Businesses will need to tackle new risks as well as opportunities

2018 is likely to be the year of innovation for the insurance market in Hong Kong. Re/insurers’ interest in Insurtech will ramp up on the back of two recently launched pilot initiatives by the newly established Hong Kong Insurance Authority to promote new technologies in the insurance market – Fast Track and Insurtech Sandbox.

This is great news for insurers as the Sandbox allows them to test their unprecedented insurance technology/products under a controlled environment. Fast Track accelerates the authorisation process for purely digital insurers, so that the speed-to-market for new entrants to distribute solely via online channels is improved. However, opportunity also comes with threats and we foresee that insurers will need to reinforce their ability to handle potential risks, such as data privacy.

To maximise the benefits of the regulator's supportive stance, we predict that insurers will blend technology with insurance products, from distributing microinsurance products via Chatbots to using Internet of Things devices to collect customer data, thereby monitoring risks more accurately and offering more competitive prices to customers.