Insurance industry developing ASEAN-wide digital skill certification


THE ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC) said it is developing a diploma course on digital-age skills for its workers that will be recognized across the region.

“We are now working on a diploma for the ASEAN (that will allow diploma holders) to easily work in another ASEAN country,” AIC Education Committee Chairman Michael F. Rellosa said in a news conference accompanying the 23rd ASEAN Insurance Regulators Meeting Monday.

Mr. Rellosa said the course will focus on the digitization of the insurance industry.

“These aim to help insurance practitioners hone their skills in maximizing digitization. A lot of people are realizing this is going to be the new normal. Since it’s new to us, we need a little guidance,” he said.

“A lot of institutions are offering their courses online so it’s spreading across the region. I hope… the more advanced educational institutions can share their expertise with the others and our webinars will help us to cope with (the pandemic),” Mr. Rellosa said.

Mr. Rellosa, who is also the executive director of the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA), said PIRA will be producing more webinars for private firms and the public to share business models and opportunities offered by technology.

PIRA has conducted seven webinars on such topics which, Mr. Rellosa said, attracted 200 to 900 participants.

The Insurance Commission said the AIC will discuss insurance technology (insurtech) in a special session of the Regulators Meeting, which takes place in the Philippines until Oct. 28.

Insurtech gathers consumer data from Internet-enabled devices to provide clients with customized insurance policies at lower cost.

“We might be discussing how each jurisdiction responded to the pandemic and what specific regulatory reliefs the regulators were able to give to the industry. We also have a review and discussion about the developments in insurtech,” IC Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said.

The Philippine Life Insurance Association, Inc. (PLIA) said the shift to digital platforms will boost insurers’ profits and deliver more convenient services.

“It’s interesting to note that one of our foreign-owned companies reported 97% productivity (gains) when they came to the Philippines. One of their main strategies is to build a robust continuity plan and digital platforms. It’s a model that we would like our members to be able to replicate to meet the challenges of the times,” PLIA Data Protection Officer George C. Mina said.

To help domestic insurers sustain their operations, the IC earlier allowed agents to conduct consultations with clients online, including social media. The regulator also encouraged firms to distribute their products via mobile applications or even online retailers like Lazada.

The IC opened the Philippine market to digital-only insurance providers, with Singapore-based Singlife Philippines obtaining a license from the commission in February, making it the country’s first fully digital life insurance company.

Meanwhile, Lazada plans to partner with four more insurers this year as it said sales of insurance products online grew during the pandemic. Currently, Lazada has four insurance firms on its platform: Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc., FWD Life Insurance Corp., Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd., and Generali Pilipinas Life Insurance Co., Inc. — Kathryn Kristina T. Jose

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