Model Insurer Asia Summit: A quick overview
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25 March 2014Jamie Macgregor
Earlier this month, I attended the Model Insurer Asia Summit at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. With approximately 50 delegates from across the APAC region, it was a fantastic event to learn from others, debate the key issues facing the industry, and network across the region. A total of 18 firms were recognised this year from over 8 countries, with entries ranging from large regional technology transformations through to novel uses of technology to enable propositions. Tokio Marine presented just one such novel use of technology to enable a proposition where an app-based avatar is employed to provide health advice for women based upon how their body is feeling in support of a health insurance product. This solution goes as far to include tracking the insured’s body temperature using a smartphone and a connected thermometer in order to identify when they may be coming down with an illness. I just love this idea! After talking about the potential for personal telemetry within the health insurance sector for several years now within Celent, it’s great to see a live proposition racing towards it. Since its launch in June 2013, Tokio Marine has added 250,000 users already. The overall Model Insurer Asia winner was awarded to Max Bupa Health Insurance (MBHI) from India. Being a relatively new player in India at around four years old, MBHI had aggressive plans to launch new distribution channels whilst not losing sight of delivering an excellent customer service experience. It chose to implement a BPM solution to wrap around its existing applications, enabling it to deliver a consistent end-to-end process that achieved a 75% increase in processing capacity and 90% improvement in service level agreements. This is a great example of how, when applied effectively, technology can truly deliver a differential business performance. To find out more about these (and the 16 other finalists), a copy of the Model Insurer Asia report can be downloaded by Celent clients at http://www.celent.com/reports/celent-model-insurer-asia-2014-case-studies-effective-technology-use-insurance. Finally, this year, we sandwiched the summit between two roundtable discussions: one on the use of digital and ‘big data’ to enable innovation in insurance; and the other one on regional distribution opportunities and challenges. Round-table discussions of this nature are always a great way to get detailed insights around the main challenges facing firms quickly. Unfortunately, I can’t share too much as they’re closed sessions and “what’s said in the room, stays in the room”. However, what I can share with you is that many of the opportunities and challenges facing individual firms across the Asian region are shared with insurers from around the world. There is a growing desire to provide a more engaging proposition with the end client, a need to secure new forms of distribution, and an acceptance that effective technology is at the heart of future business performance. Sound familiar? That said, unlike perhaps some other geographic regions, regional diversity in distribution, regulation, population prosperity, language, character set, and political goals, make it more difficult for insurers, vendors and SIs / consultancies to navigate with a ‘one size fits all’ policy. It’s this diversity coupled together with the regional growth rates for emerging financial services that make the region one of the most fascinating to follow and one that we expect to see a lot more innovation come out over the coming decade.