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Jan 2020



Asia: Political risks have remained largely stable

Political risks in Asia have remained largely stable in the last quarter of 2019, with no country experiencing a change in the overall political rating, said Aon in its December 2019 Political Risk Newsletter.

Australia: Red tape reins in innovation at private health funds

Red tape has created an administrative nightmare that discourages the private health insurance industry from innovating to reduce costs, says Dr Stephen Duckett, health programme director at the think tank, Grattan Institute.

Bangladesh: Insurance to be mandatory for outbound migrant workers

The government has decided to enforce mandatory insurance coverage for Bangladeshi migrant workers, according to the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.

Hong Kong: Entire insurance value chain to fall under increased scrutiny

The Hong Kong insurance sector is going through a considerable period of change – with technology-driven disruption, digitisation of distribution channels and increased focus on both the customer journey and experience, said the international professional services firm EY.

India: Parliament passes International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill

Both houses of parliament have passed a bill to set up a unified authority to regulate all financial activities in international financial services centres (IFSCs) in the country. 

Indonesia: Life insurance body says sector unaffected so far by Jiwasraya insolvency woes

The Indonesian Life Insurance Association (AAJI) says that the financial problems of state-owned life insurer Asuransi Jiwasraya can have an impact on the industry if the issue is neglected. 

Japan: Over 300 local governments join disaster-evacuation insurance scheme

The number of local governments signing up for insurance to cover the costs of disaster evacuation has nearly tripled over 18 months, reported Kyodo News Agency citing a tally by an insurance company.

Malaysia: Insurance broking joint venture formed

Honan Insurance Group Asia and Kuala Lumpur-based MP Insurance Brokers have created a joint venture for the Malaysian market.

Myanmar: Formal insurance licences granted to foreign insurers

The Financial Regulatory Department has awarded licences to five foreign insurers and six joint ventures to operate in the Myanmar market, in a major reform of the insurance sector.

New Zealand: A number of insurers are repricing risk

Since mid-2019, some general insurers have been undertaking ‘property-by-property’ assessments in regions highly exposed to natural disasters, notes the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Philippines: Regulator cuts red tape for insurers

The Insurance Commission (IC) has reduced documentation requirements for insurance companies as part of efforts to cut red tape.

Singapore: Island state aims to be global hub for AI solutions

Singapore has outlined plans to establish itself as a global hub for developing, test-bedding, deploying, and scaling AI solutions, as part of its National AI Strategy.

South Korea: Local reinsurer enjoys stable operations

The operating performance of Korean Reinsurance Company (KRE) is assessed as adequate, underpinned by a five-year average combined ratio of 98.9% and return-on-equity ratio of 6.8%, said AM Best. 

Taiwan: Central Re's capital adequacy level expected to stay strong

Taiwanese reinsurer, Central Re, is likely to maintain its extremely strong capital adequacy level, given its solid domestic market position, and a moderate risk appetite over the next one-two years, said S&P Global Ratings.

Thailand: Crop insurance rates predicted to increase

Crop insurance premiums are likely to increase in 2020, as the claims loss ratio hit 200% as a result of natural disasters throughout 2019, the Thai General Insurance Association (TGIA) has said.

Vietnam: Improved regulatory framework fuels insurance industry growth

Vietnam’s insurance market continued to see strong growth in 2019, according to Ministry of Finance director of the insurance management and supervision department Phung Ngoc Khanh.


China Re forms HK life reinsurance subsidiary

China Life Reinsurance Company (China Re Life) has established a new subsidiary in Hong Kong, named China Reinsurance (Hong Kong) Company (China Re HK). The new insurer, which focuses on life reinsurance business, has received its licence from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority. 

Winner-takes-all situation developing in non-life market

Non-life insurers face huge challenges in the motor insurance market as further price liberalisation has reduced average policy premium, while new automobile sales are experiencing negative growth for the first time. Both of these developments challenge insurers, notes international professional services firm EY in its China Insurance Outlook 2020 report.

Regulator issues endowment insurance regulation

The CBIRC has issued a regulation that stipulates that life insurers must ensure that the life protection period of endowment products is similar to that of the duration of the savings component.


InsurTech Cuvva raises £15m in Series A funding

Cuvva, an InsurTech provider that offers pay-as-you-go motor vehicle insurance and travel insurance has raised £15m ($20.2m) in its Series A round of funding.

Chubb becomes first P&C insurer to invest in African Trade Insurance Agency

Global insurer Chubb has made a $10m equity investment the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), becoming the first global property/casualty insurance company to become a shareholder in the African multilateral political risk and credit insurer.


Tighter climate policies could erase $2.3tn from companies' value

A report published by United Nations backed Principles of Responsible Investing Group (PRI) says, “Tighter government climate regulations by 2025 could wipe up to $2.3tn off the value of companies in industries ranging from fossil fuel producers to agriculture and car makers.”

Australia: ASIC monitoring climate change risk management for large companies

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has launched a new surveillance programme to ensure Australia’s biggest companies are dealing with the risks of climate change.