Technology the key to unlocking ASEAN’s untapped markets

Insurers will need to find new and more effective ways to connect with potential customers if they want to seize growth opportunities across the region.

With ASEAN insurance penetration rates currently sitting at approximately half the global average, finding new and more effective ways of connecting with potential customers will constitute a major challenge for the insurance industry in the coming months and years.

In markets characterised by high levels of competition, companies need to come up with disruptive, technology-based distribution channels, and new types of affinity arrangements with different distributors to try to deliver on their growth ambitions.

An increasing focus on various forms of online distribution is likely and this will bring with it greater regulatory issues and challenges, as geographical borders dissolve in the digital world and the traditional roles performed by market participants are changing. Web based aggregators are also challenging how insurers market and differentiate their products.

Foreign insurers with greater experience of technological channels and e-platforms may have something of an advantage, but domestic players will move quickly not to get left behind.