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Issue No. 15

Display to 31 March, 2021



Speeding up the Customer Experience. Advancing Corporate Insurance Together.

Speed. Simplicity. Service. Not your typical description of a commercial insurer. But Swiss Re Corporate Solutions is anything but typical. For a start, we want to improve the customer experience. That’s why we work with you to understand your needs, and provide tailored, state-of-the-art risk management solutions, without the hassle. We also know the world is changing and you need a partner who anticipates the future. At Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we’re relentlessly addressing industry inefficiencies and customer pain points to transform corporate insurance. By combining fresh, innovative perspectives with tech-driven solutions and applied expertise, we’re leading the industry forward. We’re rethinking corporate insurance with you in mind. corporatesolutions.swissre.com

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers the above products through companies that are allowed to operate in the relevant type of financial products in individual jurisdiction including but not limited to insurance, reinsurance, derivatives, and swaps. Availability of products varies by jurisdiction. This communication is not intended as a solicitation to purchase (re)insurance or non-insurance products. © Swiss Re 2020. All rights reserved.



he second issue of Insurance Asia for 2020 focuses on the 5th Insurance Asia Awards, held digitally for the first time. We also spoke with our triple-winner Seoul Guarantee Insurance on how it has been instrumental in boosting the growth of major industries in Korea, and how it has been branching out globally.

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tim Charlton MANAGING EDITOR Paul Howell PRODUCTION EDITOR Janine Ballesteros PRODUCTION TEAM Alyssa Divina Mary Claire Mercado GRAPHIC ARTIST Mark Simon Engracial II

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We also got the chance to chat with Aflac Japan, which won the International Life Insurance of the Year - Japan and Insurance Initiative of the Year - Japan awards, about its new Agile Base, which hopes to upgrade client experience and procure innovative products and services.

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With regard to technological advancements, Prudential Malaysia shares how its five-year digitisation plan has provided them with a definitive advantage to navigate the pandemic-led transition to remote work. Moreover, traditional insurers might want to check out SingLife’s insights on how to operate in the emerging digital market. We also explored what the insurance industry can learn from China’s ongoing COVID-19 recovery, and what will the sector look like when 2030 comes? Enjoy the issue!

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Editorial Enquiries: If you have a story idea or just a press release, please email: abf@charltonmedia.com and our news editor will read it. For a personal message to the editor, put the word “Tim” in the subject line. For Media Partnerships, please email: abf@charltonmedia.com and put “partnership” in the subject line and it will forward to the right person. Subscriptions email: subscriptions@charltonmedia.com Insurance Asia is published by Charlton Media Group. All editorial is copyright and may not be reproduced without consent. Contributions are invited but copies of all work should be kept as Singapore Business Review can accept no responsibility for loss. We will however take the gains. Sold on newstands in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, London, and New York. Also out in sbr.com.sg with online readership of 215,000 monthly unique visitors*. *Source: Google Analytics **If you’re reading the small print you may be missing the big picture   


Tim Charlton





FIRST 04 Reliance on life leaves Japan insurers

06 Prudential Malaysia’s digital journey let operations take flight amidst the


04 Solvency ushers shift in Taiwan life insurers


10 Singlife shows traditional insurers

04 Coinsurance to alter Korean insurers’

how to thrive in the new normal

capital efforts

05 Pandemic halts Chinese general

INSURTECH 14 Insurtech startup reimagines cover


05 Asia Pacific insurers ‘unprepared’ for

16 How Singapore’s 360F collates self-

05 Malaysian general insurers face worst



MARKET REPORT 18 What insurers can learn from China’s continuing COVID-19 recovery

ANALYSIS 20 Insurance productivity 2030: reimagining the insurer of the future

EVENT 24 Insurance Asia Awards presents the

distributionon the cloud

risks: study



reported metrics for better financial

winners in its first-ever digital awards presentation


H1 in recent years

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For the online versions of the insurance stories, visit the website


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FIRST Solvency ushers shift in Taiwan life insurers TAIWAN

Insurers prepare for a new solvency regime.


aiwanese life insurers are expected to further move away from savings dollars and Taiwan dollar policies in preparation for a new solvency regime, a Fitch Ratings report said. The segment will likely emphasise foreign currency over local currency policies as mid-year downward adjustments to policy interest rates increased their reserved burden. These insurers have also made foreign currency-backed investments to cut hedging needs, which would help the segment minimise currency mismatch between assets and liabilities in the long run. The 49% decline in the combined proportion of traditional annuity and interest variable life first-year premiums in H1 2020 reflected the change in product mix, analysts said. The segment will likely keep an eye on their earnings distribution and capital management strategy ahead of the implementation of the solvency regime come 2026. The additional capital adequacy requirement came down last April with the use of net worth ratios in the most recent two half-year ends as an extra measure to risk-based capital ratios. Moreover, life insurers will likely slash their investment and asset risks as the recent market volatility and interest rate freefall will weigh down on actual investment returns. The recent fall in their foreignexchange valuation reserve may constrain Taiwanese life insurers’ foreign investments, at least in the short term, as they have less room to adjust their foreign-currency hedging, the report concluded.


Reliance on life leaves Japan insurers shaky

Over-reliance on one product will hamper insurance sector growth.



op Japanese insurers’ dependence on individual life business will render them vulnerable to rising claims and declining investments, which will definitely slow down the entire industry, a GlobalData report revealed. The over-reliance on one product will eventually hamper the growth of the insurance sector with the leading five players – Nippon Life, Japan Post Insurance, Meiji Insurance, Sumitomo Life, and Dai-ichi Life – being particularly reliant. The country’s top 10 insurers generate a majority (77%) of their business from life and pensions, with seven of the top 10 generating all of their business from these lines. “Dependence on life insurance makes most of the top insurers vulnerable to the expected stagnancy in premium growth, as well as low investment returns prevalent in the business,” said GlobalData analyst Deblina Mitra. The sixth and seventh-placed insurers, Tokio Marine and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, are regarded as well-placed to hike up their market

Source: GlobalData

Dependence on life insurance makes insurers vulnerable to stagnancy in premium growth and low investment returns

shares as they are largely reliant on the motor and property insurance markets which are not expected to see significant increases in claims, the report further elaborated. But even if Japan has not been hit as hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that the sector is better equipped to deal with the fallout, its life insurers will still be hurt by the volatility in the global investment market, Mitra said. “The top 10 life insurers account for 69% of the individual life insurance business. This means the life insurance business is dominated by its key players,” she explained. “The insurers are likely to be impacted by the slowdown underway in this business, both due to low returns and stagnant premium growth. Japan Post and Nippon Life appear the most exposed in this regard,” the report concluded.


Coinsurance to alter Korean insurers’ capital efforts


oinsurance will diversify measures to boost Korean insurers’ capital strength amidst low interest rates, but liabilities to be yielded need to be reasonably priced for it to be a satisfactory option for restructuring, reports Fitch Ratings. The adoption of coinsurance would be generally positive to insurers’ credit quality, with it being more favourable towards the life segment which used to sell significant savings-type products with high guaranteed rates. On the other hand, direct insurers have to carry the credit risk of reinsurers if coinsurance is arranged as profitability could be compromised if the cost is too high relative to an insurer’s surplus, according to the report. Therefore, coinsurance might not yet be attractive to major insurers that have enough capabilities to manage well their liabilities without it, Fitch noted. Moreover, Korean financial regulatory authorities

Adoption of coinsurance will improve insurers’ credit quality.

recently revised regulations on the risk-based capital (RBC) regime for insurers to preemptively manage their capitalisation in response to the introduction of IFRS17 and Korean Insurance Capital Standards, effective 2023. Revisions include the permission to slash interest-rate risk in the RBC calculation through coinsurance, the report concluded.


Pandemic halts Chinese general insurers

Malaysian general insurers face worst H1 in recent years MALAYSIA



hina’s general insurance industry is set to slow down due to the pandemic, growing just 3.8% this year, according to a GlobalData report. This is a departure from the 5.7% growth registered last year. The sector’s CAGR has been adjusted from 8.6% to 5.2% for 2019 to 2023, mainly due to the scale-down of business activities and economic uncertainty. “The recent floods will further dampen economic growth, resulting in lower premium growth for general insurers,” added GlobalData analyst Sangharsan Biswas. The slowdown is most visible in the motor segment, which accounts for two-thirds of general insurance premium in 2019. From January to June, new vehicle sales dropped 16.9% due to reduced consumer spending and lockdown restrictions. As a result, motor insurance premium is forecast to slow down to 1.3%. A similar trend can be observed in property insurance, which accounted for 10% of general insurance premiums last year. The suspension of economic activity in Q1 brought

Personal accident insurance dipped 13.4%, the largest fall recorded.

The slowdown has been most visible in China’s motor segment

The scaledown of business activities and economic uncertainty will slowdown China’s general insurance industry

down sales of commercial properties by 5.4% in H1 on YoY, as per the National Bureau of Statistics. Slowdown in residential property sales and feeble global economic outlook is expected to limit property insurance growth. Regulators are now looking into different strategies to boost business. The China Banking and Insurance, for example, is amping up digitisation and pushing insurers to expand offerings of smaller product lines such as environmental pollution liability cover.


Asia Pacific insurers ‘unprepared’ for risks: study


nsurers in Asia Pacific (APAC) were inadequately prepared for a risk like the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the necessity for firms to rethink their risk management plans, a study says. Only three of APAC’s 50 largest insurers by market cap—Hong Kong’s AIA Group, and Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings and MS&AD Holdings—identified a pandemic outbreak as a key risk to their operations, according to a governance and sustainability report by accounting organisation CPA Australia. The same study found that the use of analytics for managing risks and in internal audit remain at a nascent stage in the sector. Only eight insurance companies use analytics in managing risks. On the upside, most insurers in the region have increased their investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain, the report noted. But whilst leveraging data analytics and technology can improve risk management and help institutions

make better strategies and other decisions, it also comes with increased security risks. To solve this, financial firms should consider recruiting technology experts when recruiting directors, said associate professor Richard Tan, one of the report’s authors.

Only three of the largest insurers have prepared for a pandemic.


he Malaysian general insurance industry suffered its steepest half-year plunge in recent years as gross direct premiums dropped 3.6% to $2.05b (MYR8.6b), according to the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM). Motor insurance went down 7.4%, triggered by over 40% decrease in total vehicle sales for H1 2020. Personal accident insurance recorded the largest fall at 13.4% to $124.6m (MYR522m) whilst marine aviation and transit (MAT) insurance dipped 0.7% to $191m (MYR800m), hit by the 9.0% and 8.7% contractions in cargo and offshore oil-related classes respectively. Despite the significant reduction in traffic movements nationwide during the movement control order (MCO) and its extended duration, total motor claims paid out by insurers remained high at $573m (MYR2.4b) for the first half of the year, PIAM said. On the other hand, fire insurance grew 2.2% to $420m (MYR1.76b) whilst medical and health insurance notched up 3% to $140m (MYR586m). “General insurers are reviewing the financial impact faced by consumers making the necessary adjustments on a case by case basis and exploring options to ensure insurance protection continues to be available to them under these trying circumstances,” the association said. Moreover, PIAM expects further downturns for the full year “with the road to recovery a long and arduous one ahead.”



Left-Right: Kim Teh Leng Eric Wong 6 INSURANCE ASIA


Prudential Malaysia’s digital journey let operations take flight amidst the crisis Its five-year digitalisation plan has allowed for easy transition to remote work and services.


hilst other insurers are still catching up with their digital services following months of lockdown and social distancing measures, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad’s (PAMB) head start on their digital transformation journey has allowed the insurer to comfortably transition from traditional ways of operating to remote working and servicing. “We started this journey a few years ago, recognising that technology has changed the way that many firms do their business,” Teh Kim Leng, PAMB’s chief transformation and operations officer, told Insurance Asia in an exclusive interview. “We saw it bringing in a lot of other possibilities that we could not do when we were running the business in a more traditional way.” The transformation journey, which began in 2014, was anchored on three objectives: speed to market, agility, and efficiency. Because of their early start, the insurer already had a lot of the digital capabilities needed to adapt to COVID-19. For example, PAMB introduced an e-payment channel to enable their customers to pay their premiums through a more secure and convenient method. During the Malaysia movement control order (MCO), online payments made up as much as 99% of the insurer’s payment transactions, up from only 30-40% previously. “Now that our branches are open, we do see some people going back to the branches to pay their premiums. But we still see a very high rate of e-payments — at this junction it’s still above 90%, which is a very good sign,” added Teh. Chief amongst their digital offerings is the AI-powered, all-in-one health app Pulse by Prudential. The app became key for the insurer in bridging both their customers’ health and insurance concerns as well as spreading health awareness to all Malaysians amidst ongoing physical barriers due to the pandemic, according to Eric Wong, PAMB’s chief customer and marketing officer. Launched last year, Pulse—which is free for everyone even for non-Prudential customers— features a plethora of health-related services and now has over 1.4 million downloads. Services include online consultation where the user can consult with a certified doctor via video or audio call. Insurance Asia caught up with Teh and Wong to learn more about PAMB’s digital transformation journey, the insurer’s operations amidst the current pandemic, and their ongoing initiatives. Tell us more about Prudential Malaysia’s digital transformation journey. How has this helped you adjust to the disruptions the pandemic caused? Teh: Our journey started back in 2014, when we designed a five-year technology roadmap to modernise our technology infrastructure, and transformation is a part of this roadmap. The plan was anchored on the fact that we need to enhance our services in the market to launch new products and

Prudential Malaysia already had a lot of the digital capabilities needed to adapt to COVID-19

services. Our journey was anchored on three objectives: speed to market, agility, and efficiency. Because we started early, by the time COVID-19 hit the market, we were already four years down the road into our transformation journey. We were quite fortunate in the sense that a lot of the needed digital capabilities were already in place when COVID-19 came, and we were able to quickly mobilise our people and provide additional options to our customers in the way they are served and protected during this unprecedented time. What measures did you roll out in order to support your customers amidst the ongoing disruptions? Wong: We have put in a lot of resources into Pulse where you can read about how to protect or take care of yourself in the midst of the pandemic. Through Pulse, we want to be a companion to all Malaysians on their health journey. This is in line with our ambition to provide affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone. It’s a free app that we launched last year and we have so far received very good feedback. It has features to help people get healthier, such as a health assessment and a symptom checker. The app also boasts a dengue prediction feature, amongst other things. Not only that, we are also using Pulse as a platform to offer additional coverage against COVID-19 to both customers and non-customers. We have introduced an initiative where non-customers can also sign up for coverage, which provides them with protection if they are hospitalised due to COVID-19. For example, they can receive up to RM10,000 in the unfortunate event of death as a result of COVID-19. Teh: On the services side, a lot of our initiatives were already activated before the pandemic and we were focused on driving utilisation. When the branches were closed for more than a month during the pandemic, our customers who are used to visiting our branch to pay for their premiums, access services and provide documents, were not able to do that anymore. Many of them have since migrated to using our digital platforms. On the distribution and agents’ side, we provided support for them with an array of digital tools, with the pandemic accelerating their adoption of these platforms. We are seeing more people utilising these digital platforms for service requests instead of submitting a paper or just sending it through email. What we are trying to ensure now going forward is that the momentum remains, so that people don’t revert to their old way of doing things, and I think we see that happening. How has Prudential made its workforce ready to cater to your customers’ needs digitally? Teh: We recently moved into a new office in June 2019 and made a very conscious decision to create the culture of agile INSURANCE ASIA


working for our staff. Therefore, in our new office, there are no physical wires or LAN points; everything is wireless. It’s a culture where we allow people to work from any location within the office, enabling them to move around. That decision has placed us in a very good position to face the pandemic because within a span of less than a week, we were able to mobilise 95% of our workforce to work from home. Wong: The flexibility it has provided has been really helpful during this time. Our people are able to do their job while staying at home. A lot of schools and organisations were closed, and this setup allowed our staff to continue working without being inconvenienced. Imagine having to return to the office to do work while you know you have young children to take care of at home. What inspired Prudential’s digital transformation journey? What are some initiatives and projects that you have rolled out to improve your digital servicing capabilities? Teh: I mentioned earlier about our five-year technology roadmap. One of its key elements is the modernisation of our back-end system. For many insurance companies, one of the big challenges they face is being hampered by legacy platforms that inhibit them from embracing the new digital world. That is why when we worked on this project, we wanted to make our system optimal, which is essentially about modernising our back-office environment based on the earlier mentioned objectives. In the last two years, we have been able to embark on more projects around emerging technologies. The introduction of Pulse was one of our key projects last year. Within Pulse, there are several features that are powered by AI, such as the symptom checker that was mentioned earlier. This year we also launched our chatbot service, which is similarly driven by AI, for our agents, and we are now looking to offer it to customers as well. How did the public view the Prudential brand during this period? How did you maintain the Prudential brand across customers and the Malaysian public during the MCO? Wong: As an insurer, we need to be helpful. During MCO, we strive to provide as much information as we can to our customers and the general public. We make sure we communicate with our customers on the operating hours of our branches and which services will be available through these branches. We provide the option of a premium deferment plan, in conjunction with the government’s initiative, for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Our customers can write to us and explain their situation in order for them to receive a 90-day period of premium deferment. Another small but impactful thing that we have done is to look at our products and recommend those that are affordable during this time. We have launched a few solutions that will help people get started in terms of insurance coverage. Teh: We need to make sure that we provide enough options to customers and be able to continue serving their needs. I mentioned e-payments earlier because one of our highest volume of transactions are payments by our customers. The idea is to create various options that the customers will be 8 INSURANCE ASIA

Rather than using pen and paper, agents are now using iPads and digital technology to engage with customers

able to choose from. For those who still choose to go to the branches, we are not stopping them. However, at the end of the day, we want to encourage them to move towards digital platforms because these will give them a lot more options and convenience in terms of how they can have their transaction fulfilled. How has COVID-19 changed the insurance industry in Malaysia? How have insurers been impacted by the disruptions this had caused? Teh: I believe the biggest impact the pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on the industry is digitisation. For Prudential, as we were already on this path of digital transformation, the pandemic has only served to reinforce our commitment to this journey and to continue the momentum. What’s next for Prudential Malaysia? Wong: On Pulse, the journey continues. We will be including more features and functionalities on the app in coming months. From a customer point of view, we will provide products and services that commensurate with the current situation. The pandemic is a reminder to many of us that financial protection is key, and sometimes when it comes to insurance, only when you’re in a certain situation do you really appreciate the fact that you’re protected. This is an area that we want to continue to focus on. For example, we continue to educate our customers about the difference between medical and critical illness coverage; one gives you medical coverage and hospitalisation, while the other is for protection against critical illness. You need to be able to continue with your livelihood and coverage is therefore important in those periods as well. Teh: On the distribution side, we have empowered our agents with digital tools, so that they can serve and engage with their customers and prospects in a more modernised way. Rather than using pen and paper, they are now using iPads and digital technology to engage with their customers. What we have done recently is move from beyond just the sales and service environment, bringing in the learning aspect where a lot of agents now are embarking on e-learning. This started off during the MCO and we will do a lot more of this going forward. For example, we have created several bite-sized videos that they can view and learn about different topics to help them with their business. Our digital journey forward now has also included the nurturing and supporting of our agents. The initial focus was on how agents can engage with customers, but it has since moved to how we can help them to build their business and how new agents are recruited and contracted. All of these initiatives are now being done digitally. The suite of tools that we give to agents will become more complete in the next six to 12 months as we build up these components and give them an end-to-end capability to be able to run their business more efficiently. On the customer side, clearly, Pulse is going to be our primary focus. Over time, you will see a lot more things that we will be rolling out in Pulse to fulfill the needs of our customers.



Singlife’s regional expansion has allowed it to provide highly localised services, matched with the expertise of its global network

Walter de Oude CEO Singlife 10 INSURANCE ASIA


Singlife shows traditional insurers how to thrive in the new normal A digital insurance product with a wide-reaching coverage and a strong focus on customer service is shaking up the industry, according to Singtel Group CEO Walter de Oude.


he unexpected advent of the coronavirus pandemic has greatly shaken up how Asian insurers interact with their customers. The new normal of a socially distanced society has highlighted the need to digitise insurance, so that firms may continue to meet customers’ needs even remotely. Digital-only insurer Singapore Life (Singlife) has a head start in this change. The company began as a firm looking for a way to digitise life insurance. The firm’s leading product, Singlife Account, gives customers the ability to save their money with a market leading rate of up to 2.5%. To make things easier for customers, Singlife added a Visa card to their account options, allowing customers to spend the money on their insurance contract the same way as you would on an ordinary debit card. “This is a new and novel product because it’s never actually been done before in the industry,” Walter de Oude, group CEO and founder of Singlife, told Insurance Asia in an exclusive interview. “Singlife is the very first insurance company I’ve ever heard of who is also an approved issuer of Visa cards and we are the first ever insurance company I know of to be able to have a direct debit from your insurance account for payments.” First launched in March 2020, Singlife Account garnered 40,000 downloads within the first month of release. The numbers further skyrocketed when the circuit breaker measures set in; for the month of April alone, Singlife registered more than 50,000 downloads for its Singlife Account offering. Insurance Asia caught up with de Oude, founder of one of the first digital-only insurers in Asia Pacific (APAC), to learn about his thoughts for the future of the insurance industry amidst the new normal of physical distancing, as well as find out more about how Singlife plans amidst changes in the market. How has COVID pandemic affected insurers’ operations and strategies for growth in the region? Singlife is a digital-first insurance company; we offer products through third-party advisors or direct to customers. And what we’ve found is that with COVID-19 and more people at home, less people are actually spending their money. With lower consumption means there’s higher savings, and where there’s higher savings, [it means that] people are looking for better places to save their money. So for Singlife, we have been incredibly fortunate that COVID-19 has actually helped us tremendously in ramping up digital propositions because people are looking for a place to save their money and Singlife provides a very neat, easy and convenient one.

Which of your products have most benefited from the surge in interest for digital products and services? The products that have benefited the most from COVID-19 would be the simple savings product. So for a Singlife Account, we have passed more than 50,000 downloads in April, during the circuit breaker measures. What challenges are the insurance industry facing now given current market conditions? So the biggest challenge that the industry has faced is in face-to-face sales. With low social contact, it’s been very difficult for advisors to adjust to a new way of meeting with people, which is digital and online in order to do business. Business is continuing but this adjustment is taking a time to get to grips with. So what we have seen is that face-to-face advice or advisory-related product sales is taking a big fall in the second quarter. But what it has meant, though, is that advisory-related services on traditional insurance companies have had to readjust or rethink how they’re engaging with customers in a non face-to-face way and to allow a little bit more leniency in how they accept non face-to-face transactions. The changes that we’re seeing around us is that face-toface advice includes much more ability to do Zoom or WhatsApp, amongst others. But the biggest issue is the ability to have remote signing of application forms, which is transformational for the industry. They’ve really not done that before, but COVID-19 has actually forced most players in the industry to change their views such that signing forms remotely is now more acceptable than it’s ever been before. For Singlife, we’ve always accepted this because it’s part of our business model, and we can validate authenticated forms digitally. But the rest of the industry is still catching up. What are some trends arising in the industry due to current market conditions, which insurers can take advantage of? People have got more time to take care of their personal finances than they have had previously, and they are saving more than they’ve done previously. This has benefited digital companies. In particular, Singlife is able to service [our customers] remotely. It’s the company’s responsibility to find new ways in which to engage people with these needs to provide them with valuable services. What is Singlife doing to meet new needs and expectations of clients? Singlife is built digital, so we don’t have to change any of our processes to survive a social distanced world. Singlife INSURANCE ASIA


the next challenge is around getting the medicals and things done in a way which is efficient. In this time, people are not so willing to go for medical assessments and people are avoiding healthcare at the moment. So there are some challenges to overcome there. But time will make that better.

Singlife website

advisors have always been able to provide products remotely. So we changed nothing in our process and because we are well-prepared for this, because digital is our DNA, we are able to survive and flourish in the COVID-19 times in both face-to-face advice as well as a digital product distribution making mechanism. In his recent speech, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon noted that Singapore might see a very strong growth in the take-up of pandemic risk insurance. Has there been an increase in interest and take-up of pandemic-related insurance? We’ve seen that some of these products have become available in the market. However, our view is that most companies that have offered pandemic-style insurances are a little bit gimmicky in their offer, and are trying to create talking points around coverages that are not as meaningful as might be required. The pandemic itself has raised the awareness for the need for risk protection, not just for pandemic risk but for all risks. We think that pandemic-style insurance should be incorporated in every ordinary cause of insurance. We think that people shouldn’t have to worry about what is not covered for this insurance and then think “I need a special insurance for this.” It should already be covered in your ordinary course, day-to-day insurance. So Singlife has got no exclusions for COVID19-related claims, which we hope will give people the peace of mind that they are covered. I believe that if people are already covered by their life insurance, then having an additional pandemic-specific insurance on top of their life insurance is a little bit sensationalistic. People should be covered about their broader mortality or health risks rather than just worry about such a small, tiny component of it. What is Singlife’s edge in this new normal way of promoting insurance? Singlife is already future-ready because we are able to engage directly with customers wherever they’re at. We have provided capability frameworks to our third-party advisors, which allow them to engage with their clients in a digital and remote way and still provide Singlife products to those customers. So we’re quite well prepared. I think there are still things that are going to have to take some time. I think the next challenge for us all is not just about digital execution of life insurance. I think 12 INSURANCE ASIA

Can you tell us more about your products and services? Singlife has just recently launched a single account in March of 2019. That has performed very well. As I said, Singlife account is a very simple savings plan providing up to 2.5% returns for the first $10,000 to customers with no lock-ins, free foreign currency, no charges and a Visa card that attaches to it so that you can effectively access your money at any time. That’s never been done before and is a real innovative example of the evolution of insurance. Now on the back of that, we will be expanding the proposition to be able to allow for simplified issue life insurance that goes off the back of the Singlife accounts in the app and quite a lot more product versatility coming through the fact that we’re able to engage directly with, and meaningfully with, customers on a day-to-day basis. Can you share Singlife’s plan to adapt and thrive in this “new normal” of social distancing and health caution? How would you describe a future-ready insurer? Singlife is planning on taking over the world. We think we can do things cheaper, better, and faster than the incumbents, and we can innovate, deliver, and create product capability and efficiency in a way that has never been done before, which gives us some fantastic advantage. I think that our growth story will reflect that we will be taking on larger and larger market share over time with a view to just providing good quality, affordable, relevant products to our clients in an easy, convenient, and meaningful way. And if we keep doing that, we believe that people will keep supporting us both from a direct way and also through their financial advisors.

In September, Singlife and Aviva announced plans to merge in a $3.2b deal—the largest insurance M&A in Singapore.




Cover Genius has posted a three-digit growth and generated profit soon after its founding

Insurtech startup reimagines cover distribution on the cloud Cover Genius is disrupting the personal insurance market by partnering with e-commerce sites.


igital insurance sales have been on a constant, sustained rise as COVID-19 lockdown measures severely inhibited face-to-face interactions. In particular, there has been a trend amongst Indian and Southeast Asian insurers to complete digital sales on their own platforms or connecting their products to affiliated channels such as banks, telecommunications firms, and e-commerce platforms, said Arijit Chakraborty, managing director for Southeast Asia and India of global insurtech firm Cover Genius. “A few insurtechs have also moved towards establishing marketplace comparison sites with a direct-to-consumer proposition,” he noted. “However, people still have limited coverage choices because the products being distributed online are usually similar if not the same as products being sold through intermediaries offline.” 14 INSURANCE ASIA

The current trend does not address the changing insurance demands of customers or create a more customisable product proposition, he noted. Established in 2014, Cover Genius offers insurance distribution platforms such as XCover, which it claims to deliver personalised insurance in any country, language or currency, according to its website. It is also licenced to undertake the actual quoting of policies and claims management, Chakraborty said. Cover Genius has posted a threedigit growth and generated profit soon after its founding, Chakraborty said, with a 492% global growth rate in the last three years alone. In an exclusive interview with Insurance Asia, Chakraborty dives into Cover Genius’ approach towards the pandemic, his plans in relation to his new position, the benefits of the platform, and future plans.

A few insurtechs have transitioned to marketplace comparison sites, but products are still similar to those being sold offline

How has Cover Genius’ approach to insurance changed, at least in Asia, as the pandemic rages on? Is it planning on tweaking its offerings in response to the crisis? In the months since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have seen a marked increase in consumer interest in protection products such as insurance and warranties. Our recent analysis of our partner network has shown that attach rates for insurance products have increased by 1,200% since travel bans and lockdowns came into effect. Though the travel and mobility industries have been hardest hit by the pandemic, other verticals like retail, fintech, and logistics are conversely experiencing unprecedented growth. Some of the key features of our XCover platform, such as dynamic product and price recommendations, have led to very positive commercial

INSURTECH: COVER GENIUS outcomes for our partners in these verticals. Centering the insurance experience around the customer’s needs has long been our purpose. Our product and tech teams have mobilised quickly to build new insurance products that provide additional protection for coronavirus pandemic-related challenges such as airline collapses and travel date changes. Can you walk us through the process of how Cover Genius matches up a customer with an insurance firm? How do you provide a more efficient way for customers and firms to reach each other? How have you grown, in terms of profits? Our global insurance distribution platform, XCover, is the bridge between the distributor and Cover Genius. Distributors are usually e-commerce businesses, which can be retailers, large online travel agencies, shipping platforms, automotive distributors and more. We integrate with those digital environments via our APIs and partner with a global network of insurers to distribute their products via these channels. The insurers can be local direct carriers or reinsurers. Once we come up with the insurance product proposition for the ecommerce company, we work on the commercials and then engage our underwriting partners to work on the product. As a one-stop platform, XCover is configured to house-regulated insurance products for any line of insurance in any country, as long as it is distributable via any digital touchpoint. We are also licensed as a platform to undertake the actual quoting and binding of policies, as well as being able to manage and administer claims. This allows us to provide a truly end-to-end solution. What are your main goals now that you have been appointed to your new position? Is there a particular pain point that you’d like to focus? There’s a significant opportunity for e-commerce companies to become large-scale distributors of insurance products because e-commerce is becoming the preferred purchasing platform for consumers. With some

of the world’s largest and fastestgrowing e-commerce companies currently based in India and Asia as a whole, we want to help these businesses tap into this opportunity and provide their customers with relevant insurance and warranty products at the point of sale. In your opinion, is there a particular Asian market that would greatly benefit from the services of Cover Genius? Why or why not? Our platform and insurance proposition were created to be global and can be easily scaled in any country. The beauty of XCover, our global insurance distribution platform, is that it can be configured for any line of insurance, so we are not limited by the types of verticals and businesses that we can serve. XCover can be integrated with any online e-commerce booking path – whether it be in retail, travel, fintech, logistics or automotive – that wants to monetise insurance to create additional revenue channels. We are particularly drawn to e-commerce businesses that share our commitment to changing the way insurance is done and want to reap the benefits of tailored policies and instant claims payments on a global scale. How does Cover Genius ensure the security and privacy of its clients and partners? We have spent a significant amount of time and effort building a tech

stack that ensures we are compliant with all global and regional security and privacy requirements within the countries that we operate in.

Arijit Chakraborty

Can you share with us any updates on your partnerships with Asia’s biggest online businesses? What projects and products are you planning on adding to the pipeline? We have just launched parcel and transit insurance with one of the largest e-commerce players in Southeast Asia, with retail product insurance to come by the end of August. We are also introducing pet insurance in India and event cancellation insurance, which is one of the largest ticketing platforms in the region. We have successfully completed some sizable deals with online travel agencies in the region and will be launching travel and trip cancellation insurance along with medical assistance on their platforms. Further down the regional pipeline, we will be working with several fintech platforms and neobanks in Southeast Asia to provide more robust insurance products. What is next for Cover Genius in Southeast Asia and India? We are really looking forward to our partner launches, increasing our reach and penetration into the retail, fintech, travel, logistics and mobility verticals, and deepening our relationship with our trusted underwriters.

The platform is licenced to undertake actual quoting and binding of policies, as well as claims management




Its 360-ProVestment product integrates itself into the financial institution’s existing customer journey.

How Singapore’s 360F collates selfreported metrics for better financial advice

It has a platform that allows advisors to build hyper-personalised solutions in real time.


ingapore’s life insurance industry recorded a 13% slump in weighted new business volumes in H1 2020 to $1.21b (S$1.66b), according to a report by the country’s Life Insurance Association (LIA). Annual premium business plunged 25% to $762.9m (S$1.04b), dragged down by the Circuit Breaker and Phase 1 periods. Total sum assured only increased a measly 1% to $48.1m (S$65.6m) from $47.6m (S$64.9m) a year ago. In terms of distribution channels, tiered representatives comprised 36.1% or $440.7m (S$600m) of total weighted premiums, ahead of bank representatives (30.3%), FA reps (26.7%), and online direct channels (2.6%). In addition to lockdown measures, another possible reason for the feeble uptake of insurance is the lack of trust towards financial advisors and the quality of advice being given, said Michael Gerber, founder and CEO of Singapore-based insurtech 16 INSURANCE ASIA

360F. He cited a study by the Geneva Association, a global alliance of insurers, saying that two in three do not trust advice being given by financial advisors. “From our experience and research, incumbent players have not been able to make the quality of their advice systematically measurable or transparent. This in turn makes consumers feel disempowered, and distrustful of financial advisors,” he explained. To fill this gap, he and co-founder Clarie Kwa established 360F, which offers banks and insurers a platform that allows financial advisors to build hyper personalised solutions for their clients in real time through its flagship product 360-ProVestment. “At 360F, we have a firm grounding in behavioural modelling and optimisation techniques, complemented by expert domain understanding of actuarial science and financial products, and steered by fieldwork experience.

360F offers banks and insurers a platform that allows financial advisors to build hyper personalised solutions for clients in real time

This allows us to create optimised recommendations that truly address consumers’ needs,” Gerber said. Insurance Asia caught up with Gerber to discuss the early days of 360F and how they have grown over the years, what makes them different from other insurtechs, what makes clients wary of financial advisors, what their plans are amidst the pandemic, and what the future holds for the company. What is the story behind insurtech 360F? What pushed you towards this venture? Year after year, studies sponsored by governments and private institutions tell us about the protection gap and poor retirement readiness among consumers. People are becoming more affluent, regulators are giving more scrutiny to insurance providers, and technology has become more advanced and widespread. Yet these problems persist.

INSURTECH: 360 F My co-founder and I think the root cause is the quality of advice. If a consumer were to visit three advisors with the same problems, he or she can expect three very different pieces of advice on product recommendations. Why does this bizarre situation happen? It’s because the process of constructing advice is traditionally guided solely by principles and hypotheses, which leaves a lot of room for subjectivity. In your opinion, what is the main reason for the decline of trust in financial advisors? Is this something that would likely be sustained in the future? I would say that there are two main reasons. Information is now more accessible than ever. Of course, there is still ample room growth in terms of financial literacy, even in mature economies. However, consumers now have more channels to seek counsel, and they have therefore become more aware of their rights and options. For example, there is now a trend to consult advisors and consumers in public forums for a recommendation someone else had given. With second opinions readily available on the Internet, consumers are unlikely to take advisors’ advice at face value. Past market crises have left a bad taste for many whose financial products became a liability or even worthless. Crisis cycles run shorter now, so bitter memories are fresh even for the generation who grew up during the last crisis. Due to these two reasons, I would say consumers will be increasingly skeptical of financial advisors. As such, there is an urgent need to provide consumers with quality advice to restore this trust deficit. How has your approach to insurance changed as the pandemic rages on? Have you, or are you planning on modifying your products in response to the crisis? The pandemic has motivated many to consider purchasing insurance and investment products independently. However, digital direct channels for financial services may not be sustainable as the cost of customer acquisition has risen to the level of outpacing customer lifetime value. Rather than us changing our

approach to insurance, I would say the current pandemic has actually made the use case for our products even more prominent. Recently, 360F enabled a global insurer in Dubai to cope and grow by remotely implementing its first digital direct sales channel within four weeks. Their channel uses 360NeedsProfiler®, which is a predictive and interactive engagement tool that helps customers self-learn and become aware of their unique needs to achieve financial resilience. By making intent and personalisation salient, it has improved conversion rates and customers’ readiness to open up in follow-up virtual advisory sessions. The contextual analytics generated from the profiler have also helped advisors to better engage firsttime customers, even if remotely. Pre-pandemic, two in three did not trust investment advisors and insurance agents. Social distancing measures, because of the pandemic, have meant fewer in-person interactions usually required to convey complex information, making it even harder to build trust. To address this challenge, we recently helped a financial advisory firm to build trust with its prospects online by implementing its first digital advice platform comprising our 360-ProVestment® and 360-HappiU® modules. Powered by optimization capabilities, the platform generates a score that measures the expected fulfilment of one’s expectations. The resulting financial recommendation is holistic and hyper-personalised, which convinces customers to make the purchase. By automating the complex process of finding the right balance of products for each customer, and by providing quantitative support for the financial advisor’s recommendations, our approach to advisory complements trends for remote digital advisory that have been propelled by the pandemic. Can you give a quick walkthrough of how your recommendation optimiser works? It was mentioned in your website that it is “hyperpersonalised” — what makes it so, and what factors are taken into consideration? To hyper-personalise advice systematically, 360-ProVestment® views the customer as an unique

Michael Gerber

individual. It integrates itself into the financial institution’s existing customer journey, and then transforms customer data into a mathematical utility function unique to the customer. This function reflects the customer’s financial needs, aspirations, lifestyle preferences, and constraints such as money and time. This function allows a numerical and personalized score (What we call HappiU) to be associated with the candidate products and/or solutions’ effect on the customer’s financial resilience and happiness, which they have defined for themselves. With this, the application goes on to prepare scenarios for stress testing. The 360-ProVestment® then stress-tests the millions of possibilities within seconds to construct a financial solution that not only matches the customer’s preferences, but also yields the highest fulfilment in terms of their own self-defined financial resilience and financial freedom. The customer is free to explore alternative scenarios before settling on what they personally find most perfect for them. Do you think 360F can eventually take the place of financial advisors in the future? Why or why not? 360F automates advice. It uses technology to help facilitate trust formation. But 360F cannot automate relationship building. Impactful innovations are human-inspired, science-backed and technologyenabled. 360F augments, but does not replace human intelligence and enhances human capabilities to transform and scale businesses. In the next two to three years, we envision our product suite to be applied en masse to the industry, reshaping the nature of the financial advisor’s work. The art of advisory tapping on communication skills unique to humans will make a grand comeback. What’s next for 360F? Can you share with us any partnerships or projects in the pipeline? We foresee using our technology-inproduction for an advice exchange platform that brings customers, advisors, and product carriers together while ensuring the integrity of advice and viability of the advisory business. INSURANCE ASIA



The experience of Chinese agents can offer a glimpse into the short to medium-term outlook of the industry.

What insurers can learn from China’s continuing COVID-19 recovery Insurers should invest in new digital tools and agencies, according to McKinsey & Co.


OVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges for the global economy. China was the first country to shut down in response to the pandemic, and it was the first to reopen. Today, many industries, insurance included, are watching closely to see what happens as China progresses through recovery. According to McKinsey consumer surveys, overall economic sentiment in China is positive. McKinsey analysis of consumer spending data shows that China is approaching pre-COVID-19 levels of spending in aggregate, and several leading macroeconomic indicators suggest the economy has started to rebound. Whilst the broad economic view in China may be encouraging, the outlook for the insurance industry is complex. For example, awareness of health insurance increased, translating to a 17% growth in sales from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020, whilst life products were down 1% over the same period. 18 INSURANCE ASIA

Meanwhile, demand for auto and liabilities policies slowed dramatically, affecting property and casualty lines. As insurers outside China weather the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for a possible second wave of infections, China can serve as a preview. Specifically, the experience of insurance agents is generally a good indicator of the short- to mediumterm outlook for the industry. We surveyed 210 agents in China across all lines of insurance in late April, examining how COVID-19 has affected their sentiment and performance, their interactions with customers via distribution, their view of insurers, and their outlook for the future. How COVID-19 has affected agents Two-thirds of agents experienced a decline in business performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, while around 20% reported an improvement. Survey data show the

Two-thirds of agents saw a decline in business performance, with the decline being more pronounced for those with one to two years’ tenure

decline is more pronounced for agents with one to two years’ tenure; about 13% of those agents experienced a decline in business of 60% or more. In contrast, none of the agents with five years’ tenure or more experienced a 60 percent decline or more. This varied impact on business performance may be partly due to experience but could also reflect the fact that attrition rates are likely to be higher among low performers. More than 40% of agents saw an increase in policy cancellations; around 25% of those agents attributed the increase to customers allowing coverage to lapse. In addition, more than 60% think that customers’ insurance budgets are lower than they were before the crisis. Many agents view the current situation as unsustainable; nearly 50% believe that they would not be able to sustain their business for more than six months if new business and renewals remain at current levels.

MARKET REPORT: CHINA However, there is reason for optimism. Around 65% said customers have become more proactive in inquiring about insurance products and shown stronger interest in health, accident, and criticalillness products as well as online medical services. And as previously mentioned, health insurance gained traction, with the number of new health policies by product up 28% in Q1 2020 compared with the previous year. When asked where insurers could provide more support, 74% said they want help launching new products to meet customer needs. Given the increase in cancellations and the overall decline in business, agents are spending more time on activities such as trying to make sales and contacting customers. More than two-thirds of agents reported spending more time on sales, and 61% said they are devoting more time to contacting customers and to learning and training. In light of this, it is no surprise that agents said their biggest challenge was achieving their KPIs , with 70% saying they need adjusted KPIs and performance management that reflect the current situation. As interactions with insurers shift away from in-person meetings, more than 60% are interacting more with both prospective and existing customers over the phone. WeChat and video calls have also increased; 53% reported using these tools more with existing customers, and 61% said they’re using these tools more frequently to interact with prospective customers. Most agents view this digitization of communication favorably, with around 70% reporting that their interactions have become more efficient. The importance of digital is also clear at the industry level, where digital players were less affected by the crisis overall than traditional insurers. Some digital platforms recorded huge increases: WeSure, for example, added 25 million active users during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, 70% of agents surveyed said they want more digital tools to help them sell and engage with customers. Despite the challenges facing them, most agents are confident of a recovery and seem optimistic about the insurance industry’s prospects. One-quarter are “very confident” in

the recovery of their business postpandemic, and an additional 69% are “quite confident”; just 6% professed to be “not confident.” The survey results uncovered some good news for insurers—almost 60% said they would not consider switching to a different insurer or career in the next six months, and just 1% said they were actively considering a move. This optimism may seem surprising given the business declines many are experiencing. How insurers can support agents going forward Agents increasingly find digital platforms an effective medium for communicating and doing business with customers. And customers are becoming more comfortable with using digital channels. As such, we anticipate permanent change in this direction. Based on the findings from the survey as well as our own observations, we see three areas worth pursuing for insurers that want to help agents navigate the next normal. This new distribution model means agents could work with a full set of digital capabilities that enable seamless interactions with customers across channels. Insurers could provide agents with enhanced remoteworking capabilities so they can meet customer-protection needs virtually. They could enhance dynamic digital tools with product illustrations (that is, illustrations that help users navigate a product and tap into its full value) as well as screen-sharing and videoconferencing to foster better communication between agents and customers. Insurers will also need to meet all regulatory requirements, including identity verification and signature collection.

Developing the next set of hybrid digital agencies will allow agents to have seamless interactions with clients across channels

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated insurers’ investments in digital capabilities at an unprecedented scale. These investments will help agents prepare for a possible second wave of infections and potentially reduce business disruption. Further, we have observed that these tools result in large efficiency gains for insurers (that is, a reduction in overall costs for the organization) by allowing agents to spend more time with customers and less time completing administrative tasks. Insurers should continue to check in with agents and monitor their use of digital tools and advanced analytics models so they can meet evolving needs. Consumers are proactively asking for help to bridge their protection gaps. Insurers need to embrace agile product development and ensure they are addressing the broadest range of consumer needs while arming their agents with tools to provide those products via digital channels. Value-added and nonpolicy services, such as remote health advisory and diagnosis, could be powerful new offerings for agents to have in their arsenal. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for insurers to accelerate digital transformations and improve customer centricity. As insurers and agents around the world navigate the crisis and move into recovery, they can turn to China for insights. One thing is clear: insurers will need to change how they support agents to help them become more resilient in the face of the pandemic and prepare to thrive in the next normal. By Arthur Bi, Angela Li and David Schiff.

Agents’ experiences are good indicators of the short- to medium-term outlook for the industry.




2030 will be more streamlined with greater levels of straight-through processing, particularly in small commercial business lines.

Insurance productivity 2030: reimagining the insurer of the future Insurers will need to adopt radical and structured changes for the transformation, says McKinsey & Co.


he COVID-19 pandemic has upended many sectors of the economy. Insurance carriers in particular have faced serious operational disruptions and increasing pressures on profits. However, even in the years before the pandemic, only a small subset of insurers were earning substantial profits, offset by another small subset of insurers that had destroyed substantial economic value. This is in part because, unlike many other industries, the insurance industry has not succeeded in improving productivity over the past decade. Combined with persistently low interest rates, the result is many insurers will not earn the cost of their capital. Whilst the coronavirus crisis has magnified some of the major challenges facing the insurance industry, it has also accelerated the push toward greater productivity, in 20 INSURANCE ASIA

particular, the shift to digital. Over the next decade, insurance carriers have an opportunity to improve productivity and reduce operational expenses by up to 40% whilst simultaneously improving their customers’ experience. To achieve this success, the insurance operating model of 2030 will have to look very different than it does today. Indeed, insurance carriers will need to look less like the traditional insurers of the past and more like modern tech companies. Successfully making this transition will require radical improvements in productivity across all areas of the value chain— which means insurers need more than mere piecemeal attempts at improvement. Rather, they need comprehensive, structural approaches to transform their operating models and cost structures. Only a transformative approach will allow an insurer

As insurers upskill their people, policy servicing may become an analyticspowered growth engine

to survive and thrive in a postcoronavirus world. A vision for 2030 Whilst the main value-chain elements in insurance will remain, nearly all key operational processes in 2030 will be far more streamlined, enabled by automation and digitization, with much greater degrees of straight-through processing, especially in standard personal and small commercial lines of business. Investments in new technologies will create or enable many of these productivity improvements. Until even a few short months ago, elements of this vision for 2030 might have seemed fanciful or farfetched. However, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated adoption of new technologies and new ways of working throughout the insurance industry, often due to simple necessity. Even for

ANALYSIS: OPERATIONS Insurers will have significantly better pricing capabilities through machinelearning models and analytics that use customer data

In 2030, many insurers will still be making significant IT investments.

those insurers that have reduced investment in new technologies during the pandemic, cutbacks will not persist indefinitely. Indeed, across many or all elements of the value chain, we’ve seen increased digital adoption and rapid shifts toward remote working. As a result of productivity improvements, insurance carriers’ operating models in 2030 will be far less labor intensive than they are today. Thus, across every element of the insurance value chain, the insurer of 2030 will likely look very different from the insurer of today. Product The product landscape will likely look different in 2030 for two main reasons: simplification of products and simplification of the product portfolio. In 2030, insurance carriers will offer simpler products, both to improve customer satisfaction and to increase productivity. Simpler products may offer price lists with only three premium levels or perhaps just a smaller-than-usual set of add-on modules. Curtailing the standard plethora of options will reduce customers’ confusion. Some leading insurers will invest in technology and develop one common IT platform for the entire business. They may even create one master product on that IT platform, which every subsidiary or business unit uses as the basis for its product-building process. This approach will generate significant efficiencies for large insurers, as their products often have many commonalities across

countries and regions. Many of today’s direct insurers and digital attackers have simpler product portfolios, a fact that contributes to their significantly increased operational efficiency and lower cost structures than incumbents’. By 2030, the most productive insurers will follow this lead and provide no more than five to 10 products. This range is in stark comparison with, for example, the 50 to 100 products that many P&C insurers offer now. Our analysis shows that often the top ten to 15 in-force products generate more than 95% of total gross premiums written. The insurers that succeed over the next decade will be those that simplify product offerings accordingly. Simplifying a product portfolio could reduce an incumbent’s operational expenses in product development–related processes by up to 30%. Distribution The pandemic has accelerated the trend toward more efficient omnichannel distribution, as more customers demand not only digital self-services but also in-person advice. Ten years from now, leading insurance carriers will have mastered their omnichannel approach. A customer might start with online research and switch seamlessly to receiving personalized advice from an agent through a videoconference. Innovative online portals will be available to customers who need to manage their policies after they’ve made purchases. Sales forces will also be digitally

enabled to a greater degree, allowing for more effective lead generation, better agent matching, and improved guidance on next best products to recommend. Pricing and underwriting By 2030, significant technology investments will have paid off, and manual pricing and underwriting will cease to exist for most personal and small commercial products across life and P&C insurance. Insurers that invested in new tools will automate their pricing in simpler businesses by more than 90%. In the coming years, insurers will acquire significantly better pricing capabilities through machine-learning models and analytics that use customer data to offer tailored prices or that use external data to optimize premiums. Underwriting will not be fully automated by 2030 for large commercial lines, tailored specialty lines, and more complex life lines; specialized underwriters’ significant knowledge will still be required. Nonetheless, even for complex business, pricing and underwriting will be far more automated and digitally enabled in 2030 than they are today. Even in large commercial lines today, anywhere from 3040% of an underwriter’s time is spent on administrative tasks, such as rekeying data or manually executing analyses, suggesting at least some opportunity for digitisation and automation. Policy issuance and service By 2030, an automated pricing and underwriting process will immediately trigger the policyissuance process without any manual interventions, and the policy-issuance process will be mainly or entirely digital. Customers will receive their policy documents through online portals, via email, or through other digital communications channels. The widespread adoption of safer, more secure digital communications channels will reduce the need for paper mail compared with today’s world, in which regulatory requirements often limit the use of emails during policy issuance. In 2030, paper forms will be available only upon request, and some INSURANCE ASIA


Insurers will need to think about the right network of potential partners and plan how to source the knowledge they buy externally

In 10 years, a lion’s share of policy handling will be through digital self-service.

insurers may charge an extra fee. In ten years, a significant share of policy handling will be through digital self-service. Within customer service centers, simple calls will be automated. Fast-learning chatbots will be able to help customers with all basic tasks and will only recommend to call (human) experts in exceptional cases. Most or all routine tasks will be fully automated, speeding the resolution of back-office tasks for the customer and eliminating boring, routine, manual work for employees. It also means that employees will be left with only more complex tasks, which will require the contactcenter and servicing workforces to acquire new skills. As insurers upskill their people, policy servicing may become an analyticspowered growth engine, revealing opportunities to cross sell and upsell as well as boost retention rates. Claims In 2030, leading claims organizations will combine and harness the best features of human and artificial intelligence. Humans will continue to be essential to the claims process, particularly for complicated or unusual claims, such as those in commercial or specialty lines. Human claims handlers will also provide empathy to customers in simple claims as well as expand to innovative new roles such as those in claims prevention. But thanks to digital tools and AI, claims handlers will be able to work more remotely, productively, and effectively. 22 INSURANCE ASIA

These tools and next-generation capabilities will include advanced analytics that, at first notice of loss, segment and route each claim quickly to the appropriate claim handler and resolution channel. Digitally enabled claims handlers will need to work alongside algorithms, which would help customers on their journeys and handling exceptions. Information technology Even today, across many sectors, the industry leaders are those that operate and innovate like tech companies. The most productive insurance IT organizations of 2030 will be those that embrace an ecosystem approach to capabilities. This approach is not just about using data and digital tools; it’s also about organizing IT in such a way that it can enable and even catalyze continuous innovation and adaptation by balancing in-house and outsourced capabilities. Indeed, even in 2030, many insurers will still face challenges in attracting and retaining sufficient analytics or data-science talent internally. As a result, insurers will need to think about the right network of potential partners and plan how to source the knowledge they buy externally. This modular, platform-based IT setup gives insurers the speed and flexibility they need to experiment, fail, learn, and scale quickly. While IT productivity will be higher in 2030, total IT costs may also be higher due to the increased

need for advanced technologies. Over the next decade, current IT initiatives will have a positive impact on productivity. However, in 2030, many insurers will still be making significant IT investments. Other support functions In 2030, insurance HR and talent functions will be more focused on strategic topics. Basic administrative and transactional processes will be streamlined and even outsourced where appropriate to gain quick access to automation and more integrated servicing, such as in payroll preparation and employee surveys. HR will also employ digital tools—such as rigorous talent analytics and videoconferences for job interviews—to be more efficient and effective. Finance and controlling tasks will be much more centralized and automated. The controlling functions of all business departments will be integrated into one entity that enables centralized reporting. Insurance companies that employ new technologies will be able to build one common dashboard and one “data lake,” including all relevant steering KPIs as one single “source of truth.” These reports will be automated and will be offered in a self-service portal where the respective departments can generate tailored reports. By Alexander Erk, Pradip Patiath, Jonathan Pedde, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk.

COVID-19 has accelerated the trend toward efficient omnichannel distribution.


Insurance Asia Awards presents the winners in its first-ever digital awards presentation


ver 70 exceptional insurance companies from 22 countries were recognised at the fifth Insurance Asia Awards held digitally from the first to third week of August. For the first time, the awards were handed via virtual presentation to the winners due to the pandemic. Winning companies were also interviewed throughout the whole month of August to share their thoughts on winning in the most prestigious awards programme in Asia’s insurance industry. This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Richard Holloway, Managing Director for Southeast Asia & India Life at Milliman; Frank Dubois, Head of Insurance at KPMG Singapore; Steven Goh, Head of Insurance Audit at KPMG Singapore; Woo Shea Leen, Insurance Leader at PwC Singapore; and Liza Drew, FSO Indirect Tax Leader - Asia Pacific at Ernst & Young. “Insurers have the responsibility to provide consumers with products that will fit the diverse needs of the market, especially during the pandemic. The Insurance Asia Awards recognises the conscious efforts of these companies to put out solutions and deliver exceptional value to their clients and stakeholders,” said Tim Charlton, publisher of Insurance Asia magazine.

AXA Affin Life Insurance Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Malaysia


CB General Insurance Plc. Insurance Start-up of the Year - Cambodia

Aafiya Medical Billing Services Insurance Administrator of the Year - UAE Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd. International Life Insurer of the Year - Japan Insurance Initiative of the Year - Japan AIA Australia International Life Insurer of the Year - Australia AIA Singapore Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Singapore AIA Thailand International Life Insurer of the Year - Thailand AIG General Insurance Company, Ltd. Claims Initiative of the Year - Japan CSR Initiative of the Year - Japan Al Wathba Insurance Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - United Arab Emirates Alliance Insurance Brokers Llc Domestic Broker of the Year - Oman AmGeneral Insurance Berhad Domestic General Insurer of the Year - Malaysia APRIL Hong Kong Limited Marketing Initiative of the Year - Hong Kong APRIL Singapore Pte Ltd Service Initiative of the Year - Singapore Avo Insurance Company Limited Virtual Insurer Product of the Year - Hong Kong AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad New Insurance Product of the Year - Malaysia International General Insurer of the Year - Malaysia 24 INSURANCE ASIA

AXA Affin Life Insurance - Rohit Nambiar CEO of the Year AXA France Vie – India Reinsurance Branch CSR Initiative of the Year - India AXA Insurance Pte Ltd (Singapore) International Life Insurer of the Year - Singapore AXA Tianping P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. International General Insurer of the Year - China Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - India Marketing Initiative of the Year - India Bao Viet Insurance Corporation Mobile App Insurance Initiative of the Year - Vietnam BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance International Life Insurer of the Year - South Korea Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - South Korea Cathay Life Insurance CSR Initiative of the Year - Taiwan

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd (Taiwan) Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Taiwan Insurance Initiative of the Year - Taiwan Cigna International Markets Marketing Initiative of the Year - Singapore CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative Marketing Initiative of the Year - Philippines Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company of Vietnam CSR Initiative of the Year - Vietnam Digit Insurance Insurance Start-up of the Year - India Direct Asia Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd Direct Insurer of the Year - Singapore E.design Insurance Co.,Ltd. Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Japan Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. Millennial Insurance Initiative of the Year - Singapore Etiqa Philippines CSR Initiative of the Year - Philippines Expat Insurance Domestic Broker of the Year - Singapore Frank.co.th/bolttech Domestic Broker of the Year - Thailand FWD Life Insurance Corporation Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Philippines Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd CSR Initiative of the Year - Australia Marketing Initiative of the Year - Australia Generali Life (Hong Kong) Limited Juvenile Health Insurance Initiative of the Year - Hong Kong

Great Eastern Takaful Berhad CSR Initiative of the Year - Malaysia Hong Leong Assurance Berhad Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Malaysia HSBC Life Singapore New Insurance Product of the Year - Singapore IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited Claims Initiative of the Year - India KBZ LIFE Insurance Co., Ltd. Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Myanmar KBZ MS General Insurance Company Limited Domestic General Insurer of the Year - Myanmar Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Myanmar Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance Public Company Limited Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Thailand Marketing Initiative of the Year - Thailand MB Ageas Life Insurance Company Limited Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Vietnam MLC Life Insurance Claims Initiative of the Year - Australia MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited Insurance Initiative of the Year - Hong Kong MSIG Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Claims Initiative of the Year - Singapore CSR Initiative of the Year - Singapore Muang Thai Life Assurance Public Company Limited Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Thailand New Insurance Product of the Year - Thailand Nan Shan Life Insurance Company Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Taiwan New Life Insurance LLC Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Uzbekistan Peak Reinsurance Company Limited Asian Reinsurer of the Year Prudential Assurance Malaysia Health Insurance Initiative of the Year - Malaysia Prudential Vietnam Assurance Private Ltd. Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Vietnam International Life Insurer of the Year - Vietnam New Insurance Product of the Year - Vietnam PT Asuransi Allianz Life Indonesia Insurance Initiative of the Year - Indonesia PT Asuransi BRI Life Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Indonesia

Singapore Life Pte Ltd Digital Life Insurance Initiative of the Year - Singapore Softlogic Credit Insurer of the Year - Sri Lanka Swiss Re Asia Pte. Ltd., Korea Branch Insurance Initiative of the Year - South Korea Swiss Re Corporate Solutions New Insurance Product of the Year - Hong Kong Taiwan Life Insurance Co. Ltd Claims Initiative of the Year - Taiwan New Insurance Product of the Year - Taiwan Takaful Brunei Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Brunei TakeCare Insurance Company, Inc. Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Guam Insurance Initiative of the Year - Guam Thai Life Insurance Public Company Limited CSR Initiative of the Year - Thailand The Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Philippines Underwriting Agencies of Singapore Pte Ltd Managing General Agent of the Year - Singapore Union Assurance PLC Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Sri Lanka New Insurance Product of the Year - Sri Lanka Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Sri Lanka Young Insurance Company Limited CSR Initiative of the Year - Myanmar

AIA Thailand

AIA Australia

PT Asuransi Raksa Pratikara Claims Initiative of the Year - Indonesia PT Great Eastern Life Indonesia Marketing Initiative of the Year - Indonesia QBE Hong Kong & Shanghai Insurance Ltd. Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Hong Kong

AIA Singapore

QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd Digital General Insurance Initiative of the Year - Singapore Qoala Insurtech Insurtech Initiative of the Year - Indonesia Sagarmatha Insurance Company Limited Marketing Initiative of the Year - Nepal Seoul Guarantee Insurance Domestic General Insurer of the Year - South Korea CSR Initiative of the Year - South Korea Asian Credit Insurer of the Year

BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance INSURANCE ASIA



Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd.

Union Assurance PLC Al Wathba Insurance

AIG General Insurance Company, Ltd.

AXA Affin Life Insurance

CEO of the Year - AXA Affin Life Insurance, Rohit Nambiar 26 INSURANCE ASIA

AmGeneral Insurance Berhad

Cathay Life Insurance

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd (Taiwan)

AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad

CB General Insurance Plc.

Direct Asia Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd

E.design Insurance Co.,Ltd.

Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.


Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance Public Company Limited

QBE Hong Kong & Shanghai Insurance Ltd.

Generali Life (Hong Kong) Limited

Muang Thai Life Assurance Public Company Limited

QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Underwriting Agencies of Singapore Pte Ltd

Takaful Brunei

Expat Insurance

The Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd.

Seoul Guarantee Insurance

Singapore Life Pte Ltd

Taiwan Life Insurance Co. Ltd

Thai Life Insurance Public Company Limited INSURANCE ASIA



Korea’s largest comprehensive guarantee insurer steps up its game Seoul Guarantee Insurance a triple winner at the Insurance Asia Awards 2020

2019, SGI has been hailed as the third largest economic development during the past 50 guarantee and credit insurer in the world years. SGI has played a key role in supporting according to the International Credit Insurance growth of major industries during this and Surety Association’s (ICISA) data. On development. During the 1970s, through the credit insurance front, SGI has recorded various performance guarantees it nurtured the manufacturing and construction industries’ approximately USD 1.2 billion in premium income over the last two years, ranking first in Asia and development, and during the 1980s SGI’s fourth in the world. Not only does SGI actively installment payment guarantees built the engage in CSR activities foundation for the car As a compre COMPANY to assist the growth and industry to flourish. SGI has played a key role in Insurance) is independence of future The company led PROFILE generations, but also by a paradigm shift supporting the growth of an unsurpass in retail financing major industries in Korea’s providing guaranteed in the industry support to SMEs and the with personal economic development socially marginalised itand Fitch, res loan guarantees contributes to shared during the 1990s Sang Taek Kim, Seoul Guarantee Insurance growth with the community and country. and contributed to the expansion of the Company President and CEO Yea SGI also operates reinsurance programs and mobile phone market and IT industry with has expanded its inward reinsurance business related products during the 2000s. Growing in order to diversify its business portfolio. alongside Korea’s economic development SGI Ma stablished in 1969, Seoul Guarantee Through strict underwriting policies based on has consolidated its position as the leading Insurance has supplied a diverse range Note comprehensive guarantee insurer of the nation. multifaceted risk analysis and well-established of guarantee and credit insurance relationships with customers and brokers, SGI services that have paved the way for the earned its reputation in the market as a reliable Branching out to the world development of the Korean economy and 1,4 reinsurer. Overseas inward reinsurance business Based on its firm position in the domestic the lives of individuals for more than 51 of SGI has expanded throughout the years to all market and solid credit rating SGI is aiming years. 83 P across China, the Americas, Vietnam, and the As of December 2019, Korea’s guarantee towards the global guarantee insurance AT A GLANCE MENA, reaching beyond the domestic market. market. Starting from Hanoi in 2007, SGI insurance market size was estimated This April, SGI also founded the AT A for GLANCEestablished branch offices in Dubai, Beijing, Glo at US$1.127t with SGI accounting Asia Guarantee and Credit Insurance and New York. In 2014, by transforming the US$295.1b, which is a market share of As a comprehensive guarantee services provider in Korea, SGI (Seoul Guarantee COMPANY Insurance) is the leader in the domestic surety and credit insurance industry, enjoying PROFILE Association(AGCIA) along with 7 other founding Hanoi representative office to a branch office, 26.2%. The firm’s business platform As a comprehensive guarantee services provider in Korea, SGI (Seoul Guarantee COMPANY an unsurpassed reputation for its financial strength in the global market. SGI’s stature Cre Insurance) is the leader in thefirst domestic surety and credit insuranceinsurer industry, enjoying members from 5 different countries. AGCIA PROFILE SGI became the foreign non-life in the industry has been validated by its credit ratings of “A+” and “AA-” given by S&P is backed by diversified and extensive an unsurpassed reputation for its financial strength in the global market. SGI’s stature and Fitch, respectively. is Asia’s first ever international guarantee and in the industryopened has been validated by its credit of “A+” andAlong “AA-” given by S&P to have a branch inratings Vietnam. product portfolios: amongst the bond and Fitch, respectively. creditYear insurance organisation dedicated to of Establishment: 1969 with continuous efforts to gain footholds in RBC amount of US$216.1B, guarantee Year of Establishment: 1969 Majority 93.85% owned KDIC fulfilling theShareholder: vision of “Making Asiaby a Better Place different regions, SGI started to offer the insurance for individuals, SMEs, and large Note) KDIC: Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation Majority Shareholder: 93.85% owned by KDIC Shareholders: Life Insurers 4.35%, Non-life Insurers 0.82%, Others: 0.98% to Live”. ItMinority serves to provide a platform where Guarantee Bond(CGB) which resulted Note) KDIC: Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation corporations accounted for 50.6%, 39.4%, Counter Exp Minority Shareholders: Life Insurers 4.35%, Non-life Insurers 0.82%, Others: 0.98% Employees, 1,022 Agents 1,467 market information and operational knowledge in an expanded coverage to 12 banks and 118 and 8.3%, respectively. Risk Based Capital 1,467 Employees, 1,022 Agents could83 beProducts actively exchanged, as well as to countries as of end-2019. Ratio of the company was recorded at 83 Products A GLANCE Global Alliances: ICISA, PASA,opportunities SFAA provide various educational in the ForGlobal two Alliances: consecutive years in 2018 and 396.1%, outperforming theAT average 195% ICISA, PASA, SFAA



As of December 31, 2019

As of December 31, 2019




As of December 31, 2019

of domestic non-life insurers. The company is preparingCOMPANY for its next PROFILE 100 years under the vision of “Your Best Credit Partner : providing top-tier solutions to realise social values” andFINANCIAL has landed three awards—Asian CreditHIGHLIGHTS Insurer , Domestic General Insurer-South Korea, CSR Initiative of the year-South Korea—in the 2020 Insurance Asia Awards.




RBC Ratio: 396.1% AsFINANCIAL a comprehensive guarantee services Total provider Assets Exposure: USD 295.1 billion (USD Mil) Insurance) is the leader in the domestic surety and HIGHLIGHTS an unsurpassed reputation its financial strength7, Premiumfor Revenues 6,886.8 in the industry has been validated by its credit rating 6,402.3 and Fitch, respectively.

As a comprehensive RBC Ratio:guarantee 396.1% services provider in Korea, SGI (Seoul Guarantee Insurance) is the leader in the domestic surety and credit insurance industry, enjoying billion strength in the global market. SGI’s stature USD for Exposure: 295.1 an unsurpassed reputation its financial in the industry has been validated by its credit ratings of “A+” and “AA-” given by S&P and Fitch, respectively. (USD Mil)

Premium Revenues

Year of Establishment: 1969 (USD Mil) FINANCIAL (USD Mil) (USD Mil)

Total Assets

Total Equity

Net Income

Total Assets



396.4 385.0 Note) KDIC: Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation 3,415.4 1,526.3 374.1 Minority Shareholders: Life Insurers 4.35%, Non-life Insurers 0.82%, Others: 0.98%

1,467 Employees, 1,022 Agents

Net Income

(USD Mil)

(USD Mil)


6,886.8 6,402.3

Total Equity

(USD Mil)


Majority Shareholder: 93.85% owned 1,630.4 by KDIC 3,614.6 7,338.7



(USD Mil)










83 Products 2017

Accompanying Korea’s economic development PRODUCT OVERVIEW Korea has experienced an explosive

Credit Ratings: S&P A+(Stable), Fitch AA-(Stable)

Credit Ratings: S&P A+(Stable), Fitch AA-(Stable)

Global Alliances: ICISA, SFAA 2017 2017 2019 2018 2019 PASA, 2018







Credit Ratings: S&P A+(Stable), Fitch AA-(Stable) Ratio: • ContractRBC bonds such 396.1% as bid bond, advance payment bond, performance bond and maintenance (warranty) bond take up 46.5% of the total premiums, amounting to PRODUCT Exposure: USD 295.1 billion USD 655.2 million. OVERVIEW • Non-contract bonds including fidelity bond and license & permit bond account for 9.9% with a value of USD 139.2 million. Personal loan guarantees for employees take up 5.2%. Total Assets Total Equity Premium Revenues Net Income • Accounting for 38.4% ofMil)the total premiums, insurance has(USD two (USD Mil) (USD (USDcredit Mil) Mil) categories: (1) commercial etc; and (2) consumer 7,338.7 products for mobile 3,868.2 phone installments, 1,713.6 1,630.4 6,886.8 for mortgage, small 3,614.6 products personal loans, etc. 396.4 6,402.3





(USD Mil)


Year of Establishment: 1969











Majority Shareholder: 93.85% ow

• Contract bonds such as bid bond, advance payment bond, performance bond and maintenance (warranty) bond take up 46.5% of the total premiums, amounting to USD 655.2 million. 2017 • Non-contract bonds including fidelity bond and license & permit bond account for 9.9% with a value of USD 139.2 million. Personal loan guarantees for employees take up 5.2%. • Accounting for 38.4% of the total premiums, credit insurance has two categories: (1) commercial products for mobile phone installments, etc; and (2) consumer products for mortgage, small personal loans, etc.

Note) KDIC: Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation 2018 Minority Shareholders: Life Insurers 4.35%, N2

1,467 Employees, 1,022 Agents


Aflac Japan’s Agile Transformation with Agile@ Aflac Aflac provides convenience to its clients and stakeholders through multiple initiatives


ased on its founding aspiration of “helping alleviate the economic hardship of people suffering from cancer,” as well as its core values expressed in its corporate principles, The Aflac Way and Brand Promise, Aflac has created new values that can be shared with society. Through the promotion of digital transformation based on these core values, the company is providing new value to its stakeholders, namely its customers, business partners, employees, shareholders, and society. The Agile@Aflac Roll-out Aflac Japan launched Agile@Aflac in 2019 to create additional value for our customers by radically changing our way of working and transforming our organisational structure. These changes were needed to develop an organisational mindset and structure that is fully focused on quickly delivering value for our customers and that can effectively leverage digital technology to achieve this goal. With these changes, Aflac can flexibly and quickly provide services to our customers and respond to their needs even in rapidly evolving social environments or times of intensifying competition. The initial phase Agile@Aflac activities were leveraged to achieve the following: 1. Customer experience enhancement: Shortened the time required to pay claims and expanded premium payment methods. 2. Shortened speed to market: Shortened the new product planning period by 30-50%. 3. Improved efficiency (resource allocation): Over 75% of employees engaged in Agile indicated that their productivity improved. 4. Improved employee job satisfaction: Over 80% of employees practicing Agile indicated that their job satisfaction has improved.


The new Agile base aims to improve customer convenience and develop innovative products and services

Overall, in the initial phase of the rollnumber is not required, and the service is out, the most significant changes were available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, made in the claims area. Using Agile, pain enabling speedy and reliable cash receipt. points were identified and measures to This Open Innovation initiative, which improve the customer experience were goes beyond the scope of the insurance implemented. With this approach, Aflac industry, resolves customer pain points reduced the amount of information that and increases customer satisfaction. The customers are required to submit with service currently handles around 1,000 user claims and shortened transactions per the average claim month, contributing The company is providing payment time for to reliable and select claims to as prompt refunds to new value to its little as 5 minutes. customers. stakeholders through Agile activities are In such way, as the promotion of digital now being applied in the leader in the transformation additional phases to core business of other areas in order “Insurance for daily to improve customerliving,” the company facing and internal services. is utilising digital technology for providing In response to such needs, in products and services that are of value collaboration with Japan’s largest to customers. Moreover, in new business convenience store group, the company is fields responding to changes in society, the first Japanese life insurer to introduce the company is creating new value beyond an ATM Cash Receipt Service. The service is the realm of insurance by using digital for refunding premium payments. technology and linking insurance and nonIn the service, customers receive by email insurance services. a confirmation number for inputting into Through such initiatives, Aflac will leap an ATM machine at a convenience store, forward to become the leading company with more than 25,000 of such machines creating “daily living,” realising even more nationwide. The customer’s bank account corporate value.


InLife: Providing a Lifetime for Good amidst the pandemic The insurer also mobilised its resources to provide assistance for frontliners.


he COVID-19 pandemic is a public health, humanitarian and financial crisis. This is what Filipino life insurer Insular Life (InLife) realised after assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the country. As a corporate citizen, InLife took steps to address this crisis in order to help Filipinos cope with one of the worst pandemics to ever happen in the country’s recent history. InLife mobilised its employees, agents, and policyholders to gather donations with its corporate social arm, the Insular Foundation, matching all cash donations gathered. The money collected was used to provide personal protective equipment and distribution channels alike. This has (PPEs) for medical frontliners of nine allowed InLife to continue to operate with hospitals, food packs for families in poor minimal service interruptions and create areas, kitchen equipment in temporary new products and services even whilst the shelters, and financial assistance country was on ECQ. for nurses and medical staff. It also In the midst of the pandemic, InLife provided free life insurance cover and was agile enough to successfully roll hospitalisation benefits to both medical out its Virtual Business Enabler (ViBE), and non-medical frontliners through its a multiplatform system that enabled its Chain of Protection Program. agency force to stay in touch with their As the pandemic threatened the lives clients, whilst meeting new ones without the of many, InLife assured its policyholders need for face-to-face contact. that individual life policies, as well as InLife’s Automated Underwriting System policyholders of its Group Life policies, continues to provide a fast and efficient would be covered for system for policy COVID-19. Despite application to As the pandemic the exclusion of a policy issuance threatened the lives of pandemic in its group in as little as 30 many, InLife assured policies, InLife decided minutes. The to cover COVID-19 its policyholders that Customer Portal, cases. It also extended meanwhile, individual and group life the grace period for provides policies would be covered premium payments comprehensive for COVID-19 to 91 days instead of self-service the usual 30 days for capability that individual policies due for payment from enables policyholders to pay premiums, 15 February to 31 May. This was meant redirect premium payments, switch and to enable InLife policyholders to adjust withdraw funds, take out policy loans to the Enhanced Community Quarantine or withdraw dividends for liquidity (ECQ) in effect at the time. requirements. It also has a chat and email The COVID-19 pandemic and the facility for faster communication with InLife’s extended quarantine period implemented customer service associates. in the country challenged the insurance During this pandemic, the InLife Digital business which was highly dependent Store was also launched, whilst two new on face-to-face transactions with its products were offered to the market: Prime clients and prospects. Fortunately, for Care, a yearly renewable plan that gives cash InLife, it had already established a strong benefits in case of critical illness, and Total digital capability for a seamless digital ProtectER, a plan with three benefits—one end-to-end onboarding for its customers year term life insurance, daily hospital


income, and a one-time use Emergency Health Care voucher. Recently, it made available Ella, the InLife Chatbot on InLife’s Facebook Messenger account. Ella gives answers right away to customers who want to know how to use the Customer Portal and guides them as they perform transactions in the customer portal such as fund withdrawals and policy loan applications on their own. As one of the rare Filipino companies making it to 110 years, InLife has the unique responsibility and special accountability to the country. InLife has navigated through countless challenges but flourished as it continued to adapt well to the times. Guided by the values that helped it during these periods of calm and turbulence, InLife promises to continue creating a lifetime for good for everyone, proving its worth to be called Insurance Asia Awards’ Domestic Life Insurer of the Year – Philippines for four consecutive years.




DirectAsia Singapore unlocks the key to customer-centricity

The direct insurer designed product features to address the specific needs of customers in the long term


he year 2018 has marked the start of a transformational journey for DirectAsia Singapore. The direct insurer recorded a growth of 29% YoY to $26m from $20m in 2017. This momentum continued into 2019 with +33% GWP, ending the year with $35m. Just in 2 years, DirectAsia was able to increase its market share, growing an astounding 75%. The exceptional growth was underpinned by 2 strategic pillars— unique customer-centric feature launches and alternative distribution expansion. The stellar results garnered were a testament of solid product strategy and execution. To top this all, DirectAsia moved up in General Insurance Association (GIA) rankings in the motor and travel insurance by 3 positions to 11, and 2 notches to 13, respectively. Despite these achievements, DirectAsia also faced the challenge of a homogeneous product landscape, Suhas Talekar (left), Scarlett He, Ronnie Brown, Lynette Lee and Cherie Lim resulting in heavy price competition to acquire customers, with other direct insurers outspending the insurer in project aimed to attract and reward safe Furthermore, the insurer included the option marketing dollars by 700%. riders into its book, as well as give back to of the helper who might go along on the family Further, the motor category is clients via discounts. holiday as well as pet hotel coverage for travel typically deemed as unexciting and Going beyond the ordinary was the second delay. customers purchase at lowest possible product feature with the launch of ‘NCD cost in exchange for coverage whilst Protector Plus’. The initiative writes off one Partnerships with brand leaders travel insurance, faced the challenge of at-fault claim and advances the driver’s NCD The second strategic pillar for growth was an customers not being well-versed about the following year. alternative distribution expansion to tap into coverage. Just within the first valuable customer bases via partnerships. To move the The exceptional growth year of its launch, DirectAsia embarked on an ambitious needle forward, of DirectAsia was NCD Protector Plus partnership engagement plan with brand DirectAsia designed underpinned by unique has seen a 15% leaders like DBS for car insurance comparator, features for its increase in take-up Vicom for targeted traffic of drivers and riders, customer-centric feature products to address rate of the product. and Citibank for a mid-to-affluent base. the specific needs launches and alternative Meanwhile, As part of the exclusive Vicom partnership, of customers in the distribution expansion DirectAsia also the insurer launched its first on-site sales long term. revamped its travel team at Vicom inspection centres. Turning insurance products in early 2018 with family these partnerships around with limited Launch of NCD and Travel Insurance needs in mind covering children, helpers and resources and extremely tight timelines was products even pets. The family plan only prices adults execution excellence across the organization Following the first-of-its-kind launch and children will be included for free. Child as DirectAsia successfully on-boarded several of ‘NCD60’ (No Claim Discount) for car payable limits can also be raised to adult partners in mere months. This gave impetus drivers, DirectAsia launched ‘NCD30’ levels to ensure children are taken care of, for GWP growth and brand visibility with these for motorcycle riders in 2018, when the especially in medical situations. market leaders’ customer base. market highest NCD is only 20%. This





Make insurance more accessible through customer and partner-centric innovation

From innovative product portfolio to meet evolving customer needs to ambitious digital transformation


apid commercial growth over the customer experience and was instrumental to past 2 years the firm’s achieving a Net Promoter Score of 47 BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance and Customer Satisfaction Score of 91 in 2019. had a truly stellar run these past two BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance migrated all years, increasing new sales threefold to its policy communications onto the KakaoTalk EUR 74mln (annual premium equivalent platform in November 2017 and achieved a basis) over 2017-2019 to become a top 57% digital adoption rate in 2020. three player in the bancassurance variable The company was also the first life insurer life market in to adopt KakaoPay Korea. Over the authentication in April The awards gave us same period, the 2018 to let customers company doubled log on to its apps encouragement to work its bancassurance easily. In November towards our mission on variable life 2018, BNP Paribas “making insurance more market share to Cardif Life Insurance accessible to the largest 14% in 2019. possible number of people” launched its main It also customer consultation successfully service ‘Cardif Talk’ launched the on the KakaoTalk independent broker channel (GA: General platform to help customers make inquiries on Agency) in 2019 and achieved an 11% their contracts and gain access to a wide range market share in Q1 2020 in South Korea’s of services directly from the messaging app. competitive variable life segment. This new In March 2019, it launched fund performance channel accounted for 21% of new sales in alerts on KakaoTalk based on investment 2019. targets set by customers to help them track and optimise their policy performance. In Innovation in product portfolio to meet Dec 2019, BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance evolving customer needs launched a real-time premium payment service Rapid commercial growth was the result via KakaoPay. of putting customers at the center of everything we do. BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance launched its Customer Success Center in April 2018 to provide professional investment advice and help customers mitigate investment risks. It developed an innovative variable life insurance in partnership with a leading domestic asset management company featuring dynamic asset allocation solutions to help customers rebalance their fund portfolio at no cost. The company secured exclusive sales rights for this product from the Korea Life Insurance Association (KLIA) in 2017. Ambitious digital transformation, leading record-high customer satisfaction BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance aims to be part of its customers’ daily lives and to meet their expectations for intuitive interactions and immediate answers. The adoption of KakaoTalk, the No.1 mobile messaging application in Korea, into the company’s customer journeys has contributed to a significant improvement in


AI-empowered chatbot ‘Tobagi’ In order to support the rapid growth of its independent broker channel, BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance released an AI-

empowered 24/7 chatbot ‘Tobagi’ using natural language processing to 26,000 agents. The chatbot offers quick and intuitive access to information necessary to agents before and during the sales consultation process, delivers relevant information on product performance and is integrated within the company’s e-subscription system. The chatbot is personified as the character Tobagi, a likable, responsive and enthusiastic virtual employee. The chatbot has improved accessibility of sales support with more than one-third of inquiries being received outside working hours. As a result of the seamless integration of their services with KakaoTalk’s ecosystem, 45% of policy inquiries and transactions were processed digitally in 2019, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, greater operational efficiency, and lower transaction costs. Asia Innovation Factory, a company transformation accelerator Meanwhile, BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance is currently participating in ‘Asia Innovation Factory’ project, a globally embedded framework activating customer/partner-centric innovation and new ways of working in Asia. This project aims to test assumptions—following a pragmatic but well-defined governance—embodying local Cardif transformation in Asia. To be aligned with the region-wide project, BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance established ‘Cardif Lab’ in the local office in 2019, whilst introducing agile methodologies to accelerate change and promote customer-driven innovation. “We are very proud to have won the two award categories at the Insurance Asia Awards 2020. These awards were the meaningful BNP Paribas Cardif Life achievement of all Insurance President and CEO, our employees, and Jonathan Oh. at the same time, gave us another encouragement to work towards the company’s mission “making insurance more accessible to the largest possible number of people” said Jonathan Oh, President and CEO of BNP Paribas Cardif Life Insurance.




AmGeneral Insurance Berhad clinches Domestic General Insurer of the Year (Malaysia) Its strategies are centred on accelerating digital capability uplift and enabling digital delivery through its intermediaries


dding another feather to its cap, AmGeneral Insurance Berhad (AmGeneral) was recently awarded ‘Domestic General Insurer of the Year – Malaysia’ by Insurance Asia Award 2020. The past year was quite a busy one for AmGeneral as it set out concrete approaches to achieve targets of its ‘Big 4 Strategic Pillars’, and has since delivered multiple products to continually address fast-changing customer needs, placing value over price. AmGeneral’s Liberalised 365 Suite for motor and non-motor products include the auto365 Comprehensive Premier and Comprehensive Plus, auto365 Third Party Fire and Theft Premier, Fire 365, All Risk 365, Kurnia Travel Supreme, Flexi SME 365, and M&E 365, AmStyle Guard and Right Cover Plus. The company also recently launched Motorcycle365 Comprehensive digitally based on customer’s preference. This Plus with 4 new benefits—making it an also applies to its day-to-day operations and affordable cover that offers excellent value claims services to customers which allow a for motorcycle owners in Malaysia. seamless and hassle-free experience. Throughout the journey, AmGeneral has Some of the digital customer-centric seen many positive developments whilst initiatives include Agent/Partner Portal focusing on existing and new distributors Services, OneUp and OneTouch mobile for a quality business to deliver both growth applications, fast claims approval and express and profitability in the motor segment and claims services, specialist windscreen repairers also the fire portfolio. and multi-channel renewal reminders. Financially, AmGeneral AmGeneral further enhanced AmGeneral will continue to enjoyed a strong its customer claims year, recording innovate by introducing a services and made a 3.2% increase new end-to-end claims service changes to its in total annual model to further improve our Vehicle Accident premium income Management (VAM) already superior customer for Financial model to improve claims experience Year ended performance 31 March management and 2020, rising to 3.6% in its new core motor customer outcomes in terms of workshop repair business, where it insures one in every seven quality and turnaround time (TAT). cars in Malaysia under its two retail brands, The company also achieved multiple awards AmAssurance and Kurnia. Its performance as they achieved a 3-day turnaround time for bucks the industry trend, which saw overall claims approval from January to June premium income fell by 0.8% during the 2020. Next closest insurer had a 6-day TAT same period. whilst the industry average was 16 days. In the digital space, AmGeneral’s This is supported by the only over the phone strategies are centred on accelerating claims lodgement approach in the industry, digital capability uplift and enabling digital including free e-hailing options following delivery through our intermediaries—to an accident, document waivers, improved better enable agents to do more business status updates and the longest warranty


on workmanship (lifetime on windscreen replacement and 3-year warranty for Own Damage repairs) in Malaysia. By the end of the year, AmGeneral will continue to innovate by introducing a new end-to-end claims service model that will further improve on an already superior customer claims experience. With the implementation of Voice of Customer capability to drive customer retention performance and advocacy, this also led to a 30% improvement in AmGeneral’s overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) in July against SPLY. AmGeneral is truly honoured to receive this recognition as it is a testament to its commitment as the organisation continues to engage and build valuable relationships with its 1,400 employees, over 2 million customers, and 6,200 intermediaries, positioning AmGeneral as the ‘Most Trusted Insurer in Malaysia’ – placing emphasis on honesty and transparency in doing business.

CONTACT Company Name: AmGeneral Insurance Berhad Address: Menara Shell, No. 211 Jalan Tun Sambanthan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Website: www.amgeneralinsurance.com Tel: +603-2268 3333 Fax: +603-2268 2222 Email: contactus@amgeneralinsurance.com


Leading Insurance Singlife’s Digital-First Movement Singlife launches its flagship product, Singlife Account, with the vision of creating a digitally connected financial ecosystem.


his year has brought great change, reshaping traditional business models and prompting the urgent embrace of digital transformation. Whilst many traditional insurers have been instrumental in shaping insurance, their legacy infrastructures make it increasingly difficult to integrate new technologies and scale products to meet the needs of consumers in today’s pandemic. In an increasingly socially distant society, digitisation has been the glue that kept businesses running, markets churning and livelihoods going with as little disruption as possible. Digital insurers like Singlife are connecting customers to their everyday financial needs through their mobile devices, giving them constant convenience and connectivity to their finances. A Connected Future: The Benefits of Digitisation As the insurance sector is expected to record increased sales of policies covering critical illness and hospitalisation, more insurers here in Singapore and throughout the world are accelerating their digital transformation, driving new roles and skills to advance the digital front. Digital insurance provides accessibility, efficiency and affordability to consumers, allowing them to manage their financial products independently and have more control over their money and protection. With the increasing number of digital touchpoints, digital insurance has expedited insurance processes and transactions, connecting customers instantaneously to their needs and enabling operations and services to continue despite obvious business disruptions. Its immediacy feeds today’s consumers and the need for instant gratification, giving customers the speed and efficiency of immediate protection at a reduced cost. With the vision of creating a digitally connected financial ecosystem,

Singlife’s flagship product—the Singlife Account—was launched. As an app-based flexible insurance savings plan, the Singlife Account streamlines the financial journey so customers can enjoy greater accessibility, efficiency and affordability. Built with the modern consumer in mind, the Singlife Account reinvents insurance and unlocks the potential of money, offering customers more immediate returns and autonomy when managing their finances.

Singlife connects customers to their everyday financial needs through their mobile devices, giving them constant convenience and connectivity A Balancing Act: Being Digital-first and Customer-first As customers expect their financial services to be more lifestyle friendly, insurers are forced to innovate and make products more intuitive and appealing to the digital-first generation and beyond. Being more than just a digital insurance platform, the Singlife Account has supported thousands of customers in connecting them to their financial needs. Whilst digitisation has been an important aspect of the Singlife Account, being customer-first strips away the complexities of finance and insurance. Built on Twilio’s open API, WhatsApp for

Business makes customer service more intuitive and efficient. Through its instant identification process, Singlife is able to manage queries and resolve issues for hundreds of customers with speed. It is able to identify which customer is on the other side of the phone whilst instantly being equipped with the necessary information on the customer’s history to help solve the query. Singlife’s customised platform integrates all queries across different channels, ensuring a more seamless experience where customers can feel like their query is being attended to by one person, without having to provide background information on their issue at each interaction. This digital-first, customer-first approach has proven a success with the Singlife Account winning over 50,000 customers and quickly amassing over S$500 million assets under management (AUM). This illustrates the urgency for a digital financial service that not only meets the demands of consumers but supports their financial needs especially at a time where global economies are fragile and protection is paramount now more than ever. Recreating the Human Experience Whilst digital insurance has been lauded for its ease and simplicity, the human touch is still an important aspect of insurance. From offering timely insights to check-ins on customers’ coverage, financial advisors are vital in providing a human touch in insurance. To combine the worlds of digital and personal, Singlife is rolling out its “Connect with an Adviser” feature, aimed at providing more opportunities for Singlife customers to get in touch with trusted advisors who can guide them through difficult financial decisions. This feature is available in-app and will increase connectivity with customers, creating a personalised service tailored to their needs— something that is challenging to replicate with traditional channels like hotlines and emails. As Singlife continues to innovate and grow its offering and presence, the company’s recent merger with Aviva Singapore will aim to provide superior products and independent advice. Together, they will raise the bar for insurance and finance, leading Southeast Asia’s digital-first finance movement. INSURANCE ASIA



MLC Life Insurance assists employees back to work from social isolation

The insurer launched MLC Assist to support people’s return to their mental and physical health and wellness


OVID-19 has re-emphasised the important role life insurers play in protecting Australians and their families in times of crisis. When someone takes out a policy, we make a promise for life—to be there for them when they need it most. It’s why in 2019, MLC Life Insurance paid out more than $1.3b in claims. In the coming months and years, insurers are likely to receive and pay an increased level of claims as a result of the medical and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, said Josh Agar, Recovery Strategy Manager, MLC Life Insurance. As life insurers, are well positioned to do more than just pay claims. We already know that the longer people are away from work, the greater their risk of social isolation and the onset of secondary mental health Life Insurance launched an industry-first, conditions. This increases their risk of post-claim recovery service called MLC a comorbidity and can lead to a delay Assist. Delivered in partnership with in recovery or the development of a Pinnacle Rehab, the service seeks to secondary condition. And COVID-19 is support people’s return to their mental and likely to exacerbate this issue for many physical health and wellness. people. MLC Assist is free and available to all According to the 2018 Australian customers on an income protection claim. Loneliness Report, one in two It is available via an app and provides Australians feels lonely for at least access to a network one day a week, of experienced and whilst one in four dedicated allied has reported MLC Assist continues to health professionals. feeling lonely for give customers the right These include three or more support when they need it social workers, days. rehabilitation most At MLC Life counsellors, exercise Insurance, we physiologists, as know that social well as recruitment isolation can be and employment consultants. Helping a real challenge for many customers customers retain their community who make a claim. They may have lost engagement is supported by social services, their workplace connections and are vocational guidance and job seeking unable to participate in their usual assistance, direct placement assistance and social activities, sometimes leading to business coaching. The app’s applications the onset of a secondary mental health and chat functions let customers access the condition like depression or anxiety. services whenever they most need them. The feedback we received from Whilst the service is still in its infancy, customers was that they struggled to there are already positive results. From find and access appropriate support those who have used the service, 74% have services. returned to work and more than 90% of To address this, in May 2019, MLC

customers’ achieved their program goals. This included 63% of MLC Assist customers who achieved an improvement in classification from ‘unfit to work’ to ‘being able to work’ by the end of their program. Overall, customers who used the service say they feel they have someone there to help relieve the burden of navigating the transition to life post-claim, and ultimately helping them back to mental and physical wellness. Our next step is applying our data and user insights and predictive analytics to identify more work placement opportunities for key conditions and occupations types. Customers returning to work via rehabilitation services such as MLC Assist also have benefits for life insurers. According to Swiss Re’s Rehabilitation Watch 2016, for every $1 spent on rehabilitation services, insurers saved $25 on income protection claims costs. As a member of the Nippon Life Group of Companies, MLC Life Insurance is investing in programs to help its customers return to work and to get back to positive mental health. As many Australians continue to experience social isolation, exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19, MLC Assist continues to give customers the right support when they need it most. INSURANCE ASIA



AIA Australia receives top honour at Insurance Asia Awards 2020 The leading life and health insurer’s AIA Vitality program embodies its unique customer value proposition


ndustry-leading life and health insurer AIA Australia (AIAA) has been named ‘International Life Insurer of the Year— Australia’ at this year’s Insurance Asia Awards. Part of the AIA Group—the world’s largest life insurer by market capitalisation with over 100 years’ operating experience in the Asia-Pacific region, AIAA has worked hard to develop a shared value business model that delivers value to its customers, business, and society at large. AIAA’s purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives, and its vision is to champion Australia to be the healthiest and best protected nation in the world. For AIAA, AIA Australia and New Zealand CEO Damien Mu insurance is about more than simply being there for customers when times are four controllable lifestyle behaviours: physical tough. While, traditionally speaking, most inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive customers have only engaged with their alcohol consumption. insurer when lodging a claim, AIAA’s unique Rising rates of mental illness have also life, health and wellbeing proposition opens been a growing issue in Australia, with one up channels of ongoing communication, in five Australians between the ages of 16 encouraging customers to live healthier, and 85 experiencing a mental disorder in any longer, better lives. 12-month period. Mental health is AIAA’s third A key component of AIAA’s unique largest cause of claim, behind cancer and customer value proposition is AIA Vitality, musculoskeletal conditions. the science-backed health and wellbeing At a community level, mental illness has been program that encourages members to identified as the learn more about leading cause of work their health and be AIAA’s purpose is to make a absence and longrewarded for taking difference in people’s lives, term work incapacity, small, everyday and its vision is for Australia most commonly steps to improve it. due to anxiety and Behavioural to be the healthiest and economics has best protected nation in the depression. The Australia’s Healthiest shown that world Workplace survey, consumers will conducted by AIA generally opt for Vitality in 2017, indicated that absenteeism healthier choices if provided with a clear and presenteeism could be costing Australian incentive to do so. Drawing from these findings, AIA Vitality offers its members the businesses up to $112b per year in lost productivity. opportunity to enjoy a range of benefits— A recent Quantium Health study released including discounted gym memberships, by AIAA found that 30% of an individual’s risk reduced insurance premiums and financial rewards – by making choices that will lead to of depression is influenced by factors that are within their control. These include engaging in positive health and lifestyle outcomes. physical exercise, getting a good night’s sleep, In Australia, approximately 90% of eating a well-balanced diet and not smoking. national deaths are due to four nonThe findings are significant for both communicable diseases —cancer, diabetes, Australians and Australian employers, and go respiratory disease and cardiovascular some way to reveal the important impact that disease—and these are largely due to

health and wellbeing programs like AIA Vitality can have: if Australians were to make healthier lifestyle choices by practicing at least average health habits, the national depression incidence rate could reduce from 6% to 4.7%. This would result in 300,000 fewer depression incidences per year and 4.7 million recovered working days, saving the Australian economy around $3b per year. To combat the rise in the incidence of mental ill-health, AIAA has developed several mental wellbeing components as part of the AIA Vitality program, and recently made a new mental health app—Mentemia—available for free to all Australians for six months. Recognising the health impacts of isolation and financial insecurity that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, AIAA has also developed an at-home fitness and wellness program for AIA Vitality members while they are in lockdown, and is offering mental health coaching via tele-heath, free online cognitive behavioural therapy, and access to social work services for those who need it. The proven benefits of AIAA’s integrated shared value proposition extend beyond improved health and a better quality of life for individuals. Healthier members are less likely to make claims, and more likely to make fuller, faster recoveries from illness and injury, reducing claims costs for AIAA and making cover more affordable for members. Furthermore, healthier members mean a healthier, more productive population that can better contribute to society and poses a lower healthcare burden to the government. For AIAA as a business, the company’s shared value proposition means better customer engagement and retention, lower claims costs, more competitive pricing, and the opportunity to change the life and health insurance conversation from one about illness, death and disability to one that champions living healthier, longer, better lives.

CONTACT Company Name: AIA Australia Address: 509 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia Contact Number: 1800 333 613 Email: enquiries@aia.com.au Website: www.aia.com.au




Cathay Life Insurance drives customers to lead a healthy lifestyle

Cathay Life implemented the Cathay Walker Health Promotion Project to combine core insurance business with the promotion of walking.


s a leading life insurer in Taiwan, Cathay Life has over 8 million customers, with one in every three Taiwanese served by the firm. Upholding its sustainability vision of “Lead the way in sustainable insurance and ensure the happiness of society”, Cathay Life is the first life insurance company in Asia to comply with the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). With the dedication to incorporate ESG issues into operations and adapting to an aging society, Cathay Life actively promotes health management and creates a healthy lifestyle for the public. The insurer offered the first spillover insurance policy with a step counter app in Taiwan.

Becoming aware of health risks in society Life expectancy has increased following events for policyholders, and designed advancements in medical care. However, different incentives for employees and the data from the Directorate-General of general public. The premium will be reduced Budget, Accounting and Statistics show and insured amount will be increased if that the number of years citizens live in policyholders walk poor health has 7,500 steps every increased, which day and reach weekly implies social Cathay offered exclusive or monthly targets. issues such as events for policyholders, Besides, coupons or burden on family and designed different prize draws will be caretakers and incentives for employees provided to the general increased medical and the general public public. By doing so, costs. Cathay Life Cathay Life hopes is an expert in risk to change people’s management and seeks to address these social risks through lifestyles and make exercise a part of their daily life to improve their health. core capabilities. They view the health of Since its implementation, the project citizens as corporate social responsibility. has been combined with 7 spillover-effect Furthermore, they seek to transform the function of life insurance from payment to products and attracted over 223,000 participants, who have walked a total of over prevention. 175.4 billion steps, which is enough to make Incorporated core competencies to lead a 142 round-trip to the moon. healthy life Creating a health ecosystem to expand the According to JAMA Internal Medicine, project’s influence walking 7,500 steps a day can improve health and lower the risk of death. Walking In order to assess the social impact of the project, Cathay entrusted a third-party in 2019 is also an exercise suitable for all ages. to conduct a Social Return on Investment Cathay Life implemented the Cathay (SROI) assessment in accordance with “A Walker Health Promotion Project to Guide to Social Return on Investment” and combine core insurance business with the get certified from the UK. The results show promotion of walking. They offered the that the Cathay Walker Project has created first spillover insurance policy combined the equivalent of NT$6.3 social value for with a step counter app in Taiwan. every NT$1 invested, which has had an impact On this basis, they offer exclusive

positively on promoting health awareness and changing lifestyles. In addition, other positive results have been found from the perspective of stakeholders. In terms of Cathay Life’s operations, the project helped sales agents build relationships with customers and increase sales. Furthermore the general public had improved interpersonal relations. This is also an environmentallyfriendly project, in which users are willing to walk more and drive less. Based on SROI evaluation results, Cathay Life is continuing to implement and expand the project’s influence. Besides optimizing the app, such as adding the “group forming” function, which allows users to form groups with their family and friends for walking, Cathay Life aims to create a “health ecosystem” and engages in cross-industry collaboration to build a health promotion platform, so as to jointly manage customers through resource integration and big data analytics. This April, Cathay Life launched the collaboration with the highly popular virtual reality game, Pokémon GO. This collaboration has made walking even more interesting through an event that links online and offline. People can walk while catch Pokémon and reach Cathay Life Insurance PokéStop in 2,500 places around Taiwan. In the future, Cathay Life will evaluate models and cross-industry collaboration to further encourage exercise, inviting more participants so that all citizens may enjoy good health. INSURANCE ASIA


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Union Assurance Demonstrates Transformative Approach to Life Insurance in Sri Lanka It is the first life insurer in Sri Lanka to have a 100% digital, paperless submission for policies.

Front row L-R: Jayantha Kumara, Lucille Diaz, Jude Gomes, Asha Perera, Bimanee Meepagala, Mahesh Jayasuriya Back row L- R: Senath Jayatilake, Nalin Subasinghe , Rumesh Modarage, Harsha Senanayake, Suresh Muttiah


conomic crises, because they are sudden and disruptive, generally impact businesses negatively. COVID-19 and the economic impacts due to the lockdown had a negative impact on Sri Lanka’s private sector. However, the leadership team led by Chief Executive Jude Gomes who had taken the job only months before, were well prepared for the challenges ahead. The new normal brought with it a formidable opportunity for Union Assurance to live by its promise—Your Life, Our Strength, and offer much needed support to its stakeholders to demonstrate that being a responsible insurer can be much more than a slogan. Union Assurance has been at the forefront of technology advancement in the insurance industry in its 30 years of operation. The company is the first life insurer in Sri Lanka to have a 100% digital, paperless submission process to issue policies with fast turnaround, straight-through processing, digital claims submissions, and servicing capabilities. The company also implemented the recently modernised cloud-based 4th generation (4G) insurance platform, a first in the region. Insurance Asia recognised this platform and awarded Union Assurance with three awards—Domestic Life Insurer of the Year - Sri Lanka, New Insurance Product of the Year - Sri Lanka, and Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year - Sri Lanka—

at the recently concluded Insurance Asia new beginning for Life Insurance early this year. Awards 2020, setting a new benchmark for the With the evolving consumer at the core of its industry in Sri Lanka. repositioning strategy, Union Assurance is placed The company’s readiness in digitisation as the trusted Protector of the Sri Lankan Dream augured well for promptly adapting online advocating that people can dream bigger if they training for its agency force on conducting new plan better, that their children can go higher if business and servicing customers using digital their future is stronger, that their lives can be platforms. An online recruitment program richer if they thought smarter. was launched during lockdown, allowing many The logo depicts the circle of life, with the individuals to take tagline Your Life, Our up new work and Strength. The new expand their sources identity marks an exciting Union Assurance has of income. Union journey built on the been at the forefront of Assurance also teamwork of dynamic technology advancement implemented working professionals to nurture in the industry in its 30 from home the day relationships amidst following lockdown to the strong financial years of operation ensure uninterrupted foundations the company service to their has established. policyholders, along with a 24/7 trilingual Union Assurance is the oldest private life call centre, a web chat option, an innovative insurer in Sri Lanka, and is a member of the digital system to submit claim documents, John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s largest listed and other service-related documents to make conglomerate. Union Assurance completes engagement convenient. Engaging its workforce over three decades of success in the industry at different levels of the career cycle was with a market capitalisation of Rs. 18 Bn, a Life a challenge during this time of uncertainty Fund of Rs. 38 Bn and a Capital Adequacy Ratio which activated the launch of Strive Towards (CAR) of 455% as at July 2020. Set to empower Excellence Programme (STEP), a platform the Sri Lankan Dream, Union Assurance offers for career acceleration which provides Life Insurance solutions that cover education, exposure and interaction with the corporate health, protection, retirement, and investment management, live business projects and role needs of Sri Lankans. With 76 branches and an modelling opportunities. over 3000-strong workforce, Union Assurance To consolidate its transformative journey, continues to invest in people, products, and Union Assurance launched its bold new identity processes to remain agile and responsive to portraying a new logo and payoff line marking a emerging changes in the Life Insurance industry.




AXA AFFIN Life revolutionises customer service through digital transformation

The insurer has unveiled the first-in-the-market online Medical Card for customers.


alaysia is keeping pace with Southeast Asia’s digital transformation by recording the highest percentage of digital consumers with 83% of its population aged 15 years and above, based on a study conducted by Facebook and Bain & Company. To keep up with the future trend and appeal to the millennials, AXA AFFIN Life Insurance is disrupting the insurance industry by unveiling the first-in-the-market online Medical Card. AXA eMedic is an innovative, mobileonly product that will keep up with current lifestyle needs and reaches out to its AXA eMedic 2.0 Launch customers via online purchase as well as the rising medical costs. traditional agency distribution. • FAST - Customers can sign-up for a plan Going digital was vital to securing within 5 minutes via the AXAeMedic tomorrow’s customers. The value website (www.AXAeMedic.com) proposition was that the medical card was • EASY - No medical examination and only a gateway for new, younger customers, has 3 underwriting questions compared whose needs would grow to the point that to the usual 27. Customers will get instant they would need an agent later. approval upon purchase. This has positioned AXA AFFIN as the • AFFORDABLE - Available for as low as number 1 digital player in the market RM37/month. with 74% market share as of Q2, within the digital space of life insurance for the eMedic has continued to evolve on an protection segment in Malaysia. agile mode with strong results at each phase From scratch in 2018 to almost 50% backing the conviction. of policies sold in Initially launched the month of May for millennials aged AXA eMedic is an are via “direct or 16 – 39, the product through direct innovative, mobile-only has evolved to offer partnerships”. This product that reaches out protection for young is an example of a to its customers online, and old. traditional insurer as well as via traditional eMedic is now who has embraced agency distribution available for children digital and reas young as 15 days designed their – 49 years old and business. extendable to age 80. Expatriates living in With the rising COVID cases in the Malaysia are also eligible for this plan. country and the limitation to physical In October 2019, AXA AFFIN introduced meetings, eMedic sales showed positive results with a year-on-year increase of 66% another revolutionary offering with AXA eMedic Family Plan. The Family Plan can be and month-on-month increase of 35%. In 2019, almost 20% of the sales of AXA purchased in a single package online in less than 10 minutes. The family plan is affordable from AFFIN’s 1st year Agents came from the as low as RM150/month for a family of four digital leads provided to them. Net result with coverage of RM100,000/individual per – both Digital and Agency channels grew in year. tandem and one didn’t substitute the other. AXA eMedic offers accessible online Simplified Operations Built Around Optimal Medical Cards to ensure Malaysians Customer Experience comprising young families and The overall customer journey is 100% professionals are well-protected against

digitalised. For hospital admission, just flash the e-medical card via mobile for hassle-free cashless admission. Customers can always log in to MyAXA customer portal for self-servicing options such as view policy details, top-up premium, update payment details, etc. For a seamless customer journey, a virtual assistant “Ask Michelle” and chatbot “Atom” is made available. Customers can speak to “Michelle” or “Atom” on any questions they have. “Michelle / Atom” are effective in plunging the gap between conventional insurance and online insurance. Minimal services are still expected by customers. Partnership Landscape AXA AFFIN is not only selling a medical card, but also offering a lifestyle proposition via healthtech partners for customers to live healthily and be supported financially and psychologically when a medical emergency strikes them. One of which is BookDoc (www.bookdoc.com), a health rewards platform that incentivises healthy living. Customers will enjoy a plethora of rewards such as free coffee, gym membership, fitness wearables, etc. BookDoc also provides access to search and make appointments with specialist doctors. Another one is Naluri (www.naluri.life), a digital therapeutics provider which offers physical and mental health support. Customers can get access to psychologists, fitness coaches, dietitians and medical advisors to help them achieve the healthy lifestyle they deserve. With AXA eMedic, AXA AFFIN was recently awarded with the Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year (Malaysia) Award at the prestigious Insurance Asia Awards 2020. INSURANCE ASIA



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QBE Asia builds digital footprint with new insurance initiatives

The firm was awarded with the Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year for both Hong Kong and Singapore


oday’s “no-contact” pandemic has challenged businesses to find ways to continue operating and supporting customers, without the need for physical interaction. This has created an urgency for businesses and industries—many of which have operated unchanged for decades—to digitalise their operations quickly and effectively to ensure business continuity. Going digital creates opportunities for businesses to evolve, enabling them to be more resilient and adaptable to real-time changes in the operating environment. The QBE team has been working tirelessly to respond to this new dynamic presented by the pandemic, bringing their products online to offer digitalised services that are competitive and in line with customer needs. In recognition of their efforts, both QBE Hong Kong and QBE Singapore have won this year’s Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year at the Insurance Asia Awards for their successful foray into digital insurance.

all-in-one digital motor claims platform. This gave customers the option to directly file motor claims online and enjoy reduced premiums in the long run, providing them with a swift, reliable, and cost-efficient platform. QBE’s panel repairers and appointed adjusters are also able to be connected through the platform, ensuring a seamless and integrated digital experience. Another benefit is that claims processing is now made more environmentally friendly as it limits reliance on paper-based documentation.

Picking up the pace These innovations are just the beginning. There is a growing need for insurance products and increased team efficiency and productivity, negotiated underwriting to be optimised to enhancing our broader value proposition to mitigate sudden occurrences and the uncertainty business partners, intermediaries and in turn our they create. clients. More importantly, it allows us to securely QBE Singapore and QBE Hong Kong are and simultaneously run our business with minimal pursuing a path towards greater digitalisation. disruption whilst introducing more sustainable The firm continues to enhance its digital approach practices into our everyday operations,” said by expanding reach via its online end-to-end Ronak Shah, CEO Singapore, QBE. transaction platform, Qnect, as well as enhancing its digital claims platform and launching the The QBE team has been electronic dispatch solution to ensure business working tirelessly to Delivering for customers amidst highs and continuity with their partners and customers. lows QBE Singapore’s Green Despatch Solution respond to the new QBE Singapore developed its Green is just one element in its 2020 digital roadmap, dynamic presented by the Despatch Solution to offer an electronic which will see a series of products and services pandemic mode of policy document distribution. It being pushed out for the B2B and B2B2C sectors. was introduced at the peak of the COVID-19 Similarly, QBE Hong Kong’s launch of the digital The evolving needs of QBE Hong Kong’s pandemic to offer a timely solution for motor claims platform in mid-March 2020 has customers have also been at the forefront customers. been met with a strong reception, with 549 claims of the team’s product decisions. Following The Green Despatch Solution helps applications processed and 92% positive user its successful roll-out of the award-winning alleviate the burden of menial, repetitive, ratings. This is set to grow at pace. Digital Claims platform for Travel and Domestic high-volume tasks for employees. Using “Our customers’ needs are always changing, Helper insurance in 2019, it decided to extend Robotic Process Automation technology, and it is vital that we continue to excel in creating the bot at the heart of the solution is primed the benefits to a wider audience and launch an value-added solutions for our business partners to pick up, encrypt and share documents and customers. As an insurer, our focus is using with customers electronically, whilst also digital technology and innovation to provide more shifting the claims and advisory processes value-added, convenient and timely end-to-end online for greater overall convenience insurance service for our personal line insurance and a better customer experience. This in customers,” said Lei Yu, Chief Executive Officer turn also speeds up documentation and for North Asia and Regional Head of Distribution claims processes, ensuring customers for QBE Asia. get the assistance they need quickly and Even as firms find themselves knee-deep in seamlessly. fighting the long-term effects of COVID-19, the “The Green Despatch Solution speaks most lasting—and possibly positive—impact of to our drive towards developing customerthe pandemic will be the rapid shift it necessitates centric policies and solutions that provide towards technology and digitalisation. This will more convenience, and are also reliable, determine the future customer engagement and Lei Yu, CEO North Asia and Regional Head of Distribution, QBE and value-adding. These solutions drive experience in insurance. Ronak Shah, CEO Singapore, QBE




CB General Insurance navigates industry challenges through its innovations

Its CB Mobile App introduced the use of convenient Medical e-cards, replacing the traditional ones


B General Insurance Plc., Cambodia’s new innovative insurance company, was selected as the Insurance Start-up of the Year at the Insurance Asia Awards 2020, for their insurtech-related innovations for their customers. The award recognises CB Insurance’s determination in navigating industry challenges to deliver new value and innovation with CB Insurance being the only insurance firm in Cambodia that is part of the winners’ list. As an industry leader in innovation, CB Insurance became the first Cambodian insurance firm to develop a mobile application in December 2019. The CB Mobile App introduced the use of convenient Medical e-cards, replacing the traditional physical card. The CB Mobile App gives customers simple and easy

access to details of their policies, allows them to view and enquire about higher plans, and locate partner clinics and hospitals anytime, anywhere.

require effective insurance solutions that adapt seamlessly to their lifestyles and eclectic preferences. This award is just the first step in putting Cambodia on the map as a hub for insurance and tech innovation in Asia,” added. This award is said to be a great recognition of the achievements and efforts of CB We are committed to Insurance’s young team. It also signifies that with the great teamwork of its people and the bringing new technology support from shareholders, thus, enabling them and new business models to achieve what they set out to do. to the Cambodian market “We are committed to bringing new technology and new business models to the Cambodian market, and to continuously “It is an honor to be recognized at the contribute to the growth of the Cambodia Insurance Asia Awards for our commitment to insurance industry. We will maximize the innovation,” said Ms. Bun Chanmakara, General potential of Insurtech in the Cambodian market Manager of CB Insurance. wherein products and services can be easily “We understand that our increasingly tech- accessed from the comfort of one’s home. savvy, mobile, and cosmopolitan customers We also look forward to more milestones, achievements and more awards for our team at CB Insurance,” added Chanmakara.

CONTACT Address: 2/F Prince Phnom Penh Tower, #445, Monivong Blvd, Sangkat Boeung Pralit, Khan 7 Makara, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tel: +855 23 890 999 Email: info@cbgeneral.vip Website: www.cbgeneral.vip For Claims hotline: +855 23 890 888





Etiqa reshapes insurance with an all-in-one insurance plan, GIGANTIQ Honoured with the ‘Millennial Insurance Initiative of the Year – Singapore’, Etiqa continues to break new ground with its simple protection and insurance savings plans.


ith a vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa Singapore launched an innovative all-in-one policy that deviates from traditional insurance on its digital channel, Tiq. GIGANTIQ packs a punch in a single policy that includes a capital guaranteed insurance savings plan and on-demand cover(s) with additional interest. Flexible insurance savings plan Featuring an attractive base interest for the first year, GIGANTIQ provides the flexibility to top up and withdraw money at any time. With a minimum initial premium of S$50, the plan is made affordable and accessible to the wider market. On-demand insurance coverage Insurance rider(s) such as cancer and home protection riders can be added onthe-go, with additional interest for each rider added to the policy. From ELASTIQ to GIGANTIQ: Stretching limits as we grow The inspiration for GIGANTIQ stemmed from the popularity of ELASTIQ – a flexible whole life insurance savings plan that offers first-in-market features – launched in 2018, and recognised as the ‘Millennial Insurance Initiative of the Year – Singapore’ at the Insurance Asia Awards 2020. GIGANTIQ is a build-up from ELASTIQ, with features meant to bring greater convenience and rewards for those who protect themselves.

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“Etiqa is committed to create innovative insurance products that not only protect individuals and their loved ones, but also empower them in their journey towards personal financial and protection goals,” said Raymond Ong, CEO of Etiqa Singapore Ong added, “With GIGANTIQ, customers can take control of their future whilst enjoying benefits such as additional interest and flexible insurance protection, which they can switch on and off based on their needs.” With GIGANTIQ, customers will not have to

agonise over managing multiple insurance products from different insurers for varying needs. Purchasing and managing policies is made hassle-free in a single mobile app. GIGANTIQ is now available on the Tiq by Etiqa mobile app. For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/GIGANTIQ_IAA About Tiq by Etiqa Insurance Tiq is the digital insurance channel of Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Etiqa Singapore) with a mission to make insurance transparent and accessible with simple and convenient protection and insurance savings solutions. Combining local market knowledge with international insurance expertise, Etiqa Singapore is owned by Maybank Ageas Holdings Berhad.

Underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K) This content is for reference only and is not a contract of insurance. Full details of policy terms and conditions can be found in the policy contract. As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. GIGANTIQ is not a bank account or a fixed deposit. It is an insurance savings plan that earns a crediting interest rate. This product’s availability is based on a first come, first served basis and Etiqa Singapore reserves the right to close the tranche at any time without prior notice. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.​Information is accurate as at 1 November 2020. 54 INSURANCE ASIA

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Prudential helps Malaysians gets the most out of life through its critical illness protection

The insurer nabbed the Health Insurance Initiative of the Year Award for its PRUMy Critical Care initiative.


stablished in 1924, Prudential myeloid leukaemia); and Auditor/ Assurance Malaysia Berhad has Model, Jeslinda Paul (spinal cord been serving the savings and injury), the campaign resonates with protection needs of Malaysians for Prudential’s belief of celebrating doers PRUMy Critical Care over 96 years. Its purpose is to help who strive to take control of their We do protection with lump sum payout to you when critical illnesses strike. people get the most out of life by own fate no matter what life throws making healthcare affordable and at them. These young individuals were Protection Insurance accessible, protecting customers’ unexpectedly struck with critical illness wealth and growing their assets, and at the prime of their lives but were able empowering them to save for their to overcome their challenges. goals in life. At the centre of the campaign, is In Malaysia, major critical illnesses Prudential’s critical illness solution— such as cancer, heart attack, and PRUMy Critical Care which provides stroke, are prevalent and are still comprehensive, flexible, and affordable continuing to be a growing public financial protection against 160 critical health concern. Even as most people illness conditions, one of the highest continue to focus on protecting in the market and offers coverage up themselves against COVID-19, we to age 100 for early, intermediate, and need to be reminded that other critical late-stage detection. illnesses are still Upon frequent among diagnosis our population. of a critical Life is full of ups and Heart disease is illness, the downs, but that does not the number one policyholder stop us from fulfilling our cause of death receives a dreams and achieving the in the country lump sum cash and cancer is the payout which most we can fourth, with one in he/she can ten men and one in use to pay for nine women at risk of getting cancer. a caregiver, alternative treatments, A common myth is that insurance supplements or any other financial is not needed when one is young and obligations. healthy. But contrary to popular belief, Prudential is proud to receive the medical emergencies can hit when Health Insurance Initiative of the Year least expected and critical illnesses for PRUMy Critical Care. This solution can strike anyone regardless of their was introduced to bridge the critical age, health, or fitness level. Having illness protection gap in Malaysia and financial protection with medical and increase awareness on the importance critical illness insurance alleviates the of critical illness protection by giving financial stress of recovering from an its customers the financial support for illness. the best care and treatment that they To raise awareness on the deserve without compromising their importance of financial protection hard-earned savings. against critical illnesses, Prudential Guided by their mission of providing worked with four young critical illness financial freedom and peace of mind survivors from different backgrounds to all Malaysians, Prudential continues to debunk popular misconceptions to innovate and deliver affordable and surrounding critical illness and their accessible solutions. Start securing journey to overcome it. Collaborating your future today to get the most out with: Filmmaker, Jared Lee (testicular of life with Prudential and discover PRUMy Critical Care provides comprehensive, flexible ,and cancer); Radio DJ, Hisham Hamzah more about PRUMy Critical Care on affordable financial protection against 160 critical illness (heart attack); Dancer, Emily Tan (acute their website www.prudential.com.my. conditions


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Insurance Asia (March 2021)