And so December has come – in a rush many would say as it has indeed being an exciting year with many a roller-coaster rides all over the world. With all that geo-politics, one weekend, the world was on the brink of a nuclear war, not that it bothered the stock marts, which rose nonchalantly not knowing which news was the “fakest of them” all. Such is the sad state of the world where everyone seems to be living dangerously, banking on believing only what is convenient to them.
But it is December, and as Bob Geldof and friends sang, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
So let me look at some good tidings of the year in what has otherwise being such a difficult year for most. Even the wrath of Mother Nature, with the many natural disasters raging all over the world, seemed endless.
The good news is that in the sharing economy, we are all re-discovering the future together to make life easier for all. But it is technology that is driving this pace of renewal and rediscovery. Some already say that the insurance business model as we know it, is already broken.
It is interesting that two of the biggest events in Asia last month – the 14th SIRC with some 1,000 delegates and the 28th PIC, which broke its own self-imposed 300-delegate limit – were actively taking a look at insurance as seen from the outside. No holds were barred to look at insurance with all its warts, pimples and beauty spots to see what needs to be done for the industry to stay relevant. Gone were the defiant shouts of yore that insurance with its unique specificities shouldn’t be treated like just another industry. Only insurers knew best how to run the insurance business. And the good truth is that insurers are on the right path as the good old millennials really are looking to deal with companies they can trust – a good old-fashioned value that is so enshrined in “uberrimae fidei”, the very fundamental value in insurance of utmost good faith.
The other good news is that we are increasingly waking up to a reality that the digital natives and the millennials – the heralded wizards of everything – do need the wisdom and know-withal of the baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y to get ahead. So the non-millennials have a job guaranteed somewhere, AI, IoT and analytics notwithstanding.
The best news is that most of the winners of our 21st Asia Insurance Industry Awards as our Cover Story shows are indeed committed to the path of excellence and to raise the bar in reaching out to the public and society to promote the real value of insurance. And regulators at the IAIS Annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur also highlighted the ways to balance regulation and innovation to achieve the best outcomes for consumers. So consumers are being made the centrepiece of the business. How can it go wrong then?
There are already many companies in the market doing this, beyond just lip service and in real terms, with the greatest proof in the life and health segment. And technology is the very foundation of this big-hearted approach. So InsurTech is not a hype, but it is here to stay!
There is much to give thanks for this December. And if you are lost for a Christmas gift idea: think tech!
I take this opportunity to wish you all the best in the countdown to the end of 2017. My best season’s greetings to all.
Asia Insurance Review