Sun Life Philippines on track to reach five million clients by 2020

Agency channel is the best way to serve "under-penetrated market," firm's executives say

Sun Life Philippines on track to reach five million clients by 2020

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Sun Life’s Philippine unit is on pace to reach its goal of five million clients by 2020, thanks to its agency channel, the insurer has revealed.

Claude Accum, Sun Life Financial Asia president, said that the insurer can achieve its target within the next two years, due to the low insurance penetration in the country, BusinessWorld reported.

“The Philippine market is very under-penetrated,” he said in a press conference. “There’s a significant opportunity to make the market bigger.”

According to Accum, it can reach its goal mostly through expanding its pool of agents. Sun Life Philippines currently has 11,000 agents, up 20% from the previous year.

“We believe we’re well on the track to [capture five million Filipinos by 2020], and it will require growing it in multiple ways,” he said. “The one that we’re the strongest on is [our] agency [channel] and we’re going to continue to grow our agency force.”

Meanwhile, Sun Life global CEO Dean A. Connor said that the agency channel has a “big role” in the under-penetrated market.

“[Since] half of the people in the Philippines buying insurance have never bought one before, it actually requires many discussions,” Connor explained. “That’s why the agents are very effective at financial literacy and education.”

Aside from the agency channel, Sun Life will grow its digital distribution channel as well as its bancassurance partnership with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

However, Accum stressed that all its channels can coexist and digital distribution will not displace the other two.

According to data from the Insurance Commission, Sun Life was the largest life insurer in the Philippines as of end-2017, with PHP32.11 billion (around US$600 million) in premium income.



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