Cathay Century Insurance on leading Taiwan’s non-life insurance market

World Finance speaks to Cathay Century Insurance about its ambitious plans for future domination of the insurance industry in the Asia-Pacific region

November 5, 2014

Taiwan is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to insurance penetration rates, and one of the largest markets in the Asia-Pacific region. World Finance speaks to Executive Vice President of Cathay Century Insurance, Longman Pin-Yao Lin, about how the industry is developing and the company’s place within it.

World Finance: Well Longman, the insurance sector in Taiwan is well established, so where does Cathay Century Insurance fit in and what services do you focus on?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: In 2013, non-life insurance premium income was $4.2bn. We got a 3.7 percent increase over previous years. The growth rate of my company, Cathay Century Insurance, was nine percent.

We are committed to providing new products to meet the demands of the public and insurance customers, and we also focus on loss prevention and risk management.

World Finance: You have a strong presence in China and other parts of Asia such as Vietnam. How different is the insurance sector in these different countries and what challenges do these differences represent?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: China’s non-life insurance market developed very rapidly under the privatisation of motor insurance pricing, and the opening to foreign insurers of the compulsory liability market.

Chinese non-life insurance will become attractive and more efficient. But it is not easy for insurers to get into the Chinese insurance market.

Chinese non-life insurance will become attractive and more efficient

The East Asian insurance market such as Vietnam is emerging – not a well-developed market. It offers a big opportunity to do business there.

The first challenge here is you should raise up the importance of insurance, and the second challenge is the laws or regulations relevant to non-life insurance is still immature. Thirdly, you would face the shortage of human resource.

We have set up our service network there for about three years now. I hope that we can acquire the recognition of the local clients through our excellent operation.

World Finance: As a relatively new insurance market, what opportunities does the Asia-Pacific insurance sector offer?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: The penetration and the density of insurance is lower than in the other areas, but the increase in demands from middle-class societies and insurance customers is continuously growing.

World Finance: How do you safeguard policy holders’ equity?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: We set up many kinds of risk management measures and tools, and we’re developing another programme to improve the service efficiency to protect the equity of the policy holder.

We focus on improving our managing skills, and we aim to be the leader in Taiwan’s non-life insurance market

World Finance: Now you have a strong corporate governance policy; what initiatives do you have in place and how are they aiding social development?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: We have operated this company based on two policies. One is steady growth, and the other is keep a good performance both in quality and quantity. We maintain a good performance of underwriting, we earn reliable profits, and we set the integrity, accountability and creativity to our core value.

World Finance: Finally, where are you targeting for growth?

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: In 2013 it is our 20 year anniversary, and we enter a new stage of operation. We face challenges, we face severe competition; we will continue to develop an outside channel and we will extend our sales force. We focus on improving our managing skills, and we aim to be the leader in Taiwan’s non-life insurance market.

World Finance: Longman, thank you.

Longman Pin-Yao Lin: Thank you.