The Vietnam Actuarial Conference 2022 (VAC): increase insurance access for to everyone

December, 01/2022 - 17:05
After a two-year postponement due to the pandemic, AIA Life Insurance Co., Ltd. ("AIA Vietnam") hosted the Vietnam Actuarial Conference 2022 ("VAC 2022") on November 24, 2022. With the theme of "Insurance for Everyone," VAC 2022 not only updates the latest trends in the insurance industry but also discusses a number of solutions to increase insurance access for all customers.

According to the Insurance Association of Vietnam, by the end of 2021, Việt Nam only had 11 per cent of the population participating in life insurance – far less than Malaysia (50 per cent), Singapore (80 per cent), or the US (90 per cent). In 2020, the level of penetration only accounted for 2 per cent of GDP.

Insurance industry is growing strongly in terms of both the size of the business system, the diverse product portfolio and the popular access made possible by advanced technology, the goal of the insurance industry is not only to protect a small portion of the population. Instead, the goal of getting closer to everyone's life has become the industry's development orientation, impacting the product features of each company." -  Mr Wayne Besant - CEO of AIA Vietnam said.

With the participation of more than 300 actuaries from 18 domestic life insurance companies and different international reinsurers, such as RGA, Swiss Re, Gen Re, and Pacific Life Re at VAC 2022.

National and international experts will also participate in the “Insurance for Everyone” Panel Discussion, coordinated by Mr Nguyen Quang Duy – Chief Actuary of AIA Vietnam. The content of the discussion revolved around modern insurance solutions suitable for everyone's needs in the post-Covid-19 era and high inflation, ways to make insurance penetrate deeply into life and provide easy access. Additionally, the discussion also created a chance for actuaries to network and develop professional opportunities.

At VAC 2022, actuaries from many countries thoroughly discussed the challenges and barriers preventing insurance from reaching more people today. There are two big barriers: products are not diversified, or the insurance cost is too high.

Mr Le Thanh Nam - Deputy General Director of Finance AIA Vietnam, also shared: “Vietnamese market is quite particular, I think the most important reason is not trusting insurance, customers don't believe they will be rewarded when they need it most. In addition, there are barriers in terms of consulting quality, product design, distribution method, and service quality but to a lesser extent."

Mr Le Thanh Nam said “Vietnamese people generally have very little faith in insurance because they are afraid of not getting reimbursed when they need”

On the journey to realize the mission to bring insurance to everyone, making insurance products simpler and shifting their user approach to a digital platform are two important keys. The actuaries also play an important role to unlock. In the past, the Actuary profession was only encapsulated in data processing, but today, with knowledge of IT, and Big Data actuaries can do many other functions in the industry such as participating in data analysis and forecasting. Predict trends and advise on product development strategies and business plans

“The actuaries already have knowledge of the product, finance and operation of an insurance company. If they know how to take advantage of these strengths, combined with new knowledge and tools, Actuaries will continue to play a pioneering role in digital transformation and apply 4.0 technology in insurance.” – Mr Nguyen Quang Duy – Chief Actuary of AIA Vietnam

In this era, digitalisation has left its mark on every industry, including the insurance industry. There is a definite trend toward buying insurance online, as evidenced by Swiss Re's Research on Digital Consumer Sentiments for Vietnam, 2022 (an increase of 19 per cent compared to the current figures of people using online channels to buy insurance). It is critical for insurers to shift their user approach to a digital platform. To capture market trends, AIA Vietnam is transforming itself into an organization of the future: simpler, faster, and more connected.

Consumer behaviour and habits are also changing rapidly, both online and offline. Customer knowledge and understanding of insurance are very high. They understand what insurance is, and what investment is. The request is to be served in real time. In the past, I sent a request and then slowly, it will be processed after two or three days. And now he just needs to make a phone call, he wants to be served immediately. This is a huge challenge for insurance companies. If I look back, banking is one step ahead, and insurance companies are still one step behind banks. This is a challenge, but for him, it is also a great opportunity for insurance companies to get ahead and better penetrate the insurance market.

“Insurance companies in Vietnam have more flexible and professional strategies, models and ways of interacting with customers. I think, there are 3 important keys to adapt of customer behaviour, which are: applying technology in more ways, improving service quality and diversifying insurance products, tailored to the needs of customers.” - Mr Le Thanh Nam said.

AIA representative with national guests at VAC 2022

Under the framework of the program, VAC 2022 delves deeply into this year's theme with 04 key notes from leading international reinsurers and a discussion session to find solutions for the conference's theme, specifically the topic "Critical Illness Insurance for Everyone" by Mr Samuel Lim - Critical Illness Analysis Director of Gen Re; “Taking the power of digitalization, bridging the insurance gap” shared by Ms Elysia – Innovation Manager and Ms Aditi – Client Manager at Swiss Re; the topic “Thyroid Cancer Trends and Lessons from Asia” shared by Ms Heather M. Lund, MBBCh, Chief Medical Officer for Asia at RGA Reinsurance Company and Ms XiangTing – Director with the Southeast Asia Life Pricing team for RGA; and finally the topic "Shaping the digital and technology future for success" presented by Mr David Wright - Associate Vice President, Business Development, Southeast Asia, Pacific Life Re and Mr Pratap Chawla - Director, Business Development, Asia Pacific, UnderwriteMe.

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