Alexander Grenz: The future of Allianz in Indonesia’s life insurance industry – Companies

ounded in 1890 in Munich, Germany, Allianz is one of the world’s leading integrated financial service provider. In Indonesia, its presence began in 1981 with a representative office, followed by the establishment of Allianz Utama Indonesia in 1989 for general insurance and Allianz Life Indonesia in 1996 for life and health insurance. In 2023, Allianz further expanded with the launch of Allianz Life Syariah, which is dedicated to sharia-based life and health protection.

In 2023, Alexander Grenz assumed role of Country Manager and President Director of Allianz Life Indonesia, and The Jakarta Post had an opportunity to sit down with him in January 2024 to discuss the current situation of Indonesia’s life insurance industry and what the insurer planned to further contribute.

Originally from Germany, Grenz has accumulated over 20 years of experience across the globe through his career in Allianz. For the past decade he has been working in Southeast Asia, and today he is overseeing Allianz in Indonesia.

We started by asking about his experience so far in Indonesia.

“I’m still very new to this country, but I realize that there is a very strong sense of community where people always try to lend a helping hand to accomplish things.” Grenz answered

Then we inquired on his leadership style at Allianz, to which Grenz emphasized his strong belief in collaboration and dislike towards thick layers of bureaucratic hierarchy.

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“Internally, I think we can call it collaborative leadership, because I believe that Allianz has to empower its people. We need

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2022 floods: Insurance agencies put on notice by ASIC

Insurance concerns for flooded Victorian towns

Australia’s corporate watchdog has issued a stern warning to the nation’s $86bn insurance industry over its “disappointing” failures to assist flood victims.

ASIC officials gave evidence to a federal probe looking at the impacts of insurers’ responses to one of the country’s most catastrophic natural disasters on Friday.

Public hearings, due to run over the next four weeks, have so far heard evidence of flood victims in NSW, Victoria and Queensland being subjected to aggressive and gaslighting behaviour from insurance agencies, including facing lengthy delays on claims and receiving hostile communication from third parties.

ASIC boss Alan Kirkland said systemic failures in the insurance industry had persisted in the wake of the 2022 floods.

“There are signs of deeper, longer-standing issues in the industry’s processes, practices and resourcing, which meant that it was poorly prepared for those events,” he told MPs.

“In a context where severe weather events are expected to be more frequent and more severe, the overall quality of the industry’s response to the 2022 floods and storms was disappointing.

More than 200,000 insurance claims were lodged as a result of the floods. Picture NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
More than 200,000 insurance claims were lodged as a result of the floods. Picture NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“As a result, we’ve put the industry on notice.”

Tens of thousands were displaced and more than two dozen people died after unprecedented flooding inundated parts of Australia’s east coast in 2022.

As a result of the disaster, about 230,000 insurance claims were lodged by flood-affected people living in South East Queensland and the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates the total cost of claims lodged as a result of the major flooding events totalled nearly $7.4bn.

Mr Kirkland cited recent data collected from six of the country’s biggest insurance agencies that he said painted an “illuminating” picture of the industry’s shortfalls.

“In

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Doctors fighting US opioid epidemic say insurance barrier impedes treatment | US healthcare

In the midst of the worst overdose epidemic in US history, addiction medicine specialists say a bureaucratic hurdle is adding to the difficulty of getting people in treatment: an insurance industry tactic called “prior authorization”.

Loathed by doctors of all stripes, prior authorization requires healthcare providers to seek permission from insurance companies before they prescribe a treatment. Doctors in addiction medicine said the requirement is both unnecessarily burdensome and could cost lives.

“We have patients who are having overdoses once a month because of the fentanyl being in the drug supply,” said Dr Alain Litwin, a clinical researcher and executive director of the Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center in South Carolina. “This is the crisis of our time – overdose rates are rising every year”.

In 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, roughly three-quarters of the 107,000 people who died of an overdose had an opioid in their system, approximately 80,000 people.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans 18 and older are believed to suffer from opioid use disorder, the clinical name for an addiction to opioids, illicit or prescribed. People with opioid use disorder suffer “alarmingly high” rates of death and health conditions, research has found.

That risk of death can be halved with use of the gold-standard therapies: medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine, methadone or naltrexone. However, four out of five Americans addicted to opioids are still not in treatment.

Prior authorization has targeted buprenorphine in particular. Insurance companies can set qualification criteria that require patients seeking treatment for opioid use disorder to submit to urine drug tests, require pill counts, set dosage limits, and mandate patient education or counseling. It also requires doctors to fill out lengthy forms and wait for approvals. All of which, doctors said, makes patients feel stigmatized and

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Brokers to discuss effects of global economic challenges, DDEP on insurance industry

Shaibu Ali is the President of IBAG Shaibu Ali is the President of IBAG

The 2023 edition of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) Educational Conference and Exhibition is expected to focus on the effect of Global Economic Challenges and the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme on the insurance industry.

The event which is slated for March 21 to 25 at Eusbett Hotel, Sunyani in the Bono Region will host over 200 insurance players and the audience will among others include Insurance Brokers, Reinsurance Brokers, Insurance Companies, Reinsurance Companies, the Insurance Regulator (NIC), as well as other stakeholders including the Press.

A presentation on this year’s topic, “The Effect of the Global Economic Challenges on the Ghanaian Insurance Industry” will be delivered by Country Senior Partner at accounting and auditing firm, PwC Ghana Ltd., Vish Ashiagbor.

His presentation is expected to focus on the effect of the global economic challenges on the Ghanaian insurance industry (brokers, insurers, reinsurers, insuring public, etc.)

Also, the lessons learnt and what interventions the insurance players and the regulator can initiate to mitigate the impact as well as what strategies insurance players could adopt to manoeuvre through these difficult times and become profitable.

The Commissioner of Insurance at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Prof. Justice Yaw Ofori is expected to Chair the Opening Ceremony on March 22, 2023. The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene as well as Sunyani Queen mother, Nana Akosua Dua Asor Sika Brayie II are expected to grace the occasion.

A Young Executives’ Forum on “Personal and Professional Development” is expected to be hosted by CEO of ASIAC Ltd., Solomon Lartey who is also President of the CIIG.

The conference will also feature CEOs’ Forum on the theme, “Returning to Underwriting Profits: The Perspective of Industry Players” as well as an Open Forum on the Implementation of Marine Cargo

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AgencyKPI Plays Behind the Scenes Role in Insurance Industry Merger

Merging Companies Relied on AgencyKPI for Financial Due Diligence

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 27, 2022–

AgencyKPI (www.agencykpi.com), developer of the leading integrated business intelligence system designed to address and manage insurance industry data, recently played a key role in the creation of a new insurance consulting giant.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220926005823/en/

Meet the Agency KPI team.  (Photo by KARI CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY on April 27, 2022.)

Meet the Agency KPI team. (Photo by KARI CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY on April 27, 2022.)

In August, MarshBerry Connect Platform and First Choice Agents Alliance (FCAA), two of the nation’s top insurance networks, announced their merger. The newly formed company is FirstChoice, a MarshBerry company.

FCAA started using AgencyKPI’s Harmony platform in 2020 to better manage its voluminous data in order to improve collaboration, increase operational efficiency and align growth and retention expectations with its more than 430 member agencies.

Coincidentally, AgencyKPI was on the cusp of adding MarshBerry to its client roster this year and also subscribing them to the Harmony platform. While negotiations halted due to their behind-the-scenes merger discussions, AgencyKPI was significant to the overall deal for both entities.

“AgencyKPI was absolutely instrumental for us to have a detailed understanding of our data and discuss how this merger would be positive for both of us. Without AgencyKPI, it would have taken me an incredible number of hours to compile everything I would have needed to show transparency. I seriously don’t know how I would have been able to do it as easily,” said Keith Captain, President of FirstChoice.

“We are pleasantly surprised to learn about our role in making the merger happen. Two really smart companies are becoming even smarter by combining. We’re excited to continue to build and develop deeper data insights together,” said Bobby Billman, Co-Founder of Agency KPI.

With more than 430 agencies in its

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“Insurance companies may never touch a paper check again”

ePayPolicy’s founders experienced firsthand the operational pains of check collection and manual reconciliation in insurance. This led to the company’s first product – secure, online payment pages that were fully customizable to match the insurance company’s brand. Additional capabilities – like industry-specific management system integrations, custom API connections, network payables, and more – were added as ePayPolicy’s customer base swelled above 5,500 insurance companies.

And yet, even though their client companies preferred the speed and ease of online payments, many of their largest customers openly lamented about entrenched check payments.

“As easy as online payments are, we believe you can’t ultimately tell a customer they have to pay a certain way if they just don’t want to,” said Mark Engels, CEO of ePayPolicy. “The insurance industry will eventually catch up in terms of digital payments, but we want to help our companies manage that gap in adoption now.”

Indeed, a recent study by PYMNTS.com found that check payments still account for over 50% of payments in the insurance industry, compared to 22% or less for most other industries. ePayPolicy’s customers echoed this as consistent with their experience.

“We’re really fortunate to have such a clear focus on making insurance companies’ lives easier,” said Nish Modi, chief product and technology officer. “CheckMate gives customers options without sacrificing efficiency, because it leverages the same tools we’ve come to be known for with electronic payments.”

CheckMate is the next of several planned products that Modi’s team has planned, with the goal of continuing to streamline the payments experience for the industry.

“CheckMate is a big step forward for us and our customers, but there’s more we can do to modernize and simplify how insurance companies move money,” Modi said. “We’re as motivated as ever to go beyond just electronic payments and

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Why Arctic Refuge advocates are gathering in CT today

HARTFORD — Environmental advocates trying to preserve the Arctic Refuge have convened thousands of miles away in Connecticut — home to firms that haven’t formally bowed out of insuring companies drilling in the Arctic region.

The Arctic Refuge is America’s largest wildlife refuge. It provides habitat for caribou, polar bear and migrating birds from across the globe, as well as a calving ground of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, which contains more than 200,000 animals. Alaska’s Indigenous Iñupiat and Gwich’in people have lived there for thousands of years.

“If we care about animals and care about the planet, we want to leave that land untouched,” said Alina DeVoogd, field organizer with the Green Corp stationed in Hartford. “Furthermore, we need to move away from fossil fuels and drilling for more oil and decimating this land.”

DeVoogd, and other advocates with the Gwich’in Steering Committee, have been pushing for companies like The Hartford and Travelers to draft formal policies against insuring those that drill in the refuge.

The Gwich’in Steering Committee, which is based in Alaska, and the Connecticut Citizens Action Group have been working to engage banks, energy and insurance companies in hopes of starting a chain reaction.

“The insurance industry seeing these large companies like Travelers, or The Hartford, which considers themselves one of the most ethical companies in the insurance industry, taking that step to be an ethical insurance company and rule out these projects, I think we would consider them to be leaders in the industry, and we would hope that the rest of the industry would follow suit,” said Helen Humphreys, communications coordinator with CCAG.

The CCAG and the steering committee will hold an event at the Charter Oak Community Center in Hartford on Wednesday to raise awareness about its effort.

“There’s a lot of people in

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What insurance companies need to do to solve the gender parity problem

“You need to be nimble. You’ve got to accept nos and figure out how to pivot to find a yes,” she told Insurance Business.

Hunter is a moderator for a panel on strategic problem-solving at this year’s Women in Insurance Summit in New York. With a panel of fellow female leaders, Hunter will help unpack what it means to be an impactful problem-solver in the workplace.

Solving problems means constantly moving through thought processes – reframing problems and communicating and re-communicating them to arrive at solutions. But Hunter acknowledges it’s a skill that requires a willingness to bend.

“A lot of times, it’s just not getting too stuck in what you want the outcome to be or how you’d like the journey to the outcome to go because it rarely ever goes the way you want it to,” Hunter admitted.

Before founding A. Hunter & Company, she assisted start-ups and corporations with alternative risk transfer schemes and reinsurance placement globally as managing director of HM Risk Group, an international insurance brokerage and risk management firm.

“I spent most of my time talking to carriers, trying to negotiate terms and capacity. Most women probably reading this will know that it is a constant battle. I am constantly problem-solving, trying to figure out the best approach and who to contact,” Hunter said.

“I think women try to think that we can do it ourselves. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I realized that it is okay to ask for help because that will make solving a problem a lot easier.”

Ironically, Hunter’s advice for other women faced with problem-solving challenges is not to listen to advice.

“A lot of people have a lot of advice about how they did it, or how it worked for them and what’s best for

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Fired-up NJ Senate President calls opposition to costly auto insurance plan ‘nonsense’

New Jersey’s top lawmaker came out swinging in fierce defense of his legislation that could force more than 1 million people in the state to pay more for car insurance each year.

Senate President Nicholas Scutari on Monday defended the bill that would hike the minimum amount of liability insurance in the Garden State from its current $15,000 coverage to $25,000 beginning in 2023, and a minimum of $35,000 starting in 2026. He says it’s long overdue to protect victims of crashes.

“This is all nonsense,” said Scutari, D-Union, during a Senate committee hearing, arguing the cost to drive in the state would not immediately increase.

“(Insurers) cannot raise rates for a minimum of three and a half years. They cannot substantiate a raise in rates when we go to $25,000 in coverage. The industry cannot substantiate it. It is an impossibility. The Department of Banking and Insurance will not allow it,” he said.

“The people of New Jersey need this Legislature to protect them from themselves because we tell them what they need to get, and that’s what they get.”

He added taxpayers are the ones who are stuck with the costs to “subsidize unpaid medical bills” and “everything that the insurance industry doesn’t cover” in the minimum policy.

“This is insane,” he said.

Scutari’s impassioned defense of the bill (S481) came moments after people urged legislators not to support the bill.

“Why the urgency?” John Harmon, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, asked. “Could we not pull this back and do some impact studies?”

Harmon tested at the committee hearing Monday and spoke to NJ Advance Media Tuesday. He said he was surprised to see Scutari appear briefly at the event to “whip the votes” and then disappear moments

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