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GIibraltar BSN Life To Sell 'Simple Products" - The Malaysian Reserve

30 Apr 2014

KUALA LUMPUR - Gibraltar BSN Life Bhd aims to increase market share with simple life insurance products that it will distribute over the counter to Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) eight million customers.

BSN is a shareholder of Gibraltar BSN.

“We are targeting the semi-rural and rural population with life insurance products that are simple to understand and purchase.

“We will use agents for the urban market, BSN for the semi-rural market and Pos Malaysia Bhd for the rural market,” Gibraltar BSN Life CEO Vincent Kwo Shih Kang told the media at the company’s rebranding in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Kwo declined to disclose the company’s target for the year or the portfolio mix of the company’s distribution channels, agencies, bancassurance and PosAssurance.

He said there will be some revamping in the agencies where the company’s 800 agents will be retrained on the company’s products with the aim of improving their productivity.

“Productivity among the agents is relatively low in the market,” said Kwo, who is also the president of Life Insurance Association of Malaysia.

Prior to the takeover, the company’s market share was 2% and the country’s insurance penetration rate of 54% presents a growth opportunity especially in line with the Economic Transformation Programme of Malaysia, targeting 75% of the population to be insured by the year 2020.

In addition, the average sum insured in 2012 of RM34,700 against an ideal average sum insured per person of around RM310,000 also presents growth opportunities for the company.

Kwo said in February Gibraltar BSN Life embarked on an insurance specialist pilot (IP) programme at 20 BSN branches aimed at simplifying the process for life insurance purchase.

“We aim to have 104 IPs trained by the end of this year and we hope to have the programme rolled out to all our branches within two years,” said BSN CEO Adinan Maning.

The company formerly known as Uni.Asia Life Assurance Bhd (UAL) was sold to Prudential Financial Inc (PFI) and BSN for RM518 million. The sale was concluded earlier this year.

The newly-formed joint venture is via PFI subsidiary Prudential Insurance Company of America holding 70% of UAL shares with BSN owning the remaining 30%.

The agreement would also see a strategic, long-term bancassurance agreement with BSN to distribute UAL conventional life insurance produc t s through BSN’s banking network of 399 branches and Pos Malaysia’s (32% owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd) 1,000 outlets.

PFI is a New York Stock Exchange-listed financial services company with more than US$1.1 trillion (RM3.58 trillion) of assets under management in 20 countries.