‘Flexibility is key’ for future of insurance

‘Flexibility is key’ for future of insurance

‘Flexibility is key’ for future of insurance Flexibility will be key in the future of insurance, an industry leader has said, as customers come to expect more choice from insurance businesses.

Neil Frith, managing director, Life at AXA Life Insurance Singapore, said that as customers become used to more flexibility from other industries, insurers will have to match customer experience across the market.

“Flexibility is key,” Frith told Insurance Business.

“Customers want to pick and choose and we want to be able to give them the options that they need.

“Eventually, most insurance companies will be looking at more modular products were people can pick and choose.

“That modular concept is something that is quite key to give customers that maximum flexibility.”

Frith spoke on the launch of a major revamp to the AXA Life Singapore Term Protector product which saw a host of changes introduced by the insurer. The product now allows customers the ability to choose when and how to pay their premiums, either in a lump sum, or over a set period, a first for the Singapore market.

The revamp came as a result of a review of the current AXA offering, Frith confirmed and said that “a competitive market” brought about the changes as the business hopes to benefit from a new market  thanks to the industry-first payment option.

Frith said that the life insurance industry currently faces a pair of challenges which will have an impact on the industry over the coming year.

Machine learning and robotics are expected to make their presence felt in the industry over the coming year, Frith noted, as developments in digital tools will also have a big impact on the life insurance market in the region.

Digital tools, such as customer portals have been utilised to great success by banks throughout the region, and Frith said the industry remains “three or four years behind” the banking industry in this respect.

Frith does see more insurers advancing their own digital tools over the coming year but does not expect to see intermediaries replaced in the near future.

“I think digital tools do not replace financial advice, what they do is give people factual information that will help them contact their brokers more often,” Frith continued.

“If you have access to information, what tends to happen is it necessitates more communication and more opportunities for brokers to speak to their customers and cross sell and upsell. I don’t think that it should be seen as a threat, it should be embraced as something that will help drive the business.”

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