High-tech Initiatives Push Union Assurance to the Forefront

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With a series of high-tech initiatives, Union Assurance is staying ahead of the curve in Life Insurance. This is setting a benchmark for the country’s Insurance industry to follow. The pioneering initiatives are driven by the synergy between Union Assurance and its parent company John Keells Holdings.   

The Chief Executive Officer of Union Assurance, Jude Gomes said they have collaborated with best-in-class technology providers and emerging startups to augment their digital capabilities. “This has enabled us to lead the industry in digital innovation,” he added.     

He further said their open innovation strategy has led to two pioneering initiatives – the Clicklife digital ecosystem and next generation underwriting technology. 

“The Clicklife digital ecosystem is our broader digital vision to reimagine traditional Life Insurance and create a digital native insurance platform for acquiring insurance products, digitise policy servicing and claims interactions and provide a comprehensive health and lifestyle ecosystem,” he stated.

As the first comprehensive app in the market, Clicklife revolutionised Life Insurance servicing in Sri Lanka. It enabled customers to easily manage their insurance from their mobile phones.   

Union Assurance has invited startups to co-create methods for capturing new streams of data and develop advanced analytics models to create next generation underwriting technology. 

According to Jude, the next generation underwriting technology being developed will become the core of the Company’s integrated digital operating model. “Real-time risk scoring and AI enable life underwriting to identify risk in a much more granular and sophisticated way enabling smarter instant issuance products,” he stated. 

Harsha Senanayake, the Chief Information Officer of Union Assurance, said the Insurance industry has to rapidly adapt to new technologies to succeed. “As a pioneer in the Life Insurance industry in Sri Lanka, we will constantly evolve to offer customers the best in service and expertise,” he added.

Union Assurance intends to break new ground by merging fintech and healthtech. This would help close the protection gap in Sri Lanka. The Company has invited startups to build a thriving health and wealth ecosystem around Clicklife and explore new ways of distributing insurance products.

Company sources said it is essential to make quality data available at the right time to make better, more efficient insurance policy underwriting decisions. “We need to reimagine the way customers discover and obtain relevant Life and Health Insurance products,” they added. 

It is estimated that by 2025, there will be billions of connected devices in wearable health tech globally. This would create an abundance of new data to help insurers understand clients more deeply, resulting in new product categories, more personalised pricing, and real-time service delivery. 

The post-COVID world will witness greater collaboration between financial institutions and fintech companies. “The journey ahead is exciting, and Union Assurance is committed to supporting open innovation and contributing to building a thriving fintech ecosystem in Sri Lanka,” the Company stated. 

John Keells X (JKX), the Startup Accelerator and Open Innovation Programme launched by John Keells Group in 2016, will prove vital in keeping Union Assurance ahead of the game. Among other things, the programme will drive Sri Lankan startups to create new insurance technologies. 

JKX aims to boost startups through open innovation. It has helped startups obtain funding, training, and the right connections to scale and grow into successful companies. It has now evolved with three unique tracks: Accelerate, Innovate and Elevate. The programme will support startups by opening doors and securing opportunities so that they can be successful and create new age technologies that will benefit a range of industries like insurance. 

Under the JKX strategy, startups can leverage and benefit from the vast JKH ecosystem that includes Union Assurance. The aim is to build a global platform that will drive open innovation at scale. 

Union Assurance is a part of the John Keells Group, one of Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerates. It is among the most awarded Insurance companies in Sri Lanka, completing over three decades of success with a market capitalization of Rs. 17.3 Bn, a Life Fund of Rs. 49.8 Bn and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 228% as of December 2021. Set to empower the Sri Lankan Dream, Union Assurance offers Life Insurance solutions that cover education, health, investment, protection, and retirement needs of Sri Lankans. With an Islandwide branch network and over 3,000-strong workforce, Union Assurance continues to invest in people, products, and processes with a customer-centric focus to be responsive to emerging changes in the Life Insurance industry.

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