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Technology key in closing emerging Asia’s life, health protection gap: survey

10th April 2019 - Author: Charlie Wood

Increasing rates of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases constitute emerging Asia’s single most important life & health protection gap, according to a survey conducted by research, communication and business development consultancy firm Dr. Schanz, Alms & Company.

protection gap imageThe findings – part of the Peak Re-sponsored Emerging Asia Life Insurance Pulse survey – point to increased environmental pollution, changing lifestyles and ageing as primary drivers.

Based on in-depth interviews with 29 senior executives from domestic, regional and global insurers and brokers operating in emerging Asia, the study suggests a buoyant outlook for risk protection products which mitigate families’ exposure to non-communicable and critical diseases.

They were asked to share those areas that rank highest on their corporate development agenda for the next three to five years. Not surprisingly, digitalisation emerged on top.

According to the survey, executives view digitalisation as the key lever to capture this potential, not only through more efficient distribution and policy administration but also as an enabler of innovative solutions that cater to individual needs.

“The findings of Emerging Asia Life Insurance Pulse encourage us to continue on our strategic path, offering technology-enabled protection solutions to Asia’s emerging middle class but also to the un(der)served segments of the population,” said Franz Josef Hahn, Chief Executive Officer of Peak Re.

“The shift from savings-oriented to protection products has emerged as a key theme from the Pulse survey.”

“For Peak Re, this development is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our proven risk expertise and further enhance our relevance to the region’s societies which are faced with a rapidly increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and changing mortality patterns.”

Interestingly, 86% of executives believe that life and health insurance premiums will continue outpacing GDP growth.

Fixed-benefit health products mitigating non-communicable and critical diseases risk were identified, by the vast majority of interviewees, as the fastest growing product line in emerging Asia.

Also, virtually all executives expect digital technologies and advanced analytics to further accelerate premium growth, as a result of improved outreach to underserved segments of the population, enhanced product appeal and lower transaction costs.

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