With 21 years of service in AIA, Mr Kelvin Ang has held various leadership roles, including Chief Agency Officer of China, where he played a key role in the success of AIA China's agency transformation, and Regional Chief Agency Officer, with AIA Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam in his portfolio, with the mission to future proof the business through digitalisation and new market expansion. He assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Philam Life, AIA's business unit in the Philippines, effective 1 March 2019.
Asia Advisers Network Editor Benjamin Ang sat down for a chat with Kelvin in Manila to get his views on the insurance market in the Philippines, and his priorities in the new role.
According to Kelvin, the insurance penetration rate in the Philippines is at 1.7% based on data from the Insurance Commission, and protection gap is about US$1.5 trillion.
With the large protection gap, he is excited to be in the market as he sees a great opportunity and duty for the insurance industry to step up to ensure Filipinos have sufficient protection.
He sees three ways to go about bridging the gap:
He recommends that insurers should have products that everyone can afford, not just the wealthy. By improving product features, policyholders would have better benefits that would appeal to more people.
He noticed that the current market has a lot of investment and savings policies, so there is a strong need to push protection products to ensure Filipinos are covered holistically.
By using technology and digitalisation to make processes quicker and easier for everyone, many transactional and administrative tasks could become self-service and automated.
This, in turn, would free up agents’ time, allowing them to focus on better serving their customers’ needs.
Mr Ang explains that there is no one specific perfect form of distribution. “One form may suit this customer, but it may not suit another customer,” he said.
Whether online or through agents, he said, “It’s about what fits the customer’s needs better, and how that distribution can reach the customer more effectively.”
Moving ahead in his new role
Taking over the baton from Mr Ariel Cantos, who announced his retirement after 35 years of dedicated service and loyalty to the company, Kelvin said he will continue to build on the past efforts of all his predecessors.
“Philam Life has been in the Philippines for 72 years, we have great branding and great legacy. The previous leadership has brought the company to where it is today. My job is to take it forward,” he said.
Philam Life will continue to emphasise closing the protection gap, investing in people and fulfilling its brand promise of helping people live healthier, longer and better lives.
He ends the interview with his idea of a professional adviser: One who is well trained, knowledgeable, embraces digitalisation and is productive by serving customers full time.
Digitalisation and technology do not replace the human touch. Digitalisation and technology are tools to complement the adviser’s duties to better serve the community.
Asia Advisers Network (“AAN”) was in Philippines, Manila, where Benjamin spoke at the annual congress of PIFAAP.
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