Insurance innovation full of challenges and opportunities

Asia's patchwork of markets both a boon and bane to insurers, report says

Insurance innovation full of challenges and opportunities

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Asia’s insurance market is a patchwork, each with its own regulations, technology infrastructure and consumer needs. This raises a complex challenge for insurers but also creates some of the world’s most significant opportunities, according to Insurance Business Asia’s 5-Star Technology report.

Pacific Century Group’s bolttech operates in 10 Asian markets and is continually adding new insurers and distribution partners.

“One of bolttech’s differentiators is that we provide insurance and protection products ourselves. That means we can leverage our deep insurance experience across Asia to help our partners succeed,” said bolttech CEO Rob Schimek.

Akira Morita, Democrance’s head of business development for APAC, said that, in his experience, digital insurance is more mature in Asia than some other regions.

“Currently, we have live insurance partners in Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand, and various active conversations in many other countries around Southeast and South Asia,” Morita said. “We plan to keep investing in our [software-as-a-service] platform capability, especially in the data intelligence and analytics space, to anticipate and meet our clients' evolving needs.”

International insurance technology firm Cover Genius is supporting new partners in Asia across various industries, such as e-commerce, property, travel, mobility, auto, B2B and financial services.

“Our aim is to enable Asia’s largest digital companies to offer embedded protection to their customers,” said Arijit Chakraborty, APAC managing director of Cover Genius.

Singapore-based Surer was founded with a goal to elevate the value proposition of intermediaries and insurers by eliminating rigid or cumbersome processes. 

“We believe that end policyholders can be better served when these obstacles are removed from the paths of intermediaries and insurers. They can have exposure to more options, more customisation, better advice and faster turnaround times,” said Gordon Tay, Surer’s co-founder.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, insurers and other industry players are increasingly receptive to harnessing technology’s benefits to their businesses. Insurtech firms have responded by developing technologies that focus on connecting parties through a digital ecosystem. 

“Even where the technology was already available, the human enablers have come to see value in working together rather than building their own siloed system,” Tay said. “We’re seeing a digital trend towards inclusiveness and collaboration, and I think this is one of the main reasons why we’re seeing a much more vibrant insurtech community within Asia.”

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