Prudential Malaysia celebrates its 100th anniversary

AS Prudential Malaysia celebrates its 100th anniversary, its ambition to add value to the wider community for a more sustainable and inclusive future will continue to drive the insurer and takaful provider to meet the needs of all Malaysians.

Over the last century, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd (PAMB) and Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad (PruBSN) have served some 7.1 million customers in Malaysia and have paid out over RM39.9bil in claims.

The insurer and takaful provider have also invested RM77.5mil in under-served communities through these programmes.

“As one of our first markets in Asia, it is heartening to see Prudential Malaysia achieve a key milestone as we celebrate 100 years in the country,” says Prudential plc chief executive officer Anil Wadhwani.

“Our journey in Malaysia has been characterised by a deep understanding of consumers’ needs and strong relationships with our customers, agents and partners.

“We are committed to continue providing long-term security for our customers and to create social and economic value for the Malaysian community, including our employees,” he says.

Building financially secure futures

Prudential Malaysia aims to address the challenges that young Malaysians face to be financially resilient, following the recent findings from its Fulfilling Futures report titled Seeking Future Financial Security.

The report looks at how the insurer can continue to serve the needs of the next generation as they enter adulthood, and how this vision aligns with the country’s development goals.

“Financial empowerment needs to start from a young age and it should be a lifelong learning for every Malaysian. It is a living skill that we need,” says PAMB chief executive officer Lim Eng Seong.

The report shows that concerns about personal finances are strongest among the youngest cohort of Malaysians, aged between 25 and 34. These are mainly young adults who may be in the early stages of their careers.

However, they face challenges that limit their ability to save and invest in the future – such as low wage growth, increase in cost of living, changes in the employment landscape, and limited financial literacy.

“More needs to be done to improve financial literacy among young Malaysians. This includes greater awareness about the riskier financial instruments,” Lim says.

“Additionally, more communication is needed about the benefits of protecting incomes and health that will instil stability in later life.

“This is where PAMB’s corporate responsibility programmes to improve financial literacy are working towards – by equipping communities with the confidence to make informed financial choices through its financial education programmes such as Cha-Ching, Duit Right, Adult Financial Education and PRUKasih Entrepreneurship.”

Since the introduction of its financial literacy programmes in 2014, 244,000 students have been empowered with the understanding of financial management.

Empowering underserved communities

PAMB offers its micro-insurance solution called PRUKasih Aman which is an affordable and inclusive protection solution for Malaysians who are less able to afford current insurance products.

PRUKasih Aman serves as an introduction to insurance for a segment of the population that typically consumes less of such products compared to the rest.

Since the plan’s launch in 2022, PAMB says it has protected over 10,000 Malaysians.

According to Lim, this PRUKasih Aman protection initiative was developed in collaboration with the community.

“We worked on their feedback to help us develop a sustainable plan that can reach more individuals and families.

“At a local level, we will continue to expand protection to more individuals in the underserved communities through PRUKasih Aman,” he says.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people have benefited from Prudential Malaysia’s flagship corporate social responsibility programme called PruBSN Mikrotakaful Jariyah.

This programme has been carried out since 2018 and provides a free one-year basic takaful protection for the bottom tier community in the B40 group.

“It ties in with the takaful insurance concept and our aspiration is to help the community ultimately,” says PruBSN chief executive officer Wan Saifulrizal Wan Ismail.

“This defines our long-term commitment to develop and lead the takaful industry in Malaysia for economic and social good.

“There is also an opportunity since 54% of the market is still unprotected, with takaful market penetration still low at 19%.”

Lim shares that PAMB has established the PRUCare Farming Sustainability Programme which had empowered families from disadvantaged communities to develop small-scale farming techniques.

“This would help them improve food self-sufficiency while generating a sustainable income source,” he says.

Pioneering innovative protection solutions

Customers remain at the heart of Prudential Malaysia’s focus. This ambition has spurred the insurer to pioneer many first-of-its-kind plans in the Malaysian market.

Prudential Malaysia was the first in Malaysia to launch a regular premium investment-linked education product, a universal life plan and multiple crisis cover plan in the market, and also a mother and baby insurance solution.

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prudential Malaysia was the first insurer in Malaysia to extend a Covid-19 goodwill coverage to its customers. For its efforts, it was ranked Top 3 Most Reputable Brands Fighting Covid-19 in Malaysia by iSentia, a media intelligence and data technology company.

In 2022, Prudential Malaysia launched an industry collaboration between AstraZeneca and Pantai Premier Pathology to include precision medicine in cancer treatment for its customers in all its medical plans.

In 2023, Prudential Malaysia relaunched PRUMy Child Plus which is an enhanced solution to protect mothers and babies from as early as 13 weeks of pregnancy, which is also the first in the market to cover all physical congenital diseases.

For positive health outcomes

Rising healthcare costs have become a crucial concern for the industry, and Prudential Malaysia notes that this matter corresponds with the increased demand for healthcare services and better medical treatment with advancements in technology.

Prudential Malaysia assures that it will continuously strive to help its customers manage medical inflation by working closely with its healthcare partners to maintain high-quality care and preferred rates.

“As a company that is invested in our customers’ health, we want to inspire them to make healthy choices, which is why we incentivise our customers by providing no claim benefits and offering them preferential rates for vaccinations and more,” says Lim.

Trusted partner for customers

In Bank Negara Malaysia’s recent Customer Satisfaction Index, PAMB was ranked top five in the life insurance industry and PruBSN also top five in the overall life insurance and family takaful industry.

The survey ranks insurance and takaful operators’ efficiency in providing high-quality service.

Customers were surveyed on four key areas: insurance accessibility, building customer trust, providing timely and excellent service, and, ensuring fair claims settlement.

Prudential Malaysia shares that 85% of PAMB customers have positive comments about the group, compared to 75% among overall life insurance customers in the country.

100 years and beyond

As Prudential Malaysia looks towards another century and beyond, it will continue to partner with its customers to improve their health and financial understanding.

This, it believes, will definitely go a long way to ensuring a more sustainable future for all peoples and the generations to come, including the underserved needs of Malaysians.

“Thank you to our customers for their support throughout the years,” says Lim.

“Their needs and goals in life are why we have a heritage as an innovative company that has pioneered many accessible solutions.

“Thanks to the support from many Malaysians, we crossed 100 years here and aspire to serve many more generations to come.”

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