FWD General Insurance taps digital trend

Siam City Insurance’s rebranding as FWD General Insurance was announced by Mr Wouters (centre left), joined by director Kulvat Janvatanavit, independent director Vorada Thangsurbkul and director Natdanai Indrasukhsi.

FWD General Insurance has launched its non-life insurance business in Thailand to capitalise on a segment forecast to reach 285.5 billion baht in value by 2023.

The strategy is to tap into burgeoning digital insurance sales channels in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to GlobalData, Thailand’s general insurance sector was estimated at 247.6 billion baht in value as of 2018.

Bob Wouters, chief executive of FWD General Insurance, said motor, property, personal accidental and health insurance are key drivers of growth in the non-life insurance sector in Thailand.

The insurance industry, meanwhile, is moving towards digitalisation and investing in insurtech.

The local company, an arm of FWD Insurance, is developing digital insurance through partnerships with companies like Bolttech, an insurtech startup that offers protection for Samsung smartphones, and the digital insurance exchange Frank.co.th.

FWD General Insurance also plans to expand by upskilling its life insurance agents to be able to sell other insurance types by acquiring non-life insurance sales licences.

Pursuing the digitalisation strategy by partnering with Bolttech and connecting FWD Life agents to the platform will help the company continue to maintain a human approach to sales while capitalising on digital channels, Mr Wouters said.

“We aim to be a digital non-life insurer with a human touch and believe that only people can make relationships with other people,” he said.

The company plans to design products according to customers’ everyday life, such as smartphone insurance protection and short-term or flexible insurance protection to appeal to a nation with declining purchasing power and a flagging economy.

But the firm will focus strictly on profitable growth segments to survive under intense competition, as there are more than 50 non-life insurance players operating in the country.

Mr Wouters said FWD will invest in a back-end system while transforming the organisation and its workforce to develop digital skills.

FWD General Insurance was formerly Siam City Insurance (SIC), an established general insurance player founded in 1948. SIC was acquired by FWD in December 2019.

FWD Insurance, a member of Pacific Century Group, was established in Asia in 2013 and expanded into Thailand by acquiring ING Life Insurance and changing the name to FWD Life Insurance.

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