Asia-Pacific is the engine for global growth in insurance.
In life insurance alone, the region will account for nearly 50% of top-line gross written premium growth in the years to come, according to consultants at McKinsey.
Incumbents cannot be complacent: they need to keep their eyes peeled for new entrants that use technology to create a strategic advantage. Their relationship with the next generation of consumers is at stake.
Out of China, we have seen disruptive insurers burst onto the scene such as Shanghai-based digital only insurer ZhongAn, and ecosystems flourish including Shenzhen-headquartered Ping An.
If an insurance company cannot become an ecosystem itself then it needs to learn to partner with the digital B2C platforms that reach millions of people across the region, many of whom have never bought an insurance policy before. So far, insurance companies are failing to grasp the importance of this distribution channel, according to a study by Accenture.
To discuss the future of insurance, FinanceAsia chaired a panel at RISE startup conference this week in Hong Kong.
The panellists were:
Val Ji-Hsuan Yap, founder and chief executive of PolicyPal and PAL Network
Alok Bansal, co-founder of India's largest insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar.com
Sushmita Munshi, head of ManuLifeMOVE in Asia
Topics discussed included:
- Who is leading the insurtech race? Startups or incumbents?
- How important will B2C ecosystems be for distribution of insurance products in five years’ time?
- How will the balance shift between consumer's need for privacy versus demand for tailored products over the next five years?