In 2015, the ASEAN economic community (AEC) came into force with the vision of establishing a cohesive economic unit amongst its ten member states. With multiple industries establishing frameworks for cross border integration, the insurance sector lagged behind. A dedicated study was needed to assess opportunities across ASEAN’s US$23billion non-life insurance markets.
Malaysian National reinsurer, Malaysian Reinsurance Berhad(Malaysian Re), became the exclusive partnerfor the inaugural ASEAN Insurance surveyand published the ASEAN Insurance Pulseon 30 October 2017.
The ASEAN Insurance Pulse draws on in-depth interviews with senior executives of thirty-five
national, regional and international insurance and reinsurance companies, intermediaries and trade associations operating across the ASEAN region.
‘With our strong presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and our role as a significant player in ASEAN’s reinsurance market, we felt the need to contribute to the industry’s development’, explains ZainudinIshak President and CEO of Malaysian Re. ‘Our undertaking was in line with our regulator’s aspirations for regional economic integration andwe expectthe findings to support the development of the insurance across the region’.
ASEAN member countries have a combined GDP of approximately US$2.5 trillion and a growth rate of 5.6 percent in the next five years. In recent years, the non-life insurance penetration rate was a third of the global average at just one per cent of GDP.
‘The huge growth potential in the non-life insurance spectrum in the region drove us to initiate this study, together with our research partner in Zurich, Switzerland,’ says Zainudin. ‘ASEAN Insurance Pulse represents market intelligence for companies that are looking formore business exposure in South East Asia’.
The insurance industry a whole is highly regulated with the main aim of balancing between business growth and capital adequacy. On that note, there is a need to discuss the regional business integration agenda to ensure a smooth transition in the future.
‘Through the ASEAN Insurance Pulse, Malaysian Re demonstrated its commitment to improving the transparency of the regional market place’, says Zainudin. ‘By providing the regional insurance community with an important benchmark for strategic and operational decision-making, the industry is expected to be more informed about the business surroundings of the region’.