Allianz PNB Life, the insurance unit of one of the country’s major commercial banks PNB, is confident it can sustain its growth this year after defying the economic downturn in 2020 with a dramatic 27.5 percent increase in new business annual premium equivalent (NBAPE).
Allianz PNB Life CEO Alexander Grenz said its strong performance, the highest since the start of its joint venture with PNB in 2016, makes them optimistic this year.
“The caution is that the recent spike in COVID cases is alarming and necessitated a return to more stringent restrictions in March. The roll-out of the vaccine in the Philippines is also progressing slowly in contrast to regional neighbors like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia,” said Grenz in an email interview.
Grenz noted that its 27.5 percent increase in NBAPE was a result of a double-digit increase in new customers in 2020 relative to 2019.
“We will pursue our growth aspirations further by launching marketing initiatives that emphasize our purpose and sustainability advocacies, put out new products and channels for our target markets to avail of, maximize the use of our digital solutions to make it simple and easy for our policyholders, and continuously improve our customer experience standards,” he said.
This year, he said, they will launch a New Work Model which empowers colleagues to work effectively from anywhere in the country and enhance policy issuance standards to achieve their target. “We will continue to focus on transformation by further investing in our IT systems and enhancing our digital roadmap in collaboration with our distribution partners,” he said.
Allianz will also further pursue its sustainability initiatives such as Ride Safe and Allianz Kaagapay, and to meet the demand for health and protection by offering new products and solutions.
“We have significant growth aspirations at Allianz PNB Life because we firmly believe in our purpose to secure the lives of Filipinos and bridge the local protection gap which unfortunately remains in the trillions of pesos,” he added.
Allianz will develop a digital ecosystem that will provide ease of access to various products and exclusive benefits to both prospects and policyholders.
According to Grenz, its digital ecosystem provides ease of access to various products and exclusive benefits for its prospects and policyholders. At least 25 percent o their premiums were paid online in 2020.
He was proud to note that Allianz PNB was among the first to have its online sales process approved by the Insurance Commission, enabling its Life Changers to quickly become experts in it.
“I believe that greater acceptance of digital sales tools, heightened awareness on the importance of health and protection solutions, and increased promotion and education programs from industry players will lead to the industry growing further in 2021,” he stressed.
He noted that the Philippine Insurance Commission reported that the country’s life insurance industry grew by 5.9 percent in terms of total premium income from P233.9 billion in 2019 to P247.7 billion in 2020. “This was a remarkable achievement given the severe restrictions in Q2, especially during the height of the enhanced community quarantine. During such period, agency licensing exams and face-to-face selling were put to a halt as the government understandably restricted in-person interactions,” he said.
While the industry’s total premium income increased by 5.9 percent in 2020, new business annual premium equivalent (NBAPE) reduced by 19.80 percent, which means growth in terms of new premium generated by insurers fared worse in contrast to 2019. “We at Allianz PNB Life are proud to have reversed this trend by earning P2.2 billion in growth, equivalent to 27.5 percent growth in NBAPE and ranking 8th in actual figures among industry peers versus 11th the year prior,” said Grenz.
The pandemic was a wake-up call in terms of the significant protection gap across Philippine society as a whole. Stories of exorbitant hospital bills became all-too familiar and highlighted the inadequacy of the public health system in terms of sufficient coverage.
The pandemic, however, led to a positive development in terms of accelerating insurance distribution through digital means.
At Allianz PNB, he said, virtual selling tools and processes are more commonly accepted by policyholders. While, 25 percent of their total transactions were fully conducted online, Grenz said that growth in online transactions will depend on better internet infrastructure and services in the country.