Etiqa Insurance and Takaful aims to be the insurance & takaful leader in written premiums by 2015, ahead of the current industry No 1, Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd (GE).
The insurance arm of the Maybank Group has undertaken a strategic exercise to strengthen its position in pursuit of leadership, expanding its distribution footprint and humanising its customer experience to contribute profitably to its shareholders.
“The plan has been active for roughly a year. I’m quite happy with the four pillars (of the strategy) and am confident of our foundations to be No 1,” Etiqa chief executive officer Hans De Cuyper told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
For the financial year ending Dec 31, 2011, Etiqa declared a gross written premium of RM4.3 billion while GE declared RM5.8 billion in gross premium for the same period. “In general, we have taken the leadership position two years ago. Now is the time (for us) to grow our life insurance business to take the overall leadership position,” he added.
However, recent mergers and acquisitions activity in the insurance industry may pose some problems for Etiqa. The acquisition of Kurnia Insurans (M) Bhd by AMMB Holdings Bhd and the more recent RM5.3 billion purchase of ING Malaysia Bhd by AIA Group Ltd, will create two large insurance entities in Malaysia and may represent a hurdle to Etiqa’s target of an overall leadership position.
Meanwhile, Etiqa remains mum on whether it is interested in acquiring Uni.Asia General Insurance Bhd and Uni. Asia Life Assurance Bhd from DRB-Hicom Bhd. In August, DRB-Hicom received the nod from Bank Negara Malaysia to sell the companies.
On another matter, De Cuyper claims that Etiqa has the widest business lines, product range and distribution footprint, saying that it is ready to grow regionally especially in bancassurance and takaful.
He also said: “We are proud of what we have achieved especially coming from an industry that historically is not known for having a strong reputation in customer service.
"It is a testimony of our customer service as we put people over policies with 2,000 Etiqan’s who continuously look at what we can do to humanise our service.”
Etiqa has a 23,000-agency force, 30 insurance and takaful branches, more than 450 Maybank branches, ATMs and other third-party banks, providing full accessibility and total convenience to its customers.