Aqua. These videos are the future.

So sit back, relax and shake away your Monday blues. This is the first of many videos we are already conjuring. If you like it, do us a favour and leave a comment, or share this among your friends- especially those who would enjoy watching this!

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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.

Road Rage in Sri Lanka: Are You at Risk?

Road accidents in Sri Lanka are a daily occurrence, with numerous cases being highlighted in the news. In large cities such as Colombo and Kandy, accidents are far more common due to the large numbers of varied transportation options (three wheelers, trucks, automobiles, buses etc) and due to more narrower, sometimes overcrowded roads.

Breakdown of Motor vehicles in Sri Lanka: 2013The Ministry of Transport estimated the total vehicle population to be at 5million (see above) as of 2013. The most recent case of an accident highlighted in the news (at the time of writing) involves two buses colliding on the Southern expressway.

In the HNB Assurance call centre alone, this year we have been at our busiest on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, with an average of 60 motor claims per day, an increase from 2013 where the corresponding number was 50. Furthermore, our data reveals that in the last two years an overwhelming majority of these claims (98%) are road accidents, with theft of parts and flooding a distant second.

Attempts have been made to identify the causes of these accidents. Dr. Godakumbura singles out young drivers suggesting that they are more likely to drive faster, use their mobile phones when driving, more likely to drive late at night and are more likely to feel the effects of alcohol than older drivers. He adds that motorcyclists and three wheel drivers are highly involved in road accidents. This view is supported by Dissanayake  and the Ministry of Transport.  Dissanayake reveals that a large number of motorcyclists  travel without using a helmet, which is a leading cause of injury. Fazlulhaq reports that upto 60% of grievous injuries and fatal accidents are caused by a combination of high speed and driver fatigue.

driver fatigue

The economic impact of road accidents has been documented by Nithershini, P et al (2012) who report that families suffer heavily as their primary breadwinner (often a male) is badly injured or even killed due to road accidents, and just 14% of these families possess life insurance in order to protect themselves from such tragedies. Wijesiri (2012) reported that road accidents cost Sri Lanka over Rs 9.3billion annually.

Which brings us to you, dear reader. Are you at risk? Take a moment to consider about how you drive; do you exceed the speeding limit? Do you race other cars on the roads and overtake dangerously? Chances are some of you who are reading this article have had first or second hand experience with an automobile accident. We kindly request you, whether motorist or pedestrian, to follow these tips the next time you travel:

  • Don’t drive if you are tired. Rest or have someone else drive you.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings, all it takes is for someone to make one small mistake which can have a large impact on your life.
  • Drive slower. Its better to get there late than not get there at all. If you must be somewhere on time, leave earlier to beat the traffic.
  • Do not use your phones while you drive/cross, your attention must on the road at all times.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Not only is it the law, but it could save your life in case the unexpected happens.
  • Don’t drink and drive.  Ever. If you take the wheel under the influence of alcohol you are taking your life, and the life of others into your own, unsteady hands.
  • If you haven’t already, look into motor insurance and life insurance to safeguard you and your family against the unexpected.

Do you have any more tips on road safety? Tell us in the comments and subscribe for more road safety tips.

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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.


Sources

14 persons injured in Southern Expressway accident, The Nation, 31 August 2014. [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

Dr. Godakumbura, VW, 2013, Accidents are Preventable: Road Accidents, part 1, The Island, 26 June. [Accessed 29th August 2014].

Dissanayake, C, 2014, Road accidents in top gear, The Sunday Times, 27 April. [Accessed 1st September 2014].

Fazlulhaq, N, 2013, Road accidents still No.1 killer with 500 fatalities in 2013, The Sunday Times, 5 May. [Accessed 31st September 2014].

Nithershini, P, Dharmaratne, SD, Nugegoda, DB, Ostbye, T & Lynch, CA, 2012, The economic impact of road traffic injuries on households in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Injury Prevention, vol. 18, no. 1. pp. 33. Available from: Injuryprevention website. [Accessed 30th August 2014].

The Ministry of Transport Sri Lanka, Statistics, Department of Motor Traffic: Vehicle Population.

The Ministry of Transport Sri Lanka, Statistics, National Council for Road Safety: Vehicle Accidents.

Wijesiri, L 2012, The Swedish approach: Adopting a zero target for road accidents, The Sunday Observer, 20 May. [Accessed 2nd September 2014].