The insurance industry is one of the key components of the economy. Although the globe is experiencing recession to a certain extent and many local industries are being badly hit by the pandemic, the insurance industry has demonstrated a degree of resilience in the face of the pandemic crisis. As indicated by the growth figure over 2019, the insurance industry has withstood the recession relatively better than its counterparts, mainly as a result of the increase in retirement scheme business.
People now realise the importance of risk protection covers after the pandemic shock. The demand for insurance products comes from rising risk awareness and increasing focus on protection products. Previously, the implementation of stringent social distancing measures hindered agent sales. However, insurers are putting extra efforts in adopting digital channels so as to better align with public demand for protection.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, a number of insurance companies have already relied on InsurTech to facilitate their operations. Technology will automate certain services and functions like underwriting, call centres, etc. It is of paramount importance for insurance companies to put more resources to go digital as companies with better digital capabilities will have an upper hand at picking up sales.
Hong Kong is one of the major international financial centres and has a robust financial regulatory regime, making it a bridge connecting the Mainland and the rest of the world. Under the development of the GBA, Hong Kong will drive financial services for the region, which has a population of some 72 million and a per capita GDP of US$ 23 000. It is important for the insurance industry to take good advantage of its competitive edge to provide facilitation services like underwriting, policy servicing, claims for cross-border policy holders, etc.
Hong Kong has a pool of seasoned insurance practitioners who are able to provide an unmatched depth and quality of professional services so as to uphold the status of Hong Kong as a regional insurance hub and a global risk management centre. Owing to the fact that the industry has been suffered from talent shortage, the government and the industry are cooperating to develop various schemes to attract newcomers and enhance the competency and professionalism of existing practitioners.
The insurance industry has had its mission of rendering warnings and managing risk-related factors by understanding, mitigating, and pricing risks. Nowadays, people are talking about ESG. Insurance companies are paying more attention to ESG and green insurance principles that are compliant with sustainable development goals.