FWD reinforces position as one of the fastest-growing insurers in PH

FWD Life Insurance reported a total premium income of P7.65 billion in 2018, a record 68 percent increase from its premium income of P4.55 billion in 2017.

FWD Life Insurance reported a total premium income of P7.65 billion in 2018, a record 68 percent increase from its premium income of P4.55 billion in 2017. 

This impressive increase in total premium income outpaced the local life insurance industry’s 2018 growth of 13 percent by more than 5 times. 

As a result, the company’s market share in terms of total premium increased from 2.24 percent in 2017 to 3.35 percent in 2018. 

Peter Grimes, FWD Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer, said in just four full years of operations, FWD has successfully established itself “as the industry challenger brand and cemented (our) status as one of the country’s fastest-growing insurers.”

“With FWD’s commitment to providing best-in-class customer experience, our growing client base—nearly 500,000 individual and group lives covered—can be assured that we will always take care of their financial future, so they can continue to live life free from worry,” Grimes said. 

“We continue to enhance our challenger brand status by providing more Filipinos with simple, relevant, and innovative product and servicing propositions as we strive to change the way people feel about insurance.” 

Grimes added that first-year weighted premiums, stated in Annual Premium Equivalent (NB APE), surged by 54 percent, again surpassing the life insurance industry’s growth of 11 percent for the year. 

With new business market share rising from 3.5 percent to 4.84 percent, FWD Philippines now ranks as the eigth based on NB APE5, as reported by the Insurance Commission’s unaudited statistics for 2018. 

Total assets grew to P14.68 billion, up from P9.79 billion in 2017. 

FWD is the first life insurance company licensed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines under the new Insurance Code. FWD launched its commercial operations in September 2014. 

By March 2017, FWD is the highest-capitalized life insurer in the Philippines with P2.3 billion in paid-up capitalization.

“That was a statement of intent about showing that we do have huge commitment to the Philippines market. We think this is one of the most exciting markets in Asia. And also to demonstrate that as a new player, we have financial depth and resilience,” Grimes said.

FWD Group spans Hong Kong & Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and Malaysia, offering life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits, Shariah, and Family Takaful products across a number of its markets.

“FWD Group came into being the beginning of 2013. So we’re only just over six years old.  But since then, and in six short years, we are very proud of what we’ve done in the Philippines,” Grimes said.

“I’m super proud of what the group has been able to achieve as well, in terms of their growth. And you know, similar to the FWD Philippines being one of the fastest growing companies locally, I think FWD group is definitely one of the fastest growing in the Asia region as well,” he added.

“I think one of the things that that’s great is the increasing number of lives, that we’re touching across the region. So now FWD has 5 million customers, or 5 million lives covered across the region.”

Grimes said 2018 was also notable for continuous growth in its primary distribution channels, with FWD ending the year with 3,300 Financial Wealth Planners (insurance agents) nationwide, including more than 100 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) members, up by almost 40 percent. 

Its Bancassurance Financial Solutions Consultants (FSC) sales force continued to grow, enabling it to service more clients of Security Bank, FWD’s strategic bank distribution partner.

FWD Philippines also continued the expansion of its geographic reach, with the addition of six new business hubs in key locations across the country. The additional business hubs include second offices in Cebu and Davao and new locations in Alabang, Imus, Malolos, and Pasig (Ortigas Center), bringing FWD closer to more Filipino families. 

Also during the year, FWD Philippines launched its Tapp mobile app, another industry first, enabling mobile customer experience and digital servicing capability. 

Dubbed as the “one-tap insurance app”, Tapp allows FWD policy owners to access information and perform various transactions via their mobile phones, underpinning FWD’s continuing commitment to give customers best-in-class service anytime, anywhere. 

FWD Philippines also launched its partnership with TrueMoney by offering the entry-level insurance product Set Ka Na, to further its goal of reaching new and emerging market segments. Set Ka Na is now available in all TrueMoney Centers in the National Capital Region. 

“We’re quite excited about the potential of working with true money. And we developed a range of what I would call entry level insurance products, very affordable, that we are distributing through theirr money centers in 2018.  It was a bit of a soft launch and we restricted it to a smaller number of money centers in the in the NCR region. But over the course of this year that will be rolled out further,” Grimes said.

“We place a great deal of emphasis on customer experience and delivering a different type of experience for our customers. Because the only way I think we can deliver on our vision of changing the way that people feel about insurance is to obviously provide them products and services that make them feel different.”

Additionally, FWD strengthened the composition of its Board with the appointment of former Ambassador to the United States of America (USA) and former Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Jose Cuisia Jr. as Chairman of the Board and former Director General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Lilia B. de Lima as an Independent Director. 

Other highlights from 2018 include the introduction of “Set for Tomorrow”, a range of Term protection plans that can be tailored to meet individual customer needs, and the launch of the (FWD Group-led) Community Care partnerships with Special Olympics and Humanity & Inclusion, that aim to empower more Filipinos to live fulfilled lives. These newly-signed CSR partnerships support the pan-Asian insurer’s goal to empower people with disability across Asia. 

“The entire FWD Philippines team strives to be best-in-class in all that we do,” Grimes said. “As we aim higher and develop our business further, we’ll continue to pursue delivery of even more innovative customer propositions, enhanced customer experiences and service excellence to ultimately benefit more and more Filipino families.” 

FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance.

News Source: Malaya