Advance in a digital now normal
Through Chelsey Keith P. Ignacio, Special Features Writer
Recent developments in the insurance industry are manifested in the growing interest and innovation in its services. As the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has sparked doubt and disruption, it underscores the value of individuals’ financial security and the need for the industry to adapt and improve. Again.
In the Philippines, in particular, the growing awareness of the younger generations and the digitization of insurance services signify how the sector has progressed amid the crisis.
Atty. Julio Bucoy, CFA, SVP – Corporate Finance and Strategy Division at Cocolife, noted that the insurance penetration rate in the Philippines is very low, but the pandemic may increase awareness of the role and importance of insurance. ‘assurance.
“We have learned from this experience that some risks, as unlikely as they are, can arise at any time, so we need to be protected,” he said. Business world in an interview.
Likewise, Atty. Alloysius Yebra, Senior Vice President – Risk Management and Compliance Division at Cocolife, noted that the pandemic has underscored the importance of “having a security or emergency fund to operate in the event of a tragedy or emergency. ‘unforeseeable negative events’.
As the purpose of insurance is emphasized, Atty. Bucoy believed that this could serve the insurance industry a benefit in the new normal. And in particular, according to Atty. Yebra, the pandemic marked the start of an increase in the number of policyholders of the youngest age groups.
“We expect the younger segments to begin to benefit from more insurance protection. For many Millennials and Gen Z, this is the first crisis [they] lived in their adult life. Growing up, it was mostly in a booming economic environment. As previously mentioned, [the pandemic] emphasized the importance of managing risk and protecting the things that matter most, ”Atty. Bucoy explained.
“In terms of preference, given the growth of different products and the profile of these younger generations, we expect them to have a more personalized approach in product selection,” he said.
Expanding financial literacy and readily available and transparent information could make it easier for clients to know what insurance product they want to purchase or what appears to be best suited to their needs, he added.
This growing interest in knowing more about personalized insurance products is one of the observations that Cocolife has taken into account and will continue, Atty. Yebra said.
Atty. Yebra also noted that personalization of insurance products, through the aggregation of preprocessed data and advanced analytics, is a potential service that will come to fruition with the support of digitization.
“In the new normal, digitization is quickly becoming the norm,” he observed, adding that the digitization of services has already started in most insurance companies, and more companies would soon follow this transition.
Like most industries, insurance has adapted during the pandemic by doing business from a distance. “Although we believe that human interaction is still critical, the new practices have provided several alternatives for doing the same,” Atty. Bucoy shared.
“New ways of doing business have opened up and the use of technology has accelerated. We were fortunate to have taken such measures even before the pandemic, so our trade disruptions were limited, ”he added.
“The insurance industry has adapted quickly to meet the needs of its customers over the past year and a half,” atty. Yebra continued. “The negative externalities brought by the pandemic to the sources of income and to the health of customers have caused the insurance industry to innovate more and pursue customer-centric practices, which we are seeing today thanks to digitalization . “
At present, he observed, the Philippine insurance industry is focusing its efforts on digitizing its services, including an emphasis on the use of online platforms to market and sell its products. .
“The industry is also exploring streamlining the underwriting and claims process through the use of data analytics. These innovations would likely lead to a further increase in the number of people who would benefit from insurance and also pave the way for personalized insurance policies, which we are already seeing in the global insurance market, ”he said. added.
With this acceleration in the digitization of services, the insurance industry can bring convenience to customers, especially with increased security precautions due to the pandemic.
“Our company is currently on the path to digitalization. We are looking for a customer-centric strategy that will improve customer satisfaction and encourage others to pursue their own policies through our platform, ”Atty. Yebra shared.
“With digitalization, customers will have access to most, if not all, of the services their respective insurers provide from the security of their own homes. From inquiries and premium payments to claims and policy renewals, everything can be done online, ”he noted.
“Digitization will make transactions between the insurer and the insured easier and faster, leading to increased customer satisfaction and an increase in the number of people who will be encouraged to take out their own insurance policies due to convenience and ease of access, ”he added. .
In addition, the rise of digitization will also make insurtech the new normal.
“Insurtech can be seen as an attempt to optimize the current model of the insurance industry,” Atty. Yebra said. “This optimization is achieved through advanced analyzes and results in the creation of personalized insurance policies. “
While insurtech, along with fintech, will play an important role in advancing the insurance industry, Atty. Bucoy noted, several challenges will be encountered along the way, including those regarding regulation.
“Most of our current laws and regulations were written when these technologies didn’t exist, it’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. Our regulatory framework needs to be updated to take these new technologies into account, ”he said.
Atty. Bucoy also felt that insurtech and fintech would surely help make processes more efficient. But an exclusive reliance on insurtech and fintech can make the situation impersonal for clients, especially Filipinos who he says value personal relationships more than rote efficiency.
“We still believe that human interaction cannot be replaced,” he said. “The insurance industry is built on trust.