Insurance sector seeks solutions to increase access for all

November 25, 2022 | 09:00
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Policymakers, insurers, and experts gathered at the Vietnam Actuarial Conference (VAC) 2022 on November 24 to discuss possible solutions to provide better insurance access for Vietnamese customers.

Hosted by AIA Vietnam, the event "Insurance for Everyone" gathered more than 300 actuaries from 18 domestic life insurance companies and different international reinsurers, including RGA, Swiss Re, Gen Re, and Pacific Life Re, as well as related government ministries. The event highlighted the latest trends in the insurance industry and gave actuaries a forum to share knowledge and work together to improve insurance access for millions of Vietnamese people.

Insurance sector seeks solutions to increase access for all
More than 300 actuaries from 18 domestic life insurance companies and different international reinsurers gathered at VAC 2022

According to the Insurance Association of Vietnam, only 11 per cent of Vietnam’s population had life insurance by the end of 2021, far lower than in Malaysia (50 per cent), Singapore (80 per cent), or the United States (90 per cent). In the same vein, the insurance industry contributed barely 2 per cent of GDP in 2022.

Le Thanh Nam, deputy general director of Finance AIA Vietnam said, “To leave no one behind, actuaries will have to work harder to create a variety of innovative insurance product lines to meet each person's needs and suit each customer group, balancing the interests of customers as well as the profits of the insurance company."

Nam pointed out two ways to solve this problem and provide better access to insurance for everyone in Vietnam. First and foremost, insurers must make insurance products simpler as they often cause confusion among clients. They cannot determine which insurance policy best suits their needs due to the variety of available insurance products. To underwrite a potential customer based on their demands, insurers must use data as a proxy for risk and put the customer at the centre of the product by customising it with personalised offers.

Insurance sector seeks solutions to increase access for all
Participants discussed the importance of digitalisation in the insurance sector

Secondly, in this era, digitalisation has left its mark on every industry. Customers tend to buy insurance online, as evidenced by Swiss Re's Research on Digital Consumer Sentiments for Vietnam in 2022, where 92 per cent of people bought insurance via online channels and only 8 per cent needed a consultant's support. Therefore, it is critical for insurers to shift their user approach to a digital platform.

"In the current environment, insurers must innovate to accommodate customers' ever-changing behaviours. Investment in technology, specifically the digitalisation of processes, is one of the most important things we need to accelerate," noted Nam.

Participants also discussed modern insurance solutions to meet people's demands in the post-COVID era of rising inflation. The event allowed local and international actuarial experts to exchange their expertise and explore career opportunities.

To capture market trends, some insurers have accelerated their digital transformation. In particular, AIA Vietnam is transforming itself to make the customer approach process simpler, faster, and more connected.

AIA Vietnam – Vietnam's only life insurance company – was honoured at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2021 as one of the top 20 companies that are leading the digital transformation in Asia.

EDEN is a stable and usable platform that helps enhance the user experience for a half million customers, contributing to AIA Vietnam’s impressive annual growth of 30 per cent. Additionally, AIA has developed a sales platform called iPoS (interactive Point of Sale) for agents to easily issue customer contracts on their portable devices. iPoS has brought significant convenience by simplifying sales processes, minimising risks with facial recognition technology, and providing assistance for agents during lockdowns.

Elsewhere, when Manulife’s eClaims digitiser was first launched, many customers were not used to submitting documents online. However, 95 per cent of its insurance claims are now sent through this tool.

Insurance sector seeks solutions to increase access for all

After a two-year postponement due to the pandemic, VAC 2022 delved deeply into this year's theme with four keynotes from leading international reinsurers and a discussion session to find solutions. They included "Critical Illness Insurance for Everyone" by Critical Illness Analysis director of Gen Re Samuel Lim and “Taking the power of digitalisation, bridging the insurance gap” saidElysia Tan – innovation manager and Aditi – Client Manager at Swiss Re.

The next was titled “Thyroid Cancer Trends and Lessons from Asia” and shared by Heather M. Lund, MBBCh, chief medical officer for Asia at RGA Reinsurance Company and XiangTing, director with the Southeast Asia Life Pricing team for RGA.

Finally, "Shaping digital and technology future for success" was presented by David Wright, associate vice president of Business Development in Southeast Asia at Pacific Life Re and Pratap Chawla, director of Business Development for Asia-Pacific at UnderwriteMe.

By Bich Thuy

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