Issue No. 19 July - September 2014
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry News

Message from the President

LIA PresidentLife insurance industry sustains steady growth for the first half of 2014

For the period January to June 2014, a total of S$1,315.7 million was achieved in weighted new business premiums, a one per cent increase over the same period in 2013.

The increase can be attributed to a robust 20 per cent growth to S$378.4 million of weighted single premium products, of which 15 per cent comprised CPF-funded policies. Sales of annual premium products totaled S$937.3 million in weighted new business premiums, a decrease by five per cent over the same period in 2013.

The financial needs of approximately one in two individuals in Singapore are being addressed by the life insurance industry, ranging from long-term protection, savings, investment, wealth management to retirement funding needs. The life insurance industry paid out a total of S$3.34 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries as at end June 2014. Of this, S$273 million was for death, critical illness or disability claims, and the remaining S$3.07 billion for policies that matured.

National agendas and key initiatives

Recent initiatives to improve the well-being of individuals and companies in Singapore include updating the LIA's Critical Illnesses (CI) benefit framework, and members' gearing up for the launch of direct purchase protection products under the Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) recommendation.

Another major FAIR recommendation, the Web Aggregator, is progressing quickly with an early 2015 target date in view.

The Balanced Scorecard framework is also slated for pilot implementation in 2015.

The Ministry of Health is spearheading collaborative efforts by stakeholders including IP insurers and the LIA to work on the recommendations of the MediShield Life Review Committee. 

LIA released two proposed industry guidelines in relation to the Personal Data Protection Act - Code of Practice for life insurers, and Code of Conduct for tied agents - for public consultation. The closing date is 4 October 2014.

The insurance industry is combining resources to commemorate Singapore's Jubilee Year in 2015. GIA and LIA are joining hands to plan specific activities.

Busy 4th quarter up ahead

With so many changes to be made, member companies are clearly stretched but as they say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". I believe staff and management in our companies will come through with greater tenacity and strength of character. This is beneficial for a long-term industry!

Khoo Kah Siang

Industry Events

AIA Singapore awarded Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2014

The Awardees for HR Asia's The Best Companies to work for in Asia 2014

Organised by HR Asia, this Award saw 113 Singapore-based companies competing for the title. A total of 13 companies were finally presented with the award. Selection was based on the survey results of some 3,000 employees on their respective employers as well as workplace and employee engagement practices.

AIA Singapore scored particularly well in employee motivation and empowerment. Its employees rated the company as a great place to work and are willing to go the extra mile to contribute to its success.

CEO of AIA Singapore receiving the award

"The award conferred on AIA Singapore is an affirmation of the team effort and dedication from all members of our AIA family. Our Operating Principles of doing the right thing, in the right way with the right people have been inculcated into our everyday language and practices, and is aligned to our vision - to be Singapore's pre-eminent life insurer", says Tan Hak Leh, CEO of AIA Singapore.

24 July 2014

Zurich Life Singapore wins the Personal Insurance Award

Zurich Life Singapore win Personal Insurance Award

Zurich Life Singapore is proud to win the Personal Insurance Award for Singapore Business Review's (SBR) International Business Awards 2014!

The International Business Awards recognise new projects which have significantly contributed to a company's growth and business in Southeast Asia. The judges were individuals from the country's top accounting firms. Zurich's award-winning submission was around Z Community (ZCom) - an online tool launched in February this year. ZCom gives Zurich access to invaluable customer feedback and market insights via polls, surveys as well as moderated discussions.

One of the judges who voted for Zurich commented that ZCom is a "new way of customer experience".

July 2014

Zurich Life launches its first multi-currency protection plan

Zurich Protect-Prestige (ZPP) - Photo1

Zurich Life Singapore launched its first multi-currency protection plan, Zurich Protect-Prestige (ZPP) in July. This innovative protection plan addresses a clear gap in the market for flexible life insurance solutions for internationally mobile customers. 

ZPP was developed using research and feedback from Zurich's distributors and existing customers through its online tool, Z Community (ZCom) which offers an ongoing and iterative exchange between the Community members and Zurich. The findings highlight the need for international coverage and protection versatility in Singapore, particularly among business travellers, expatriates, as well as affluent and emerging affluent segments. Listening to the customers' needs, Zurich has included features like the ability to maintain the policy from any location as well as the option to pay premiums in multiple currencies and via credit card in ZPP.

Zurich Protect-Prestige (ZPP) - Photo2

ZPP has received numerous positive feedback from customers. Thomas S., a 52-year old Singaporean and an existing Zurich customer commented on Z Com platform, "An innovative product developed based on the needs of customers like us, kudos to Zurich! It feels great when our ideas are taken into consideration in the development of a product."

28 August 2014

Manulife Singapore volunteers spread some love for Mid-Autumn Festival

It was a meaningful Mid-Autumn celebration for 90 employees and financial planners from Manulife Singapore, who spent a workday afternoon spreading love and warmth by giving out mooncakes and goodie bags to needy elderly residents.

Manulife Singapore volunteers packing the goodie bags
Group photo of the Manulife Singapore volunteers

A smaller group of our volunteers gathered before the event at the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre in Ghim Moh to help pack goodie bags for over 250 elderly beneficiaries. Each bag consisted of a box of low-sugar mooncakes as well as a range of other useful daily necessities. They were then joined by other colleagues for the gift distribution.

President and CEO of Manulife Singapore helping with the distribution

Manulife Singapore's CEO, Naveed Irshad, took time off his busy schedule to join in the event as well.

Grouped into six teams, our enthusiastic volunteers headed off to several blocks of rental flats in Ghim Moh to distribute the goodie bags to the residents. It was indeed highly rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of the elderly residents as they received their gifts! 

One of our volunteers, Patrick Lee from Manulife Singapore's Quality Assurance team, shares his thoughts on the event, "I think this is a good cause for us to support as part of Manulife's corporate social responsibility efforts. For these elderly folks, they not only appreciate our gifts, but more importantly, they really enjoyed the human interaction and having us visit and spend time talking to them."

Tony Cheng, Executive Director for the Vision Advisory Branch, adds, "This was a meaningful event to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with the elderly and let them feel our love and care. I will definitely encourage more of my team members to participate in future!"

8 September 2014

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore - Protecting our environment, insuring our future

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore (TMLS) held its inaugural mangrove planting event at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve which is part of a larger corporate commitment towards reducing the effects of global warming and preserving biodiversity. The event was well-attended by TMLS staff and its affiliates which included Tokio Marine Asia and Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore, children from Fei Yue Family Service Centre and senior management members of the National Parks Board (NParks).

This "Go Green with Tokio Marine" initiative is aligned with Tokio Marine Group's environmental efforts towards creating a sustainable environment. Tokio Marine Group has led the Mangrove Planting Project since 1999 and as of March 2014, approximately 8,400 hectares of mangrove forest have been planted in nine countries, covering Southeast Asia, South Asia and Fiji.

As mangroves are considered as the "insurance for the future of the Earth" with many benefits such as serving as natural levees to protect people's lives, this resonates with TMLS' business philosophy which is to help people to be financially secure as a life insurance company.

TMLS' Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lance Tay said, "At Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore, we are committed to our role and responsibility as a corporate citizen. We have come together to achieve the goal of environmental sustainability through mangrove planting. This will go a long way towards insuring the future of our next generations."

TMLS staff helping a boy to plant a mangrove tree
TMLS staff helping a boy to plant a mangrove tree
TMLS and NParks Management doing mangrove planting
Planting hard and having fun while doing mangrove planting - from right to left: Mr Ong Sim Ho (Chairman, Board of Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore), Mr Lance Tay (CEO, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore), Mr AK Cher (CEO & Managing Director, Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore) and Mr Wong Tuan Wah (Director of Conservation, National Parks Board)

At the event, TMLS presented a S$20,000 cheque donation to the Garden City Fund (GCF), a registered charity established by NParks. This donation will go towards supporting tree planting efforts, and education and conservation programmes under the GCF.

Cheque presentation
Cheque presentation by TMLS Mr Lance Tay and Mr Ong Sim Ho to Mr Wong Tuan Wah from NParks

TMLS is committed to make a positive social and economic impact on our community.

Industry News

LIA Guidelines issued

  • 1 Aug 2014
    MU 58/14 - LIA Critical Illness (CI) Framework 2014
    Effective date: No later than 1 Feb 2015

http://www.lia.org.sg/News/CI_Framework_Aug2014

  • 18 Aug 2014
    MU 20/14 - LIA Minimum Standard for Life Insurance Advisory Process
    Effective date: No later than 1 Apr 2015

http://www.lia.org.sg/ResourceLibrary/LifeIns_AdvisoryProcess_Aug2014

LIA Singapore is conducting a public consultation on industry codes for life insurers and their agents on the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act

MEDIA RELEASE

12 September 2014 - The Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) today released two industry Codes for public consultation aimed at providing consumers and policyholders with greater clarity on what they can expect from life insurers and their agents when applying the rules of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2012.

The two industry codes are:

  • The Code of Practice for Life Insurers on the Singapore PDPA 2012 ("Code of Practice")
  • The Code of Conduct for Tied Agents of Life Insurers on the Singapore PDPA 2012 ("Code of Conduct")

LIA Singapore has been collaborating with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) to develop the two Codes (guidelines). Should any interested party wish to provide feedback, they may email their comments to lia@lia.org.sg by 4 October 2014. The two industry Codes are available on LIA Singapore's website at www.lia.org.sg.

President of LIA Singapore, Dr Khoo Kah Siang said, "The development of the two industry Codes is part of the Life Insurance Association Singapore's pro-active efforts in meeting the interests of individuals in Singapore. With these Codes in place, consumers and policyholders will have greater clarity and assurance concerning how life insurers collect, use and disclose their personal data.

LIA Singapore is committed to establishing consistency of practices among member companies, aiding consumers and policyholders to place their trust in how we, as an industry, manage your data. We welcome feedback to ensure that these Codes provide consumers and policyholders with relevant PDPA practices."

Chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission, Mr Leong Keng Thai said, "The Personal Data Protection Commission is encouraged that LIA has taken the initiative to develop its industry Codes and help its members comply with the PDPA. Proper data protection will promote customer confidence and trust. We encourage more sector associations to take the lead in developing such Codes, in consultation with their member companies and the public."

Code of Practice
The Code of Practice describes the manner in which the rules of the Singapore PDPA are generally carried out by life insurers in their handling of customers' personal data.

Intended for customers' information, the Code describes the responsibilities under the nine Obligations of the PDPA for life insurers.

This Code applies to all personal data held by the life insurer in relation to:

  • Individual life policies
  • Group insurance policies
  • Applications or proposals to purchase
  • Policies held in the past
  • Any individual whose life insurance claim is being assessed or processed, or is under review

Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct sets out minimum standards for activities that a life insurance agent undertakes on behalf of the life insurer. This code seeks to clarify the duties and responsibilities to be observed by life insurance agents in respect of the Singapore PDPA.

The Code is applicable whenever a life insurance agent is conducting activities on behalf of the life insurer and with authority drawn from the agency contract or applicable laws. Agents are self-employed individuals.

This Code describes the responsibilities of tied agents and the ways in which life insurers support their agents who have obligations under the PDPA.

Life insurance agents are to ensure that persons with whom they transact business such as service providers and agency staff also apply this Code when collecting, using or disclosing personal data.

The minimum standards are issued to member companies of LIA Singapore (life insurers).

Newest Member of LIA Singapore

LIA welcomed its 20th Ordinary Member on 6 August 2014 with the admission of Etiqa Insurance.
Here's an introduction from Logo of Etiqa Insurance

Etiqa marks foray into Singapore's life insurance sector

Etiqa, the insurance arm of Maybank, launched its life insurance business in Singapore in August. Its foray into the local market underscores the company's confidence in the Singapore market, which has seen stable to strong growth since the beginning of 2014.

Etiqa has been providing general insurance solutions in Singapore for the past 50 years, as a branch of the Malaysian office. It has been the sole appointed provider of fire insurance for the Housing Development Board since 2009.

"We see potential in the Singapore life insurance industry as more and more people look to insurance as one of the key components for their wealth planning," said Chief Executive Officer Mr Sue Chi Kong, who was appointed to head the company on 1 July.

CEO of Etiqa Insurance

According to the Life Insurance Association Singapore, the financial needs of approximately one in two individuals in Singapore are being addressed by the life insurance industry, ranging from long-term protection, savings, investment, wealth management to retirement funding needs.

Etiqa aims to be a Top Ten life insurer in Singapore within five years.

"We'll do this by helping customers keep the promises they make to themselves and their loved ones," Mr Sue said.

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