Ping An Life, the life insurance arm of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, has announced that it will focus on four key areas – growth model, marketing, product strategy and channel integration – as its foundation for the next decade of business.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges and the industry’s inertia to sweeping changes, we are confident that this reform will pave the way for Ping An Life’s further development in the next decade,” said Lu Min, chief insurance business officer of Ping An, at the insurer’s 2020 interim results conference.
According to Lu, the previous round of business reform for Ping An Life began in 2004. Based on market conditions, Ping An switched from investment-linked insurance products to protection products and withdrew from low-value bancassurance channels, while the number of insurance agents shrank to 200,000 from 320,000.
These changes, he said, laid a strong foundation for the next decade. The current transformation program was proposed in 2018 and officially launched in the second half of 2019. Due to the changes in the market, customer demand and technology over the last decade, Ping An concluded that the traditional agent model was not sustainable.
Ping An will focus on the following areas:
- Growth model – Ping An said that it plans to continue to enhance the quality of its team of agents, and will shift its focus from fast growth of the team to a balance between quality and scale. The number of Ping An Life’s agents as of end-June increased by 1.2% quarter-on-quarter, and it expects the number of agents will stabilize gradually.
- Marketing – The traditional system is manually driven, which results in some operational inefficiencies. Ping An will use various technologies to shift to data-driven operations.
- Product strategy – With Ping An’s strengths in integrated financial services, it aims to build a “life insurance +” product portfolio to meet customers’ various needs. Aside from life insurance, Ping An aims to provide customers with tailored and comprehensive offerings in healthcare, elderly care and education.
- Channel integration – The insurer will employ a two-pronged online and offline business. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ping An Life used online platforms such as the Jin Guan Jia insurance policy management app to support agents’ online operations. Through its core applications such as Smart Customer Services and Smart Quick Claim, Ping An Life provides customers with 24-7 services for claims and renewal. Ping An Life said it has processed 1.69 million claims in the first half of 2020.
In its 2020 interim results conference, Ping An announced that its operating profit attributable to shareholders in the first half increased by 1.2% year-on-year to RMB74.3 billion (US$10.89 billion). Operating profit after tax of the life and health insurance business rose by 6.4% year-on-year to RMB51.53 billion (US$7.56 billion).