A Forward - Thinking Winner
MassMutual always has people’s interests at heart. Their product innovation has already altered the way customers approach their health and wealth planning. Having been repeatedly recognized for their pioneering products, MassMutual maintains its commitment to delivering flexible and innovative solutions in retirement, protection and investment products and services for their customers.
Established in 1851, MassMutual has 165 years of experience in risk and wealth management services. Its flagship company in Asia, MassMutual Asia, is a relatively young company in Hong Kong, operating in the city for “only” 20 years, but this company has in that time been able to grow steadily with double-digit average annual growth in new individual business. As a result, MassMutual Asia has become one of the top-ten life insurance companies in Hong Kong.
Jeanne Sau, Chief Marketing Officer for MassMutual Asia, said that the “great emphasis MassMutual Asia placed on innovation and developing flexible solutions in protection, retirement, and investment to help customers realize their long-term goals and dreams through professional financial planning services” was the underlying factor behind MassMutual Asia’s rapid growth. “This unique market positioning and our distinct branding strategy are extremely important in helping MassMutual Asia meet the competitive challenges of, and differentiate itself in, the highly competitive market environment.”
Anticipating the Future
In the spirit of that innovation, Sau discussed one of the great new products for critical illness that MassMutual Asia has unveiled this past year, for which MassMutual Asia won Best-in-Class in Critical Illness. “We saw that overstretched public health services in Hong Kong have resulted in some people turning to private health care, but private treatment is very expensive, especially for critical illnesses. In fact, the number of hospitalizations for critical illnesses has steadily increased, with around 400,000 annually. At the same time, only 6% of the population in Hong Kong has critical illness coverage, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Market penetration of this type of product is low because most people may feel that if they stay healthy, the premiums constitute an ‘expense’ item with no returns. The issue is that once diagnosed with a critical illness, people will find it difficult to obtain medical and life insurance.”
“Adopting a ‘blue-ocean strategy,’ MassMutual Asia identified this unfulfilled business opportunity and developed PrimeHealth Extra Saver as an innovative solution by bundling critical illness protection, wealth accumulation and life protection into a single policy that fully answers customers’ needs for health, wealth and life protections. The company took a ‘breadth and depth’ approach when designing the product. PrimeHealth Extra Saver offers not only comprehensive coverage with multiple protections and a maximum benefit of up to 700% of the sum insured, but also guaranteed refund of premiums upon policy surrender if total benefits paid have not reached 100% of the sum insured. Best of all, the plan offers ‘Extension of Life Protection,’ a market-unique feature with guaranteed acceptance that enables any insured being diagnosed with a covered critical illness to take out a permanent life insurance plan without the need to provide satisfactory proof of insurability.”
MassMutual Asia was also awarded Outstanding Achiever in Retirement Product for its Target Lifetime Annuity Saver, a highly innovative product specifically designed for the purpose of helping people in Hong Kong meet the challenge that increased longevity represents. “Life expectancy of Hong Kong people is now much longer than the global average. It is expected that by 2064, their life expectancy at birth will increase to 92.5 for women and 87 for men. At the same time, with a decreasing birth rate and an increasing elderly dependency ratio, Hong Kong people are now facing much greater challenges in financing an unexpectedly long retirement,” said Sau.
“Target Lifetime Annuity was specially designed to help customers hedge the financial impact of longevity risk. It is the only annuity plan on the market that offers a guaranteed lifetime annuity payout, to effectively cover the cost of an unexpectedly long lifespan. To fully cater for the retirement needs of Hong Kong people, Target Lifetime Annuity Saver provides seven annuity options, the widest range available in the market. For example, with the ‘lifetime increasing-income annuity’ option, annuity income will increase by 5% every two years to counteract inflation.
With the ‘lifetime fixed-income annuity with joint annuitant’ option, even after the insured passes away, the spouse will continue to receive the annuity for the rest of their life.”
Anticipating Customer Needs
Picking up yet another award for Outstanding Achiever in Universal Life Product, it is clear that MassMutual Asia stays highly attuned to the needs of consumers in Hong Kong. Sau credited this to MassMutual Asia’s clear product design policy, which she calls “put yourself in the customer’s shoes,” as well as the company’s constant review of its existing products to ensure they still meet customers’ needs.
“MassMutual Asia places great emphasis on innovation and flexibility and always comes up with a unique selling point for its products. For example, its Target Lifetime Annuity Saver offers market-unique features, such as lifetime annuity payout with seven annuity options to suit customers’ needs. For critical illness protection, MassMutual Asia allows insured persons who have been diagnosed with a critical illness to take out a permanent life insurance policy without any proof of insurability,” said Sau, displaying MassMutual Asia innovative approach to their products, an approach which persuaded the jurors of the BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards to grant MassMutual Asia the award of Outstanding Achiever in Product Innovation- Insurance.
Technology and Customer Service
Further, MassMutual Asia is well aware of the importance of new technology and has deployed various smartphone apps to aid both its customers and its consultants, all while maintaining a personal touch. “As the world becomes increasingly digitized, MassMutual Asia proactively leverages the latest in technology to raise the level of its services and delivers added value to customers by developing a suite of innovative iOS and Android mobile applications for customers and consultants. For consultants, the applications help them generate more new business opportunities by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales process. For customers, these user-friendly DIY tools enable them to manage their risk and wealth at anytime, anywhere, in planning for a brighter future.”
“These apps greatly complement our personal services. However, financial planning is a people business, and the personal consultancy service is irreplaceable. Going forward, MassMutual Asia will continue to leverage the latest in technology to raise the professional standard of its agency force of over 2,700 consultants, by developing a brand new e-learning platform that offers flexibility to our consultants to upgrade their professional knowledge at any time,” said Sau.
From all of this, it is clear how MassMutual Asia has achieved double-digit average annual growth in new individual business. Areas of new growth that Sau foresees are the retirement and medical spheres. It is Sau’s belief that “relying on MPF alone may not be the way to support a comfortable retirement. The merit of the lifetime annuity is that it guarantees monthly income without a pre-set period, and therefore is the ideal solution for eliminating the worry of insufficient savings to pay for a comfortable retirement life. Also, with the soaring medical treatment cost, especially for critical illnesses, such as cancer, having a comprehensive critical illness protection plan in place will avoid the financial burden of expensive medical treatment.”
With MassMutual Asia’s innovative products and responsiveness to customer needs, the company will no doubt be able to meet the challenges ahead. BM
美國萬通以客戶長期利益為先，其創新產品改變了客戶進行健康與 財富規劃的模式。美國萬通一直以開創業界先河的產品著稱，承諾 為客戶提供靈活及創意兼備的退休、保障及投資產品和服務。
美國萬通成立於1851年，歷史悠久，具備 165年豐富的風險及財富管理經驗；其亞洲 區的旗艦公司－美國萬通亞洲，雖屬較年輕 的公司，在港成立了僅二十年，但充滿活力 並且不斷向前，過去一直穩步發展，新造個 人壽險業務業績平均每年增長比率達雙位數 字，更已擠身全港十大人壽保險公司之列。
美國萬通亞洲首席市務總監蕭莉玲表 示：「美國萬通亞洲重視創新，銳意開發極 具靈活彈性的保障、退休及投資方案，並透 過專業理財策劃服務，協助客戶實現長遠 目標和夢想。」這正是該公司得以在港迅速 增長的原動力。擁有獨特的市場定位及鮮明 的品牌策略，讓美國萬通亞洲在競爭激烈 的市場環境中能輕鬆駕馭挑戰，並在同業中 脫穎而出。
蕭莉玲表示創新乃品牌的核心價值之一，因 此於去年推出了全新的嚴重疾病保障計劃。 此計劃更贏得「危疾產品同級最佳獎」的殊 榮。她指出：「香港公立醫療體系的資源相 當緊絀，令不少市民轉投私營醫療服務， 以便能迅速接受治療；然而，私營醫院的 收費高昂，特別是嚴重疾病的治療費用。事 實上，因罹患癌症、心臟病、中風、腎衰竭 而需住院的人次平均每年高達40萬，在近年 更呈上升趨勢。與此同時，按政府統計處的數字顯示，全港已投保嚴重疾病保障的人僅 佔人口6%。嚴重疾病保障的市場滲透率偏 低，主要因為許多人認為，若然自己健康無 恙，保費便會白付了。可是一旦患上嚴重疾 病才投保醫療及人壽保障，更是艱難。」
美國萬通亞洲採用藍海策略，開發這甚 具發展空間的市場，把握業務商機，並以嶄 新產品概念設計集嚴重疾病保障、財富增值 及人壽保障於一身的「首選健康多重保」， 全面照顧客戶對健康、財富及人壽保障的需 要。此計劃深度與廣度俱備，不但提供多重 嚴重疾病的全面保障，總賠償更高達700% 保障額。此外，只要總賠償未達100% 保障額，計劃保證為客戶於退保時提供保費回贈。其「延續壽險保障」更是市場獨有， 讓患上嚴重疾病的客戶在毋須提供滿意的投 保資料的情況下，仍可投保一份終身壽險計 劃，並保證受保。
美國萬通亞洲亦憑其「目標必達終身年 金保」奪得「退休產品傑出表現獎」。這項 創新產品特別為港人對沖長壽的財務風險而 設。此乃市場上唯一提供保證終身年金收入 的年金計劃，讓客戶有效抵消因無法估計的 壽命可引致的財務負擔。為全面滿足港人的 退休需要，「目標必達終身年金保」特設市 場上最多款的年金權益選擇。七項選擇當中 包括「遞增終身年金」權益，讓受保人可享 每兩年遞增 5% 的年金收入，以抵消通脹。 若受保人選擇行使「定額終身年金－聯合年 金領取人」權益，即使在身故後，其配偶也 可繼續收取年金直至百年歸老。
此外，美國萬通亞洲再度奪得「萬用壽險產 品傑出表現獎」，足以證明其產品緊貼香港 客戶所需。蕭莉玲認為：「全因公司一直採 取『為客戶設身處地著想』的明確產品設計 策略。」為回應客戶對保險產品不斷轉變的 需要，美國萬通亞洲於1995年在本港市場率 先推出打破傳統壽險規限的萬用壽險計劃。 此革命性的壽險計劃提供高度靈活性，讓客 戶可按個人需要於原有保單增加投保額，並 會按客戶最初投保時的年齡計算保費。為助 客戶現金周轉，計劃亦提供多項提存彈性， 以應不時之需。
憑藉一直堅持的靈活創新精神，美國萬 通亞洲致力設計具備獨特優勢的產品，因而 獲《指標》財富管理大獎評審高度評價，並 頒予「產品創新（保險業）傑出表現獎」。
美國萬通亞洲亦深明需要不斷與時並進及 應用新科技的重要性，因此設計了多款智能 手機應用程式，協助客戶及顧問能簡易地進 行財務策劃：「隨著世界越趨數碼化，美國萬 通亞洲積極利用最新科技進一步提升服務水 平，並為客戶及顧問研發了一系列創新的iOS 及Android 應用程式，提供增值服務。對顧 問而言，嶄新的應用程式可提高銷售效率及 效能，從而把握業務良機。對客戶而言，他們 使用這些易用的自助工具，可隨時隨地進行 風險及財富管理，以便策劃更豐盛的未來。」
蕭莉玲續指：「這些應用程式與我們的 個人化服務相輔相承。然而，理財策劃始終是 以人本的業務，因此個人化的顧問服務實在 無可替代。展望未來，美國萬通亞洲將繼續 利用最新科技，提高旗下逾2,700名顧問的專 業水平，並正籌劃一個全新的網上培訓平台， 讓顧問團隊可隨時進修，提升專業水平。」
坐擁以上各項優勢，美國萬通亞洲新造 個人壽險業務業績平均每年增長比率得以達 到雙位數字。蕭莉玲認為，退休及醫療保障 仍具有龐大的業務發展空間。她指出：「相 信港人單靠強積金並不能確保美滿的退休 生活。能無限期提供保證年金收入的年金計 劃，才是理想的退休方案，真正確保退而無 憂。此外，現今愈來愈多高端客戶於投資組 合中加入年金計劃，以優化資產配置、平衡 投資風險，以及累積財富。年金計劃亦可作 資產傳承的工具，如受保人選擇不行使年金 權益，而讓現金價值繼續滾存，可於百年歸 老後將保單已累積的價值直接傳承予指定受 益人，讓他們毋須等候遺產承辦便可獲取資 金。此安排同時可避免爭產糾紛。此外，正因 為疾病非我們所能控制，故此，我們應以積 極的方式去對沖疾病所引致的財務風險。透 過投保一份全面的嚴重疾病保障，便能有效 避免高昂醫療費用造成的沉重財務負擔。」
美國萬通亞洲在產品上屢屢創新，並時 刻體貼客戶所需，定能駕馭未來的挑戰，繼 續穩步發展。BM