It’s December, and the time for the extreme busy schedule for the renewals and being spoilt for choice, amid the doom and gloom environment. The Paris terror attacks (and the on-going terror attacks in the Middle East in this uncertain geo-political world where the signals are so confused), strike at the very heart of society and robs one of the peace of mind. Hence, it is all the more important this December to find time to deck the halls and not let Christmas be “hijacked” or “stolen” from us. Even as a Hindu, I find the season of Christmas -- with all the trimmings of chestnut roasting on an open fire, mistletoes and pine combs, even the odd snow, no matter how fake, and the joy of giving -- extremely therapeutic. We all need it.
But first let’s get to work hard and earn that peace of mind.
This month, we bank on the ASEAN Economic Community as our Cover Story as we look into a world where cooperation can only lead to an “awesome enthusiastic club” yielding more. With the Dwyer mentality eschewing the limitation mind-set, there is really room for all to join hands to grow together.
October and November were super busy months with a parade of conferences, rendezvous and roundtables. So in December, we bring you a bumper edition of the distilled wisdom and expertise which reigned at these events – or at least the lessons picked up by my team of diligent journalists trotting around these eight-odd events from Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila to Singapore. The essence really is that:
• Despite all the challenges we bemoan, there are still more opportunities for insurers;
• Insurers are still not meeting the needs of their clients;
• There is still the danger that, after all these years, reinsurers and even insurers can become irrelevant if they do not innovate to be responsive to the needs of clients;
• Risks are getting riskier, and insurers in the risk business must be more savvy in taking risks based on actuarial inputs, though good quality data is still scarce;
• PPP must be the very basis of Nat CAT solutions; and
• Cyber threat is so in your face in every sector of business that insurers must and can do something, though be warned that cyber losses are estimated to be three times that of Nat CAT losses.
Our Country Profile is on Sri Lanka, a small market with a premium pie of less than US$1 billion, yet making an impact on the region.
November was a great month and the SIRC was a real head turner. With 996 delegates and the world of reinsurance coming under one roof at the Marina Bay Sands, it was a real “wow” moment for all. Though it is often said: “the best is yet to be”, the 13th SIRC could have been the best yet.
In that same vein, in November, at the 19th Asia Awards, we feted some of the giants and tall poppies in the industry, and what a night it turned out to be with Mr Chai Sophonpanich saluted as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and what a great gentleman he showed himself to be.
We count on these winners, and are determined to make them shine their light on the industry to take insurance to a whole new level. There are miles to go forever for insurance as nothing moves without it.
In December, I enjoy giving thanks to all the great personalities and institutions that have supported me and AIR every step of the way as we mark our 25th Anniversary of serving the insurance industry. I am glad to see that there is greater consciousness today about making the industry be customer-centric and matching their needs. So what I want for Christmas is this: for someone somewhere opening a well-wrapped present and screaming: “Wow, I got an insurance policy from company A and it comes with...”, whistles, frills and all! Keep the dream alive.
Asia Insurance Review