IFoA Asia Conference 2024: Q&A with speaker Orchis Li

IFoA Asia Conference 2024: Q&A with speaker Orchis Li Orchis Li gives an insight into the world of critical illness insurance, the focus of her and her colleagues presentation, "Evolution of critical illness insurance: an experience-based journey", at the IFoA Asia Conference 2024.

What’s the focus of your session and why is it important? 

Critical illness (CI) products offer valuable protection and are popular to consumers in Asia, but then they also represent a very complex risk landscape for practitioners, and we must always balance innovation with risk management. To maintain a sustainable growth of the CI market, it is very important to be vigilant and adaptable to the ever changing medical, technological and societal landscapes to provide relevant and financially viable products to consumers.  

CI risks can be broadly categorized into two buckets: first is the controllable aspects, for example, product features, structure, and disease definitions; and the less predictable factors, such as advancements in medical technology, changes in personal lifestyles, and the environment that we're living in, as well as human behaviour.  

Gen Re conducts industry surveys in various markets (including China mainland, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and Singapore) to monitor the claims trends of insured portfolios and compare them to general population incidence trends. We also need to keep a very close eye on new developments in medical advancements, government policies and medical protocols on disease management, which may affect future incidence rates. These insights are then integrated into the adjustment of product offerings and pricing accordingly. This is what we aim to share with participants at the IFoA Asia conference, shedding light on the risk management of CI products. 

What’s the biggest misconception about your topic and how would you address it? 

I would say that 'misconception' may be too strong a word, but I do observe some hesitation among practitioners to act when they notice a deteriorating trend elsewhere. Consequently, they are more reluctant to respond in their own market if the trend has not yet emerged there. 

For example, thyroid cancer was initially quite severe in Korea, and then, as thyroid ultrasound scans became routine in China, the situation quickly worsened. Despite Hong Kong having just a modest volume of business from mainland Chinese visitors, we have observed a sharp deterioration in the current survey. Therefore, it is conceivable that this could easily spread to other markets depending on local medical protocols, such as what is considered a regular checkup item. We aim to enlighten participants so that even if certain trends are not currently affecting their market, they should consider the potential future impact. 

What other sessions are you most looking forward to at the conference? 

I would say AI and ESG topics because these are new areas that we do not know enough about. And it would always be good to hear about some of the latest developments in the market and thereby gaining valuable insights into these areas


Learn more at the IFoA Asia Conference 2024

Join Orchis, her Gen Re colleagues and actuaries from across the Asia-Pacific region learn more about 'Tomorrow’s actuarial science' by booking your place at the IFoA Asia Conference 2024.

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