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Oct 2017



Asia: Typhoon Talim strikes Japan

Another major typhoon hit northern Asia last month. Typhoon Talim made landfall in Kagoshima Prefecture on the southern tip of Kyushu Island, Japan, on 17 Sept with maximum sustained winds at 111 km/h (79 mph)—the equivalent of a weak Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, said catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide. It maintained its intensity as it traveled northward across Shikoku, Japan’s main island of Honshu, and Hokkaido through 19 Sept.

Asia: Website hues colour consumer trust in online insurance

Colours, shapes and sounds can directly influence trust in online insurance and banking services, in particular colour hue and symmetry, according to a study on how visual aesthetics and sound influence consumer trust in relation to online financial services.

Labuan IBFC as Asia's leading captive domicile

A recent survey commissioned by the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) showed that the risk management and insurance community are confident that the mid-shore centre has the right ingredients for businesses to establish their captive insurance companies.

Asia: More than 750 delegates have registered for SIRC

As Monte Carlo ends, it is time to plan for the 14th Singapore International Reinsurance Convention (SIRC) billed as the Asian Monte Carlo where 750 delegates from 41 countries have registered. The event is well supported by the industry with 18 sponsors and some 125 private meeting rooms or tables booked.

Asia: "Insuring an auspicious start to the winning side of 2018"

The foreign exchange reserves of major Asian economies have never been stronger. Yield hungry investors are chasing the attractive Asian combo of robust economic growth and still generous yields. The prospects of further liberalisation of economy in the region is further catalysing the investment scenario in Asia. This is despite the Fed-rates inching up gradually in recent times. Leading economists attribute this record surge in foreign exchange reserves on the back of sizeable investments, to the resilience and promise of the Asian economies.

Asia: Marine Insurance - 2016 is hardest year since financial crisis

According to the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) Facts and Figures Committee, global premiums of hull, marine and cargo lines have decreased slightly from 2015 to 2016. Market conditions and a strong US dollar are the main causes of this decline, combined with massive political uncertainty.

Australia: New approaches needed with changing claim trends

Claim trends are changing among young policyholders. The first private health insurance claims filed by young women today is predominantly a mental health claim while women having their first baby are no longer the hook it once was to buy private health insurance.

China: Regulator steps up risk control measures

The insurance regulator CIRC is leaving no stone unturned in its continued drive to reduce risk in the insurance industry since an outcry in February against “financial crocodiles” in the stock market.

Finalists of Hong Kong Insurance Awards 2017

The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI), the organiser of the Hong Kong Insurance Awards 2017 has announced the top three finalists for each of the 15 categories of the Awards.

Indonesia: Motor premiums rise in 1H despite slow market

Motor insurance premiums rose by 9% to IDR8.09 trillion (US$610 million) in Indonesia in the first half of this year, despite flat vehicle sales. This performance bucked that of the overall insurance market which saw total premiums fall by 4% to IDR29.1 trillion in the first six months of the year, according to the General Insurance Association of Indonesia (AAUI).

Japan: Insurers turn to disability income protection for profits

Japanese insurers are putting more focus on disability income insurance policies, including those designed for companies to offer protection against the loss of income due to illness or injury.

South Korea: Reimbursement medical insurance premiums to be reduced

South Korea’s top financial regulator has said that it will cut premiums for reimbursement medical insurance in line with the government’s policy of easing the financial burden on low-income earners.

Malaysia: Financial adviser numbers surge

The number of firms engaged in financial planning in Malaysia has increased by 45% since 2015, while the number of licensed financial planners has grown by around 23%, according to Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin, Malaysia’s Securities Commission deputy chief executive.

Nepal: Mandatory health insurance to cover 500,000 more people in first year

Health insurance coverage could surge significantly in Nepal if a proposed health insurance law is endorsed by the Parliament. This is because the Bill provides for mandatory insurance coverage for immediate family members of those employed in formal sector, civil servants and migrant workers.

New Zealand: Insurers battle "white lies" in claims

Dishonesty is a serious problem for insurers, with some consumers believing that they have a “right” to lie on their insurance claims.

Pakistan: Too few life insurers cited as reason for low penetration rate

Life insurance penetration in Pakistan is low and one reason for this is the existence of a very small number of life insurance players in the market, suggested Mr Faisal Abbasi, CEO of TPL Life Insurance.

Philippines: Regulator urges insurers to offer terrorism cover

The Insurance Commission urged insurance companies to develop products that will afford protection against losses and damages as a result of acts of terrorism.

Singapore: Old-timer OAC adopts Great Eastern name

Singapore’s pioneer non-life insurer, OAC, marks a new chapter with rebranding as parent company Great Eastern looks to further build its general insurance business.

Singapore: Call made for bond default insurance

Singapore’s watchdog for minority shareholders and a leading law firm are proposing an insurance scheme to protect bond investors from default.

Sri Lanka: Reinsurance cushions insurers from weather losses

Most Sri Lankan nonlife insurers should be able to absorb near-term volatility and the effects of adverse weather-related events given extensive use of reinsurance, said Fitch Ratings. However, frequent occurrence of major catastrophic floods could affect insurers’ capital. Reinsurance premiums paid by primary insurers are also likely to increase. 

Taiwan: Japan risk exposure tallied in wake of N Korean missile test

Taiwan’s risk exposure to Japan was tallied at NT$553.2 billion (US$18.4 billion) around the end of August, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission.

Thailand: Number of retirees to accelerate over next 2 decades

Thailand’s retirees will make up 20% of the population over the next decade and jump to one-third by 2035, said the Capital Market Academy (CMA). 

Vietnam: Premiums surge by 22% in first 8 months

Total premium collected by insurance companies in the first eight months of 2017 surged by 21.9% year on year to nearly VND65.56 trillion (US$2.9 billion).


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight global protection gap

A significant proportion of the unprecedented flood losses generated by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana will be uninsured, again highlighting the existence of a global protection gap. This was stated by Aon Benfield in the September 2017 edition of its Reinsurance Market Outlook report. As a result, those affected will require substantial financial support from the United States 

World's first marine insurance blockchain platform launched

EY and Guardtime has announced the world’s first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector. The platform was launched in collaboration with A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, ACORD, Microsoft, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin and after a 20-week proof of concept. 

Update from Monte Carlo

Showtime for reinsurance

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma thrust the perennial global protection gap starkly into the limelight, alongside rising threats from cyber and accumulation risks during the annual global reinsurance mart gathering in Monte Carlo. Asia Insurance Review reports.

Corporate Risk Management

ASEAN disaster management centre to widen its role

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is working on appointing the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) in Indonesia as the regional body to respond to disasters within and outside of Southeast Asia, said Singapore Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam.

Australia: With the world at tipping point, risk managers hold sway

With increasing risk scenarios in the social, political, and business domains, the world is at a tipping point where people are ready for change, and change is inevitable, said Mr Kevin Bates, President, Risk Management Society’s (RIMS) Australasia Chapter, citing Trumpism, Brexit, and a 21-year-old Singaporean swimmer dethroning all-time most decorated swimming Olympian as almost unpredictable events where the betting world was offering huge odds. 

Product Bytes

FAIR 25th Conference: Curtain raiser

It's FAIR time again!

The Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers (FAIR) holds its 25th Conference in Bahrain this month with the theme, “Insurance transformation in FAIR-Land.” We speak to Dr Adel Mounir, its Secretary General, on the organisation’s accomplishments, future plans and what delegates can look forward to in Bahrain.

Australian Insurance Industry Awards

Congratulations to Australia’s Best!