What are your primary responsibilities in your current role with Chubb, and do you have a ‘typical’ day?
I am responsible for the business performance and profitability of Chubb Singapore’s Accident & Health (A&H) Division. Leveraging on our underwriters’ expertise, my team and I develop value propositions for our business partners while collaborating with the regulators to meet compliance standards.
There isn’t a ‘typical day’ at work, but I do a lot of these three things everyday: listening, negotiating, and planning (providing direction). I have weekly meetings with each business team and with the underwriting team.
How have your previous roles prepared you for working in the Accident & Health Division of Chubb?
I’ve had good exposure in business, product, and digital roles in large corporates back in the banking industry. Culturally and structurally, Chubb is quite similar. It’s hard to be fully prepared for any role, or for anything in life. The best preparation I’ve had was accepting that there will always be changes and challenges.
While Covid decimated travel rates, are you seeing an increase in the number of travellers interested in insurance since travel restrictions have been relaxed?
The desire to travel, whether for business purposes or leisure, never went away. Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) and progressively opening borders are again making it possible. Before they take to the skies, travellers are purchasing travel insurance in higher numbers than pre-pandemic. They are taking more interest in coverage inclusions too, with most prepared to pay more for Covid-19 medical reimbursement cover.
How has Chubb updated its travel and health policies in line with changing customer demands?
In the current environment, it’s critical to ensure travellers feel safe and have adequate coverage for Covid-19 which, as a minimum, should meet or exceed the minimum requirements of entry for the destination country. Chubb included the following Covid-19-specific benefits within travel policies to ensure products continued to meet customer needs and deliver overall customer value:
- Overseas medical expenses
- Overseas quarantine
- Overseas hospitalisation
- Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.
Why did Chubb decide to offer cover to travellers who chose to travel against Ministry of Health (MOH) advice not to travel at all during the pandemic? Was this a difficult coverage decision to make?
We constantly review the coverage provided by our travel policies to ensure alignment with government guidelines and at the same time address our customer’s evolving needs. While for a period of time, the MOH advised against non-essential travel, there were people who, for a variety of different reasons, had to undertake essential travel and we considered it important to continue to provide them with coverage.
You are focused on being an agent for change and are driven towards profitable and sustainable business development – what changes are you making in these regards within Chubb?
Processes. People. Systems.
Processes and systems – we are constantly simplifying our operating model and refining our processes and systems to deliver business growth in an efficient, scalable, and sustainable manner.
In this climate, we must not forget the importance of ensuring the overall wellbeing of our employees
People – it’s a constant work in progress. Our people are our greatest asset and as a company, it’s about driving responsible leadership – to foster a culture of collaboration and to empower our people – as well as a continuous effort to develop an engaged team who exude a sense of pride and purpose from working at Chubb.
In this climate, we must not forget the importance of ensuring the overall wellbeing of our employees. To support that, we’ve introduced wellness initiatives such as the leave incentive scheme (to encourage employees to take time off to look after themselves), family care leave, early release for Eat With Your Family Day, fun virtual workshops, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), teleconsultation to minimise visits to outpatient clinics in person, and more.
Additionally, Chubb is also committed to being a company where all employees, regardless of gender, age, race, ability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin are valued equally and have the opportunity to fully contribute in support of our business objectives. Take the example of gender mix: we target 50/50 male/ female representation, as well as representation from across all countries in the region, on our flagship, invite-only, regional talent programmes.
What makes Singapore a particularly interesting and challenging market in which to work from a financial services perspective?
We are small, competitive, and open. This also means compressed margins and high susceptibility to macroeconomic and geopolitical changes globally. Coupled with stringent/high regulatory standards (a huge pro) and speed of digitalisation (both an opportunity and threat), the pace and magnitude of change make it a challenging market in which to do business.
As Singapore is aspiring to be a smart nation, digitalisation is definitely on the national agenda. As such, financial services players have a fertile playing field to test, pilot and learn new innovations. Chubb is playing our part in helping the country to go smart.
As travel resumes, more of Chubb’s digital efforts will be seen in sales, servicing and claims customer journeys
Is technology changing the way in which Chubb can deliver its travel insurance and assistance services to clients?
Like many other industries, the pandemic has changed consumer purchase behaviours and attitudes. This has contributed to the need to drive higher efficiency and productivity in our travel business. As travel resumes, more of Chubb’s digital efforts will be seen in sales, servicing and claims customer journeys. Some examples include live chat with customers via WhatsApp, real-time-payment for A&H claims, and an upcoming self-service platform for customers to easily access and manage their policies.
What do you enjoy most about your role, and what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of it?
I enjoy the ability to effect change, influence and determine outcomes.
The most challenging aspect is striking a balance between people and profit.
With the pandemic, our travel business was significantly impacted back in 2020, but we also saw untapped and new opportunities in the direct marketing (DM) space. Hence, we reassigned those who expressed interest to move from travel to DM and as a result, achieved significant growth in DM instead. Similarly, our people gained greater exposure, engagement, and increased levels of involvement in their new roles and this also paved their career development and growth at Chubb. This is aligned with our efforts to encourage internal rotations and career progression within the company.