Connotation of "We Protect 保 – 以人為本"

We use two simple words "We Protect" as the tagline for the English posters to emphasize that insurance is a tool to protect us from risks.
For the Chinese rendition, we use "保 – 以人為本". The radical of the Chinese character "保" is "人" (a person). The ancient form of the character is a morpheme depicting a person holding a child on the back to bring out the meaning of "protection". The character resonates the English tagline "We Protect".
"以人為本" connotes the dual messages that the objective of insurance is to protect us and quality people are the basis for the success of the insurance industry. We hope to raise public awareness of the different professional jobs available in the insurance industry through this publicity drive.

Introduction of Middle- and Back-Office Roles in Insurance Industry


Chief Actuary
What does a typical working day look like?
The work of actuaries can be divided into different types, some actuaries are responsible for insurance product design, setting out feasible, reliable and long-term sustainable protection plan as well as determining dividend allocation;  some are responsible for maintaining sufficient capital and setting aside liability reserves for insurance companies, to ensure insurance companies being financially healthy and their ability to meet their undertakings to the insured even under unforeseeable financial market fluctuations. There are other actuaries engaged in risk management, they play an important role in customers’ accumulation of wealth, as well as health, property and life protection for themselves and their families.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
As an actuary, we have a strong sense of integrity. Leveraging on our professional knowledge, we strike a balance among different factors, including business environment, financial market fluctuations, investment return, medical technology development, client benefits, risk management in insurance companies, etc., with a view to meeting client's reasonable expectations and forging public trust to the industry. This gives me the largest job satisfaction.
As to challenges, globalisation of markets has led to more intense competition in the industry. There is no room for complacency under an ever-changing environment. We should keep on learning new things and participate in discussion for new solutions in order to remain connected with the world.
Why did you choose actuary as your career?
I liked mathematics and analytical subjects when I was at school, and I first got to know the actuarial industry through secondary school summer activities arranged by some universities. You need internationally recognised professional qualifications to become an actuary.  For me it is a career widely recognised by the market and multi-national enterprises, which is very challenging and appealing. Besides, the actuarial industry has a long history in the UK, America and Australia. In Hong Kong it started to develop just about 20 years ago, and it became popular in the Greater China Region and Southeast Asia in recent 10 years, therefore the job opportunities and career prospects are very promising.   Recently the Government has been actively promoting retirement pension and the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, together with a booming insurance industry in Hong Kong, I believe actuaries working in the insurance industry will have very good career development.

Claims Management
Francis NGAI
Head of Claims & Loss Control, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) Company Limited
What does a typical working day look like?
The major duty of claims management is to approve claims according to the policy terms and conditions as well as the submissions by the insured. Besides, we provide risk management service to our customers with a view to reducing loss by avoiding foreseeable risks.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
I always share the importance of risk management with my customers, through this I established good relationship with them and gained their trust. This gives me job satisfaction. I am also able to understand the work of different industries through my job, which enriches my life experiences.
In terms of challenges, customers expect to receive full compensation of the policy at most times. Therefore we need to explain to customers patiently and let them understand the basis of the claim. I also need to work in different places and in different environment, e.g. vessels, factories, remote areas, for investigation. The work pressure is high sometimes, yet I think this is a good exposure.
Why did you choose claims management as your career?
My job allows me to get in touch with a range of clients. I get to know about the characteristics of different industries through communications with clients, and thereby establishing a trusting relationship with them. I work with various departments (e.g. marketing, underwriting, reinsurance, etc.) and cooperate with different professionals, such as loss adjusters, lawyers, medical practitioners, to handle local and overseas claims. I never feel bored at work, and it is quite challenging indeed. Whenever there are major events like strong typhoons, severe floods, fire, etc., I could demonstrate my leadership skills to lead my colleagues in handling claims to clients efficiently in order to help them overcome difficulties.  Recently, typhoon Hato brought severe damages to Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Nansha area. My department received a large number of different insurance claims. After understanding clients’situation, our staff advised clients how to deal with the situation, including damaged property, promptly, and swiftly arranged on-site verification and investigation.  For clients who suffered lesser damages, we also expedited the claims procedure such that clients could receive financial support as soon as possible.

Chief Transformation Officer, Prudential Hong Kong Limited
What does a typical working day look like?
As a Chief Transformation Officer, I am responsible for identifying and driving all significant change initiatives that will help transform our insurance business to meet the increasing demands of customers, financial consultants, also known as insurance agents, as well as employees. For instance, when it comes to buying an insurance product, financial consultants and customers nowadays are looking for an efficient and holistic customer experience which should be quick, convenient, safe and accurate. It is essential for an insurance company to offer one-stop service. To this end, my team and I keep track of the latest technological trends and developments impacting the insurance industry, regularly brainstorm ideas to facilitate achieving strategic goals, and prioritize resources and investments to serve the changing needs of customers and financial consultants, and to keep the company ahead of the competition.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
Despite the well-developed insurance industry in Hong Kong, we are always trying to look for and adapt to new technology which helps transform and improve the way we do our business and how we serve our customers, financial consultants and employees. It is amazing to see how much our culture embraces new changes and how new innovations bring greater efficiency, convenience and service excellence to us. Yet, like all other innovations, developing and assimilating new technology takes time. I believe it will be a worthwhile journey.
Why did you choose insurtech as your career?
Technology is having a profound influence on many industries across the globe and insurance industry is no exception. Technology transforms the end to end customer journey from product design, composition, buying, application, underwriting as well as claims. I am excited by the opportunities that technology presents for our industry; particularly in terms of how we can leverage it to enhance the proposition and services we offer to our customers and financial consultants.

Marine Insurance
Becky KONG
Senior Vice President, Marine – Greater China, Lockton Companies (Hong Kong) Limited
What does a typical working day look like?
My main duty is to provide services to customers from the marine industry such as shipping companies. I match them with a suitable insurance company, recommend and arrange marine insurance products that offer the most comprehensive protection. Marine insurance includes hull insurance and liability insurance for vessels and cargos. The scope of marine insurance is very broad as the marine industry faces various risks from nature, human activity or the vessel per se. As a marine insurance broker, we are required to be familiar with all types of marine insurance and industry operations in order to understand their risks and then suggest the most comprehensive protection plan. Currently I maintain frequent contact with insurance companies located overseas, such as London and Mainland China.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
It satisfies me most when I have to travel abroad to assist my clients processing their claims applications, viz. resolving issues between clients and insurance companies as an intermediary and being recognised by both parties.
Two incidents impress me most in the recent ten years or so.  The risk of piracy was particularly high around 2010. In response, we suggested our clients avoid the pirate-infested areas by re-routing, or arranged piracy insurance for them. Separately, after President Xi Jinping introduced the "Belt and Road" economic cooperation concept in 2013, more of our clients from Mainland China started to make overseas investments. We as intermediaries need to be familiarised with local and international insurance laws when clients have to ship specialised machinery overseas, to ensure the investment projects are sufficiently insured.
Why did you choose to be an intermediary of marine insurance as your career?
I got to know about the marine insurance industry through my lecturer back in university. At that time, I was already of the view that this is a professional industry with a bright future since there were few practitioners in the industry which required high calibre. The job nature was also totally different from general office work so I was really interested in developing my career in this field. I have been working in this area for more than 10 years.

Deborah CHAN
Assistant Manager – Reinsurance, Asia Insurance Company Limited
What is reinsurance?
Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies, which means secondary risk transfer. The most important function of reinsurance is helping insurance companies to spread the risk when natural disaster and major events occur. In general, insurance companies have accumulated a large amount of first-hand risk from their customer, which relatively reduced their ability to withstand risk.  To prevent profound loss, insurance companies usually transfer and diversify part of the risk by purchasing reinsurance protection from reinsurers.
What does a typical working day look like?
My day-to-day work includes meeting with reinsurance brokers. Reinsurance brokers are intermediaries who help insurance companies manage their business. Through the intermediaries, I am able to understand the daily operations and business performance of insurance companies so as to calculate the premium and develop business strategies for insurance companies. Besides, I have to attend different kinds of meetings held by other reinsurance companies for industry update regularly.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
Over the years, I have built up a strong working relationship with my reinsurance partners and gained their trust. Now I am more confident in handling different challenges at work. It is also encouraging to see the growth of our business portfolio.
Reinsurance is a very challenging job. I recall the flood disaster in Thailand a few years ago. A lot of different kinds of claims were filed in a short period of time due to damage of house / property, injury and loss of life, etc. The impact and claim amount were much higher than we thought. Fortunately, our company is financially stable.  We worked together and successfully processed the applications from our customers, helping them to overcome their difficulties. In general, after natural disasters or major events, such as the missing aircraft of Malaysia Airlines and the deadly explosion in Tianjin in 2015, we pay close attention to the latest situation, with a view to providing immediate assistance to our customers.
Why did you choose reinsurance as your career?
I got to know reinsurance through the referral of my supervisor a couple of years ago. I find reinsurance very special and challenging. Compared with other areas of the industry, we sometimes work like a detective as reinsurers. It requires in depth statistical analysis on the insurance companies, as well as good knowledge of their business performance and daily operation. Furthermore, we need a good grasp on the claim record and underlying reasons to work out the appropriate premium to be charged. This is a professional job. I have been working in the Reinsurance Department for more than four years and I am still enjoying my job very much.

Honker YIP
Senior Underwriting Officer, BOC Group Life Assurance Company Limited
What does a typical working day look like?
My job is to assess the risk and exposure of customers based on information such as their gender, age, financial condition and needs, and then to advise the necessary premium and terms of policies to be imposed prior to accepting an insurance application.
What are the job satisfaction and, if any, challenges?
Once I handled a case concerning a customer with high blood pressure. Given his reported health condition, additional premium has to be imposed on the customer's policy.  The insurance agent however wished to negotiate for a lower premium. After several medical consultations to ascertain the customer's health condition, the policy was finally approved with a reduced premium. Being able to help customers yet balancing the risks shouldered by the company gives me great sense of success.
Why did you choose underwriting as your career?
I started working in an insurance company after graduation performing clerical duties. My manager then introduced me to the field of underwriting.  I have now worked in this industry for 10 years, and each policy application still excites me by exposing me to new things.   Taking an application for a medical insurance policy as an example, different health conditions will affect the terms of medical insurance policies. I am very interested in this challenging job, and I will continue to develop my career in this area.
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