FWD Hong Kong Announces Record Results in 2018

Life insurance business outpaced industry growth with APE jumping 30%, launching VHIS plans with four-month premium discount, and instant underwriting and claims services


Hong Kong, 3 April 2019 – FWD Hong Kong (“FWD”) today announced record business results for 2018 and its strategic focuses for 2019. The life insurance business Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) [note 1] jumped 30% to HK$2,875 million, driven by strong growth momentum across all its channels and outstanding investment returns. 

Ken Lau, FWD Managing Director of Greater China & Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer, said, "We’re very proud to conclude the year on such a strong note, significantly outpacing the industry’s average growth performance. These impressive results achieved in a rapidly shifting market landscape were due to our competitive multi-channel distribution capabilities, developing a comprehensive platform of demand-led product innovation, and continued technology investments. We will continue to take hold of emerging opportunities and deliver growth while offering fresh customer experiences.”

Business Performance

FWD recorded solid growth across its main businesses in 2018:

  • The life insurance business (including Macau operations): Profit before taxation (PBT) [note 2] rose 12% year-on-year (YoY) to HK$333 million, successfully sustaining a growth trajectory over the past six years. Investments to build and enhance its health and protection proposition paid off, contributing to 35% of Value of New Business (VNB).
  • The general insurance business maintained sustainable growth in a competitive market with a near 5% rise in gross written premiums reaching HK$512 million.

Highlights on market and distribution channels

FWD’s strategic expansion of its multiple channels, coupled with favourable demand for products by Mainland Chinese visitors, resulted in an impressive performance for the year.

  • Multiple distribution channels: Tied agency continued to be the largest contributor of revenue which achieved 34% of YoY APE growth. Brokerage recorded an impressive YoY growth at 53% in APE, and rose to top-6 in terms of market share. Bancassurance recorded 28% of YoY APE growth thanks to strong partnerships with key bank partners. The direct channel further cemented FWD’s recognised leadership in direct sales of life insurance.
  • The continued strong demand of Mainland Chinese visitors for FWD’s protection products proved to be a positive source of growth. In 2018, APE for FWD Hong Kong’s life business from mainland Chinese visitors saw 45% YoY growth compared to the market average at 9% [note 3]. Health and protection products were a particular highlight, with YoY APE growing 58% compared to 23% for the overall market [note 3].

“We will closely monitor the developments in the Greater Bay Area and look for opportunities to support its growth,” continued Ken.

Jeff Wong, FWD Hong Kong & Macau Chief Agency Officer, noted that the company made great strides in expanding its agency force in 2018, and said, “Our plan is to further increase our agency force to 3,600 in 2019 and 5,000 in five years-time.”

2019 Key Products and Services Initiatives

In line with its strategic priorities on total health protection solutions, retirement protection and disruptive claims services, FWD also launched three certified Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) plans, two standard plans VChoice and vCore, and one flexi plan vCare [note 4].  All three plans were among the first lot of certified VHIS plans announced by Hong Kong’s Food and Hygiene Bureau. A four-month premium discount for the first policy year is available for vCare and vCore medical plans from immediately until end of June (see Table 1 for more plans information).

Paul Tse, Chief Marketing Officer at FWD Hong Kong & Macau, remarked, “As part of our perpetual commitment to enhance our customer experience, we will continue to streamline our underwriting and claims services while enriching our health protection portfolio with VHIS plans and a diverse suite of innovative products.”

FWD is also rolling out instant underwriting and claims services, as well as upgraded round-the-clock enquiries services to further boost customer experience (see Table 2 for details). Some of them include instant underwriting for savings and health protection products of the life insurance business, and 30-minute approval and payments for medical insurance claims of up to HK$100,000 at FWD Insurance Solution Centres.

“Customers are at the heart of our business. We will continue to leverage technology to offer transparent and efficient services to give our customers the experiences they deserve,” concluded Paul.

Notes:

  1. APE (Annual Premium Equivalent) = Value of regular premiums, plus 10 % of any new single premiums written for the year.
  2. IFRS figures (for Life Insurance & General Insurance businesses), excluding one-off items, holding company expenses and inter-company elimination.
  3. Source: Quarterly Release of Provisional Statistics for Long Term Business 2018, Insurance Authority of Hong Kong.
  4. For details of FWD’s VHIS plans, please go to https://www.fwd.com.hk/en/protect/health-accident/vhis/.


Table 1

Highlights of the special features of vCore and vCare Medical Plans

i.  Death benefit: (vCore: HK$10,000,  vCare: HK$15,000)

ii. Accidental death benefit: (vCore: HK$10,000,  vCare: HK$15,000)

iii.  No claims premium discount: 10% premium discount for the next policy year if no claims for 2 to 4 consecutive policy years; 15% premium discount for the next policy year if no claims for 4 or more consecutive policy years

iv. VCore: The policy holder has the right to convert policy to a designated medical insurance plan with higher protection coverage at the age of 50, 55, 60 and 65.

v.  Second medical opinion is available from top medical organisations in the United States. Easy and simplified application.

Highlights of some of the special features of vCare Medical Plan

i.    Special benefit for infant: If the Insured Person or Insured Person’s spouse gives birth to a child after the Policy has been in force for 2 consecutive policy years from the Policy Effective Date, a 1 year coverage by a designated medical insurance plan for the covered child will be offered without further evidence of insurability and at no additional charge.

ii.   Emergency outpatient dental treatment: HK$20,000 per policy year.


Table 2

Customer-Focused Initiatives Creating Fresh Experiences

Claims services:  Multi-touch points, instant

30-minute claims payments  for medical insurance of up to HK$100,000 at FWD Insurance Solution Centres.

Criteria:

1. For medical insurance policies effective for 2 years up;

2. Not applicable to claims related to critical illnesses, diabetes & hepatitis for policies effective for less than 5 years

Instant claims approval for up to HK$50,000 by authorised tied agents

Claims Ambassadors to help expedite claims applications

Underwriting: Simple and fast

Instant underwriting available for most of savings and health protection products of the life insurance business.

The actual processing time depends on individual policy in conjunction with terms and conditions. FWD preserves the rights of final decision.

24-hour enquiries handling: Anytime, anywhere 

Live Chat: Advanced ChatBots equipped with enhanced learning capabilities and expanding database to assist Customer Engagement Officers and Tied Agents to better serve and respond to enquirers

24-hour Service Hotline 3123 3123: VoiceBots will be introduced to work with Customer Engagement Officers to reinforce quality round-the-clock service

eServices app


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business results 2018 and strategic focuses 2019

media conference for 2018 financial results and 2019 strategic focuses

FWD Hong Kong & Macau today announced continued strong growth with record results in 2018, and discussed its development strategy in 2019. Speaking at the press conference included (from left) Jeff Wong, Chief Agency Officer, FWD Hong Kong & Macau, Raymond Lo, Chief Financial Officer, FWD Hong Kong & Macau, and Paul Tse, Chief Marketing Officer, FWD Hong Kong & Macau.

financial results 2018 and strategic focuses 2019

FWD Hong Kong & Macau today announced record results in 2018, and unveiled its three certified plans under the Voluntary Health Insurance scheme, VChoice, vCore and vCare medical plans, as well as a series of new and instant underwriting and claims services.


About FWD Hong Kong & Macau
FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. In Hong Kong, FWD offers life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, and financial planning. The life insurance and general insurance operating entities have been assigned strong financial strength ratings by international rating agencies — FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited is rated “A3” by Moody’s and “A” by Fitch; and FWD General Insurance Company Limited is rated “A” by Fitch.

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

Established in Asia in 2013, FWD is the insurance business of investment group, Pacific Century Group.

For more information please visit
WWW.FWD.COM.HK and WWW.FWD.COM.MO.




Media Enquiries:
FWD Hong Kong
Liza Wong
liza.wong@fwd.com
+852 2850 3986

Catherine Tse
catherine.nc.tse@fwd.com
+852 2850 2908

Jacqueline Choy
jacqueline.yl.choy@fwd.com
+852 2850 2177

24-hour Service Hotline 3123 3123 OR

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