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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | May 2018

The merry month of May has come upon us, and there must be some good news lurking around despite the geopolitical and strategic tensions rising. The trade spats, the cold winds in Europe and the Atlantic and the Syrian war stun business prospects and spook the markets.
So we tirelessly look for the merry spots in May. 
   We start with the EAIC that has come early this year with the insurance industry in the Philippines hosting the EAIC for the third time in the EAIC’s 28-year history. This grouping of 12 markets, which together account for almost a fifth of global premiums, is a force that can be further optimised to serve the greater good of the region. As they tackle the theme of ‘managing disruptions, driving change’, the refrain is: the greater the use of technology, the greater the cyber risk exposure. 
   RIMS’ latest study on risk management excellence showed that only 14% of risk executives surveyed strongly agreed that their organisation had a clear process for dealing with risks associated with disruptive technology. There was some unease about the way disruption was managed and an emphasis on the need to strike a balance between supporting innovation and reining in unbridled enthusiasm for anything new in tech. And the merry news is that they expect some $127bn worth of new business to come from AI-related tech by 2025.
   As we track tech, our 2nd InsurTech Summit last month showed that new apps were sprouting wildly on the claims front and were having a real impact. Claims is still one area of insurance that is most susceptible to disruption, with technology promising cost reductions on claims handling for both sides – while mitigating fraud and raising hopes with digitally-enhanced restitution deals. So the merry month does get sweeter.
   With our Trusted Agents & Advisers Awards Gala Dinner also being held in Manila this month, we bring you a close-up on how savvy the agents are on the hi-tech and hi-touch front. They are in the fast lane to make insurance loved with a real human side. 
   We also look at distribution from the curious perspective of bancassurance thriving despite digital threats. The biggest names in banking and insurance are still striking massive deals. But it is still more about life with very cursory quieter plays on the general side.
   Our country profile is on the Philippines, the heroic hosts of the EAIC, where insurance is seeing a boost, including greater attention from the regulator.
   As usual we bring you a host of other interesting reads from around the world to make you think merrily of the business opportunities in the protection gaps in Nat CAT, cyber and healthcare; as well as the world of takaful gagging for scale. And in this merry month, we leave you dancing in the dark, to fight the good fight to tame the unknown unknowns. 
   It is all about daring to dream and, in that vein, I invite all nominations for the Asia Awards to take a bow as we want to salute people and companies who are standing tall for insurance. 
May the magnificence of May mask you with merriness.
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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