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  • Andre Yunque

Hong Kong’s Insurers Are Doubling down on Fintech

Hong Kong’s banks are still a little behind when it comes to fintech adoption, but it’s insurers? They’re a little different.

According to the SCMP, insurers throughout Hong Kong have either embraced fintech, or are slated to embrace fintech in a big way over the next few years.

Allianz for instance has been using big data to help with its product design, claims handling, and policy pricing. By eschewing old-school, statistics-based pricing models, the Germany-based insurer can, in the near future, provide clients with much cheaper insurance.

“The use of big data will benefit not just the insurance companies but also customers as it will drive prices down up to 30 per cent over the following years,” said George Sartorel, regional chief executive of Asia-Pacific for Allianz.

How so? Think per kilometer car insurance for weekend drivers and lower premiums for healthier folk.

Meanwhile, another non-Hong Kong sounding Hong Kong insurance juggernaut, Zurich Insurance, has had its own app for policy claims for quite some time.

“Our digital app has been available in the market for years for customers to submit claims for car accidents, medical expenses, travel plan interruptions and other circumstances,” said Eric Hui Kam-kwai, chief executive officer of Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong).

“Great companies are keen to innovate. It is important that we re-engineer the customer experience and strengthen internal operations through the initiatives we are now putting into place. Our new online claims portal, eClaim, an expansion of our claims touchpoints, is a result of constantly asking how we could improve for our customers,” Hui said.

Others meanwhile are opening war their chests to fintech. FWD Hong Kong is said to be investing HKD500 million in mobile services, internet of things, and big data analytics over the next five years, while life insurer FTLife is also plotting its technology expansion as well.

Granted, the companies mentioned here are a tiny sample compared to Hong Kong’s entire insurance industry, but nevertheless, this sounds positive for the former colony’s struggling scene. At the very least, they know that regulators have their back here:

Hong Kong’s newly set up insurance regulator is encouraging insurance companies to develop financial technology, as leading providers embrace the big data revolution to manage risk and lower the cost for their products.

‘We are very keen on promoting fintech in the insurance industry. We are not taking a leading role but we plan to help the industry to use technology to enhance their services and better manage risks,” said Moses Cheng Mo-chi, chairman of the Insurance Authority.

Photo: Jim Trodel

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