SIRC 2023: Asia will close the protection gap says Miller’s Whyte

Despite relatively low penetration rates in certain countries, there can be little doubt that the protection gap in Asia will be closed before too long and it will no longer lag behind Europe and the US in this respect, according to Ron Whyte, head of Asia for broker Miller.

Whyte conceded that there is some way to go in terms of insurance uptake in the region: “You hear all these stats, such as Asia has half the world’s population, but it’s nowhere near half the world’s insurance premium. Penetration rates are extremely low- Hong Kong and Singapore are quite high, as well as Korea, which matches up to Europe and the US.”

However, he was optimistic that, given the continuing population growth across the region, coupled with a burgeoning middle class fuelled by economic growth, the balance will tip.

“It will catch up very quickly in my opinion… Asia is the future,” he added. 

“Will that be in five years? Ten years? I don’t know, but what matters is that you have to be here now. As Asia has proven with so many things, when it happens, it happens quickly. But that’s what’s so exciting. Indonesia is going to be one of the largest economies in the world by the end of this decade. Insurance penetration is very low… but you can’t not have a game-plan for Indonesia, which is a country that is going to be more populous than the US. It’s a fascinating few years ahead of us.”