Insurtech won’t phase out agents, says AIA

Hybrid model of online platforms and agents is the way to go, says chief executive

Insurtech won’t phase out agents, says AIA

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

As more and more insurers have begun paying attention to insurance technology (insurtech), Hong Kong-based mega-insurer AIA said that it plans to invest in innovative technologies without having to make substantial workforce cuts.

The insurer said that it will harness technologies that will help its agents become more efficient in selling insurance policies and in attending to customers’ concerns.

AIA Hong Kong CEO Peter Crewe believes that most customers prefer interacting with a human when purchasing insurance products, that’s why the company has no plans to discard its sales team.

“It would be naive to go fully digital for all our transactions without first listening to what our customers want,” he told the South China Morning Post. “Many customers still want to do transactions via face-to-face meetings with their agents. I believe a hybrid model of using both online platforms and our agency salesforce would continue for a long time.”

According to Crewe, both AIA’s workforce and its client base have young and tech-savvy individuals that are in tune with the meeting points of technology and insurance.

“It is important for us to use technology to improve their experience with our products and services,” he said.

AIA has been investing in digital business tools to assist their agents, such as interactive point of sale (iPOS) solutions and portable devices. These improve agents’ mobility and connectivity, allowing them to work on-the-go, including tasks such as policy applications and claims processing. According to Crewe, these tools were able to significantly improve business processing times and reduce reliance on paperwork.

“This has increased the efficiency and productivity of each agent,” he added. “We aim to invest more in other technology in our back office to become completely paperless to serve our 2.7 million customers more efficiently.”

AIA is also planning to roll out, within the year, an online platform that is seen to boost sales of simple insurance products such as travel or personal accident insurance. The platform will also allow group insurance policyholders to check and top up their policies online.

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