Jan 2019

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Fourth Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards launched

The 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards, co-organised with LIMRA and with AIA as strategic partner, were officially launched on 4 January to recognise the role that agents play in boosting the image of insurance in the name of sales and servicing their clients.

ASEAN: Healthcare forms biggest non-life protection gap

Healthcare poses the largest non-life protection gap in ASEAN, followed by natural disasters and residential property, according to findings published in the 2018 ASEAN Insurance Pulse, a survey released by the Zurich-based research firm Dr Schanz, Alms & Company and Malaysian Reinsurance.

Australia: Aviation crashes are top cause of loss over past five years

Aviation collision/crash incidents rank as the top cause of loss in Australia over a five-year period, accounting for almost a third of the total value of all claims in the country, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) in its latest Global Claims Review.

China: Foreign interest in insurance market at highest level in years

Foreign insurers’ interest in China’s insurance market is currently at the highest levels in many years, says international law firm Clyde & Co in a commentary. The legal firm expects a number of significant and creative foreign insurer-invested transactions to emerge through 2019.

Hong Kong: Berkshire Hathaway is first to offer EC terrorism coverage to customers directly

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has withdrawn from the Hong Kong Employees’ Compensation (EC) Terrorism Pool from 1 December, and is the first insurer in Hong Kong to provide EC terrorism coverage to customers directly.

India: Foreign reinsurers' branches can now bid alongside domestic rivals

In a breakthrough move, foreign reinsurers’ branches (FRBs) in India will now be able to bid for reinsurance contracts along with Indian reinsurers. At present, GIC Re is the only active Indian reinsurer.

Japan: Financial markets pose biggest risks to insurers

The biggest risks for Japanese insurers will continue to stem from financial markets in 2019, says Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Malaysia: SME face underinsurance risk

There is a clear trend of underinsurance in Malaysia because the vast majority of policyholders do not increase the value of sum insured annually, despite rising inflation and appreciation of assets over time, notes AIG Malaysia Insurance.

New Zealand: Insurers increase use of granular data

Insurers are increasingly using granular data on risk exposures and historical claims to price more accurately for differences in risk. This allows them to charge higher premiums for higher risks, says the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its latest six-monthly Financial Stability Report released in November 2018.

Philippines: Major life insurer upbeat about sector's prospects

The Philippine insurance industry will experience positive growth in the coming years, on the back of an increase in financial literacy efforts by the sector, says Sun Life Financial-Philippines (Sun Life), the country’s biggest life insurer.

Singapore: Digital insurance broking forecast to take off this year

Technology-based insurance brokers are expected to swarm over Singapore this year as they will seek regulatory approval to operate in the market, according to a commentary by international law firm, Clyde & Co.

South Korea: Cloud continues to hang over Samsung Life's stake in electronics giant

Multinational conglomerate, Samsung Group, faces a difficult decision on its life insurance arm as South Korea’s government presses family-owned conglomerates to spin off financial units, part of President Moon Jae-in’s effort to weaken their power by unravelling their complex and opaque cross-holding structures.

Taiwan: 'Spillover' policies attracting interest

Premium income generated from ‘spillover’ insurance in 2018 is expected to surpass that of 2017, the Financial Supervisory Commission has said.

Thailand: Regulator unveils insurance product liberalisation blueprint

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) has proposed a blueprint to develop the Thai insurance industry further, after carrying out a study on the liberalisation of insurance products. Explaining the regulator’s plans, OIC secretary general Suttiphol Taveechai said that the OIC recognised the importance of creating an environment conducive to competition.

Vietnam: Korean investors snap up stakes in local insurers

Several Korean insurance companies have expanded their operations to the Vietnamese insurance market through mergers and acquisitions, with the latest by KB Insurance, which last month announced it planned to buy a 17% stake in Bao Minh Insurance, the third largest non-life insurer in Vietnam.


Claims from California wildfires at $9bn

According to California’s state insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, the total amount of claims from last month’s wildfires are sitting at $9bn, with the figure likely to rise.

IAIS supervision proposal is too intrusive

The Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) has warned that the increased supervisory mandates, included in an International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) draft application paper on proactive supervision of corporate governance, would be costly to implement and overly intrusive.

US start-up Lemonade looking to make European push

Lemonade, a US home and renters’ insurance start-up, is making Europe its first global expansion target.

Ping An invests in Berlin start-up

Ping An Insurance Group’s Global Voyager Investment Fund is leading the latest funding round worth EUR41.5m ($47m) for Finleap, a Berlin-based FinTech company. Finleap provides technology to build digital solutions in Europe’s banking, insurance and asset management industries. The fund’s investment in Finleap represents its first foray into the continental European market, after finalising some deals in the UK.


Hong Kong: Federation of Insurers launches anti-fraud AI database

The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) has launched the Insurance Fraud Prevention Claims Database (IFPCD). Featuring state-of-the-art AI technology provided by Shift Technology, a French company, the IFPCD will be able to help detect different types of insurance fraud, particularly those involving multiple claims and syndicates.

Global: UN collaborates with major insurers on climate risk-assessment tools

The UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has announced a partnership with 16 of the world’s largest insurers to develop a new generation of risk-assessment tools which aim to enable the insurance industry to understand the impacts of climate change on their business better.

Global: IAIS consults on systemic risk assessment framework

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has launched a consultation to seek public feedback on a proposed holistic framework for the assessment and mitigation of systemic risk in the insurance sector, a significant component of the post-financial crisis reform agenda.