At the 4th ASEAN Insurance Summit organised by the ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC) and the Singapore College of Insurance (SCI) yesterday, overall winners of the inaugural SCI ASEAN Green Research Hackathon were announced.
“SCI’s inaugural ASEAN Green Research Hackathon is designed to crowd-source good ideas and enhance our collective expertise in sustainable finance and environmental risk management. I believe future iterations will continue to catalyse deep discussion and development of innovative solutions necessary to address the growing demand for environmental sustainability. I congratulate the winners for your ideas and proposals and will like to express my deep appreciation to all participants for contributing to a successful hackathon,” said Monetary Authority of Singapore executive director, insurance department and SCI chairman Daniel Wang.
The overall winner under the student category for the research category is “Team Westies” from Singapore, comprising fresh graduates on a leadership trainee programme called the Insurance Management Associate Programme (iMAP) organised by the SCI. The team consisted of Desmond Bay Zheng Tian, Nicole Ng Sok Yee, Shruthi M Durai, and Ng Yi Yang. Their research presentation “Green Investment Risks & Insurance Opportunities in ASEAN” discussed how underwriters should incorporate risk factors in their risk pricing. This also includes evaluating and recommending possible hypothetical green insurance products that focus on the risk profile of the ASEAN market while incorporating the fundamentals of different pricing models for these emerging risks.
Under the open category for the research category, the overall winner was “Team Panda Warriors”, comprising Eyu Yan Wen, Chan Kwei Feng, Kan Shi Ting, and Chen Mingyang from AIG Singapore. Their research presentation “Integrating ESG in Underwriting” covered a critical analysis of the potential challenges faced by ASEAN insurers to underwrite green insurance products for personal, commercial, and specialty business lines, not to mention the ways these products will enable ASEAN to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In their submission, Panda Warriors stated that the conventional underwriting approach is inadequate for underwriting green insurance due to difficulty in forecasting overall exposure and pricing created by ambiguity in assessing future impact of climate change risks. Still, ASEAN insurers can overcome challenges by adopting digital innovation in underwriting models and active risk management such as parametric and predictive modelling. They added that ensuring the sustainability of green insurance requires a globally coordinated response from both the private and public sectors. ASEAN Insurers can facilitate the ecosystem for idea generation and establish strategic partnerships.
As cited by the judging panel, these teams won the research categories as they developed a wide range of tangible ideas applicable in the ASEAN context and displayed appropriate language, referencing, and structure for their research papers.
Under the open category for the technical challenge category, the overall winner was a team comprising Tan Sze Won and Lee Kin Hoe from KPMG and Nicholas Actuarial Solutions Malaysia. Their “Nature-Based Greensurtech Solution” used Excel to develop an innovative green insurance product incorporating environmental considerations in its design and execution. They created a solution for crop insurance where funds from the public, private, and government are channelled into a trust, managed by an insurance company. The funds are used to invest in nature-based solutions, which would reduce the impact of climate change and reduce losses from floods for crops. The technological element was incorporated via an Excel tool, which could be developed into an app, for each stakeholder to understand the financial and environmental impact of this nature-based “greensurtech” solution.
According to the judging panel, this proposal would have the biggest climate-related impact. The proposal includes the under-represented farming society, bringing stakeholders from the government, NGOs, financial services, and the farmers in shaping a model that would support sustainability and promote a conscious climate change-related action plan.