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(12) INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION PUBLISHED UNDER THE PATENT COOPERATION TREATY (PCT) 



(19) World Intellectual Property Organization 

International Bureau 

(43) International Publication Date 
13 December 2007 (13.12.2007) 




PCT 



(10) International Publication Number 

WO 2007/141695 A2 



(51) International Patent Classification: 
(21) International Application Number: 



Not classified 



(22) International Filing Date: 

(25) Filing Language: 

(26) Publication Language: 

(30) Priority Data: 

2006/04674 



PCT7IB2007/051945 
23 May 2007 (23.05.2007) 
English 
English 



7 June 2006 (07.06.2006) ZA 

(71) Applicant (for all designated States except US): DISCOV- 
ERY HOLDINGS LIMITED [ZA/ZA]; 155 West Street, 
Sandton (ZA). 

(72) Inventors; and 

(75) Inventors/Applicants (for US only): GORE, Adrian 

[ZA/ZA]; 10 7th Street, 2142 Houghton Estate (ZA). 
MAYERS, Herschel, Phillip [ZA/ZA]; 32 Wordsworth 
Avenue, Senderwood, Johannesburg (ZA). RABSON, 
Kenneth, Steven [ZA/ZA]; 5 College Mews, Regina 
Avenue Fairmount Extension, 2192 Johannesburg (ZA). 



(74) Agents: SPOOR & FISHER et al.; P O Box 454, 0001 
Pretoria (ZA). 



(81) 



Designated States (unless 
kind of national protection 
AT, AU, AZ, BA, BB, BG, 
CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, 
FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM 
IS, JP, KE, KG, KM, KN, 
LS, LT, LU, LY, MA, MD, 
MZ, NA, NG, NI, NO, NZ 
RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, 
TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG, US, 



otherwise indicated, for every 
available): AE, AG, AL, AM, 
BH, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, 
DK, DM, DZ, EC, EE, EG, ES, 
GT, HN, HR, HU, ID, IL, IN, 
KP, KR, KZ, LA, LC, LK, LR, 
MG, MK, MN, MW, MX, MY, 
, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RS, 
SL, SM, SV, SY, TJ, TM, TN, 
UZ, VC, VN, ZA, ZM, ZW. 



(84) 



Designated States (unless otherwise indicated, for every 
kind of regional protection available): ARIPO (BW, GH, 
GM, KE, LS, MW, MZ, NA, SD, SL, SZ, TZ, UG, ZM, 
ZW), Eurasian (AM, AZ, BY, KG, KZ, MD, RU, TJ, TM), 
European (AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, 
FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LT, LU, LV, MC, MT, NL, PL, 
PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR), OAPI (BF, BJ, CF, CG, CI, CM, 
GA, GN, GQ, GW, ML, MR, NE, SN, TD, TG). 

[ Continued on next page ] 



(54) Title: A SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MANAGING AN INSURANCE SCHEME 



defining a plurality of categories of 
living expenses 



10 



(57) Abstract: A method of managing an insurance 
scheme includes defining a plurality of categories of 
living expenses. Defining a plurality of life changing 
events. On the occurrence of a life changing event for an 
insured person of the scheme, at least partially subsidising 
expenses in the category of living expenses for the insured 
person or a nominated beneficiary of the insured person. 



defining a plurality of life changing / 
events 



12 



on the occurrence of a life changing 
event for an insured person of the 

scheme, at least partially subsidising 
expenses in the category of living 

expenses for the insured person or a 

nominated beneficiary of the insured 
person 



14 



WO 2007/141695 A2 



Published: For two-letter codes and other abbreviations, refer to the "Guid- 

— without international search report and to be republished ance Notes on Codes and Abbreviations" appearing at the begin- 
upon receipt of that report ning of each regular issue of the PCT Gazette. 



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A SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MANAGING AN INSURANCE SCHEME 



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 

The present application relates to a system and method of managing an 
insurance scheme. 

The present invention may be implemented by a traditional life insurance 
plan operator for its members or may be implemented by another party. 

Conventionally, insurance policies such as life insurance policies operate 
on the basis that an insured person, sometimes referred to as an insured 
life, pays a premium to the life insurer, and the life insurer pays a 
predetermined sum, referred to as the sum assured, to the insured life or 
his/her beneficiary on the occurrence of an insured event. Typical insured 
events are the insured life suffering disability, contracting a dread disease 
or dying. 

However, it will be appreciated that the processing and finalising of the 
payment can take some time, in some cases up to several months or even 
years. In this instance the insured person may have short term financial 
difficulties if they are dependent on this payment. 

A system and method of addressing this is therefore required. 



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SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 

According to one example embodiment, a method of managing an 
insurance scheme, the method including: 

defining a plurality of categories of living expenses; 

defining a plurality of life changing events; 

on the occurrence of a life changing event for an insured person of 
the scheme, at least partially subsidising expenses in the category 
of living expenses for the insured person or a nominated beneficiary 
of the insured person. 

The plurality of living expenses may include at least one of the 
group consisting of food, clothing, transport, utilities, communication 
and accommodation expenses. 

The subsidy may be a predetermined percentage of the expenses 
incurred in the defined category of living expenses or is a defined 
amount of the expenses incurred in the defined category of living 
expenses. 

In one example, the plurality of life changing events includes 
disability, contracting a dread disease or dying. 

The at least partial subsidising of expenses may occur for a 
predetermined period such as 12 months. 

The at least partial subsidising may be effected by reimbursing the 
insured person or their nominated beneficiary for expenses incurred 
in the defined category of living expenses. 



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The at least partial subsidising may be effected by paying third 
parties for expenses incurred in the defined category of living 
expenses on behalf of the insured person or their nominated 
beneficiary. 

In one example the at least partial subsidising is effected by 
calculating the spending of the insured person in the various 
categories of living expenses for a time period prior to the life 
changing event and then paying this amount or a percentage of this 
amount to the insured person or their nominated beneficiary. 

In addition, the at least partial subsidy may have a maximum 
amount applicable calculated by determining the spending of the 
insured person in the various categories of living expenses for a 
time period prior to the life changing event such as six months. 

4 

The method may be linked to a credit card of the insured life 
whereby the at least partial subsidising is implemented by paying at 
least a portion of the amount spent on the credit card on behalf of 
the insured person or the nominated beneficiary. 

The amount of spending in any of the categories of living expenses 
may be determined by checking historical spending on the credit 
card. 

The present invention furhter includes an electronic system for 
managing insurance scheme, the system including: 

a living expenses module to define a plurality of categories 
of living expenses; 

a life changing events module to define a plurality of life 
changing events; and 



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a calculation module to, on the occurrence of a life changing 
event for an insured person of the scheme, calculate an at 
least partial subsidy of expenses in the category of living 
expenses for the insured person or a nominated beneficiary 
of the insured person. 

The calculation module may calculate the plurality of living 
expenses that includes at least one of the group consisting of food, 
clothing, transport, utilities, communication and accommodation 
expenses. 

The calculation module may calculate the at least partial subsidy as 
a predetermined percentage of the expenses incurred in the defined 
category of living expenses or is a defined amount of the expenses 
incurred in the defined category of living expenses. 

The plurality of life changing events may be defined by the life 
changing events module includes disability, contracting a dread 
disease or dying. 

The calculation module may calculate the at least partial subsidising 
of expenses for a predetermined period such as 12 months. 

The system may further including a payment module to effect a 
payment of the at least partial subsidy. 

The payment module may effect the payment by reimbursing the 
insured person or their nominated beneficiary for expenses incurred 
in the defined category of living expenses. 

The at least partial subsidising may be effected by the payment 
module paying third parties for expenses incurred in the defined 
category of living expenses on behalf of the insured person or their 
nominated beneficiary. 



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The at least partial subsidising is effected by the calculation module 
calculating the spending of the insured person in the various 
categories of living expenses for a time period prior to the life 
changing event and then the payment module paying this amount or 
a percentage of this amount to the insured person or their 
nominated beneficiary. 

The at least partial subsidy may have a maximum amount 
applicable calculated by the calculation module determining the 
spending of the insured person in the various categories of living 
expenses for a time period prior to the life changing event such as 
six months. 

The method may be linked to a credit card of the insured life 
whereby the at least partial subsidy is implemented by the payment 
module paying at least a portion of the amount spent on the credit 
card on behalf of the insured person or the nominated beneficiary. 

In one example, the amount of spending in any of the categories of 
living expenses is determined by the calculation module by 
checking historical spending on the credit card. 

A machine-readable medium embodying instructions which, when executed 
by a machine, cause the machine to perform a method including: 

defining a plurality of categories of living expenses; 

defining a plurality of life changing events; 

on the occurrence of a life changing event for an insured person of 
the scheme, at least partially subsidising expenses in the category 
of living expenses for the insured person or a nominated beneficiary 
of the insured person. 



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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 

Figure 1 is a flow chart illustrating the methodology of an example 
embodiment; and 

Figure 2 is a block diagram illustrating an example system to 
implement the methodologies described herein. 

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS 

The systems and methodology described herein relate to a system and 
method of managing an insurance scheme such as a life insurance 
scheme. 

Conventional life insurance schemes operate on the basis that an insured 
person, referred to as the insured life, pays premiums on a regular basis to 
the life insurer, specifying a sum assured which is an amount to be paid out 
on the occurrence of an insured event. For example, on the death of the 
insured life, a predetermined death benefit is paid to the nominated 
beneficiaries of the insured life. If the insured life is disabled or suffers a 
dread disease, a different, lesser amount is paid out. 

The method and system will be described with reference to these kind of 
schemes but it will be appreciated that the method and system could 
equally be applied to other types of insurance schemes. 

It will also be appreciated that the system and methodology may be 
implemented by any relevant person or organisation. For example, the 
system and methodology may be operated by the organisation which 
operates the life insurance scheme or may pe implemented by another 
associated organisation. In one example the system and methodology may 



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be implemented by a financial organisation which issues credit cards to its 
members. 

For purposes of illustration, the system and methodology will be described 
herein as being operated by the managers of a life insurance scheme. 

Referring to Figure 1, a plurality of categories of living expenses are define 
(block 10). In the illustrated example, the categories of living expenses 
include at least one of the group consisting of food, clothing, transport, 
utilities, communication and accommodation expenses. It will be 
appreciated that the method may include defining all of these as categories 
of living expenses. 

In addition to this, a plurality of life changing events are defined (block 12). 
The plurality of life changing events in the example includes disability, 
contracting a dread disease or dying as these are typical of the kind of 
events which are insured by life insurance schemes. However, it will be 
appreciated that in other contexts these life changing events may be other 
events such as the birth of a child or changing jobs to name but a few 
examples. 

In any event, the occurrence of a life changing event for an insured person 
of the scheme results in an at least partial subsidising of expenses in the 
category of living expenses for the insured person or a nominated 
beneficiary of the insured person (block 14). Typically the subsidy is 
arranged for the insured person but where the insured person has died or is 
otherwise incapacitated the subsidy will be activated for a beneficiary that 
the insured person has nominated prior to the event. 

The subsidy may be a predetermined percentage of the expenses which 
will be incurred in the defined category of living expenses or may be all of 
the expenses which will be incurred in the defined category of living 
expenses and may be available for a predetermined period such as 12 
months, for example. In one embodiment this period will typically not be 



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too long a period where this is intended to be a bridging type of assistance. 
In other embodiments this may be intended as long term assistance and 
could then be extended for a number of years, such as until the nominated 
beneficiary passes away or reaches a certain age. 

The subsidy couid also take any one of a number of different forms. 

In one example, the subsidy is effected by reimbursing the insured person 
or their nominated beneficiary for expenses incurred in the defined category 
of living expenses. 

Alternatively, the subsidy is effected by paying third parties for expenses 
incurred in the defined category of living expenses on behalf of the insured 
person or their nominated beneficiary. 

In a third example, the subsidy is effected by calculating the spending of 
the insured person in the various categories of living expenses for a time 
period prior to the life changing event and then paying this amount or a 
percentage of this amount to the insured person or their nominated 
beneficiary. 

The subsidy may have a maximum or minimum amount applicable 
calculated by determining the spending of the insured person in the various 
categories of living expenses for a time period prior to the life changing 
event, such as be six months, for example. 

In one embodiment, the method is linked to a credit card of the insured life 
whereby the subsidy is implemented by paying a portion of the amount 
spent on the credit card on behalf of the insured person or the nominated 
beneficiary. 

In this example, the amount of spending in any of the categories of living 
expenses is determined by checking historical spending on the credit card. 



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A detailed example of the method is illustrated in the tables below. 



Table 1 : Events Covered 



|^<£^ 




Death 


12 Months 


Disability 


12 Months 


Severe Illness 


12 Months 



Table 2: Benefits Provided 







$OM&^ 












II 
11 


HHBHM 


Food / Clothing and 
other 


Shopping 
Discount 


1 00% of average 
monthly spend of 
the past 12 
months, paid 
monthly 


Food / Clothing 
and other 


Transport 


Petrol Discount / 
Rebate 


1 00% of average 
monthly spend of 
the past 12 
months, paid 
monthly 


Transport 


Communication 


Cell phone 
Discount 


1 00% of average 
monthly spend of 
the past 12 
months, paid 
monthly 


Communication 


Credit 


Repayment of the 
o/s Credit Balance 


100% of the o/s 
credit balance up 
to a maximum of 
R30 000. 


Credit 



In the above example, the living expense category of food and clothing is 
implemented by giving the insured person or their nominated beneficiary a 
100% discount at a chain of shopping stores. 



Alternatively, this could be implemented by paying for certain kinds of foods 
and or clothing. 



The methodology works particularly well when implemented in conjunction 
with a credit card which is issued to the insured person. This is because 
the insured person can continue to purchase' the necessary goods using 



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the credit card and certain entries in the credit card will be automatically 
paid for by the insurer. 

It will be appreciated that the insured person or their nominated beneficiary 
is provided short term protection following a life changing event so that they 
are assisted in continuing their day to day living. 

Figure 2 illustrates an exemplary system fpr implementing the above 
methodologies. 

A server 20 includes a number of modules to implement the methodologies 
described above. 

A living expenses module 22 defines a plurality of categories of living 
expenses. 

A life changing events module 24 defines a plurality of life changing events. 

A calculation module 26, on the occurrence of a life changing event for an 
insured person of the scheme, calculate an' at least partial subsidy of 
expenses in the category of living expenses for the insured person or a 
nominated beneficiary of the insured person. 

A payment module 28 is used to effect a payment of the at least partial 
subsidy according to one of the methods described above. 

The system may include a database 30 for storing information to allow the 
methodologies to be implemented. 

The modules described above may be implemented by a machine-readable 
medium embodying instructions which, whep executed by a machine, 
cause the machine to perform any of the methods described above. 



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It will be appreciated that embodiments of the present invention are not 
limited to such architecture, and could equally well find application in a 
distributed, or peer-to-peer, architecture system. Thus the modules 
illustrated could be located on one or more servers operated by one or 
more institutions. 



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CLAIMS: 

1. A method of managing an insurance scheme, the method including: 

defining a plurality of categories'of living expenses; 

defining a plurality of life changing events; 

on the occurrence of a life changing event for an insured 
person of the scheme, at least partially subsidising expenses 
in the category of living expenses for the insured person or a 
nominated beneficiary of the insured person. 

2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the plurality of living 
expenses includes at least one of the group consisting of food, 
clothing, transport, utilities, communipation and accommodation 
expenses. 

3. A method according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the subsidy is a 
predetermined percentage of the expenses incurred in the defined 
category of living expenses or is a defined amount of the expenses 
incurred in the defined category of living expenses. 

4. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the plurality of 
life changing events includes disability, contracting a dread disease 
or dying. 

5. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the at least 
partial subsidising of expenses occurs for a predetermined period. 

6. A method according to claim 5 wherein the period is 12 months. 

7. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the at least 
partial subsidising is effected by reimbursing the insured person or 



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their nominated beneficiary for expenses incurred in the defined 
category of living expenses. 

8. A method according to any of claims 1 to 7wherein the at least 
partial subsidising is effected by paying third parties for expenses 
incurred in the defined category of living expenses on behalf of the 
insured person or their nominated beneficiary. 

9. A method according to any of claims *1 to 7 wherein the at least 
partial subsidising is effected by calculating the spending of the 
insured person in the various categories of living expenses for a 
time period prior to the life changing event and then paying this 
amount or a percentage of this amount to the insured person or 
their nominated beneficiary. 

10. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the at least 
partial subsidy has a maximum amount applicable calculated by 
determining the spending of the insured person in the various 
categories of living expenses for a time period prior to the life 
changing event. 

11. A method according to claim 10 wherein the time period is six 
months. 

12. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the method is 
linked to a credit card of the insured life whereby the at least partial 
subsidising is implemented by paying at least a portion of the 
amount spent on the credit card on behalf of the insured person or 
the nominated beneficiary. 

13. A method according to claim 12 wherein the amount of spending in 
any of the categories of living expenses is determined by checking 
historical spending on the credit card. 



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14. An electronic system for managing insurance scheme, the system 
including: 

a living expenses module to define a plurality of categories 
of living expenses; 

a life changing events module to define a plurality of life 
changing events; and 

a calculation module to, on the occurrence of a life changing 
event for an insured person of the scheme, calculate an at 
least partial subsidy of expenses in the category of living 
expenses for the insured person or a nominated beneficiary 
of the insured person. 

15. A system according to claim 14 wherein the calculation module 
calculates the plurality of living expenses that includes at least one 
of the group consisting of food, clothing, transport, utilities, 
communication and accommodation expenses. 

16. A system according to claim 14 or claim 15 wherein the calculation 
module calculates the at least partial subsidy as a predetermined 
percentage of the expenses incurred in the defined category of 
living expenses or is a defined amount of the expenses incurred in 
the defined category of living expenses. 

17. A system according to any one of claim 14 to 16 wherein the 
plurality of life changing events defined by the life changing events 
module includes disability, contracting a dread disease or dying. 

18. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 17 wherein the 
calculation module calculates the at least partial subsidising of 
expenses for a predetermined period. 



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19. A system according to claim 18 wherein the period is 12 months. 

20. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 19 further including a 
payment module to effect a payment of the at least partial subsidy. 

21. A system according to claim 20 wherein the payment module 
effects the payment by reimbursing the insured person or their 
nominated beneficiary for expenses incurred in the defined category 
of living expenses. 

22. A system according to any of claims 20 or 21 wherein the at least 
partial subsidising is effected by the payment module paying third 
parties for expenses incurred in the defined category of living 
expenses on behalf of the insured person or their nominated 
beneficiary. 

23. A system according to any of claims 20 to 22 wherein the at least 
partial subsidising is effected by the calculation module calculating 
the spending of the insured person in the various categories of living 
expenses for a time period prior to the life changing event and then 
the payment module paying this amount or a percentage of this 
amount to the insured person or their nominated beneficiary. 

24. A system according to any of claims 20 to 23 wherein the at least 
partial subsidy has a maximum amount applicable calculated by the 
calculation module determining the spending of the insured person 
in the various categories of living expenses for a time period prior to 
the life changing event. 

25. A system according to claim 24 wherein the time period is six 
months. 

26. A system according to any one of claims 20 to 25 wherein the 
method is linked to a credit card of the insured life whereby the at 



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least partial subsidy is implemented by the payment module paying 
at least a portion of the amount spent on the credit card on behalf of 
the insured person or the nominated beneficiary. 

27. A system according to claim 26 wherein the amount of spending in 
any of the categories of living expenses is determined by the 
calculation module by checking historical spending on the credit 
card. 

28. A machine-readable medium embodying instructions which, when 
executed by a machine, cause the machine to perform a method 
including: 

defining a plurality of categories'of living expenses; 

defining a plurality of life changing events; 

on the occurrence of a life changing event for an insured 
person of the scheme, at least partially subsidising expenses 
in the category of living expenses for the insured person or a 
nominated beneficiary of the insured person. 



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defining a plurality of categories of 
living expenses 






defining a plurality of life changing 
events 







/ 



10. 



event for an insured person of the 
scheme, at least partially subsidising 

expenses in the category of living 
expenses for the insured person or a 
nominated beneficiary of the insured 
person 



12 



14 



Fig. 1 



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Fig. 2