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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jan 2019

Happy New Year! 
So we start 2019 on a high, as the vernacular pun of ‘18’ being sure to prosper turned out to be a hoax.
A brand new year is about hope and positivism. As long as eyes can see and hearts can dream, we will reach for the stars, no matter how risky and risqué the world gets.
In that stretch, we aim to boost the image of insurance to all and sundry starting first with getting the industry to believe in itself. Only then can we get the public to love insurance. Sadly some insurance leaders have bought into the story that insurance is in the list of ‘sure to be hated’ sectors of society. 
For this year, we will focus on the claims that insurers pay: The billions of dollars paid in claims that go unmarked and unsung. We will have a regular CLAIMS column to get insurers to cease to be shy about celebrating claims, the raison d’etre of insurance.
This is my 29th year in the insurance industry and I am still grappling with the muddling logic that insurance wins only if the majority who buy insurance do not get to use their policy and claim on it. How? Where is the yellow brick road?
In the spirit of boosting insurance, we launch the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents and Advisers Awards as we see that this brigade of agents and advisers are the very touch point of insurance for individuals. I am overawed by what these agents and advisers do for their clients, going beyond the very definition and limits of insurance. To them it is service beyond all else and they really bring insurance as a loving caring entity to their clients. So we salute their noble role through the awards and with the dedicated Agents and Advisers Network website. 
Even in the era of technology and disruptive innovation, intermediaries are indispensable. So let 2019 be the year we send bouquets to intermediaries in the insurance value chain and get them to spread the message of insurance to all and sundry - individuals and corporates alike. 
This year, we also launch the Communications Leaders’ Summit to provide a platform for leaders in insurance to come together to work out the right message to spread about insurance. We are also banking on the women in insurance to take a greater role in boosting the image of the industry.
So you see: 2019, despite all the worries over trade tensions and tariffs, riots and rebels, CATs and climate change, higher interest rates and higher renewal rates, has many great positives we can bank on. It is just a matter of finding your niche and buying into the right mind-set to succeed. Ideas are cheap and plentiful. It is implementation and compliance that heralds the winners. The start-ups will tell you so once they get their funding.
Coming back to the routine of reality: Our country profile is on India to mark our 12th India Rendezvous with the basic theme of Reinsurance Disrupted, and every which way too. We have a host of new year goodies as they say: The secret cream in the ageing pie; the rising stakes in motor and health, backed by tech; the readiness of Asean to get into the new IR4 era; the advent of ILS in Asia; regulations driving innovation with safety belts in full glow; cyber pains growing; modelling is prioritised; investment picks of the year; the continuing China impetus; and where InsurTech gets a real solid foundation. 
There is just so much life in 2019. Live it up with gusto and be a winner with the right tools and mind-set. Have the hi-touch and hi-tech ready and stop being stuck in your past glories. As we journalists are wont to say: You are only as good as your last story.
Happy New Year. We are ready for 2019!
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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