KUALA LUMPUR: Life insurer AIA Bhd sees a huge growth opportunity in the family takaful business and investment-linked products in Malaysia, a market viewed by the industry as being relatively under-insured compared with its more developed neighbours.
To tap into this growth opportunity, chief executive officer Bill Lisle said that the group, which is in the midst of completing its integration with ING Group’s domestic insurance operations, plans to employ more full-time agents and leverage on new technology.
“We hope to complete the final stages (of the integration with ING), which is more on the IT systems and operations, in the next one or two months,’’ Lisle told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur when presenting AIA’s financial year 2014 results yesterday.
“We would also beef up efforts to recruit full-time life planners in line with the central bank’s requirements, as well as strengthen our bank partnerships,” he said.
He added that the company would leverage on its Point of Sale (iPoS) technology driven by iPad, whereby policy applications and payment could be done electronically.
On whether the goods and services tax (GST) would have an impact on the pricing of insurance policies, Lisle said each insurer would look at it from a profitability perspective.
“We need to understand the impact of the GST and monitor as well as assess it as the year goes by,” he added. AIA had over three million policyholders as at the end of 2014.
“At this point in time, we are not re-pricing our products from April 1 but GST will be charged on the premiums for medical, critical illness, personal accident and general insurance policies.
“The monthly cost of insurance (COI) for investment-linked policies and riders under the medical, critical illness and personal accident categories will also be subject to GST at the prescribed rate. In addition to this, all fees and charges relating to administrative services will also attract GST at the prescribed rate,” Lisle said.