A whole six months has whizzed by at tremendous speed together with a lot of uncertainty and shilly-shallying. Most seem to moan that business is so much harder in 2018. Double the effort is needed to stay in the game.
Technology knows no borders. Hence competition very quickly becomes global and every new idea is copied promptly and relentlessly. There is no more grace period for the originator to get a first-mover advantage. Fast-paced change is the norm and it’s not peripheral change either. Neither is that change permanent with yo-yoing policy changes the world over, sometimes just through Twitter-force.
So let’s take a moment this July to breathe and to stop and smell the lovely blooms of summer or just sit back to enjoy the World Cup amidst the onion domes of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. We are giving away one set of the famous World Cup Russian matryoshka dolls for the answer to the question of why the buildings are shaped so.
In the midst of the mad pace, we want to slow down to get a proper summer break, though with climate change, weather is the most unpredictable with the coldest and wettest summers reported in the most unexpected places.
For July, the highlight for the industry is the Global Insurance Forum (GIF), held this time in Berlin, hosted by the IIS and the institutes. It has an ambitious agenda on digital, innovation, and transformation with the focus on resilience – and stretching to everything to keep the world sane in a fine balance.
Stressing resilience, the GIF presses all the right buttons with gender issues, blockchain, nurturing talent, microinsurance, PPP and the expanding duty of care as insurance is there to take up the slack.
The GIF is that once-a-year chance insurance gets to do a global self-check on where it is heading to keep pace with the dynamics of the big bad world. Will the strategic location of Berlin provide the magic solutions?
Back home in Asia, we bring you our country profile on Taiwan where the insurers, after a good run last year, are banking on economic optimism. InsurTech is the hope that gives them the edge in a hyper-competitive market.
As part of the summer treat we remind you of the albatross in the ancient mariner’s moans where water-related natural disaster are increasing. With the blurring of borders, the risks are also more interconnected and bigger. While they provide opportunities, it is underinsurance that often saves the insurers from these very calamities too. And then there is also the bane of terrorism rising in the risks catalogue.
Interestingly, in reviewing the entries for the 22nd Asia Awards, we notice how innovative and proactive the industry has become. We were deluged with an outstanding 800-odd entries in total though two categories had fewer than three applicants. However, the new categories like Young Leader, Woman Leader, InsurTech, Innovation and Technology Initiative had a stunning number of hopefuls.
It is a brave new world indeed.
I wish all of you the very best for summer. Take a nice break to come back fully recharged to tackle the (hopefully more reassuring) second half of the year.
Asia Insurance Review