Hong Kong: HSBC Life's AI investment shortens claims payment time

| 16 May 2023

HSBC Life, the insurance arm of HSBC, has invested US$20 million to upgrade its technology and introduce a range of new medical insurance services for clients, with sales to mainland Chinese clients back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a senior executive.

One of these improvements include slashing the time required for reimbursing online medical insurance claims from five days to just five minutes, starting from May 1, said Mr Edward Moncreiffe, the insurer’s Hong Kong CEO.

“It has taken away all the hassle and inconvenience in Hong Kong,” he said, adding that this has been made possible because of the investment in artificial intelligence technology.

Most of the insurers need about five to seven days to process the claims submitted online, according to industry experts.

Meanwhile, HSBC Life has introduced Care+, a network of 3,000 doctors and clinics in Hong Kong and Macau, to provide payment-free medical services to its policyholders. 

HSBC Life will also publicly disclose its claims record. The company says its group medical payment ratio was 88 % and its individual medical insurance claim approval ratio was 91 % last year.

The insurer said last year it paid HK$1 billion (US$127.4 million) in medical claims, with cancer among the major reasons for the claims.

“Our mission is to make healthcare more accessible and more preventive for the people of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area,” Mr Moncreiffe said.

HSBC Life has been focusing on expanding health tech since last year, with the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst, driving awareness for the need for medical insurance.

The investment also comes amid Hong Kong’s ageing population, which is expected to see 3 million people suffer from chronic diseases, such as heart ailment, cancer, diabetes, and stroke to increase, in 2039, from about 2.2 million now, according to the government’s estimates, reported South China Morning Post.