The auspicious state and future of InsurTech were front and centre at Cyberport’s annual Fireside Chat at the Asian Financial Forum 2021. At the event, Dr George Lam, Chairman of Cyberport, spoke with the legendary American investor Robert Smith, who is also the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, about “Acceleration of Digital Transformation: Opportunity in a Changing World for 2021”.

Smith observed that investments into InsurTech have accelerated in the midst of the pandemic. More and more insurers are realising that technology has become an inextricable part of the everyday life and a necessity for business survival. Yet, many companies still lack the talent to make those transformations.

To foster change, he advocated creating effective “on-ramps” into the InsurTech ecosystem and constructing a “fabric of cooperation”, so that more people can benefit from the explosion of opportunities. He also stressed the importance of maintaining the interoperability of technology: “Innovation is not a zero-sum game. We can all benefit from an expanding opportunity as opposed to a more limited one by creating a bifurcated tech stack.”

Both speakers saw tremendous prospects for InsurTech in Asia. With Asia’s booming middle class, rising demand for insurance, and improving digital infrastructure, opportunities for InsurTech abound across the board. Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area (GBA) have the opportunity to embrace a leadership role in this dynamic market and continue to create favourable conditions for innovation.

As Dr Lam pointed out: “The GBA is the region’s largest FinTech hub and FinTech lab. Given its multiple currencies, tax regimes, and regulatory systems in a highly integrated and high-growth market, solutions that succeed here could be replicated smoothly in other regions, such as the ASEAN and along the Belt and Road.”

Smith added that success to this endeavour is also predicated upon finding the right partners and investing with them to create the on-ramps of opportunity for SMEs. Hong Kong’s expertise in championing global commerce and trade, its internationally trusted regulatory and legal framework, and its favourable investment environment are all conducive to accelerating the commercial aspects of innovation.

Indeed, some of these fantastic opportunities have already been materialised, as demonstrated by four Cyberport InsurTech start-ups (10Life, CoverGo, MediConCen, and OneDegree) during the panel discussion that followed. Speaking to Eric Chan, Cyberport’s Chief Public Mission Officer, the start-ups shared how their InsurTech businesses are succeeding in the new normal, what value they are providing to consumers, and how they plan to capture the emerging opportunities in the region.

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