How an insurance company is bringing lasting change to Taiwan
Taiwan is going through a period of change. While the birth rate has been falling for decades, 2020 was a milestone, with deaths outnumbering first-time births. It seems inevitable that Taiwan will soon join nations like Japan, Germany and Italy in becoming a “super-aged” society, one in which more than one in five people are aged 65 or older.
At Fubon Life, we are ready to meet this challenge. In times of change, the only way to succeed is to innovate and this year the company will focus on four strategies to achieve its goals for people and planet. Guided by our brand concept, “Be Positive and Enrich Lives”, we will strengthen our organizational development through sales training; promote insurance and retirement planning products adapted to a very old society; putting sustainability at the heart of our supply chain; and improving remote services and digital competitiveness.
While the pandemic has continued to affect domestic and international markets in recent years, the economy is now steadily recovering. Through our diversified channel operations, product strategies and sustainability initiatives, Fubon Life has created outstanding operating results in 2021, with our net profit after tax (NIAT) exceeding NT$100 billion (3. $4 billion). In addition, our year-to-date annual consolidated premium income for the first year reached NT$165.6 billion ($5.6 billion) and our total consolidated premium income reached NT$507.2 billion ($17. $2 billion), firmly establishing Fubon Life as a market leader in the Taiwanese life insurance industry. In addition to this, Fubon Life has abundant resources from Fubon Financial Holdings to provide the public with multi-faceted financial and insurance services. We will continue to deepen the value chain of the insurance industry through our people-centric approach.
Putting people first in a digital world
As mobile digital technology increasingly permeates everyday life, it’s no surprise that the online insurance market continues to grow. In this new digital world, however, technological advances are only useful insofar as the human teams that accompany them. Technology can improve efficiency, but it’s the professionalism and warmth of our staff that make our services what they are.
Responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader digitalization trend that preceded it, Fubon Life has launched several key services to help our staff develop stable and deep customer relationships, serve customers remotely and promote business without interruption. These include the intelligent business management system FBFLi, the online policy health check system FBSIR and the video insurance application services FBVIP, which provide insurance services to all Taiwanese faster and without geographical restrictions.
As part of our goal to achieve contactless and completely paperless service, we hope to deploy voice-to-text (STT) technology in September to enable insurance services over the phone, and we have begun to develop the technology for AI to accelerate underwriting. review process to provide customers with the fastest, most convenient and intuitive insurance services possible. Fubon Life will also continue to cooperate with relevant authorities to promote projects such as insurance passbooks, consortium blockchain, and insurer-hospital link 2.0 for claim.
Customers are looking for more diversified coverage that protects them against all eventualities. We responded by creating a five-in-one product that includes liability, medical, dependency, retirement and estate insurance. To better meet the needs of our aging society, particularly the retirement preparedness gap, we are developing competitive, investment-driven insurance products with payment systems that allow customers to accumulate assets in several installments. The age bracket will be widened to help people plan their retirement and estate effectively and we will continue to offer retirement capital repayment products that cover a diversity of needs.
Customers are looking for more diversified covers that protect them against all eventualities
The insurance value chain is people-centric and Fubon Life has fully implemented the principle of treating customers fairly, regardless of their circumstances. In 2022, with reference to the “Guidance for businesses on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers” issued by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Fubon Life will focus on older and vulnerable people – continuing to provide products and services that meet their needs as well as to develop new products for our senior customers. These will include a dedicated customer hotline, online text chat, microinsurance and a range of other user-friendly financial and insurance services. Such an approach will be essential as Taiwan joins the ranks of super-aged societies.
This commitment to personal well-being also extends to our staff, many of whom are young people with exactly the same concerns for the future as our valued customers. A few statistics to give an idea of our workforce: the overall recruitment objective for this year should exceed 6,000 employees, while in 2021, nearly 50% of employees promoted to the position of commercial director were under 30 years old.
The company has also been recognized as the most desirable life insurance employer for young people for 11 consecutive years by RMi magazine. This is partly due to our generous employee pension plan (13 consecutive years leading financial holding companies), as well as the fact that employees benefit from insurance cover for their families and can participate in our SICAV d share ownership to build a happy life after retirement.
New parents, meanwhile, are entitled to a maternity grant of NT$100,000 ($3,400), an annual childcare allowance of NT$15,000 ($510) per year for children up to at the age of six, and maternity leave beyond that provided by the state. Fubon Life also provides a comprehensive training and consulting system, smart digital tools and excellent benefits, inviting young talents to work together to build their careers with us.
Leading the way on ESG
Fubon Life continues to develop its responsible investment strategy and alternative energy investment plan, with our green investments totaling NT$1.8951 billion ($64.37 million) in 2021. This year, we will strengthen our carbon reporting, launch an internal carbon pricing operation and introduce a science target of reducing carbon emissions by 8% by 2025. In terms of corporate sustainability reporting, we will adopt stricter standards for the self-assessment and incorporate SASB’s Sustainability Accounting Standards and TCFD’s Climate Risk Financial Disclosure Indicators.
Fubon Life’s green finance strategies have been adopted by more than 460 business branches and 20,000 linked agents across Taiwan. Last year, Fubon Life focused on river conservation and water resource issues, cooperating with the Society of Wilderness to lead Taiwanese companies in launching a three-year continuous rapid screening survey. on river waste.
In 2022, Fubon Life will continue to make an impact in line with Fubon Financial Holdings’ “Run for Green” initiative, creating “Work for Green”, an all-new sustainability innovation mechanism that connects the goals of performance durability.
This year, we will also work with our tied agents and policyholders to plant more than 10,000 trees in cooperation with the Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation, choosing tree planting sites with the aim of restoring the ecology. natural. The sites include Fushoushan Farm in Taichung, which is located in the upper reaches of the Dajia River in the watershed of Deji Reservoir, one of central Taiwan’s main water sources. By planting trees here, we aim to stabilize the water storage capacity of the reservoir, which in turn helps maintain the water temperature at 17°C, thus safeguarding the habitat of the Taiwan landlocked salmon. Another tree-planting site is Tainan Taijiang National Park, home to Taiwan’s largest lagoon. Our project will help reverse the effects of climate crisis-induced sea level rise in the lagoon by preventing further sand loss from the sandbar at its mouth.
We also take our social responsibilities seriously. To meet the needs of our rapidly aging population, Fubon Life is working with the Taiwan Dementia Association, Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly, Formosa Cancer Foundation, Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders and other partners in the public welfare, advocating in particular for better access to medical care for the elderly in remote areas. The company has also actively engaged with county and municipal governments, local communities and universities to expand the reach of care and promote social inclusion to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Given the health risks posed to the nation by the pandemic, Fubon Life continues to play an educational role, strengthening universal awareness of the importance of risk protection.
We are optimistic about the future of Taiwanese society, but we also look beyond our borders. Fubon Life’s operations in overseas life insurance markets were successful in 2021, with our subsidiaries in Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam all performing well. We will continue to build on our strengths and develop insurance products for local markets, while carefully evaluating suitable investment opportunities to expand into the Asian market. By adopting such an approach, alongside our ambitious strategies in Taiwan, we are steadily advancing towards our goal of becoming one of Asia’s leading financial institutions.