Insurance Authority introduces new initiatives to facilitate Insurtech in Hong Kong
29 September 2017
The Insurance Authority (IA) today (29 September 2017) launched two pilot initiatives, namely Insurtech1 Sandbox and Fast Track, to promote the development and the application of new technologies in the insurance sector of Hong Kong.
Insurtech Sandbox helps authorized insurers experiment with new Insurtech and other technology applications without the need to achieve full compliance with the IA's usual regulatory requirements. Under the Sandbox initiative, pilot trials of Insurtech applications will be conducted in a controlled environment with sufficient safeguards for policy holders. Insurers can gain real market data and collect user feedback before their formal launch in the market.
Another IA Insurtech initiative is Fast Track, a pilot scheme with a dedicated queue for new authorization applications from insurers using solely digital distribution channels. Fast Track will expedite the authorization process by giving the IA an opportunity to review proposed digital distribution channels at an early stage.
Insurers that apply under Fast Track must have an innovative and robust model using digital distribution to provide benefits to policy holders in product development, delivery, customer service and cost efficiency.
“The IA is committed to building a regulatory environment conducive to the use of new technologies in the insurance sector,” said Mr John Leung, Chief Executive Officer of the IA. “Our Insurtech initiatives demonstrate our drive to embrace technology by introducing flexibility to the existing supervisory requirements.”
The IA will closely monitor the operation of both pilot initiatives and may refine the arrangements in light of implementation experience and industry developments, he added.
Close collaboration between the insurance industry and the Fintech community is critical for Insurtech development in Hong Kong. The IA will work to enhance communication with market participants to promote Hong Kong as an Insurtech hub in Asia.
The IA’s Insurtech Facilitation Team, previously known as the Fintech Liaison Team, was renamed to better reflect its role in facilitating innovation in the insurance sector. The Team will help insurers, Fintech companies and start-ups to gain better understanding of the current regulatory landscape and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas related to Insurtech initiatives. Interested parties can contact the Team at [email protected]. Details of the IA’s Insurtech initiatives can be found in the Insurtech Corner (www.ia.org.hk/en/insurtech) of the IA website.
1The use of new technologies in the insurance industry.