Sep 2019

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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Sep 2019

September has come with all the uncertainties that this summer has unleashed upon the world economy. The interconnectedness of the world has created more chaos and confusion, sometimes hurting the innocents in Asia and from so far away too. As a journalist, I am still trying to make sense of it all to draw some wisdom to share. 
The world is changing superfast though we try with age and wisdom to slow it down. We now even have ‘woke’ and ‘new weird’ as the norms. Go figure. It can be good and eye-opening, too.
This summer’s extreme heat has also drawn up the realities of climate change, with insurers and reinsurers forced to rethink Nat CAT and environmental liability issues. There must be ‘going green’ perks added to get insured to change lifestyles to help the earth to stay cool.
There is so much happening and so much to be done as the new renewal season gets a kick-start with the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous where some 2,000-odd leaders from the reinsurance world will show up. And the capital market players will be there in full force too despite the huge insured losses of $138bn of last year that failed to shake them off.
This renewal will be a game changer as Asia is getting bigger and several of the direct players are also flexing their muscles internationally beyond the continent. And the 16th SIRC to be held in Singapore at the end of October, as the leading reinsurance rendezvous of Asia, has set the theme of ‘Wind of Change’ to give reinsurers that extra edge. 
In the primary markets, there is also the power of technology, InsurTech and FinTech driving the insurers to be more customer-centric and even service-centric beyond just risk carriers. The speed of change and each player outdoing the other in service is good for the industry but totally mind-boggling.
So we can only gawp at what is happening, wondering if the client is getting happier or just more ingrate and more demanding. As Nobel Prize in Literature winner Bob Dylan still says, “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind”, pollution notwithstanding.
As for us, September is hyped with investing in local knowledge, going gaga over the silver tsunami (pensions and ageing), wellness and health, cyber worries, beefing cover for farms, agriculture, the power of tech-savvy distribution, the new capital paradigm and, of course, the head-turner of the day: Belt and Road Initiative. 
Our country profile is on Malaysia where regulation is transforming the traditional and takaful market. 
We add to the busy diary of September including our 6th Asia Agriculture Insurance conference in New Delhi, as farmers worldwide are flexing their political muscles and, of course, there is the 26th FAIR Conference in Marrakech.
Keep ahead of the buzz but always keep a clear head and remember as Voltaire says feel “guilty of all the good” you did not do. So step up the CSR even in the name of business – the world needs it. 
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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