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[GRTV] AIA discusses the evolution of change in the industry

Philip Macalister sits down with AIA chief partnership distribution officer, Sharron Botica to talk about the evolution of change in the insurance industry, the challenges of how that has impacted businesses and the growth of AIA insurance and what that means for advisers.

Friday, May 5th 2023, 4:58PM

Botica stepped into the role six months ago and says her focus is on the business of advisers in the market and how the evolving insurance industry is changing what that means.

She says one of the challenges faced for both advisers and their clients is affordability due to the cost of living crisis.

“So many more adviser businesses have bigger books and bigger clients bases, so AIA is focusing on how we can support those advisers by using some of the strategies and initiatives that we have seen in the past from a retention and engagement perspective, and sharing that knowledge with customers too.”

She says some of those initiatives come in the form of data technology, but that it's really about forming the right relationships with clients which is the most important part of adviser engagement.

“At AIA we are proud of and look strongly at the propositions that we have out to market that can help from overall wellbeing of the customer and advisers as well. But also, what things can help from an affordability perspective. For us, things like multi policy discount, attachment of air points and the optional Vitality (programme) add on to policies. While that’s not a lead, it provides a discount to customers as well. All of those things wrapping them up are compelling propositions.”

Of those propositions, AIA’s Vitality programme Botica says they now have more than 40,000 Kiwis have attached the programme to their insurance policies and AIA continues to look at ways to extend that. Their weekly active rewards have also proved popular with more than 6000 Apple watches on the wrists of eligible Kiwi’s on the Vitality programme policy.

“There are times when we are one of the biggest distributors of Apple watches, but that really does help motivate customers to engage with their policies.”

She says while the Apple watches has been a great motivator for clients, their weekly active rewards from reaching active rewards points has also been high on the list.

In the claims world, Botica says it has been interesting to see their lead claims causes have become even with both musculoskeletal and mental health on par.

“In the past years, it has been musculoskeletal followed by mental health.”

She says there could be a number of driving factors including the openness of mental health discussions and the fact that more mental health claims are being paid out as part of their TPD claims.

“Historically, we weren’t seeing that in the past,” says Botica.

As to the future growth of AIA, Botica says they will be running their mental wellbeing survey and says it will be interesting to see how much the data changes given the changes in the industry like Covid, regulation changes.

“We have no predictions yet, but we are seeing that quarter of respondents were looking at taking time off in the industry and with that we are finding there is a greater number of new and younger advisers on board.”

Tags: GRTV

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