Jul 2019

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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jul 2019

The IIS came to town with a trail of some 85 speakers for the Global Insurance Forum (GIF). What a fest it was with such a plethora of grand ideas strewn all over, exhorting the insurance fraternity to just get in sync with the new digital world. No stones were left unturned to get the knowledge blast - with delegates urged to dare to be different and to be bold enough to be ready to make mistakes as we traverse unchartered territories. 
Beyond disruption and technology, cyber risk took number one spot as the most critical issue of the day, charged with risk with every click but also bringing tidings of new business opportunities that are all about insuring risks. The more risks the more business, the saying goes, and the higher the perceived risks over the reality the better the returns, says the wise one. But is industry ready to have a cyber security officer on the board?
Then there was the whole magic of disaster-risk mitigation that the industry is actively spearheading at the global level to help the unserved, unbanked segments of the population that need relief in times of natural disasters. With global warming, the severity and frequency of Nat CATs has intensified.
The IIS left town with the greater promise to boost the image of insurance in the public domain, to enhance the trust index and to get millennials on board to value the promise of insurance. When will the IIS-GIF high speed train return? One awaits, dreaming of a brave new world for insurance which is actively bought to enjoy its real value of peace of mind as the industry gets big on risk mitigation and risk transfer.
So we return to the routine of a hot July in Asia with rising trade tensions that have global ramifications. There is growth happening and, at the reinsurance level, rates seem to be seeing some real hardening. 
For Asia Insurance Review, we have three major events in July (i) the Nat CAT and Climate Change Summit in Jakarta looking at managing the protection gap to keep insurance relevant and sustainable; (ii) the Agency Innovation Summit in Bangkok to give the agents the edge to thrive in a digital world. This comes with the gala dinner of the 4th Trusteed Life Agents and Advisers Awards and (iii) the Employee Benefits Conference in Singapore with the hope of shaping benefits beyond boundaries with a smart and caring employer. We dare to dream for the industry. Can you think big and rise to the occasion?
Our country profile this month is on Taiwan, billed as an overgrown market with the highest penetration rate where life insurance is seen as a wealth management tool. So now the thrust is to make people buy ‘just what they actually need’. 
As part of the summer offerings we bring you a package of stories on preparing for the digital future, AI and the joy of tech, microinsurance and hyper-personalisation, rising water levels that might leave some Asian cities underwater soon; some marketing mantras of the good friendly reinsurers; green investing being more than a fad; and the insider threat of rogue employees.
Here’s wishing you a great summer. Make it special and memorable as time is just rushing us by. Don’t get caught up in routine.
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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