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Insuretech Connect Asia 2023

Reducing the protection gap with Insurtech in Asia

Podcast participants:

  • Max Ang, Insurance Technology Research Lead APAC, Celent

  • Yashesh Sampat, Senior Vice President, Head-Affinity & Association, Gallagher India

  • Derren Teo, Co-Founder, Surer

  • Tricia Wong, Director, InsureTech Connect Asia (Moderator)

Some highlights from the podcast:

  • Why is there a protection gap in Asia?

  • How can the protection gap in Asia be bridged? How can technology help?

  • How to make the insurance industry attractive for new talent to join?

  • How can collaboration help to boost insurance penetration? 

  • In the future, how will insurtech help to bridge the protection gap?

Show Notes:

[01:35] What is a protection gap?

[03:12] Insurance is usually the last thing on people’s minds and a reason why the protection gap exists. Insurers are grappling with the distribution of insurance to the underinsured and uninsured.

[04:44] Technology can help a fragmented salesforce in the insurance industry by enabling easier distribution of insurance products, reducing the cost of distribution and facilitating better product development.

[06:20] Consumers in Asia view insurance as an investment tool rather than a risk or loss management tool and that is a major reason behind the protection gap in the region.

[07:55] Insurance regulators can take steps to bring about changes that would bridge the protection gap. For instance, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has come up with regulations that favour the distribution of insurance and allow embedded insurance to flourish.

[09:50] Where does the gap exist - general insurance/ health insurance/ life insurance?

[12:49] Insurtechs can come in to help different types of insurers bridge the protection gap. For instance, insurtechs can “blend” general insurance and life insurance policies for small business owners.

[14:50] Technology has been the biggest game-changer for the insurance industry in the last two years. Evolving technology has enabled payment fintech partners to embed small ticket insurance products like trip or accident insurance and insurers to come up with products for gig workers.

[18:10] In Asia, insurance will predominantly be sold by brokers and agents. The biggest challenge is how we enhance and digitalise this process.

[20:24] Young people in Asia are not willing to make their careers in insurance, raise awareness of insurance and bridge the protection gap. Education can play a major role in addressing this issue.

[21:50] Branding also plays a role in making it more attractive for people to join the insurance industry. Can we call agents financial consultants or financial advisors?

[22:55] We should look more into sustainable financing – both socially and environmentally. We should see how we include more people in the insurance ecosystem; solutions include parametric insurance using technology.

[25:27] Technology, data, partnerships, education and marketing will help close the protection gap and make the insurance industry more attractive.

[25:53] Cross-collaboration is important with a bottom-up approach working better for the insurance ecosystem.

[27:37] We need to go back to basics to understand that insurance is a push product with most insurance products being sold by intermediaries. But how can we utilise intermediaries to bridge the protection gap?

[29:10] The way forward would be for different stakeholders in the insurance ecosystem – from the government to regulators and distribution lobbies, insurers – to have a clear roadmap to increase the penetration of insurance.

[30:02] Insurance should be regarded as a necessity for every individual and business owner today. The bottom line is for the industry to come together, continue increasing insurance awareness and bring insurance solutions to every household.

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