For 22 years Yosef Refaeli has met the needs of his customers at the moment of truth, when they need compensation and assistance. An insurance agent of the type that believes in a close, in-depth personal relationship.
Yosef is CEO of the long-standing agency Refaeli Insurance. A professional, family-run agency, which offers its customers personal, in-depth service, together with a comprehensive and extensive package of services, including special services for exceptional events and fields.
Yosef Refaeli, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, founded and has managed the agency for 22 years. Apart from working as an insurance agent, Yosef is a team commander in the Ihud Hatzalah emergency medical service organization, Jerusalem, and volunteers in the nationwide ZAKA emergency response organization. He is assisted by his wife Esther, who capably manages the firm’s office, along with a professional team of 19 employees, all trained and experienced in the insurance sphere and each of whom specializes in the specific knowledge necessary for each field.
“Our agency provides insurance solutions for every customer, at every stage of life, and all in one place, with no need to spread the insurance between different agencies,” says Yosef. “We work with all of the insurance companies, and more precisely – with people in all the insurance companies, in each region, so that we always make sure we receive the best prices in the market for the benefit of our customers.”
While working with all of the insurance companies in Israel, Refaeli Insurance is signed with the London insurance firm Lloyd’s. The engagement with the London firm enables Refaeli Insurance to provide solutions for exceptional situations that necessitate a special solution suitable particularly for Jerusalem, such as building preservation work, TAMA 38 projects, irregular building extensions, and security, cleaning and personnel companies.
Every customer who comes to Refaeli Insurance undergoes a comprehensive check, which includes the ‘insurance mountain’ and pension clearinghouse, in which the agency examines their insurance coverage and how their insurance package can be made cheaper and improved. The agency offers a wide variety of different insurance types, with the aim of giving every customer a precise solution for their needs and in every field: car, apartment, life, health, mortgage, business, nursing care, personal accident, contractor and renovation insurance. In addition, the agency provides financial services and looks after pension savings and study funds.
Apart from all these, the agency offers special solutions for three main fields: health and critical illness, contractors and apartment renovations, and foreign travel.
Health and critical illness insurance – simply saving lives
“The State of Israel does the best it can and operates public insurance for all its citizens, but this is basic insurance only which does not meet more complex needs in the field of operations, medical advice, transplants and medicines that are not included in the basket,” explains Yosef and emphasizes: “Private health insurance can save lives and prevent additional problems caused by the time that passes before receiving help in the public health service. All this, without needing to apply pressure to the health funds and with the possibility of choosing the doctor, the date and the hospital, without waiting.
“Transplants and medicines are among the main subjects where the customer will not receive suitable medical treatment without private health insurance,” Yosef continues. “In fact, no transplant can be paid for from the patient’s pocket and in our country the waiting time is very long. In the framework of the private health insurance that we offer our customers, the insurance company takes full responsibility for the transplant process and finding a donor and everything involved.”
Yosef also explains that there are many medicines that save lives that are not in the health basket. For example, he tells us about a phone call he received last week from the call center of one of the insurance companies that Rafael Insurance works with. “The phone call was to tell me that a claim we made for a customer who needs medication to save her from blindness has been approved,” he says. “This medicine costs NIS 26,500 a month, which is covered entirely by the insurance company. The insurance company approved life-saving medicine costing NIS 180,000 a month for another customer, without which he will remain bedridden and his life will be in danger.
Is there an insurance solution for a family member who is looking after a sick person?
“Certainly. There is insurance that includes preliminary insurance coverage due to discovery of critical diseases, for the 42 most common critical diseases. The insurance covers the insured person in the event of discovering one of the 42 most common diseases, and they can receive compensation of up to NIS 700,000. Hopefully, the patient recovers and continues with their life, but during treatment they are insured and covered.”
Experts in real estate insurance - insurance for contractors and apartment renovations
Apart from elementary insurance policies, Refaeli Insurance also provides comprehensive insurance coverage for all complex issues related to real estate.
Real estate related insurance provides solutions both for a householder who renovates their apartment and for the building developer and contractor. “It is very important that apartment owners who renovate their homes take out insurance, which provides important coverage in case the contractor does not have insurance,” Yosef explains. “The insurance gives protection if a worker, neighbor or third party is injured as a result of the work, and also for damage to the building itself and neighboring apartments. In addition, the insurance includes plans of engineers and architects and guidance of professionals who are partners to the process. This is a cheap policy, but with great insurance significance and therefore we recommend it to our customers.”
In addition, the agency provides complex insurance for contractors precisely and individually customized to the contractor’s classification and the project being carried out. There is coverage for workers, third parties, the building itself, the property and building, the work of subcontractors, and for the value of the entire project. “We recommend to contractors who perform large projects to take out professional liability and product liability insurance, which ensure them in the event of damage after the work ends,” says Yosef.
What characterizes the field of real estate insurance in Jerusalem?
“In Jerusalem, more than anywhere else, there are special cases that arise because of handling buildings for preservation and buildings with special status. For this purpose, special insurance is required that is able to cope with these cases, such as those offered by Lloyd’s, whom we represent in Jerusalem. Here too, as with the other kinds of insurance we handle, we examine all the customer’s needs, issue a tender to all the insurance companies and prepare a special offer for the customer with the widest possible coverage at the best price.”
Foreign travel insurance – returning to travel in the world safely
With travel insurance as well, Refaeli offers solutions that ensure full coverage for exceptional cases. The past year reduced the amount of foreign travel, but with the return to routine, travel insurance has also become relevant again. “If in the past people did not understand the importance of medical insurance for a person who leaves the country, the COVID-19 period has highlighted the importance of this subject even more,” says Yosef. “This is insurance that can save the insured person a lot of money. For example, basic medical care in the United States only begins from a sum of 1,000 dollars. Travel insurance also covers death.
“Today, there is a special policy where anyone who flies receives a PassportCard card, so that if God forbid, they need medical treatment, medicines or their baggage is lost, the card is credited with money to pay for any need immediately.”
According to Yosef, travel insurance today is broad and suited to this period. For example, due to COVID-19, there are extensions for cancelled flights and quarantine, which are updated every day according to the situation. In addition, travel insurance includes locating and rescuing travelers and also providing coverage for extreme sports, such as skiing holidays. “It is highly important to understand where the customer is flying to and for what purpose, in order to tailor the precise insurance for them,” says Yosef.
Have you encountered the importance of foreign travel insurance yourself?
“Unfortunately, yes. As a medical auxiliary I accompanied a delegation on a trip to Jordan, in which a young man who did not have travel insurance had a severe epileptic fit and needed immediate treatment and evacuation in a helicopter to hospital. Because he did not have insurance, there was no possibility of evacuating him and the treatment on the ground was inadequate. Unfortunately, the incident ended badly, but if it had been possible to evacuate him to hospital this would have saved his life.”
Three words behind 22 years
When Yosef is asked to sum up his activity in the agency so far, he uses three simple words: service, professionalism and availability. “There is no time when a person has a problem and we don’t answer, as in the case of an accident late at night,” he says. “We always have available phone numbers that are answered by the owners of the business and we are glad to give advice and help in any situation.
“The agency’s quick and efficient response is also evident, unfortunately, in difficult cases such as the one that occurred recently in the Meron disaster, which cost the lives of 45 people. One of the people killed in the disaster was a customer of ours. Handling the incident involved acquiring a death certificate and all the rest of the process, and within only four days, while the family was still sitting shiva for their loved one, the life insurance payment for the deceased was already in their account.”
“Thanks to the experience and professionalism of the company’s staff and the sensitive, broad and comprehensive service that we provide for our customers under one roof, we are a leading insurance agency,” Yosef concludes.