Tokio Marine Life Indonesia Eyeing Clients Through Banks

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Indonesia is aims to acquire a company affiliated with banks in the next three years so that it can expand offering insurance products to bank customers in the country.

The company is also setting aside Rp 1.3 trillion ($124 million) for this year and 2014 to expand its sales network and revamp its information technology.

Akio Hoshino, Tokio’s vice president director, said that the life insurer may acquire a lender or form a joint venture by 2016, depending on how well negotiations with banks and how it can add value to Tokio.

‚ÄúIf we work with banks, they can give us access [to their customers], while we can market the insurance product,‚ÄĚ Hoshino said.

David John Beynon, Tokio’s chief executive, said on Monday that the insurer has approached four banks to develop the marketing strategy, known as bancassurance, but refused to release names as they remained confidential.

Beynon said bancassurance is one of Tokio‚Äôs main distribution channels, aside from agents and employee benefit plans — which sells insurance to employees of companies. Next year, Tokio will introduce direct insurance selling through social media and television, he said.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Indonesia is a subsidiary of the Japanese insurance group Tokio Marine Holdings,

Tokio Marine Holdings bought in October a majority stake in MAA Life Assurance ‚ÄĒ a business unit of Malaysia-based MAA Assurance ‚ÄĒ and then renamed it Tokio Marine Life Insurance Indonesia. Tokio Marine Holdings now controls 89 percent of the firm, while Multi Artha Aman holds the remaining 11 percent.

The local unit already has at least 1,200 agents, of which 50 percent of them are certified. By the end of 2013, the company targets having 2,000 agents, Beynon said. He added that this year the company is targeting Rp 92.8 billion in premiums.

Indonesia’s life insurance premium totaled Rp 107.7 trillion in 2012, up 14 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Indonesia Life Insurance Association (AAJI).

More than 40 percent of that was generated through bancassurance, a proporation that was higher than sales through agents, which account 38 percent of premiums, AAJI data showed.

About 44 million people, or 18 percent of Indonesia’s population, has some kind of life insurance, AAJI data showed. Still, only 11 million people bought individual insurance program on their own.