SINGAPORE, 03 August 2017 – In the first half of 2017, Aviva Singapore achieved an outstanding set of results, with Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) for its Life business growing 57% to S$90.5 million (HY2016: S$57.6 million). Value of New Business (VNB) grew 14% to S$S$77.1 million (HY2016: S$67.6 million).
The largest growth for Aviva came from the financial advisory (FA) channel, with a 75% year-on-year growth in terms of APE. This is reflective of their focus on supporting the growth of the FA channel. In the past year, Aviva has invested heavily into simplifying and digitising the sales process for FAs, including maximising the benefits of technology to provide instantaneous underwriting at point of sale. With these initiatives, average turnaround time for new applications is set to reduce significantly. Aviva believes that FAs will welcome the move to a digital and seamless journey from the traditional pen and paper process.
Aviva has also been investing into the ownership of FA firms, as they believe that FAs are best placed to offer customers choice and integrated financial planning. In most developed markets like the UK, the US and Australia, the FA channel is the dominant channel and Aviva is of the view that the Singapore market will follow suit. The insurer has been the majority stakeholder of PIAS, one of the largest FA firms in Singapore, since 2013. Last year, Aviva also set up Aviva Financial Advisers – the initial 280-strong firm has since expanded to over 500 advisers within a year.
Mr Nishit Majmudar, CEO of Aviva Singapore, said, "The first half of 2017 reflects promising developments on various fronts, especially in the FA space. To better support and align with the modern customer's preference for a wider range of choices, as well as solutions tailored to their specific needs, we are committed to investing in the growth of Singapore's FA industry."
Another key contributor to Aviva's success in the first half was the Group Life business, with APE growing close to 10% from the year before. Aviva remains one of the largest providers of group insurance in Singapore, insuring more than 3,000 companies, including the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs.
On future growth, Mr Majmudar shared that digitalisation is a key enabler and focus area for the company.
"Technology is greatly transforming the insurance landscape, and will continue to create new demands, challenges and opportunities for the industry moving forward. We are working hard so that our distribution partners have access to the latest digital tools that enable them to work more efficiently, as well as enhancing user experiences for our customers. Internally, we are also committed to ensuring our employees stay updated by providing the necessary training and resources," he said.
On the product front, in the first half of 2017, Aviva has launched several new products with customer-centric features that address the changing lifestyle and needs of Singaporeans today. For example, given the rising popularity of ride-sharing options like Grab and Uber, Aviva's latest personal accident plan, MyAccidentGuard, is designed to provide double the payout for accidents on such rides. Earlier in the year, the insurer launched a new critical illness plan that covers multiple claims, including recurrence of the same cancer. Last month, Aviva was the first in market to introduce travel insurance that covers cancellation and change of travelling dates for any reason, along with a suite of riders such as coverage for destination weddings, winter sports, and water sports.
"We believe our customer focus, our investment in our people, as well as our continual effort to simplify processes for customers and advisers, leaves us well-positioned to achieve positive and sustainable growth in the long-term," Mr Majmudar said.