Ask any insurance professional and they will quickly mention that you can have the best products in the world but if your distribution is weak, success will be limited. Furthermore, size matters! Larger insurers can spread their costs over more policies, thus giving them the ability to provide value to their customers. For several years, Bank Negara Malaysia has been trying to diversify the insurance industry in Malaysia away from a heavy focus on insurance agents to other distribution channels such as online platforms. If there is a lack of awareness of the need for insurance in proper risk management in all aspects of our lives, then agents will need to be the focus of insurance sales to push the need to customers. However, as awareness spreads, pure online solutions perhaps will be the future.
One interesting development is the interest of online giants such as Amazon being interested in selling insurance. In India, Amazon is reported to be interested in investing in insurtech start-up Acko. Acko sells insurance purely online, and can stand to bene t tremendously from a giant such as Amazon actively selling their policies. Of course it remains to be seen, if Amazon can connect the convenience of buying insurance online, with the point of need for insurance. In Malaysia, we see this in the success of online platforms such as Maybank2u.com, MYEG and GetCover. Maybank2u.com in particular provides convenience in online banking activities and is very widely used. Extending the convenience of online nancial services to insurance with sales of motor policies in particular, has allowed sister company Etiqa to ourish online.
Are we ready for disruption in distribution channels and the entry of huge online players into our market? Can we compete with their ability to mine their data to accurately connect into the insurance needs of their customers?