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SCB Life aims to be No 1 by 2020


SCB Life Assurance has set four key strategies to adapt to the fast-changing demands of consumers and to be the No 1 life insurer by 2020.

Being No 1 is not about sales, which reflects the old management style. To SCB Life, No 1 means catching up the fast-moving consumers and a fast-changing world, said managing director Stephen Appleyard.
The company was recently named this year’s best life-insurance firm in Thailand by World Finance magazine, which Appleyard said was not granted based on sales but on management excellence.
By first-year premium income and total premiums, SCB Life Assurance ranked third and the fourth respectively.
He said there were both good and bad things about being a big company. If it is too big, it will be too slow, so the company needed to set four strategies to ensure it is able to grow amid rapid change.
He said the four strategies were winning staff loyalty , winning customers, winning distribution and a winning process and platform.
The company began implementing the strategies this year, and will go into the next phase from 2016-2018, then from 2018-2019 will accelerate growth; 2020 will be the year of leadership.
He said SCB Life was changing its organisational style to be more modern to attract young people to work at the company.
At present, SCB Life has the lowest turnover rate in the life-insurance industry. People are the heart of the company, as their energy is meaningful in driving the organisation to achieve its goals, he said.
To win customers, the company has to offer best-in-class product solutions and best-in-class consumer experience.
When consumers have good experiences with the company’s products, they will repeat purchases and renew their policies. At present, renewals account for 90 per cent of premium income, Appleyard said.
A good thing about being a big company is expense management, which enables it to add value to insurance plans for clients. He said the cost-to-premium ratio at SCB Life was only 3 per cent, compared with 6 per cent in the life-insurance industry.
SCB Life is a partner with Siam Commercial Bank, which has 1,200 branches nationwide and 12,000 staff licensed to sell life insurance.
“We have helped the bank staff in selling products by sending 400 professional staff to coach the bank staff to ensure the bank will have professional employees in offering best-in-class products to consumers in each life stage,” he said.
Bancassurance in Thailand over the past decade has played a significant role in accessing customers and now represents 50-60 per cent of total premium income in the insurance market.
As consumers embrace the digital era, SCB Life is working to be a paperless organisation. All policy applications will be done digitally, with approvals made known within 30 minutes, he said.
The technology will help improve the life quality of employees as well, as the bancassurance channel will be the first to benefit from the changes and the next phase will be the agency channel.
In the first 10 months of this year, SCB Life reported total premium income of Bt46.08 billion, compared with Bt40.41 billion in the same period last year.
In terms of new premiums, SCB Life ranked third with a market share of 12.8 per cent, up from fourth place last year with a share of 12.4 per cent.
In terms of total premium income it rose to fourth with a share of 10.9 per cent from the fifth with a share of 9.6 per cent.

Published : November 13, 2015

By : SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN THE NA