The 17th Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress (APLIC) began yesterday in Hong Kong with the theme "Work with Mission, Serve with Passion". The three-day Congress is hosted by the Life Underwriters Association of Hong Kong (LUAHK) and marks the return of APLIC to Hong Kong after 22 years.
Mr Paul Chan, financial secretary, Hong Kong SAR, said, “Our financial services sector accounts for about 18% of Hong Kong's GDP. And, let me add, our life insurance business is a critical component of that. Much more than a business, life insurance helps enable the financial, and emotional, well-being of individuals.”
The Hong Kong SAR Government is also working to better the retirement lives of citizens. It introduced a policy last month allowing tax deductions for qualifying deferred annuity payments as well as voluntary contributions to mandatory provident fund schemes.
Through the policy, the government hopes to encourage its working population to make early retirement savings to cope with the financial risks that longevity can bring. Longevity is part of Hong Kong's future. Indeed, its 65-and-over population is projected to more than double in the next 20 years, Mr Chan said.
He said, “We expect the new policy to raise retirement planning awareness, which can, in turn, expanding retirement planning. And that can also benefit the insurance industry as a whole. The Government is committed to making life better for the people of Hong Kong at every stage of their lives. And I look forward to working with the life insurance sector to achieve that goal.”
Ms Maggie Lee Mo Kit, LUAHK president, said, “As a professional insurance practitioner, serving our clients with passion is our life long mission. Therefore, no better theme than this has been chosen – ‘Work with Mission, Serve with Passion’.”
From this Congress, practitioners will have an excellent opportunity to empower themselves both in terms of market knowledge and professionalism. It is also a great chance to communicate and learn from other practitioners from all over the world, she said
Embrace technology while maintaining the human touch
The first platform speaker of the day was Mr Richard Li, chairman, Pacific Century Group. He said that the insurance industry, even today, is rather negatively viewed.
Insurance industry certainly has its own challenges but these challenges can be overcome. “What we all have to do is to change the perception of the insurance and that’s what the industry is beginning to achieve,” he said.
In these digital times, consumers expect multiple channels that they can access anywhere at their own time and products and services to be personalised and tailored to their needs.
“Ultimately there is a necessity to shift the way insurance operates based on the needs of our customers and embrace new technology and industry innovation while maintaining the human touch. Insurance is ultimately about people and I’m sure we will not forget about that,” he said.
Find your ultimate goal
Speaking after Mr Li, Mr Carl Lewis, winner of 9 Olympic gold medals, said, “If you really want to have success, then put your ultimate goal out there.”
Find your ultimate goal, your 20-year goal, so every day you focus on taking a step closer.
And when faced with difficulties, he said that in his early years, “Every time I wasn’t winning, I was perfecting my craft. You can’t control your competition, you can only control your performance.”
The 17th APLIC attracted close to 10,000 registered delegates from 13 countries.
Mark your calendar - the 18th APLIC will be held in Singapore on 2-5 March 2021.
Register for Agency Innovation Conference - "Thriving in the Digital World" here.
(Photos courtesy of APLIC.)