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HK insurance firm launches Digital Enrolment System

In a bid to ‘customers first’ and focus more on understanding customer needs, a Hong Kong insurance company is rolling out a non-face-to-face sale process (the ‘Digital Enrolment System’) for new applications for Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy and VHIS Products.

This was done considering the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and aligning with the Insurance Authority’s temporary facilitative measures. The platform will help customers to purchase tax-deductible products in a safe and convenient environment before 31 March 2020, so as to enjoy tax concession for the assessment year.

Hong Kong residents who are staying in Hong Kong can easily apply for the firm’s ‘Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme’ (VHIS) and ‘Qualifying Deferred Annuity’ products digitally.

The company’s financial consultants will provide support and explain the product details and relevant information to customers via digital means, such as phone, email to assure they will fully understand these products before choosing the right protection.

The company’s financial consultants will also assist customers in the application process, making the entire procedure easier and more flexible during this period.

Alternatively, customers can also choose to submit their applications by mail or meet with a financial consultant to complete the sales process in accordance to their preference and personal circumstances.

The Chief Executive Officer of the firm’s Hong Kong and Macau branch stated that the firm began offering the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) and Qualifying Deferred Annuity Plan last year and they have been well-received in the market and have gained encouraging results.

For VHIS, 90% of those insured have chosen their flexi-plan and nearly 40% of the VHIS customers aged 20-39. The figures reflect the strong demand from customers for comprehensive medical protection and show that more young people are concerned about their health and wellbeing.

For the firm’s qualifying deferred annuity plan, most customers who purchased the plan are under 55 showing their intent to use the product to save up to achieve their life goals and to prepare for their retirement.

In view of the current coronavirus situation, the Digital Enrolment System was launched in view of the Insurance Authority’s temporary facilitative measures and to enable customers to apply for insurance protection in a safe environment.

Insurance Authority introduces temporary facilitative measures to reduce the risk of virus infection

In view of the recent novel coronavirus outbreak, the Insurance Authority (IA) announced a set of temporary facilitative measures to reduce the risk of infection from face-to-face meetings between intermediaries and their clients.

These temporary facilitative measures cover only Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policy and Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme products which are eligible for a tax deduction in the 2019–20 assessment year.

With immediate effect, insurers and intermediaries may dispense with the need to conduct a Financial Needs Analysis in the selling process of these products, provided that they have duly performed upfront disclosure of important information with their clients and applied an extended cooling-off period that lasts no less than 30 calendar days for the delivery of policy documents through the mail and for policyholders to seek professional advice if found necessary.

Furthermore, insurers and intermediaries must continue to adhere strictly to the principle of fair treatment of customers. The measures will last until the end of the current tax assessment year, which falls on 31 March 2020.

Specifically, the relief measures for targeted policyholders rolled out by individual insurers include an extended grace period of premium payments of up to 180 days; expanded medical coverage and relaxed hospital restrictions; simplified and expedited claim procedures; hospital cash benefit, death benefit and other concessionary benefits.

The IA will maintain a close dialogue with industry stakeholders and the relevant regulators to explore other similar measures that could allow potential policyholders to acquire products that suit their needs with greater ease while ensuring that their interests are properly protected.


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