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PANEL DISCUSSION

How to cultivate Indonesia’s


insurance industry

PANEL MEMBERS
Panellists at the 3rd annual Hubbis Indonesian
Wealth Management Forum 2014 in Jakarta in late Chris Bendl

October were optimistic about the potential to tap Manulife Indonesia

the growing middle class with insurance solutions, Edy Tuhirman


Asuransi Jiwa Generali Indonesia
but help is needed in terms of a better educated
Asri Natanegeri
salesforce in particular.
DBS Bank

he most exciting aspect of the insurance emerging middle class. That means building
sector in Indonesia also represents its relationships with customers over the long
biggest hurdle – accessing the middle class. term and developing products which suit
their unique needs.
The fact that many of these individuals
don’t have bank accounts makes capitalising
on this potential difficult. Plus, there is a The profession – including bankers, agents
need for much more customer education. and other practitioners – must take the same
The key, said speakers at the 3rd annual
long-term view as the policies do themselves
Hubbis Indonesian Wealth Management
In a country like Indonesia, these In need of greater competency
Forum 2014 in Jakarta in late October,
is to position the offering to access the relationships often start in places like the For Edy Tuhirman, chief executive officer of
wet markets, where the shop owners are Asuransi Jiwa Generali Indonesia, he sees
Chris Bendl opening bank accounts for the first time. insurance as a chance to provide something
Manulife Indonesia that can increase financial awareness. To
date, however, opportunities have already
been missed by various players, despite the
relative infancy of the market.

For example, middle class customers have


tended to buy regular premium products,
so approach it as what Tuhirman described
as a “buy and forget” policy. Yet nobody
monitors their portfolio.

As a result, an opportunity to provide


ongoing service and develop a lasting
relationship with that customer is gone.
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PANEL DISCUSSION

In line with this, the profession – including Edy Tuhirman


bankers, agents and other practitioners – Asuransi Jiwa Generali Indonesia
must take the same long-term view as the
policies do themselves.

Turnover of salespeople in the insurance


space is around 40% per year, said Asri
Natanegeri, bancassurance product head
for the wealth management business at
DBS Bank.

“Recruitment is challenging given that new


players are coming in and hiring people with
a lower standard of competency by offering
them better compensation and positions.”

As with other areas of wealth management,


however, educating and developing the
salesforce is a big challenge and requires a the number of high-quality actuaries to estate planning. Experience so far for some
long-term commitment, too, she added. support the industry. customers, however, has been below par.
According to Natanegeri, for the For example said Bendl, the persistency
Yet delivering on the potential that banacassurance segment, the key OJK level in the country – in terms of how long
everyone can see comes down to people concerns are focused on transparency and a customer holds an insurance policy – is
– and being able to attract, retain and customer protection, as well as promoting poor. “Data shows that the average length
develop them, said Chris Bendl, chief
executive officer and president director for
Manulife in Indonesia. Some tangible signs of progress in
This can be achieved in various ways, he
professionalising the industry include increased
explained. For example, universities need to requirements for stronger corporate governance
play their role by delivering to the market and risk management
more work-ready graduates.

of some ILP products is less than three


Further, the private sector must make the awareness and education in terms of the
years,” he explained. “That means the
required commitment to developing and financial solutions available in the bank.
customer’s first experience tends to be
nurturing staff, and give opportunities to
value destroying not value adding, which
employees globally. Wooing customers
isn’t good for the industry.”
Part of the challenge in maximising
Some tangible signs of progress in
Indonesia’s insurance opportunity also There is also a need for regulations to
professionalising the industry include
relates to the customers, added Natanegeri, increase the professionalism, so that
increased requirements for stronger
who are young from a demographic customers know what they are getting into.
corporate governance and risk
perspective. “We are now shifting our focus
management, added Bendl. This just
from selling a lot of investment products to A new way to access customers is also in
adds to the capital intensive nature of
products focusing on retirement and also relation to digital offerings. “This creates
the insurance industry and long-term
education,” she explained. opportunities to reach out to customers we
commitment that the insurance companies
otherwise couldn’t,” said Bendl.
have to make.
The key, therefore, is to position the
product as more of a wealth planning And with around 21,000 miles of
The Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), for
solution – for accumulation, legacy and underground cables expected to be fully
example, is expecting insurers to increase
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PANEL DISCUSSION

implemented by 2015, internet speed positioning of the market as “one size fits income families; affluent business people;
connectivity akin to Singapore is likely to all”. Yet Bendl said he sees that changing. and affluent retirees.
lead to a financial renaissance. In particular,
he added, financial institutions will be able “The regulator is giving guidance that it “We also work with micro-lending
to reach out to and service customers in a would like to see a better mix of customers. institutions,” he added.
digital fashion. That would be affirmation to them that
clients’ needs are being met.” “We see them as an emerging class of
Tuhirman, meanwhile, is more cautious customers that formally was not bankable,
about the impact of digital solutions, For a company like Manulife in Indonesia, but now is.”
saying that he doubts the potential to sell which offers pensions, mutual funds
The critical aspect of this is being
able to build a relationship with these
The regulator is giving guidance that it would entrepreneurs.

like to see a better mix of customers. That would This is in order to create lifelong
be affirmation to them that clients’ needs are opportunities to introduce them to other

being met products in the years to come, explained


Bendl.

insurance through digital over next and healthcare, for example, reforms are
From Tuhirman’s perspective, retirement is
few years. opportunities to grow the business.
a big opportunity.

However, he acknowledges its value There is also potential for tax advantage
And the firm will move more towards that
for information sharing and customer products, added Bendl, as more people pay
direction via a simple solution, he said.
communication, especially since this helps tax and the authorities get more efficient at
to overcome the issue of limited human collecting them.
Meanwhile, Natanegeri predicted that
resources.
bancassurance will grow.
As a result, more people will look at
Digital channels will also help Natanegeri structures to help them with their taxes.
She also said she thinks it will continue
to convey the importance of financial
to contribute towards life insurance
planning, including insurance, to her clients, In general, he said there are four sweet-
penetration, as well as to educating
by engaging them in a more interactive way. spots for Manulife in Indonesia: young
customers.
middle-income families; older middle-
For example, this will give salespeople tools
to create a structured conversation that
Asri Natanegeri
leads to the right products being sold.
DBS Bank

Further, it helps the bank to stay compliant


with various regulations that form part of
the sales process.

For example, she explained, bankers can go


through KYC and needs identification, and
at the end of the process make appropriate
suggestions for the customers, which are
suited to their needs.

Expanding market share

One of the shortcomings within the


Indonesian insurance sector has been the