Key trends in the insurance industry are underinsurance and the need for more flexible products and pricing to align with evolving customer expectations, said Zurich General Insurance Malaysia Bhd’s country head and CEO, Junior Cho
“Trends would be underinsurance, insurance gap, people not having adequate protection. I think expectations that a product can’t be one product fits all, (so) companies need to be more flexible with the products. Pricing needs to be much more flexible to meet the needs and most importantly the customer experience needs to be much smoother, especially now with digitalisation. The expectation is much higher in terms of the level of service. Those are the trends that we are seeing in the market,” Cho told SunBiz.
Additionally, he said Zurich Malaysia is throwing its weight behind initiatives such as Digital Insurers and Takaful Operators (Dito) licence that is to be issued by the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
“What BNM is doing (Dito) is fantastic. It is allowing other players to have different methods to serve the underinsured or the non-insured. And I think that’s extremely important and Zurich is supportive of that,” he said.
Cho went on to emphasise the company’s determination to leverage its existing licences to assist groups such as those in the B40 category, and persons with disabilities by utilising digital tools.
He said Zurich Malaysia is using digital tools to streamline claims processes and offer customers the precise protection they need. The company is devoted to ensuring that people have the right protection and have simplified the claims process, only using platforms like WhatsApp.
“So (we are) making sure that experience is good. And whether that’s through Dito or whether through digital, we want to make sure that we use whatever tools we have in platforms to make sure that people feel appreciated that insurance and takaful is good and Zurich is the right partner,” he added.
Regarding growth expectations, Cho said Zurich Malaysia’s aim is aligned with industry which is 20% for takaful and 8% for general insurance.
“If you look at the industry, it is growing. If that’s the industry, then you would expect that the company (Zurich Malaysia) should also grow. But the growth will come as long as we are committed to the customer. If we give bad service, I don’t think people will expect us to grow. So we want to make sure that we continue upholding the promise and doing the right thing,” he said.
Cho pointed out challenges stemming from economic uncertainties, inflation and growing occurrences of flash flooding, all of which Zurich Malaysia aims to address through its range of products and services as well as engaging with local public agencies.
“If you look at global movements, economic and recessionary outlook, inflation, financial strains are important. Whether they’re just prices for staples, these are things I think are important, and are big topics that we as a company need to be mindful of. The other thing is if you notice that there’s a lot more floods, a lot of raining, fast flash floods … which we are working with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur and Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah,” he said.