Hanwha Life Insurance, which is Korea’s first life insurance company and symbolizes all Korean life insurance companies, has sequentially succeeded in entering the global markets of China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Hanwha Life Insurance is the first Korean life insurance company to enter the Vietnamese insurance market, which it did in April 2009. This is also the first time that a domestic life insurance company invested a 100 percent share and established a local subsidiary.
Through its localization strategy, the company employed nearly 230 locals, including a chief sales officer, financial managers, and sales managers. The only foreign employees were its president and 2 staff members.
The contracts have grown sixfold from 30.8 billion VND (1.59 billion won or US$1.44 million) in 2009 to 191.4 billion VND (9.88 billion won or US$8.97 million) as of the end of November last year. The number of sales offices has also increased from five in 2009 to 41 at the end of November in 2014, based in major cities such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Danang, and Can Tho. The number of life insurance planners has gone up from 450 to 8,435 as well.
Focusing on product development and customer services, Hanwha Life Vietnam has been granted the honor of the Golden Dragon Award for 4 consecutive years from 2010 to 2013 for “Best quality products and services.” This prestigious award is granted by the Vietnam Economic Times, VCCI, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam. An official from the company said, “By 2020, we will become one of the top 5 insurance companies.”
Promoting social contributions, Hanwha Life Vietnam was the first Korean company to offer 10,422 life insurance cards to low-income families and donate 133 brick houses.
Hanwha Life has also entered the Chinese market successfully, the most competitive insurance market in the world.
Kicking off the official operations in Dec. 2012, China-Korea Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a joint corporation in China, recorded initial premiums of 165.93 million yuan (29.1 billion won or US$26.41 million) at the end of November last year.
The figure is the 2nd highest among 13 foreign insurance companies operating in Zhejiang Province. Hanwha Life opened an office in Beijing in 2003 and had tried to tap the Chinese life insurance market. The success factors are its multi-channel and thorough localization strategies.
Immediately after starting its operations, the company drastically pushed ahead with the multi-channel strategy, targeting individual planner, bancassurance, and group channels at the same time.
China-Korea Life Insurance currently has nearly 570 insurance planners, and it sells endowment insurance and annuity insurance, which are preferred by locals, through bancassurance cooperation with China's largest banks - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China. Also, it is accelerating to develop the collective insurance market in partnership with Zhejiang International Trade Group.
China-Korea Life Insurance also employs 173 Chinese people in positions of sales managers and financial managers, excepting its president and two staff members. The company is planning to open six offices in Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Jinhua, and build its business network around the nation in earnest this year.
Hanwha Life is also the first Korean company to enter the Indonesian market.
As the Indonesian life insurance market is expected to continue growing, the leading global insurance companies are trying to break into the market through the acquisition of shares in local insurance companies and M&As.
Currently, foreign capital companies account for nearly 50 percent of the market share among 47 life insurance companies in Indonesia. It is safe to say that Indonesia is a competitive insurance market for global life insurance companies. But even under those conditions, Hanwha Life established PT Hanwha Life Insurance Indonesia in Oct. 2013.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2014, the assets of the company totaled about 10.8 billion won (US$9.81 million) and the imported premiums amounted to 670 million won (US$608,648.26). The company is organized with 3 headquarters and 13 teams.
Also, it opened five sales offices in major focus cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, and Medan, and its 460 individual sales insurance planners currently sell equity-linked life insurance, educational endowment insurance, and health insurance.
An official from the company said, “Indonesian parents are extremely education oriented, and people show high interest in employee welfare.” Establishing a group business organization, PT Hanwha Life Insurance Indonesia is now selling medical indemnity insurance and personal pension annuities to Korean and Indonesian companies.
By the end of this year, the company will recruit 1,400 planners and open additional sales offices in major focus regions in order to build bancassurance channels. It is also planning to establish individual sales channels to create synergy effects in partnership with bancassurance channels.
Indonesia has the 4th largest population in the world (about 240 million people). With sound demand and abundant resources, the nation has recorded high economic growth of an annual average of 6 percent for the past 7 years, regardless of the global economic slump.
An official from the company said, “After 2007, Indonesia has shown an annual average of 16.6 percent growth. The density of life insurances is lower than the global average, and more and more people will buy life insurance due to the growing amount of middle class.”