Jun 2019

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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2018

This is August and yet it is a busy month, brimming with excitement – from the summer strife, including the threat of trade wars and protectionism, to cyber exposures increasing in size exponentially.
On the global insurance front, with the sigma world insurance statistics for 2017 released, Asia is steaming ahead with several firsts and accounts for 32.52% of the global pie. Three Asian markets: China, Japan and South Korea are in the league of the top 10 insurance markets of the world. In life alone, where Asia accounted for almost 40%, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India are in the top 10. In insurance penetration, Taiwan took the top spot with premiums accounting for 21.32% of GDP while in insurance density, Hong Kong took the second spot with a per capita premium of $8,313. Asia is gaining ground in real terms.
This August is also significant, as we congratulate the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) in marking its 30th anniversary celebrations with pomp. The HKFI has done the market proud with its proactive dynamism in all areas that touch the industry and public – be it health, marine or even life and worker’s compensation. We mark the milestone with a special HKFI feature and parade the entire list of all 10 insurance commissioners that made an impact on the market as well as get nostalgic over some great interviews in the pages of Asia Insurance Review. They spurred all to dream on.
We have coverage this month on the health scene where, for insurers, the focus is on wellness rather than illness and partnerships not patients. Even at the 1st Employee Benefits & Insurance Conference, the focus was on workplace wellness. It is a brave new world indeed where insurers are stepping up to do more than just pay claims.
This same proactive spurt is to be seen in the retirement scene in Asia where old is soon to be gold and more of a sweet spot for those insurers with ready solutions to retirement planning that covers health too. 
As we start the 90-day countdown to the 15th SIRC in Singapore, the top reinsurance networking event of Asia with the powerful theme of reinsurance reloaded, we look at how awareness of their own risk appetite is allowing insurance companies to make better and more informed decisions about their reinsurance needs. 
Our country profile is on China, all set for prudent financial growth. The rush is on to get a slice of the world’s second largest market. But is it just about growth or can one see a return on investment soon enough? Check out our report to see why the promise of China is real, even as the Belt and Road Initiative assumes a life of its own worldwide. And the modern miracle of China is InsurTech as they leverage digital to go where the trads have never been.
In the 22nd Asia Insurance Industry Awards, 45 finalists have been named. The next round is the gruelling face-to-face session with the panel of judges in Singapore next month. The process is tough, but makes the trophy more coveted and, for me, it is so reassuring to see how cherished these awards have become. 
With passion and exhortation, we carry an inspiring piece on how insurers around Asia see CSR as an opportunity to build bridges with communities, which not only creates goodwill for their business but also helps them make a meaningful contribution to society. 
Vive la insurance! Vive les sentiments de grace!
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
Footnote: We didn’t get a single correct answer to the riddle of the onion-shaped domes to win the World Cup matryoshka dolls from last month. There were several weak attempts, including the closest, that they were candle-shaped. The official answer is: To keep the snow from piling up and bringing the roof down.
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