AIA PHILIPPINES Life and General Insurance Co., Inc. is looking at offering takaful insurance in the country, an official said, although it will continue to prioritize health-related products, with the insurer also considering rolling out retirement plans.

“In the Philippines, we’re evaluating whether or not that’s (takaful) a category of business that we want to get into. There are larger value pools, larger segments, where we see more immediate opportunity to expand either distribution, proposition type, or target audience. Takaful is certainly something for us to consider. It’s sort of on the list,” AIA Group Chief Marketing Officer Stuart A. Spencer told reporters on Friday.

“But I’m not going to tell you it’s a priority here in the Philippines. It’s not. It is in places like Malaysia… where you have a majority Muslim population,” Mr. Spencer said, noting that the AIA Group has a takaful company in Malaysia.

Insurance Commissioner Reynaldo A. Regalado previously said the country’s first takaful insurance product may be sold within the year. Takaful is a type of Islamic insurance where members contribute a certain sum of money to a common pool. Takaful insurance needs to be compliant with Shari’ah law, which prohibits riba (interest), al-maisir (gambling), and al-gharar (uncertainty) principles.

For now, AIA Philippines is focusing on other product lines, specifically retirement and healthcare plans, Mr. Spencer said.

“Those are the two areas that today we see the greatest opportunity and where the group is spending most of its time to innovate,” he said.

For retirement plans, Mr. Spencer said AIA Philippines could consider tie-ups with nursing homes, nursing home planning, and emergency assistance.

“It’s about tapping people in their early 50s and late 40s who are pre-retirement that could develop a medical savings account, for example, to put money away to cover unforeseen medical events post-retirement when traditionally it’s very difficult to get insurance when you’re over the age of 65. So, we’re trying to get people to plan ahead, and everything that we’re doing has an ecosystem,” he added.

“The next is in health and healthcare — more medical products that are designed to be portable, you use them anywhere, and give you options in terms of the kind of provider that you want to see, and, with medical case management, to make sure that you get the right treatment, the right diagnosis, and you get the right return to recovery,” Mr. Spencer said.

The AIA Group is focused on “life, health, wellness, and long-term savings,” he said.

“We don’t like short-term savings. We like long-term savings in a long-term business. We are looking at new categories as well as how to best package and bundle products together to give customers more holistic solutions,” Mr. Spencer said. “We don’t just want to protect. We want to drive behavioral change that creates sustained habit formation that enables healthier long-term outcomes for our customers. So, you see, it’s much deeper than purely risk transfer.”

“We have a group-wide approach to make sure that all proposition development is designed to be customer-led, meeting target segments, understanding target segment needs, uncovering gaps, and then designing propositions to fill those needs,” he added.

AIA Philippines booked a premium income of P12.91 billion in 2023, while its net income was at P2.66 billion. — AMCS