We caught up with Tricia Wong, Director – ITC-Asia, after a successful InsureTech Connect Asia 2022 in Singapore and she spoke to us about interesting trends that emerged from the event, the future of Insurance in APAC and the growth of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse!
1. What are the key takeaways from the recently concluded ITC Asia event in terms of Insurance industry trends?
The insurance industry is definitely moving towards adopting more breakthrough technologies, digitization, and innovation. From our post-event evaluation, we found that the ITC Asia panel sessions on ecosystem thinking, embedded insurance, digital strategy, and digital tools were the most popular. We also received feedback that attendees would like to attend sessions on AI, blockchain, cloud computing, and telematics for future ITC Asia events. This means that such topics are trending in the insurance industry in Asia and beyond.
2. How do you think insurance agents should adapt/evolve to surf this wave of change?
Insurance agents who disregard the digitization/technology trends in the industry risk being left behind. Agents shouldn’t view such trends as a disruption and threat to their job. Instead, they should ride on these trends and adopt digital tools to meet contemporary consumer expectations and demands. Agents should also remember customers continue to seek human expertise and guidance despite technological advancements. Customers prefer to purchase certain insurance products via an agent instead of online platforms. So agents could explore how digital tools can help them procure more customers or maintain existing customer relationships.
3. What are the most favorable factors for the insurance industry’s growth in this decade?
I believe increased awareness of insurance coupled with technological advancements and rising smartphone ownership among the masses will drive the insurance industry’s growth. Buying insurance has become so much easier. You can sign up for travel insurance via an insurer’s website or smartphone app just minutes before your flight and even receive policy documents instantly. A decade ago, you would have to fill out multiple forms to sign up for insurance and wait a long time to receive your policy documents. So I see the “simplification” of the whole insurance purchasing process driving growth. Also, I feel there is certain growth driven by investments from private investors who have identified the prospect of good profits in insurance. I can see that they are significantly investing in Insurtechs.
4. What is the biggest deterrent to this growth, and how can insurers navigate this challenge?
I think legacy systems and mindsets are a big deterrent to the potential progress of the industry and its growth. The inability to adapt to this fast-paced industry will result in insurers falling behind. While many insurers are starting to invest heavily in digital transformation, I feel that partnerships with insurtechs will be the most tangible way to see results. As we embrace what is to come and be daring to take the first move, we will also be able to unlock the potential of what our industry can offer. Insurers should constantly work on business transformation strategies focusing on data, technology, and talent to stay at the top constantly. It’s a journey the insurance industry must take together, or the growth of insurtechs will be limited by the inability of insurers to embrace the new technology due to their legacy systems.
5. What is the one trend you are most excited about in the Insurance tech space?
I am excited about the future of technologies—for example, the use of blockchain in insurance through smart contracts. There’s increased transparency, cybersecurity, efficiency, and cost reduction, thereby improving the end-user experience. Web3 in insurance, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and the metaverse are newer ways in the market. While it’s in an exploratory phase, and some view it as “buzzwords” in the insurance space, I am looking forward to the day when the application of these will no longer be just an idea but, instead, a reality.
In this blog, leading industry experts share top bancassurance trends that will redefine the next decade in APAC’s financial scape.