Internet World Stats states that the Internet penetration rate in Asia is already at 27.5% by 2012. Broken down by country, penetration rates (the percentage of the population that has access to the Internet) vary—with some countries having higher figures while some lag far behind. South Korea, for example, has the highest Internet penetration rate in Asia at 82.5% followed by Japan with 79.5%. Hong Kong is not far behind with 74.5% but countries such as Afghanistan and Laos have very low Internet penetration rates. Afghanistan only stands at 5% and Laos at 9%.
As more and more of the population connect to the Internet, the result was greater access to knowledge for both sellers and consumers. One of the many industries that took advantage of this fact was the insurance industry.
The insurance industry in Asia has many players that offer a wide array of insurance products such as medical insurance, travel insurance, and car insurance among others.
Asia Insurance Review’s data shows that premium volume in Hong Kong stands at US$32.7 billion. A majority of this is taken up by life insurance premiums which make up US$28.9 billion with the remaining US$3.7 billion made up of non-life insurance premiums. Their data also shows that insurance penetration rates in Hong Kong is already at 12.44% of GDP as of 2012 and that premiums per capita is at US$179.
As shown by Asia Insurance Review’s data, Hong Kong alone is such a huge insurance market. The high Internet penetration rate in Hong Kong, coupled with a huge Insurance market, presents big opportunities for online players to provide services that cater to people in Hong Kong looking for insurance products.
Online Resources for Learning about Insurance
MoneyHero is one such site in Hong Kong that provides information about insurance plans in Hong Kong.
Consumers interested in insurance plans can request a quote through the site so they can get an idea of the costs of the premiums they need to pay to get the kind of insurance coverage they’re after. Consumers can also get a lot of information about best medical insurance products in Hong Kong through the guides that MoneyHero offers onsite.
Comparison sites such as MoneyHero aren’t the only online resource that consumers in Hong Kong can go to for information on insurance in the city. Insurance companies have also set up online presences so consumers can reach out to them directly.
Not only is the Internet transforming the way people get information about insurance products, it has also provided consumers with a way to interact with their insurance providers. Communication between consumers and insurance providers is now easy. Making claims and taking advantage of their insurance benefits is just a few of the many perks. The Internet also provides a way for consumers to get in touch with their insurance provider about complaints they have with their insurance plan.
Mobile Apps from Insurance Companies
The development in the mobile technology has also benefitted the insurance industry and its customers. There are some insurance companies that have since released apps to better serve their policy holders.
Hong Kong’s AXA for example has the Empower Me app for iPhone users and the [email protected] for both the iPhone and Android phones. AXA”s mobile app allows users to get information on clinics in Hong Kong and Macau. The app also lets their policyholders get information on where the nearest network clinic or centre is. AXA members can also use the app to look for hospitals in Mainland China that is part of the China Health Link Network.
Cigna is another health insurance provider that has a presence in Hong Kong and they also have an app for mobile users. The company has the MyCigna Mobile App that allows the user to organise and access their health information anywhere—also, as well view ID cards for the family members, review deductibles, and even compare prescription drug costs.
Benefits of Internet Access to the Insurance Industry
With the increase of Internet penetration rates all around Asia and especially in Hong Kong, this provides ways for consumers to learn more about insurance products and also allows them to connect with their insurance provider.
Sites such as MoneyHero also allows consumers to learn more about insurance products in Hong Kong and even get an idea of the premiums through its quote service. With more and more people also becoming reliant on their smartphones, insurance companies have also responded to this trend by creating apps that allow them to provide information to their members even on the road. With such a huge insurance market, Hong Kong consumers have all the information they need with just a few clicks on their computer or smartphone.