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.