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Collaboration in the Insurance World

By Michael F. Rellosa

The Philippine nonlife insurance industry since the early days has recognized the value of collaborating and sharing information to further its objectives and advocacies. This becomes even more important today, as the world finds itself totally intertwined as it faces common threats, common perils and a shared future where collaboration is needed to address these risks.

Bringing to mind the Thai floods that inundated factories and warehouses of the automotive industry, where the supply chain of motor vehicles across the region and even the world was disrupted and not able to recover for at least a couple of years. Another example would be the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, and how it similarly disrupted the wheat trade and raised the prices of bread around the world.

The worrying geopolitical developments in many parts of the world and the weaponization of the internet both for propaganda and cybercrime, and indeed, cyber warfare. Look at the devastating heat wave that is currently blistering Asia from India all the way to Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, and the damage it is causing to crops, the health of the workforce, shortened work and school hours, to name a few. Call to mind climate change and the exacerbation of natural catastrophic events such as flooding (the Middle East and even the United States).

We are beset with all these perils, and risks both natural and man-made which is pushing us to the tipping point. All these cannot be addressed singly. Only a collaborative effort, between the private and the public sectors, between industries, between regions and provinces, across borders and countries, and political divides. We don't, then we die.

The insurance industry recognizes this and has made itself available for collaborative efforts to provide solutions to areas where it can or possibly can. Insurance industry stakeholders, through its association PIRA, have worked with institutions around the world to look into nature-based solutions, ecosystem adaptation and other novel ways of mitigating NatCat events or the damage that it causes.

Again, the industry is working with the government to find ways and means for Philippine insurers to be able to lend their capacity to protect the agriculture industry. We are finding new ways to further microinsurance that is designed to widen the reach and protect the underserved portion of the population.

We are in conversation with technological experts to see how we can improve our reach, our administrative efficiencies, our underwriting and claims processes, and the way we serve our insured. All these would not be possible if we kept to ourselves and not reach out and dialogue among ourselves and beyond with other stakeholders.

This then brings me to a couple of opportunities for the industry and the various stakeholders to dialogue and learn from each other. First up would be the Philippine Insurance Summit, a conference organized jointly by the Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific, and the Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA).

It carries the theme "Navigating the Future; Trends, Technology and Transformation in the Rapidly Evolving Landscape of Insurance." This will be held at the New World Hotel on May 30, 2024, where industry players, brokers, clients, reinsurers will be gathered to discuss new technological developments and how these can be harnessed for the good of all.

The second major event will be the 30th East Asian Insurance Congress (EAIC) to be held at the Hong Kong Convention Center on Sept. 24-27, 2024. The EAIC is one of the pioneer insurance conferences in Asia founded by insurance executives from Japan and the Philippines, then later joined by insurance practitioners from over 17 countries across Asia.

The EAIC was founded in 1962 with the aim of furthering and developing international collaboration in the field of insurance of every sort. As you can see, collaboration in the industry was recognized as essential 62 years ago, and today with all that we face as an industry, as a country and as mankind, collaboration is the only way to go. We hope to see you at these events and together let us find a way to address and prepare for our future.


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