Oct 2020

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Editor's Message

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Oct 2020

Time and the hour run through the roughest day. With hope abiding, man learns to go with the flow, making working from home work. We even had the impulse of the regular September industry highs of the Monte Carlo Rendezvous and IUMI making waves through Zoom meetings without leaving home. Both reinsurance, with talk of rates hardening, and marine, hampered by slowing trade, took centre stage amidst the other news of hurricanes, blasts and M&As too. 
But was it the real thing? Or is the industry waking up to a new norm where some are even questioning if all that pomp and bombast by the beachfront is dispensable? Time and the hour will tell as we grapple with the changing normal.
Look around. There are different enclaves of people stretched apart by different philosophies and beliefs, although bound by the same business. There are big visionaries who see beyond the scarps to call for a brave but real new future. Then there are those hanging onto the ‘same-old same-old’, waiting for the vaccines to come and make everything go back to the old normal. Right smack in-between you have that group that talks so hi-tech that the high-touch feel is altogether left out. 
Everyone is said to want tech. The rest just drift around with the appropriate noises to survive the dramatic upheavals in life today where business seems to have a life of its own beyond geopolitics and the US elections. The world seeks a truly global leader even as COVID-19 emphatically re-affirms national boundaries and local interest priorities.
But it is October. There is no point in palely loitering, with Christmas and the New Year less than 100 days away, where a new dawn must beckon. Man’s collective wisdom and basic survival instincts will tide us through these harsh times. 
Hence our cover story this month boldly looks at emerging from COVID-19 in the respective markets in Asia even as some start a second lockdown. 
Insurance is at the forefront in COVID-19, mostly with the negative focus being on unpaid claims, no matter how legitimate the denials were. Global warming with higher instances of Nat CATS with more severe floods and ‘quakes, increased cyber hacking as the industry goes more digital and viral, and geopolitics and terrorism, and pandemics all add to the industry’s protection role. 
And now they want insurance protection for business interruption without physical damage. The awareness of the need for insurance is rocketing. Can the industry be the superhero that the public wants? Hence we dream of how phoenix-like insurance will morph? We want to boost the image of insurance, an industry we love and a business we all believe in, as being there to serve the world. 
To keep to routine, our country profile is on Indonesia as October is the month of the Indonesia Rendezvous. Indonesia is still so optimistic in the face of any adversity. Their regulator is pushing the tech-drive hard too.
With the faith that we do good in insurance always, we salute all on this EAIC Insurance Day which comes on 18 October. Stand tall and fight to prove the industry’s worth through action. 
In November, we will reach for the stars with our Asia Insurance Industry Awards forced by COVID-19 to go virtual. But we never give up.  Likewise we will have a special SIRC spread for you on the reinsurance needs of each market in Asia. Stay tuned for the exclusive plans for SIRC Re-Mind.
We have miles to go but the woods are lovely, ‘though dark and deep, as they say.
Sivam Subramaniam
Asia Insurance Review
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