Gross domestic product (GDP) and insurance markets growth in the Asia Pacific region continues to outpace developed markets in the US and Europe, and the Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance market is looking to be part of that trend, said Kent Chaplin, managing director and Asia-Pacific chief at Lloyd’s Asia.
Current low insurance penetration and economic growth are the main driving forces for business in the region, said Chaplin. There will be demand for more types of insurance as Asian economies continue to develop, particularly within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In many Asia-Pacific countries, there is a significant gap between the economic cost of natural disasters and insured cover, according to Lloyd’s. As over half of the underinsured countries are in the Asia-Pacific, greater insurance penetration is needed to cover potential economic losses from natural catastrophes, said Chaplin.
Singapore as a regional hub “will continue to grow and be an important overseas hub for Lloyd’s,” said Chaplin. “It gives us a footprint to develop business from key growth markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam.” As Lloyd’s is a specialist (re)insurance market, the growth will be driven by specialised lines such as catastrophe reinsurance, terrorism, political and financial businesses.
Lloyd’s Asia commenced business in Singapore in 2000, serving as an underwriting base for Lloyd’s in Asia and complementing the Japan and Hong Kong operations. Chaplin said that Singapore intends to promote its claims to being the main insurance centre in Asia by encouraging investment in insurers and captives, particularly those writing foreign business.
A favourable and proactive regulatory and business environment, English language business culture, legal system and talent pool are among factors attracting growth of overseas businesses written in Singapore, he added. Almost all international insurers, reinsurers and brokers now have a presence in Singapore.
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