To The Next Level

Push­ing Stan­dards

Insurance - - EDITORIAL -

Our cover story and in­ter­view in this is­sue is with Man­mo­han Ab­dul­lah, Chair­man of the Mil­lion Dol­lar Round Ta­ble (MDRT) in Malaysia. Aware­ness of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and its mem­ber­ship has been grow­ing in Malaysia as Man­mo­han points out in the in­ter­view. In many ways, MDRT is seen as the stan­dard set­ter be­cause only the high achiev­ers are el­i­gi­ble for mem­ber­ship. It is a cat­a­lyst for im­prov­ing agent train­ing and im­prov­ing agent pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The bet­ter trained and ex­pe­ri­enced the agents are, the greater their sales de­liv­ery and eth­i­cal out­look, which re­sults in their el­i­gi­bil­ity to join the MDRT. Man­mo­han’s view on the level of ed­u­ca­tion of agents is also en­light­en­ing, he says that if he could have his way, he would like to in­crease the min­i­mum ed­u­ca­tion re­quire­ments in the in­surance in­dus­try. It is good to see bod­ies such as the MDRT join­ing the rest of the in­dus­try to push the bar higher. Ul­ti­mately, sus­tained success only comes through con­stantly im­prov­ing stan­dards to the next level. Rais­ing stan­dards usu­ally means change and this is true both in soft ar­eas such as ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards as well as the hard prof­itabil­ity ar­eas. To en­able a higher stan­dard of prof­itabil­ity, Raja Ah­mad Khirud­din bin Raja Hizadin, sug­gests in his ar­ti­cle on port­fo­lio bal­ance, “De­pen­dence on 80% of mo­tor in­surance busi­ness pre­mi­ums as our main prod­uct rev­enue should be the prac­tice of the past. The in­sur­ers now should make at­tempts to read­dress the high mo­tor in­surance ra­tio.” Read­ing be­tween the lines, he is ask­ing why spend re­sources try­ing to do more of a lessprof­itable busi­ness when there are prof­itable ar­eas to con­cen­trate on. A ba­sic ques­tion, which to an­swer of­ten re­quires a sea of change in cor­po­rate di­rec­tion and pol­icy. This is an ar­ti­cle with a very im­por­tant mes­sage. I had writ­ten in the last is­sue that we would an­a­lyse the Fi­nance Sec­tor Blue­print that was is­sued late last year by Bank Ne­gara Malaysia. There are sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tions for the in­surance in­dus­try and we have de­cided to wait and see how some of the gen­eral ob­jec­tives of the Blue­print start to take prac­ti­cal shape as they roll out. We will report on th­ese pro­gres­sively dur­ing the year. The Fo­cus sec­tion in this is­sue fo­cuses on med­i­cal in­surance. As the government car­ries out its com­pre­hen­sive re­view of the health­care sys­tem in the coun­try, the fi­nanc­ing of im­proved ser­vices is be­com­ing a cen­tral is­sue. With­out a doubt health in­surance will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the 1Care frame­work that is be­ing devel­oped.

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