Challenges of COVID-19 will accelerate digital transformation in Asia: WTW

02-11-2020

Challenges of COVID-19 will accelerate digital transformation in Asia: WTW

Evariste Yeung, Willis Towers Watson

The challenges of COVID-19 have made insurers in Asia more cautious when it comes to expenditure—but they are also more willing to adapt digital solutions or leverage technology.

That is according to Evariste Yeung, head of insurance technology sales for Asia-Pacific at Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

Speaking to Intelligent Insurer ahead of the SIRC 2020 Re-Mind virtual event, Yeung said that COVID-19 has made many insurers push forward their agenda of becoming more digitally responsive to customers’ needs.

“Insurers are taking a more cautious approach in terms of expenditure since COVID-19. At the same time, they are looking for more agile solutions to fit their business requirements,” Yeung said.

“This is where our services and solutions can help add value to insurers—agile underwriting and re-pricing of protection products and real-time monitoring of customers’ experiences are now essential.”

But, he acknowledges, COVID-19 has acted as an accelerator for change.

“The new normal has provided the perfect opportunity for insurance companies to push forward cutting-edge technology in a shorter testing cycle to market, and becoming faster and more responsive to customers’ needs as customer interactions keep evolving in these trying times,” he said.

In October, Sompo Holdings Asia adopted WTW’s pricing solutions products, Emblem and Radar Base, for its retail business across Asia, a move it said would transform its pricing operations in 14 markets in the region.

“Sompo has made a timely decision to deploy the best-in-class solution for its growth strategy.”

In an increasingly turbulent economic environment where consumer behaviour and financial markets are changing daily, Sompo said these will help it capture unique insights from its vast store of customer data, allowing quick and efficient predictive pricing models, along with taking accurately priced, new insurance products to market.

Yeung said the adoption of the products will help Sompo grow in the region. “Sompo has made a timely decision to deploy the best-in-class solution for its growth strategy. We believe other insurance companies will enjoy the same benefits should they decide to deploy our solutions,” he said.

“Insurers in Asia are going through significant transformation driven by rising customer expectations and a new wave of digital competitors disrupting the market. They face the twin challenges of intense competition and creating value-added solutions to protect individuals and businesses.

“To help the insurance industry achieve profitable growth, agile underwriting and re-pricing of protection products and real-time monitoring of experience are now essential. Insurers need to harness analytics and automation to better understand trends in experience and customer behaviour that can support their insurance pricing, underwriting and portfolio management decisions or actions.

“We are delighted that Sompo has chosen WTW and our analytical solutions, Emblem and Radar, to enable them in their transformation journey.”  

“Re-pricing of protection products and real-time monitoring of customers’ experiences are now essential.” Evariste Yeung, Willis Towers Watson

Resilience and growth
Yeung said that WTW sees many opportunities for growth in the region, closely tied to the adoption of technology in certain markets.

“Most Asia-Pacific countries are already growing their expenditure in technology deployment to springboard their growth plan, with China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand being more focused on shopping for the best-in-class solution,” he said.

He said that market conditions in the region remain robust, with many countries having recovered from the challenges of COVID-19 quickly.

“Asia has shown the world that it is more resilient and experiencing a faster recovery in both social and economic activities. Henceforth, Asia will be moving towards the new normal earlier than other regions, and this provides a unique opportunity for Willis Towers Watson to support insurers with solutions that use technology and analytics that will enable them towards the digitisation of their insurance services and products,” he concluded.

Willis Towers Watson, SIRC, Insurance, Reinsurance, COVID-19, Evariste Yeung, Asia-Pacific

Intelligent Insurer