Insurers must make the most of technology – Singapore deputy PM

Technology will necessitate a change in the role of the insurance agent, says official

Insurers must make the most of technology – Singapore deputy PM

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Insurers must take advantage of digital technology, and Singapore can provide them ample room to do so, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Speaking at the launch of Prudential Singapore’s new office at Marina One, Tharman cited the example of health insurance harnessing digital technology not just in making and paying claims, but also for preventive care and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

He said that some insurers are already tracking policyholders’ health and habits through various fitness devices and apps, which could lead to discounts in premiums and other rewards.

Meanwhile, apps and social media provide insurers with more opportunities to keep in touch with their clients. Telematics and Internet-of-things technologies collect data that can be analysed to provide insurers with insights to improve their services.

Tharman added that life insurers are testing smart claims systems, where artificial intelligence and blockchain is used to automatically trigger and settle claims.

All these changes in technology, according to Tharman, will lead to a shift in the role of the insurance agent. Beyond simple selling of insurance products, agents will have to offer more holistic wealth and risk management advice.

“Given the growing demand for risk management and compliance-related roles in the industry, I also encourage insurers to consider reskilling some of their agents to take on such roles,” Tharman was quoted as saying by the Straits Times. 

Prudential Singapore’s recently inaugurated office spans 80,000 sq ft across two floors and accommodates 1,000 employees. Its open plan layout contains various social spaces and activity rooms which seek to bring out employees’ creativity and inspire innovation.

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