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Insider Exclusive: Thailand’s Insurance Industry in a Mysterious Race to Embrace Digital Tech! Unforeseen Risks or Potential Goldmine?

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In the rapidly changing landscape of Thailand’s insurance sector, the power of digital technology is being harnessed to tackle emerging challenges such as artificial intelligence, cyber threats, as well as to manage healthcare costs for Thailand’s ageing populace. Under the leadership of the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC), significant strides have been made to augment industry resilience and elevate the customer experience.

Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, OIC secretary-general, proudly stated that the insurance industry experienced an unexpected growth of 4.81% in the first quarter of 2023, emphasizing on the amplified consumer cognizance of the significance of safeguarding health and property. However, he warned that certain companies followed unsustainable strategies, particularly those offering lump-sum payouts for Covid-19 insurance, which had the lure of large-scale sales but were eventually forced to discontinue as sales surpassed their underwriting capacity.

Suthiphon further elucidated on OIC’s commitment to reinforce the insurance industry by harnessing technology to ameliorate service offerings. This would incorporate digital policies, reducing the reliance on paperwork, and AI to expedite claims processing, thereby stimulating the growth of the industry. Through an intricate blend of sustainability and technology, as well as strategic data utilization, Suthiphon predicts enhanced insurance products, contributing to smarter risk management and superior customer service.

A similar sentiment was echoed by Sara Lamsam, Thai Life Assurance Association President, who underscored the potential of the insurance sector in integrating sustainability into its practices by adopting ESG principles. Lamsam suggested deploying insurance premiums towards green investments, thereby benefitting the environment, and proposed the initiation of affordable coverage options such as microinsurance to address social issues.

Lamsam, recognizing the changing dynamics of consumer behavior, stressed the need for customization, “People today, demand personalised services.” She emphasized the leverage of information technology to create insurance plans tailored to the specific needs of individual sub-communities, an approach she believes is vital to sustaining customer engagement.

In substantiation, Lamsam mentioned unique sub-communities such as big-bike riders and residents in areas with high PM2.5 levels, each possessing distinct risk profiles, as examples of situations requiring a tailor-made approach. She said, “Modern insurance isn’t about selling anymore – it’s about providing recommendations or prescriptions that genuinely cater to the specific needs of each individual customer.”

In conclusion, Lamsam noted the crucial role advanced technologies, including AI and data analytics, play in analysing significant volumes of data to help generate bespoke products that consumers truly need. This not only implies a seismic shift in the approach to insurance, it also envisages an exciting growth trajectory for Thailand’s insurance sector in the digital era.

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