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Asia Pacific: InsurTech race is hot

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2017

Asia Pacific-based insurance companies, from established players to new entrants, are increasingly looking to acquire or partner with non-insurance tech players to understand and harness the opportunities inherent in InsurTech, said global law firm Baker McKenzie.
   Singapore-based FinTech and InsurTech adviser Stephanie Magnus, a Principal at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, said: “Insurance companies are playing catch-up. They are lagging behind their financial services peers in technology implementation. We expect to see InsurTech incubator and accelerator programmes to produce key acquisition and JV targets for our big insurance clients, and expect this to remain an exciting space for business tie-ups over the next 18 to 24 months.”
   Insurers are motivated to explore new distribution channels, product offerings, as well as risk assessment and management capabilities that are made possible by InsurTech, said Baker McKenzie, in a report entitled “Asia Pacific Guide for Investing in Start-ups”.
   There are wide variations in regulatory approach to InsurTech investment and utilisation. Dr Isabella Liu, Intellectual Property Partner at Baker McKenzie in Hong Kong, said: “In addition to regulatory challenges, particularly in areas such as telematics, biometrics and Big Data, insurance companies are challenged by other considerations in relation to data privacy, cross-border data transfer and intellectual property protection around InsurTech investment.”
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