/Industry Updates

Industry Updates


Source: LIAM, 2 January 2019

The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) today announced the appointment of Mark O’Dell as Chief Executive Officer. Mark recently retired from Manulife Insurance Berhad as its Chief Executive Officer on 30 October 2018, after five years. He will assume his new position at LIAM with effect from 2 January 2019. A permanent resident of Malaysia, Mark has over 38 years of experience in the life insurance business (including
Industry Updates24 years in Asia) with an excellent track record in spearheading the transformation of the life insurance industry.

“With a full-time CEO who brings with him a wealth of industry experience and expertise, LIAM will be better placed to accelerate our national aspiration of increasing the penetration rate of life insurance, reducing the protection gap, improving customer satisfaction levels and most importantly play an influential role to support nation building and improving the quality of life of Malaysians,” said Anusha Thavarajah, President of LIAM.
“Mark’s appointment further underscores LIAM’s strong commitment to take on the responsibilities and new challenges in transforming the life insurance industry to greater heights.” added Anusha.

Mark holds both the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations from the American College. He is also a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). In 2006, he was named the Personality of the Year by the Asia Insurance Review for his contribution to the industry and his leadership in the area of corporate social responsibility. In October 2018, Mark was honoured with the “Outstanding Leaders in Asia” award from ACES (Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards). He was Senior Vice President, South East Asia of Manulife from November 2012 to January 2016, overseeing Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines during which the territories experienced strong growth. He went on to serve as the CEO for the company’s life operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan spanning the past 20 years.

He was also appointed the President of the Life Insurance Association of Singapore and the Financial Planning Association of Singapore in 2007-2008.


Source: PIAM, 18 October 2018

More than 1100 participants attended the General Insurance Agents Convention (GIAC) that was organized by the General Insurance Association Malaysia (PIAM) on 18 Oct 2018 at Connexion@Nexus, Kuala Lumpur.GIAC 2018 focuses on the theme “Distribution in A Digital Economy – Customer@Core”. This theme takes on added importance for the insurance industry given the rapid transformation and developments in an increasingly digital economy.
Graced by YBhg En. Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid, Assistant Governor of BNM who remarked in his Keynote Address at the convention “There are many concerns over the potential upheaval of the status quo arising from the digitalisation of services. But I can share with you that we firmly believe that the agency force will continue to have a role to play in the general insurance sector even as it evolves into the Digital Economy. The reason for this is simple: insurance products can be complex and coupled with the sophisticated needs of clients such as individuals and SMEs, the human and personal touch of an agent can come in handy. It is these functions that will remain relevant in the Digital Economy; those that require intuition, discretion and sometimes, empathy; traits that are not easily programmable.”
PIAM Chairman, Mr Antony Lee mentioned in his opening speech that while we need some radical transformation, innovation is going to be the key. Reason being at the core of all things digital is still the customer. We need to ensure our products are relevant so they want to buy them.
Mr Lee also highlighted that the digital economy is already upon us. “Many of you are already using digital to do business. Some obvious examples are travel insurance via WhatsApp and never meeting customers. So much more efficient not having to travel and meet people face to face. Also lower costs and increases efficiency” he said.
Ms Lau Chin Ching, Director Insurance Development Department Bank Negara Malaysia presented an interesting topic called Digitalisation of Insurance – OPPORTUNITYNOWHERE. She emphasized that general insurance agents need to be prepared in order to capture and capitalize on the opportunities by Adopting and Adapting the new technology, Building and Broadening influence with insurers, peers and ecosystem players to form synergistic partnerships as well as Communicating and Connecting with customers to establish trust and build relationship to better serve and meet their needs.
Mr Mark Lim, PIAM CEO also provided updates on Industry Performance and Development. This was followed by the “Musang Queen” Ms Anna Teo, Managing Director of Hernan Corporation, who shared her experience and knowledge on running her unique durian business as an entrepreneur. The next speaker was Mr Leon Foong, CEO of SOCAR with a topic titled Shared Boxes And The Future Of Mobility.
A Panel Discussion moderated by Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and comprised of Mr Chua Seck Guan, PIAM Deputy Chairman/ CEO MSIG Insurance, Mr David Fike, Convenor PIAM of Distribution Management Sub-Committee/ CEO Zurich General Insurance and Mr Eric Chang, CEO AIA General Insurance deliberated on the theme while providing further insights to the delegates.
Delegates were reminded time and time again that as the general insurance industry embrace and leverage on the opportunities of digitalization, we must never lose sight of what has always been and should always be at the core of our insurance business – OUR CUSTOMERS.


Source: PIAM, 27 October 2018

The General Insurance Day is an annual event organized by PIAM to create public awareness on the importance of general insurance cover and protection for all consumers in Malaysia. It is also an opportunity for PIAM and its member companies, as an industry, to contribute good values to the community.
As its annual commemoration of the General Insurance Day this year, PIAM organised a Fire Safety Campaign targeted for adults. The campaign was held at KL Gateway Mall Saturday, 27 October 2018.
Programs lined up included a fire safety talk by the Chairman of Malaysia International Search and Rescue (MISAR), Capt K. Balasupramaniam follow by practical sessions at various activities stations which was set up around the event area. These stations comprise kitchen safety, candles and praying altars safety, as well as electrical/handphone/micro explosive hazards which are the common causes of fire at home.
The participants were also given tips on identifying the fire escape routes and techniques to evacuate babies, elderlies, people with disabilities (PWD) as well as pets during a fire emergency. Some simple First Aid practical knowledge was also shared during this campaign.
PIAM Chief Executive Officer Mr Mark Lim said “PIAM organized a similar campaign for children last year. This year we would like to focus on adults. Residential properties recorded the highest cases of fires. Studies indicate that these residential fires commonly happened during the day, in multi-unit housing facilities. The flames were mainly caused by electrical failure or negligence starting from the kitchen. Therefore, it is imperative that adults and children are educated on how to handle and escape from a fire.”
Along with knowledge imparted, each participant also walk away with a smoke detector and a certificate of attendance. PIAM hopes the participants and the members of the public understand the importance of fire safety awareness and not take it for granted.


Source: PIAM, 1 November 2018

PIAM Young Managers Think Tank (YMTT) organised their 10th Breakfast Talk at Multipurpose Hall (MPH), Wisma Chubb Insurance Malaysia on 1 November 2018. This is one of the series of Breakfast Talks that was organized by YMTT and PIAM, sponsored by Malaysian Reinsurance Berhad. Themed “Inspire.Influence.Impact”, this talk had garnered 80 young managers among the financial services industry in Malaysia.
The opening speech was delivered by En. Mokhtar Abdul Razak, Adviser of YMTT. He mentioned that the YMTT is possibly the only platform for all the Young Managers among the financial services industry not just in Malaysia but also in the region. He added that YMTT has been contributing and supporting the industry’s talent development. He urged the young managers to take part and support YMTT’s activities as much as possible.
The participants had the opportunity to meet and listen to the Co-founder of Inside Scoop, Mr. Edmund Tan who shared his journey and experiences on managing and running his chains of ice-cream outlets. He started out the business with his wife, Lim Shiew Li in December 2013 because they wanted to provide fresh and natural ice-creams, served by warm people to be enjoyed with friends in a cozy environment.
Their journey was certainly not easy and they faced numerous challenges. He said “It’s hard work for our team each day. We made lots of mistakes and failed many times, but we never stop to try it over and over again.” Inside Scoop has managed to become one the best local ice-cream parlours and branched out to 23 outlets nationwide. Their innovation for incorporating Malaysian flavours into their ice-creams are inspiring. Bestsellers such as durian, salted gula melaka, and cendol are to die for!
On top of that, Inside Scoop has won the Time Out KL Food and Drink’s award for the “Best Dessert in KL” twice consecutively, i.e. in 2017 and 2018. It was such an inspirational talk that encouraged the young managers to persevere and be innovative when it comes to work matters.


Source: PIAM, 1-2 October 2018

The orientation for PIAM 11th General Insurance Internship for Talent (GIIFT) intake was held on 1 – 2 October 2018 while the 12th intake took place on 3 – 4 January 2019. Launched in July 2015, this program aims to build a pool of talents for the general insurance industry in Malaysia. GIIFT offers a variety of career opportunities to the undergraduates by introducing them to short internships at PIAM member companies.
PIAM received close to 100 and 150 applications for the 11th and 12th intakes respectively. Out of these, 23 were selected for the 11th intake while 48 were selected for the 12th intake. They were mainly undergraduates from the faculties of Actuarial, Risk Management & Insurance, International Business, Engineering Management, Computer Science, Accountancy, Business Administration, Banking and Finance from both local and foreign based universities.
The interns attended a two-day orientation and industry induction program to be briefed on the industry landscape, regulatory environment, market performance and key issues faced by the industry. The speakers, who were from member companies and industry, presented on Underwriting, Claims, Business Development, Compliance, Reinsurance, Loss Adjusting and the Role of MII. The interns were also taught soft skills on effective communications, problem solving and presentation techniques.
During the course of this internship, the interns will be attached to ten member companies on a 12 to 16 weeks structured program. For a holistic experience, they will be rotated among various departments such as claims, underwriting, actuary, casualty, pricing valuation and finance.
GIIFT has ben a successful program with a record of 298 of interns having completed their internships. Further to that, of the 346 GIIFT interns graduating by March 2019, 43 have been were recruited by PIAM member companies upon their graduation. The 13th intake will be under way for June – October 2019 internship period and PIAM is targeting to receive between 25 and 30 applications.


Source: PIAM, 26 September 2018

The 8th Young Managers’ Forum (YMF) was successfully organised by PIAM Young Managers’ Think Tank (YMTT) at Lanai Kijang, Kuala Lumpur on 26 September 2018 under the themed “Inspire.Infleunce.Impact”. This year’s forum attracted 58 representatives from the member companies of general, takaful and life insurance industry.
En. Zainudin Ishak, Convenor of PIAM Education/HRD Sub-Committee, in his opening speech, emphasized that the industry is transitioning into a new era which is based on the twin pillars of technology and talent. He also stressed that innovation is the key to business and talent as we move forward into the digitalised market.
Ms. Lau Chin Ching, Director, Insurance Development Department of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) who graced the event highlighted in her Keynote Address that by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. Young managers need to have the qualities of “HER” in order to be successful.
H stands for Humility where one must be humble while learning from their mentors, idols and peers. E represents Empathy which is important in understanding the feelings of others in order to avoid mistreatments. The last quality is Resilience which means to stay buoyant and optimistic especially when things get tough.
PIAM CEO, Mr. Mark Lim updated fellow participants on the Industry Key Issues, thus providing them a deeper understanding on the wide spectrum of the challenges faced by the general insurance players in the market, as well as the opportunities available.
The highlight of the event is the Development Session for the young managers by Mr. Lee Zen, Program Director of Equonxo Training Consultancy. Mr Lee organised some activities and games to create the right mind set to boost up the participant’s confidence level.
This was followed by World Café Session on “Insurance Industry Talent Transformation” where the participants were divided into several groups with the assistance from all YMTT members. This session managed to stimulate the groups of young managers into drawing out innovative ideas and applicable techniques for improving work performance at their respective companies as well as new approaches to attract fresh graduates to explore the general insurance industry.
Wrapping up the event, Mr. Kelvin Siah, Leader of the YMTT updated the audience on the upcoming activities with a call for volunteerism and participation from the industry.


Source: PIAM, 28 February 2019

The General Insurance Industry registered a growth of 1.5% in 2018 on the back of higher premiums from its two largest classes of insurance, Motor and Fire. Gross written premiums amounted to RM 17.92 billion. Motor remained the largest class with a market share of 47.3% followed by Fire at19.6 % and Marine Aviation & Transit (MAT) at 7.4%.
Motor insurance recorded gross written premiums of RM 8.47 billion with a growth of 1.8% supported by increases in new vehicle sales in both the private motor cars and commercial vehicles segments. Close to 600,000 new vehicles were sold in 2018 compared to 580,000 in 2017 as a result of increased demand during the tax free months from June to August 2018.
Fire insurance grew 2.8% and maintained its position as the second largest class with gross written premiums of RM 3.51 billion. MAT insurance declined 0.3% with gross written premiums of RM 1.33 billion owing to reductions in the Cargo and Offshore Oil Related classes. Medical and Health insurance (MHI) grew 5.2% to RM1.16 billion while Personal Accident insurance rose 6.9% to RM 1.21 billion. The Miscellaneous Class recorded a dip of 4.8% with gross written premiums at RM 2.24 billion. Within this class Bonds, Liabilities, Engineering and Workmen’s Compensation insurances declined year on year. Uncertainty over some mega construction projects which are currently under review contributed to the slowdown.
Malaysia has one of the highest road accident numbers in the world. Total Motor insurance claims incurred by the industry rose to RM 5.45 billion in 2018. PIAM is committed to work with the Government and all agencies to reduce road accidents nationwide. The industry is in close collaboration with both Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) and Jabatan Keselamatan Jalan Raya (JKJR) at the Ministry of Transport. PIAM is working with the Ministry to enable insurers to have access to traffic summons data which can then be used in the calculation of insurance premiums. In this way bad risks will be recognized while good drivers with summonsfree record will be incentivized.
At the recent Chinese New Year (CNY) Road Safety Campaign officiated by the Minister of Transport, PIAM launched its music video on road safety. The video features PIAM’s road safety campaign Ambassador, Adibah Noor with cameos by the Minister of Transport YB Anthony Loke and the Deputy Minister of Transport, YB Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar. PIAM Chairman Antony Lee said, “We believe that the general public can relate to this music video as it highlights the bad habits that we have adopted knowingly or unknowingly on a daily basis, which compromises our safety on the road. If Malaysians are able to change these bad driving habits, we remain optimistic on the possibility to reduce national accidents by 20% in the near term and 50% in the longer term. Everyone needs to play their role to make our roads safer. Drivers need to follow traffic rules and observe speed limits, because speeding is one of the major causes of accidents. We hope this music video will be able to reach out to all Malaysians and make a difference.”
Based on the latest statistics from the police it is encouraging to note that there has been a slight decrease in the number of accidents during Op Selamat in conjunction with CNY 2019. PDRM statistics show that the number of accidents reduced by 1% during the 15-day period compared to the same period last year (20,829 in 2019 compared to 21,041 in 2018). Fatalities also reduced by 4.4% from 226 to 216 deaths.
PIAM CEO Mark Lim said, “Motorists involved in accidents can rely on PIAM’s Accident Assist Call Centre (AACC) for help. The AACC toll-free hotline 15-500 operates 24/7 nationwide, providing emergency roadside assistance such as towing services and responding to insurance claims enquires from all motorists. It provides peace of mind to all road users and prevents any unwanted third party intervention which can confuse or take advantage of victims, especially at the scene of an accident.”
Overall the number of stolen vehicles continued its downward trend in 2018 declining 25% from 16,729 to 12,496 vehicles for all classes. Since 2015 lesser vehicles have been stolen year on year. PIAM and the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia (VTREC) commend the unrelenting efforts, commitment and hard work of the Police, Customs and other law-enforcement agencies to combat vehicle theft in the country. The VTREC platform is a success story for the industry. Positive outcomes can be achieved with concerted efforts by all stakeholders (both government and private sector) working together for a common purpose. To this end PIAM will expand the scope of VTREC to include reduction of road accidents as a key objective of the council. Discussions with all stakeholders on the broadening of VTREC’s scope are currently ongoing.
The Phased Liberalisation of the general insurance industry has gained a steady momentum since it took effect in 2016. PIAM member companies have introduced new and innovative products to better serve consumers and meet their various protection needs. As at 25 February 2019, the industry has launched 48 new Motor and 46 new Fire products in the market. The industry eagerly anticipates further liberalisation and look forward to the eventual opening up of the market.
The Fraud Intelligence System (FIS) which was implemented in late 2017 has completed its pilot phase. It will help insurers to combat motor insurance fraud in Malaysia. This is an industry-wide initiative with the participation of all member companies. Deploying the latest data analytics technology, FIS provide fraud alerts to insurers when a claim is first submitted by a motorist. The system will expose fraud syndicates at work and provide leads for detailed investigation by insurance companies, eventually leading to their prosecution under the law.
Looking ahead the Malaysian economy in all likelihood will remain on a steady growth path but current challenges in the operating and business climate will prevail. PIAM anticipates the general insurance industry to continue growing at a slow rate for 2019.


Source: Allianz, 16 January 2019

Allianz Malaysia was recognised at the recent National Contact Centre Awards 2018, taking home three awards. The insurer won silver in the Best Customer Relationship Management for Contact Centre and merit for Best Innovative Adoption Award while employee Ivy Erny Ibrahim won silver for Best Contact Centre HR Support Specialist. “Good customer service is about having a helpful attitude, empathy and genuine care and concern for your customers. To be recognised in three categories means we are on the right track. Being recognised for our work is a great morale boost for the team to stay focused and driven in delivering the best service to our customers,” said Farop Sharif, Head of Customer Advocacy for Allianz Malaysia Berhad. Allianz Malaysia partners with Dimension Data and Verint Systems for its CRM solution. The National Contact Centre Awards 2018 is an annual event by the Contact Centre Association of Malaysia which honours members of the Malaysian Customer Relationship Management and Contact Centre industry who strived to bring customer experience to the next level.