Customer-focused strategy drives 53% growth for Aviva Singapore
- Fourth consecutive year of growth in value of new business for Life business which surged 53% year-on-year to S$126 million in 2013.
- Strong results driven by Aviva's two-pronged customer-focused strategy of improving customer experience and providing comprehensive need-based insurance solutions.
Aviva, a leading insurer in Singapore, today announced a strong set of results with the value of new business (VNB) for their Life business growing 53% year-on-year to S$126 million in 2013. This marked the fourth consecutive year of VNB growth for Aviva, which the insurer has attributed to its two-pronged customer-focused strategy of improving customer experience and providing comprehensive solutions to meet customers' needs.
Key financial highlights for 2013 with percentage changes year-on-year are as follows:
- For the Life business, VNB, Aviva's key growth metric, increased 53%, driven by increases across multiple product lines, including:
- increase in weighted premium for protection, health and savings products, as well as,
- increase in VNB for Group Life products.
- General Insurance, measured by gross written premiums (GWP), grew 5%.
- Sales from Navigator, Aviva's unit trust platform, was up by 27%
Commenting on the results, Mr Nishit Majmudar, CEO of Aviva Singapore said, "Aviva has a comprehensive suite of products and we are seeing healthy growth across multiple product lines. With solutions covering life, health, general insurance, employee insurance, and even a unit trust platform, I believe Aviva is fully-equipped to meet the diverse needs of today's customers.
More notably, MyRetirement, our flagship retirement savings product, continues to do very well since we first launched it. Customers are also seeking protection products to complement their savings plan, as seen from increased demand for our ElderShield supplementary products, MyCare and MyCare Plus. This is an encouraging trend as Singaporeans understand the importance and benefits that insurance can offer to complement wealth accumulation plans, and we will continue to help our customers protect their financial future."
The MyCare range of products is designed to offer monthly payouts for long-term care needed in later years. Aviva is one of three appointed insurers under the national ElderShield scheme.
On the group insurance front, Aviva continues to be the market leader in new business with solid performance recording increased VNB of 80%. It has been protecting the needs of Singapore Armed Forces since 1983 and acquiring the Public Officers Group Insurance Scheme recently is another sign of employers' trust and confidence in the company which currently insures over 700,000 employees in Singapore.
Its general insurance business – measured by Gross Written Premium (GWP) – saw a 5% increase, primarily driven by car insurance. In 2010, Aviva became the first insurer in Singapore to sell motor insurance directly to customers, allowing them to obtain a quote and buy instantly online. To further increase accessibility, Aviva launched a call centre in January last year catering to drivers who prefer to purchase motor insurance over the phone, and it is gaining increasing popularity among customers.
Aviva's unit trust platform, Navigator, also showed growth, with 27% increase in sales. Aviva is the only life insurer in Singapore with its own unit trust platform.
Majmudar shared that, moving forward, simplification for customers remains the key focus area for the business as it seeks innovative ways to improve its customer experience.
He said, "Our business is growing very rapidly and it is an exciting time for us. But our focus remains on simplification for customers to improve the customer experience. Customers come to us to support them through life's big events. You can say we have the big things covered, but it is the little things that we need to continue to do better for our customers. In their time of need, we must not become another source of stress and hassle by burdening them with processes and paperwork. The little things we do can make a big difference. I believe our continued focus on customer needs will propel our future growth."
Citing examples of how Aviva is making things easy and simple its customers, Majmudar pointed out that its whole life plan allows customers the flexibility to put their premiums on hold if they lose their job, with no interest or penalty charge. Another example cited was consolidated claim forms. Claimants who require multiple hospital visits for the same condition, such as recurring treatment like chemotherapy, or pre and post check-ups for a surgery, only need to fill in a form for the first bill. Subsequent hospitalisation claims do not require any additional paperwork.
More recently, the insurer added a team of Claims Specialists to its frontline call centre, trained to address claim queries.
Majmudar explained, "Previously, the call centre team might have to consult the claims experts on technical queries before they can get back to the customer. This can take some time. But at the point of claim, the customer is already feeling distressed so making them wait for an answer is not ideal. Now, we are improving the customer experience by having claims specialists on the frontline so we can address more queries within the first call."
This customer-centric approach is also evident in the way operational performance is measured at Aviva's call centre. The team is appraised based on the percentage of resolved queries and customer satisfaction, rather than the number of calls taken.
The insurer also has plans to invest in its IT infrastructure and automate processes to improve operational efficiency and turnaround times, making it as hassle-free as possible for customers. At the same time, the insurer will look to harness digital mediums to engage with customers and move services online where possible so that digitally-savvy customers can self-serve easily.