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Life Insurance in Asia: Sustaining Growth in the Next Decade, 2nd Edition

Life Insurance in Asia: Sustaining Growth in the Next Decade, 2nd Edition

Stephan Binder, Joseph Luc Ngai

ISBN: 978-1-118-36026-2

Sep 2012

256 pages



An incisive look at the war for market share in the Asian life insurance market

Although the life insurance industry in Asia has emerged from the financial crisis stronger than ever, it has not escaped unchanged. As the general focus of insurance companies across the continent moves towards profitability beyond growth, tightening regulatory measures, shifts in consumer preferences, and risk tolerance, battle lines have been drawn between local incumbents, attackers, and foreign players. Life Insurance in Asia: Winning in the Next Decade, Second Edition looks at the ways in which small local agencies and multinational companies alike are seizing control of as much of the market as they can by aggressively recruiting new agents, leveraging new channels, and selling new products to cash in on the explosive Asian markets.

Thoroughly revised and updated, this new edition offers a comprehensive introduction to the booming Asian life insurance markets and outlines exactly what it takes to capture the opportunities that are emerging. Drawing on the research and experience of the McKinsey Asia financial services team, it includes everything you need to know about the battle for the life insurance market in Asia.

  • Looks at how China and India are becoming increasingly important players on the international life insurance scene
  • Goes behind the scenes of the Asian life insurance industry and the contentious battle for market share
  • Outlines the steps to successfully entering, and prospering, in the Asian market

The life insurance industry in Asia is changing like never before. What the future holds, no one knows, but with Life Insurance in Asia in hand, you'll have a clear idea of the factions in play and the rules of the game.

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

What Is New in This Second Edition? xii

CHAPTER 1 Emerging Themes in Asia 1

A New Paradigm 3

Asia as the Emerging Powerhouse in Insurance 4

A Heated Battle between Multinationals and Locals 11

The Changing Face of Distribution 22

Driving Innovation in Insurance 35

Changing Product Mix to New Needs of Asian Consumers 40

Conclusion 54

CHAPTER 2 China: Yes, Size Does Matter 57

A Winding Road to the Top 59

Rise of the Chinese Giants 62

Foreign Multinationals in China: Scaling the Great Wall 66

Key Challenges to Overcome in China 71

The Future: Growth in Uncertainty 84

CHAPTER 3 India: Dance of the Elephant 87

Dawn of a New Era 89

Changing Landscape of the Life Insurance Market 93

Path to Sustainable Growth in the New Normal 96

The Future: India Life Insurance 2.0 105

CHAPTER 4 Japan: A Giant Awakening? 107

Continued Stagnation in the Overall Market 110

Shifting Competitive Landscape 112

Emerging Opportunities in Certain Product Submarkets 121

Increasing Scope for Innovative Sales Models 129

The Future 133

CHAPTER 5 South Korea and Taiwan: An Increasingly Localized Game 135

Highly Mature Markets 138

Mismatched Book of Assets and Liabilities 139

Entrenched Position of Leading Domestic Players 140

Foreign Players Fighting to Gain Share from Local Incumbents 141

South Korea: Solid and Resilient 143

Taiwan: Darkness before Dawn? 152

CHAPTER 6 Hong Kong and Singapore: Refusing to Mature 165

Profitable and High-Growth Contributor 170

Small but Stable Market for Latecomers 171

Attractive Asian Base for Multinational Insurers 172

Hong Kong: The China Opportunity Offshore 173

Singapore: Structured and Profitable 185

CHAPTER 7 Southeast Asia: The Underappreciated Growth Engine 191

Increasing Competition between Foreign and Local Players 195

Tailored Products for Market Niches 199

Channel Upgrades to Reach More Customer Segments 200

The Future: Reaching Scale 203

Indonesia: The Next Growth Frontier 203

Vietnam: Little China? 207

Looking Forward: Major Challenges Ahead 210

CHAPTER 8 The Road Ahead: A New Paradigm for Life Insurance in Asia 213

Changing Context: A Much More Difficult and Nuanced World 213

Seven Priorities for Winners 213

Sustaining Growth in the Next Decade 222

Appendix 223

Reference Sources 223

Methodology 226

Notes 227

Index 231