With 74 years of industry presence, Bangkok Insurance Public Company Limited (BKI) is recognised as Thailand’s leading non-life insurer with 2020’s direct written premium of up to $708.3 million. Among companies with the premium balance of over $300 million, BKI has achieved the highest premium growth rate at 20 percent in 2019. Moreover, BKI gained an impressive growth rate of 5.6 percent in 2020, which is about twice higher than that of the market despite the adverse impact of Covid-19, with the solid financial position backed by the ratings of A- (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.
BKI’s achievements in the premium growth rates and satisfactory performances were owing to its strategy to further expand the retail customer base. Under the strategy, a focus was placed on the development of a very user-friendly digital platform conveniently accessible to retail customers for their easy insurance purchase decisions. The platform allows customers to get immediate coverage, pay premiums efficiently and enjoy a secure international standard system.
Products designed to cover seasonal health concerns
At present, due to consumers’ growing concern over health risks from changing environments and disease outbreaks as well as higher costs of medical expenses, BKI has issued insurance products to cover seasonal diseases that are frequently found in Thailand—such as influenza, dengue fever, or other mosquito-borne diseases. Insurance coverage options have been designed to ensure appropriate compensation limits and affordable insurance premium rates for low-income earners who may find general health insurance options unaffordable. BKI is the first insurer in Thailand to offer this type of insurance.
With the outbreak of Covid-19 globally, consumers still express concerns over possible losses of income caused by the infection with lengthy quarantine and treatment processes, despite the government’s efforts to offer subsidies on medical expenses. In this context, BKI has issued Covid-19 insurance policies with a lump-sum payout—a first of its kind in Thailand—aimed at maximising benefits and relieving consumer concerns, despite the losses.
The premium rates for such policies start at only $3, to ensure access by medium-income and low-income earners, who will be financially impacted if infected. Customers can conveniently make insurance purchases through various online channels, easily pay premiums through a 2C2P system under security international standards and immediately receive coverage confirmations. Also, BKI can make claim payments quickly within three days. Such policies have received a warm welcome from customers with 600,000 policies bought within 2 months. The insurer has diversified relevant risks through reinsurance arrangements.
Under the ‘new normal’ lifestyle, consumers are avoiding outdoor activities and show significant concerns over hospital visits. To address those concerns and ease the situation, BKI is offering telemedicine services through a specific application to customers who take health insurance with the insurer. This in turn will enable them to consult doctors and receive prescribed medicines at home.
Efforts that led to surge in motor insurance
With an intention to help those subjected to car accidents and time-consuming car repair processes at garages, BKI has launched the Repairing Appointment Service by coordinating with relevant garages to contact customers after filing claims to make repair service appointments. The customers will be informed of expected spare part availability dates that will allow them to bring their cars to the garages without the need to wait for the services. That said, customers will receive regular updates on repairing status through the BKI iCare application. Thanks to the service, BIK saw a 30 percent jump in its motor insurance services despite its unchanged manpower, with the customer satisfaction score in motor claim payments at 92.9 percent and the motor insurance policy renewal rate at least 80 percent.
New-age surveys for better insights
For commercial customers, BKI has continuously positioned itself as a business partner rather than only an insurer by providing advice and assistance to customers in terms of risk management. BKI has conducted risk surveys using modern technologies such as Fire Simulation through the Pyrosim Program. This technology simulates a fire incident at an insured property so that BKI can see a simulation of fire behaviours and responses generated by fire preventive systems installed at the insured property and also helps to clearly identify a level of risks the insured property is exposed to.
For example, Fire Hydrant Flow Test is used to identify a level of pressure and a rate of fire hydrant flow in the event of fire to see if the available fire hydrant system can adequately and appropriately prevent any fire incident. In another example, Risk Survey by Drone Service is the type of service that allows a bird’s eye view survey of the insured property, including areas with blind spots or hard access. Also, the technology can store details of the layout of the survey areas from high perspectives in cases of new sites or areas with newly complete construction.
Risk survey officers of BKI must receive drone controlling licences from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). Thermoscan Service is a type of risk survey using thermoscan technology to examine electrical devices such as power transformers, power control panels, electrical motors, electrical wires and connections to see if those electrical devices are still in valid condition and ready to use as well as contain no weak points. This service is regularly conducted at least once annually and organised the Loss Prevention Training programme to ensure risk improvement and the customers’ smooth and safe business operations. Last year, risk recommendation reports were issued to more than 1,000 corporate customers on the Company’s expenses.
RPA for task reduction and swift process
BKI has paid attention to not only developing products and services to meet its customers’ needs, but also improving productivity and reducing expenses of long-term operations. It has used Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in various operations including insurance applications, claim payments, and accounting and finance. RPA leads to a reduction in times of processing routine tasks that need no human decision making. It helps to reduce human errors and it has enhanced BKI’s ability to quickly respond to customers’ needs and gain competitive advantages. For example, BKI was able to issue more than 70,000 individual personal accident policies for corporate customers within 10 minutes.
BKI strives to be a data-driven organisation by improving its enterprise data warehouse system to help support data analysis in insurance applications, risk surveys, claim payments, and product developments. The technology helps meet the needs of each target segment and access a wider range of customers. The technology is used for supervising compliance of insurance applications with the insurer’s policies, reducing risks from offering insurance and maintaining sound performances of the Company and reinsurers.
These operations reflect its strong commitment to constantly improve the efficiency of all aspects of its operations to meet the needs of the customers and trading partners—and to eventually attain the highest satisfaction. Encouraging members of the society to have insurance for their well-being is a cornerstone of BKI’s business—which is also the hallmark of its philosophy: ‘Your Caring Partner’—and to always be the customer’s first choice.