What's new in the market - 14 Jun 2019

| 14 Jun 2019

Welcome to what's new this week.

Here's the low down on everything that's happening within the insurance industry. Whether it's a new product launch, talent movements, new initiatives or collaborations with the most likely/unlikely partnerships - this is where you stay updated and relevant.


Vietnam: Peak Re develops new cancer multi-protection solution

Peak Reinsurance Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based global reinsurer, has developed a multiple cancer benefits reinsurance solution for Vietnam. It is part of the Company’s strategy to support the evolving needs of the emerging middle class and address the protection gaps in emerging Asia.


“Cancer Multi-Pay” is a multi-protection policy that provides comprehensive coverage for different types and stages of cancer. It does not only allow multiple pay-outs for policyholders but also provides supplementary treatment benefits to help them go through difficult times.


Cancer Multi-Pay embraces a simplified underwriting process with three simple questions for underwriting assessment and creates a seamless purchase experience.

Health protection gap has become one of the top issues in emerging countries. The Geneva Association, an international think tank for strategically important insurance and risk management issues, estimates that the annualised health protection gap for all emerging markets is as high as around US$310 billion, or 1% of these countries’ combined GDP.




New Zealand: 50% of New Zealanders agree having adequate insurance is vital

Just over 50% of New Zealanders surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that it is important to have the right amount of insurance to cover the impact of potential risk events, according to research commissioned by the Financial Services Council (FSC).

However, 13% disagreed and strongly disagreed that having the right amount of insurance is important, half of which reported that they believed in ‘self-insuring’ rather than through an insurance provider.

The research findings are set out in a report entitled "Risking Everything: Insight into How New Zealanders Manage Risk". The survey covered 2,061 New Zealanders aged 18 and above.

The research shows that 60% of respondents with household incomes over NZ$100,000 ($65,880) per year were more likely to agree that having the right amount of insurance cover was important to them to cover these potential impacts, compared with 54% of the total.

Respondents with an insurance policy were asked to indicate their attitudes to paying for risk insurance. Over 70% felt that life insurance was a small price to pay and 66% said that although it might be seen as costing quite a lot if things go wrong, they will be protected.

Other findings include:

  • The majority of those surveyed said that they had undertaken an activity in the past two-years to assess financial risk. Of those that had undertaken an activity to assess financial risk, the most common response was that the assessment had been taken when considering their property - car insurance, the cost of replacing home contents and the replacement cost of their home. Only 20% said that they had considered a risk of lost income due to illness or serious injury.


  • Two-thirds of those surveyed thought that there was a moderate to high risk of major financial problems should a significant event happen such as serious injury or being unable to work. Many respondents said that they did not have enough savings in place to manage their financial commitments should they experience a short-term loss of income, and only half of those respondents saw the need for adequate insurance cover to mitigate those risks.


  • Considering the number of respondents that reported they had thought about risk and undertaken an activity to assess a risk, the research indicates that many New Zealanders do not appear to be actively mitigating the risks of a potential significant life event which could have a major impact on their day-to-day lives.


The FSC says that the life insurance industry will use this research to continue to improve and deliver the best possible outcomes to support New Zealander’s in growing and protecting their wealth.


Indonesia: Prudential and OVO in strategic partnership

PT Prudential Life Assurance (“Prudential”) announced a strategic partnership with PT Visionet International (“OVO”), a digital payments, rewards and financial services platform in Indonesia.

Prudential and OVO will jointly develop new and comprehensive digital propositions for customers encompassing wellness, health and wealth products and services. Prudential and OVO customers will enjoy the convenience of transacting online with electronic underwriting, e-payments, e-claims and easy access to Prudential's wide hospital network, complementing the face-to-face service from Prudential's financial consultants in 160 cities.

This partnership is a step in Prudential’s broader commitment to making health and wealth services affordable and accessible to all Asians. By leveraging OVO's complementary capabilities and extensive customer reach, Prudential will accelerate the Asia launch of Pulse, its digital platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Pulse is the first regional platform of its kind in Asia to offer holistic health management, empowering customers to manage their health, wealth and wellbeing anytime, anywhere.




Allianz Asia names new regional CEO for Life & Health business

Anusha Thavarajah has been appointed as Allianz’s new Chief Executive Officer, Life & Health, Asia Pacific.

Her responsibilities include the P&L and functional development of Allianz’s Life & Health business in Asia – advancing the segment’s strong growth to meet Allianz Asia’s long-term strategic priorities in the region.

Based in Allianz’s regional head office in Singapore, Anusha will report to Allianz Asia Pacific Regional CEO Solmaz Altin and serve as a member of the Allianz Asia Pacific Regional Executive Board.  Her starting date, expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2019, will be announced in due course.

Anusha joins Allianz from AIA Berhad in Malaysia, where she most recently led the business as its Chief Executive Officer.  Anusha brings close to 30 years’ experience from the financial services industry having served in various senior leadership roles in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, covering Life, Health, Takaful across Finance, Actuarial, Product, Business & Operations.


Sompo Insurance Singapore names new CEO

Sompo Insurance Singapore today announced the appointment of Mr Pui Phusangmook as Chief Executive Officer.

With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, Mr Phusangmook was previously the Executive Vice President, General Manager, General Insurance and Group Business of NTUC Income. Prior to NTUC Income, he was the Chief Operating Officer of AXA Singapore.

 Mr Phusangmook holds a Bachelor of Engineering from King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand and a Master of Business Administration from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA.


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