Issue No. 35 July - September 2018
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsQ&A with Carlos M Vazquez

Message from the President

LIA President - Mr Patrick Teow Robust performance for first half of 2018
Continuing the first quarter's momentum of strong growth, our industry achieved a 20 per cent increase in weighted new business premiums[1] from the previous year, totalling S$2.02 billion for 1H2018.

Both single and annual premium products did well.

S$1.34 billion in weighted annual premiums were collected, an encouraging 18 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2017.

For single premium products, the industry saw a 24 per cent increase from 1H2017, amounting to S$677.7 million in weighted single premiums, of which:
a) Single premium par and non-par products comprised 71 per cent, with single premium linked products making up 29 per cent
b) CPFIS-included products comprised 19 per cent, with cash-funded products taking up 81 per cent

Follow-on to LIA Protection Gap Study
We aim to announce key actions the industry will take to help individuals within segments of the community enhance the adequacy of their protection and financial provision.

The key actions will be informed by insights of a qualitative consumer study from a behavioural science perspective, which LIA conducted to complement the quantitative findings of the earlier Protection Gap Study.

Job creation and upskilling
As employment in Singapore continues to grow in the finance and insurance sectors[2], we note a 12 per cent increase in the number of employed individuals within the life insurance industry in 1H2018.

7,671 individuals were employed by member companies, up from 6,857 staff in 1H2017. This increase is mainly due to new jobs created to support digitalisation and data analytics as well as business growth and expansion.

14,765 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force.

The industry continues to support re-training and upskilling efforts with the launch of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) new career centre, IBF Careers Connect[3].
Patrick Teow


[1] Weighted new business premiums measures premiums collected on new policies by taking into account (1) 10 per cent of the value of single premium products, (2) all of a year's premiums for annual premium products, and (3) adjusted value for products with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.
The figure is calculated as follows: 10% Single Premium Insurance + 100% Annual Premium Insurance + Adjusted premium for Insurance with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.

[2] MOM: Total employment in Q2 2018 for Singapore grew faster than previous quarter (30 July 2018). Human Resources Online. Available at:

[3] New centre to help finance professionals plan their career (2 August 2018). The Straits Times. Available at:

Industry Events

April to August 2018 - Great Eastern's 110th Anniversary brand campaign

Great Eastern's 110th year is a celebration of life. We celebrate living great in a million little ways. Throughout the year, in keeping with our campaign theme - "Celebrate Great" - we sponsored a myriad of events and extended celebratory goodies to Celebrate Great with our customers, business partners and other stakeholders. We actively amplified our brand and the Celebrate Great theme across multiple platforms, including print and digital media.

Great Eastern Brand Campaign - Photo1 Great Eastern Brand Campaign - Photo2
Great Eastern Brand Campaign - Photo3 Great Eastern Brand Campaign - Photo4

Some highlights:

Historic 110 Formation

Our 110th anniversary is also a celebration of our people - our employees and financial representatives who go the extra mile to make life great for our customers. Some 500 of them came together for a historic 110 formation to symbolically launch our campaign and which at the same time aptly embodied "Celebrate Teamwork". 

Presenting Sponsor for JJ Lin Sanctuary World Tour in Singapore

Great Eastern sponsor JJ Lin Sanctuary World Tour

Great Eastern was the presenting sponsor for the concert in Singapore in August 2018 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Commented Colin Chan, Managing Director of Group Marketing, Great Eastern, "As a well-established homegrown brand, Great Eastern is a household name in Singapore with generations of customers. JJ is a multi-award winning homegrown talent with legions of fans locally as well as internationally. His dedication and passion are values which we champion at Great Eastern.

Our sponsorship of his concert is a natural fit and we are delighted to create more special Live Great WOW moments for our customers and a memorable experience. It is our way of thanking and rewarding them for their valued support as they join us in celebrating our milestone 110th anniversary."

#CelebrateGreatSG Contest

We also held a social media contest and invited the public to share stories of how they #CelebrateGreatSG. The contest attracted good response. We showcased the winning entries and celebrated their inspiring stories in a post-contest video which we amplified through press, social and OOH channels.

LIVE GREAT Birthday Packs

On Great Eastern's birthday on 26 August, we offered special packs to our LIVE GREAT members where for just $11, they could redeem a Birthday Pack worth over $110 from our selected merchants. This was a great success with the packs snapped up within a short period.

Geared to GETGREAT and Live Great 110 Challenge

Great Eastern - Live Great 110 Challenge

We also took the opportunity to reward and encourage the community to live healthier and better. Our Geared to GETGREAT 1,000,000 Step Challenge to Seoul and our Live Great 110 Challenge attracted enthusiastic response. Prizes ranged from shopping vouchers to a trip to Seoul.

14 July 2018
Great Eastern General Insurance raises over $60,000 for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund

Great Eastern Charity Car Wash - Photo1
Great Eastern Charity Car Wash - Photo2

Some 170 volunteers from Great Eastern, comprising top management, staff and distribution representatives, rolled up their sleeves and raised over $60,000 for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).

The Great Eastern Charity Car Wash and CARnival is one of the CSR initiatives under Great Eastern Cares and was held in celebration of the first anniversary of the rebranding of Great Eastern General Insurance and Great Eastern's 110th anniversary.

Great Eastern Charity Car Wash - Photo3
Great Eastern Charity Car Wash - Photo4

The charity car wash was helmed by Great Eastern Group CEO Khor Hock Seng who, together with Jimmy Tong, Managing Director of General and Group Insurance, Great Eastern General Insurance, as well as other top management and volunteers, were kept busy washing a constant stream of cars from the many supporters who purchased car wash packages.

In line with Great Eastern's commitment to care for the environment, it partnered with EWash to provide waterless environmentally-friendly car washes which saved a massive 95% of water compared to a normal car wash.

Great Eastern also hosted 130 beneficiaries from STSPMF and their family members at the Charity CARnival, where they enjoyed exciting games and were treated to a magic show performance, face painting and other activities, as well as ice-cream.

Commented Jimmy Tong, "In celebration of the first anniversary of the rebranding of Great Eastern General Insurance, we wanted to do something meaningful for the community. People know us for our insurance products. Be it for business, home, travel, car, fundamental to all the solutions we provide, Great Eastern General Insurance is all about protecting lifestyles and those we care about.

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund deserves our strong support and we are delighted to help needy students from low income families supported by the Fund.

It's a great turnout of our staff and agent volunteers, partners and supporters, all coming together to make a difference."

With the funds raised from today's event, Great Eastern volunteers have raised $231,000 for STSPMF in 2018 to date.

August 2018
It pays to be Kiasu with insurance

When it comes to delivering pertinent messages on important topics such as insurance, it always helps to do it with a touch of humour. That's why in August this year, Income recently tapped on one of Singapore's best-loved icons, Mr Kiasu to create a series of comic strips on Income's Facebook page, that draws on his fear of 'losing out' and highlights the importance of insurance and sensible financial planning.

Income Facebook page - Mr Kiasu comic strip

"Income is constantly on the prowl for ways to disrupt the insurance landscape. In an industry that is known for being overly technical, we found humour to be an effective tool in bridging this," said Marcus Chew, Income's Chief Marketing Officer.

On the choice of medium, Marcus added, "As marketers, it is critical for us to push the boundaries and experiment with new initiatives and the digital sphere has proven to be an apt space for this."

These comic strips identified real financial and protection concerns and needs of people, before suggesting suitable insurance solutions in "funny" yet real situations.

See them here:
Comic #1: Everything Also Must Makan
Comic #2: Everything Also Must Get for Free
Comic #3: Everything Also Must #Instaworthy
Comic #4: Everything Also Must Dream Big

30 August 2018
Viral 'Worst parents in the world' video sparked meaningful conversations on retirement planning

NTUC Income video

A video of a bridegroom ostensibly chiding his parents for being the worst in the world at his wedding was the creative backdrop for Income's latest advertising campaign that went viral, and in the process, drove conversations on whether Singaporeans are doing enough to prepare for their golden years.

Within two weeks of its launch on 30th August 2018, the commercial, created with creative agency BBH Singapore, has garnered more than 16 million views and shared over 300,000 times across various channels, including Facebook and YouTube, with many praising its meaningful message and touching delivery.

The inspiration for the video came from a recent Nielsen research study commissioned by Income, which confirmed that parents were motivated to prioritise their children's future over theirs and would continue to do so. Yet, as the same study shows, their children also foresaw the need to downgrade their lifestyles, or make career-related sacrifices to support their retired parents financially.

NTUC Income research study

The study covered more than 400 parents aged between 30 and 55, and some 200 young people between the ages of 19 and 25.

The commercial thus drew on the tension between these two sets of interdependent desires to deliver its intention of getting viewers to reflect on whether financial security in retirement could turn out to be the best gift parents can offer their kids, said Income's Chief Marketing Officer, Marcus Chew.

He added, "We intend to engage our target audience and spark off conversations and encourage Singaporeans to think more deeply about their retirement plans."

To watch the video and find out more about the campaign, click here:

1 September 2018
First ever AIA Family Fest!

AIA Singapore held its first ever 1-day AIA Family Fest on 1st September to create more opportunities for AIA policyholders and their families to spend quality time together and enable them to live healthier, longer, better lives through enjoyable and enriching activities at the event.

This is part of AIA Singapore's numerous initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of young families in Singapore.

Squeals of laughter and excitement filled the air as over 3,000 young families were brought together for an amazing Saturday out. With three fascinating zones for AIA Family Fest goers to Create, Discover and Experience, there was much to be explored!

From unleashing one's creativity at Art Jamming to growing their own edible garden and creating beautiful gardens in little glass jars at Urban Farming to enjoying a kickabout with the Spurs football coaches, Shaun Harris and Anton Blackwood at AIA x SPURS Soccer Challenge to overcoming various exciting obstacles at Spartan Kids Obstacles Challenge, which definitely got the kids to tap on both their artistic and sporty sides! 

AIA Family Fest - Photo1
AIA Family Fest - Photo2

To engage everyone in the family and further encourage family bonding, upsized games such as giant Jenga, Tic-Tac-Toe, Snakes & Ladders and Bowling were brought in for AIA Family Fest goers to play together as a family, where the "entire family can get involved and play together to build up the family team work and relationship", as commented by an attendee.

Committed to giving back to the less privileged and supporting the younger generation in their hope for a better future, AIA Singapore has gone beyond providing financial aid and brought 39 children from our adopted charity, Children's Wishing Well (CWW), and their families to have fun and learn from experiential activities such as urban farming, art jamming, Spartan Kids obstacle challenge and upsized family games.

AIA Family Fest - Photo3
AIA Family Fest - Photo4

These children from CWW also got the chance to learn drills and dribbling techniques from Spurs football coaches, and played a match against the AIA Singapore Executive Committee members!

AIA Family Fest - Photo5

AIA Family Fest ended off with the highly anticipated movie marathon at the Open Air Cinema, where young families got together to unwind and relax.

Industry News

Important Guidelines/Circulars issued


May to August 2018
Great Eastern - Forging strategic partnerships

Great Eastern recently announced several strategic partnerships which will further reinforce its LIFE Company brand purpose as well as to empower and reward the community to live healthier and better.

Samsung Electronics Singapore (Samsung)

"Samsung is a market leader in mobile and wearable technology. We are delighted to partner Samsung to deliver a strong digital proposition in health and wellness to our customers. This is an integral part of our digital transformation to bring access and benefits around to the everyday lives of our customers," commented Great Eastern Group CEO Khor Hock Seng.

One of the elements of the partnership included the integration of GETGREAT with the Samsung Health App. GETGREAT was launched as part of our LIVE GREAT Programme, and features an artificial intelligence-powered coach, GERI - which offers all-day personalised coaching to help users achieve their personal wellness goals.

We jointly launched an island-wide step challenge - Geared to GETGREAT 1,000,000 Step Challenge - in August to motivate and reward the community to stay fit, with the second phase in September. Attractive prizes include the grand prize of a 4D3N trip to Seoul and Samsung Galaxy S9s.

GE Partnership with Samsung

Sport Singapore

In line with our LIFE company purpose and to further promote healthier lifestyles, we partnered Sport Singapore to join GetActive! Singapore and the Active Health movement.

We co-activated a new digital challenge titled GetActive! GetGreat. The challenge allowed participants to chalk up points by either clocking steps on their ActiveSG app, visiting GetActive! Singapore sport festivals across the island or by booking facilities and programmes at sports centres.

GE Partnership - Photo2
GE Partnership - Photo3
GE Partnership - Photo4

Commented our Group CEO Khor Hock Seng, "We are delighted to partner Sport Singapore who share our aspirations in championing health and wellness to the community. We recognise that maintaining good health is important to Singaporeans.

We recently launched GETGREAT, the first-of-its-kind mobile wellness platform with a wellness coach, GERI, powered by artificial intelligence, which offers personalised coaching 24/7 to nudge users towards their personal wellness goals. To date, GETGREAT users have chalked up a massive 4.5 billion steps, through 800,000 interactions with GERI. Great Eastern is also actively exploring ways to enhance the value we bring to the ActiveSG community; we plan to offer insurance solutions specially for the ActiveSG community at affordable premiums."

There will be collaborations ahead where the community can earn both Active SG points as well as GETGREAT rewards through healthy activities.


Great Eastern has invested in UCARE.AI, an AI healthcare startup. Using a suite of proprietary deep learning and neural network algorithms built on existing healthcare data, UCARE.AI has used its predictive engine to help prioritise healthcare resources to reduce preventable hospitalisation, potentially resulting in significant annual savings in the industry. It also boasts a highly accurate predictive capability by correctly identifying the risk of re-hospitalisation for a segment of Singaporeans.

Individuals can obtain a personalised understanding of their lifetime risks so they can take preventive actions early, leading happier and healthier lives. Doctors and hospitals benefit as they are able to focus on those who need their expertise urgently while we as insurers are able to provide ideal coverage without increasing premiums.

Said Ryan Cheong, our Managing Director for Strategy and Transformation, "We believe that AI, with its capability to evaluate, categorise, analyse and draw intelligent hypotheses, can help make healthcare related services more efficient and cost-effective for the consumers. Specifically for Great Eastern, we believe that AI-enabled technology can help our customers achieve better health outcomes."

Caregiver Asia

We partnered Caregiver Asia to offer a first-of-its-kind professional indemnity insurance to freelance Caregivers, with the exception of doctors, registered on CaregiverAsia's platform, CaregiverAsia is an online aggregator of trusted on-demand health and caregiving services.

The professional indemnity insurance is a form of a liability insurance that protects individuals from legal liability associated with wrongful practices. Caregivers will be covered for up to $100,000 for any one claim made against them by their clients, as well as expenses incurred in the defence or settlement of legal issues including libel and slander as well as breach of confidentiality.

"Caregivers play a vital role and are an integral part of the health ecosystem. We are very excited to be able to play a meaningful role to provide value to the community of professionals at CaregiverAsia" commented Ryan Cheong, our Managing Director for Strategy and Transformation.

July 2018
Get healthy and be rewarded with Income Orange Health

Income launched the revamped Orange Health fitness and wellness programme in July, with the aim of empowering insured persons of IncomeShield to take charge of their health in four key areas: sleep, steps, diet and workout.

Income Orange Health - Infographic

By proactively recording their sleep and steps; logging their workouts and having a healthy meal at one of Orange Health's participating fitness centres and food outlets; or doing a physical activity at public parks around Singapore, users can earn Oh! points and redeem them for various rewards.

Income Orange Health - Photo

Orange Health was conceptualised in 2015 as a suit of initiatives that include affordable health screenings and a mobile application to help individuals keep track of their health status. The enhanced programme looks to take it up a notch by encouraging and rewarding people for making the right choices to improve their health, and in the process, establish good lifelong habits.

To find out more, click here:

July 2018

CEO James Tan shares the Tokio Marine difference in insurance innovation

Hubbis Article Cover Page

In a Hubbis interview on 28 August 2018, James Tan, CEO of Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMLS) shared how the company leads by example in insurance innovation with the launch of TM Apex VIP in July 2018. This innovative product is a single premium USD investment-linked policy which aims to address customers' pain points in the HNWI space.

Requiring no health assessment, TM Apex VIP allows customers to enjoy the upside gain of the investment but it also has a downside protection through the lock in of the highest monthly value throughout the lifetime of the policy as death benefits.

Hubbis article:

25 July 2018
Etiqa Insurance relaunches EASY save series with higher guaranteed returns and industry-first online DDA service

The progressive digital insurer has relaunched its popular online insurance savings solution EASY save series with its highest guaranteed returns for eEASY save to date. Customers can now gain higher guaranteed returns for eEASY save at 2.46% per annum. The pioneer in online insurance savings plans also took the lead for immediate online Direct Debit Authorisation (DDA) service, a collaboration with DBS which offers greater convenience in the payment process for customers, as they can now make immediate premium payment via Etiqa's web portal.

The relaunch of EASY save series came shortly after Etiqa's recent win of the 'Marketing Initiative of the Year - Singapore' Award at the Insurance Asia Awards 2018. Etiqa is honoured for its innovative 'No Pain Just Gains' marketing campaign, which presented wealth-lifting through Singapore's first online insurance savings plans - eEASY save and eEASY savepro - that can be easily done in a few clicks, as opposed to weight-lifting that requires great effort.

For more information, please visit

August 2018
AXA Insurance Serves Up New Proposition for High Net Worth Individuals

AXA Imperial Collection

AXA Insurance has launched a new proposition to meet the needs of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Singapore - the AXA Imperial Collection.

It comprises a suite of solutions across a core offering of legacy planning and wealth management solutions solutions - AXA Private Wealth Variable Universal Life (VUL), AXA Privilege Wealth VUL and AXA Private Wealth Portfolio International - and medical and lifestyle solutions with coverage that extends to private art, collectibles, jewellery, yachts, and luxury and performance cars.

In line with AXA's commitment to be a partner to its customers, eligible AXA Imperial Collection customers will be able to access a wide array of luxury concierge and lifestyle services that encompasses lifestyle & travel concierge, travel medical assistance services and luxury home assistance. These services will be delivered by AXA Partners, a leading international provider of concierge and assistance services.

Commenting on the launch, Sean Goh, Managing Director, Life, AXA Insurance, said, "In spite of the growth of Asia Pacific's HNW population, it remains a largely untapped and underserved market for insurance. With the AXA Imperial Collection, we aim to fill this gap by offering a full suite of solutions and services that will serve the needs of a wide and diverse range of HNWIs."

Find out more:

23 August 2018
Etiqa Insurance extends free home-based six-monthly Medical Examination (6ME) Service for foreign domestic workers with its maid insurance

Etiqa is extending complimentary home-based six-monthly medical examination (6ME) service for foreign domestic workers (FDW) under their maid insurance plans. Living up to its mission of Humanising Insurance, the digital insurer is collaborating with Doctor Anywhere, a healthtech start-up with a mission to improve healthcare delivery through innovation and technology to provide this value-added service. This allows the medical examination to be conducted within the comfort of home, providing greater convenience and cost savings for employers.

Etiqa's maid insurance, ePROTECT maid comes with the additional perk of free medical check-up worth up to S$80 for foreign domestic workers. For more information, please visit:

30 August 2018
Etiqa Insurance launches new personal cyber insurance amid growing concerns on interconnectivity

The leading digital insurer has launched its Personal Cyber Insurance that offers individuals and families in Singapore comprehensive yet affordable protection from cyber threats - a timely solution amid growing concerns on interconnectivity risks.

The new plan addresses online risks with coverage of up to S$25,000 for four main cyber threats - namely cyber fraud, cyber extortion, restoration costs, and identity theft. It was originally introduced as a supplement to Tiq Home Insurance for the insurer's product soft launch. The positive reception gained enabled the innovative insurer to extend it as an independent plan to the masses.

At present, Etiqa Insurance is one of the few companies that offers cyber risks protection for individuals in Singapore. Find out more at

Q&A with Carlos M Vazquez

Carlos Vazquez - Photo1 Carlos M Vazquez
Chief Executive Officer
HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Limited

Carlos graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Actuarial Science.

Carlos started with CIGNA out of University. Thereafter, he worked in various organisations including Aetna, ING and Manulife Canada. Prior to joining HSBC Singapore as the CEO of the insurance company, Carlos headed the Product and Pricing team in Singapore with Manulife to help get the DBS deal off the ground.

1. What are some of your career highlights?

Achieving my dream of being a CEO of a large insurance company has to rank high on the list of my career highlights. But even more than that, I am most proud that I have been able to inspire teams to do great things around the world. I have worked in six different countries with six very different cultures and although the cultures are very different, people are people. They want to feel like they are adding value, they want to be trusted, they want to be inspired and they ultimately want to succeed. Since I have been able to keep this top of mind, I have always been able to lead them to success. 

2. Do you have a personal philosophy for life/career that you strongly believe in?

I wish I had something unique to say here, but I don't. I read a long time ago that you have to do something that you are passionate about regardless of how much you are getting paid. Money is not even in the top five priorities for me anymore. The only time it was top priority was when I couldn't afford the basic necessities. Once I got out of that position, I only did what I was passionate about and that alone drove me to where I am today. I have taken pay cuts more times than I care to admit in order to do what I wanted to do. I may not have as much money as I could have had I taken the most optimal route, but I think I am most at peace today because of the decisions I made.

3. What do you usually do in your leisure time? 

Carlos Vazquez - Photo2 Carlos Vazquez - Photo3
Carlos Vazquez - Photo4

I am probably most known for Salsa dancing although I don't do it that often anymore. I am a bit of a morning gym rat and I do like to watch a movie or two a week. I am picky about books, but when I find one that I like, I go through it very fast. I also like good Mexican sipping tequila.

4. Who are your inspirations in life?

Ted Curtis was a friend of my uncle who opened his doors to me when I was very young and at risk. He and his wife gave me (and many others) a place to be when our neighborhoods may have lots of bad influences. He was a mathematician who worked with computers and was always interested in helping others. He didn't do all that well professionally, but the change he made in this world is much greater than I probably will ever achieve. He still inspires me to be as great as I possibly can, as I know if it weren't for him, I would likely not be here today. I think part of the reason I got into insurance was because of him. There aren't many other industries that provide for people in need like insurance does.

5. Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.

I was a high school dropout who had to go through a couple of special programmes to be able to get the opportunity to go to a qualified University. When I did get the opportunity, I took full advantage.

6. Describe your proudest moment.

There were lots of proud moments that I had, which included my son's first karate tournament, buying my first house or being able to provide a significant gift to someone in need. But I think the proudest moments had to be in university - as a kid from the ghetto and being able to top many actuarial classes and even getting a top score in one of the actuarial exams. It has been done many times before and after, but when factoring how and where I grew up versus my classmates, it made those moments so much sweeter.

7. Complete the sentence: "I love my job because ..."

This always comes down to people. Every job I have loved has been because of the people I worked with and the culture that exists in the workplace. When you get a group of people with different backgrounds all coming together to want to make great things happen, the energy that comes with that is truly addictive. I am one of those weird people who actually look forward to coming to work on Monday morning. I am also passionate about what I am doing. I think we provide a needed product and service for people around the world when they are in need. I can go home and feel like I am making a difference in the lives of our customers. I not only love it, but am very proud of what I do.

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