Responding to the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, top insurance companies saw the need to adapt their business models and products to their clients’ changing requirements while advancing the cause of sustainability to the next level.
Over the past year, insurers saw the need to be more digitally accessible as business disruptions and social distancing rules challenged their traditional way of relying on agency networks to drive sales.
Meanwhile, the prolonged crisis not only redirected clients’ demand to medical coverage and health protection products from investment-linked policies, but also accelerated environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration into the insurance business.
It is in this context that The Asset announces the winners of The Asset Triple A Insurance Company of the Year Awards 2021.
Life Insurance Company of the Year, Hong Kong
HSBC Life wins the Life Insurance Company of the Year award for Hong Kong. Leveraging on the commercial platform of the HSBC Group, the company maintained sizeable market share and acquired new business despite cross-border restrictions and multiple lockdowns challenging both offshore and onshore operations and sales.
From utilizing big data to encouraging a healthy lifestyle, to providing support network for elderly care, HSBC Life expanded and diversified its insurance offerings to benefit a wide range of customers.
On the sustainability front, all assets under the insurer’s management are ESG-compliant. The company has invested over US$200 million into sustainable assets and collaborated with NGOs to serve marginal social groups. It collaborated with Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service to offer free ARIA (automatic retina image analysis) tests to underprivileged elderly for early detection of dementia risk. Together with Aids Concern HK, the company also introduced Dr. Rainbow Scheme to support LGBT+ patients.
One of the most notable initiatives that HSBC Life has taken is the expansion of life insurance beneficiaries. The company is the first in the market to expand the definition of beneficiaries in its life insurance policies to include grandchildren, grandparents, stepchildren, de-facto couples and same-sex couples, among other relationships at the application stage.
The company garners the Best Financial Inclusion Initiative award for this initiative. It also wins the insurance company of the year, ESG, for the Hong Kong market.
Insurance Company of the Year, ESG, China
Ping An Insurance Group is the Insurance Company of the Year, ESG, for China. As one of the largest insurers in the country, servicing over 200 million retail customers, Ping An has shown its unreserved commitment to corporate social responsibility through its poverty alleviation programmes and philanthropy investments.
Overall, the insurer has dedicated 1.03 trillion yuan (US$158.5 billion) to responsible investment, with 10% of the amount allocated to green investments.
Receiving the highest ESG ratings from external raters such as MSCI, CDP, and Sustainalytics, Ping An Insurance Group has provided more than 700 sustainable insurance products, and is planning to roll out sustainable insurance policies for corporate customers that exceed the limit of emissions based on unintended misoperation and other conditions.
Best Transparency Initiative
Heng An Standard Life (Asia) clinches the Best Transparency Initiative award for its newly launched online Investment Choices Centre (ICC). Inaugurated in February 2021, ICC is a professional fund information platform that gives customers access to adequate fund information that they need to make sound investment decisions, thus enhancing transparency and consumer protection. Powered by Morningstar Asia, the platform covers more than 200 investment choices, with holistic performance and key data points of underlying funds available. It offers customers clarity about the nature of investment choices and enables them to personalize their investment choices according to their appetite.
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