We’ve had the privilege to get an interview with the CEO of Heliren Insurance Brokers, and Insurance industry expert, Mr. Peter Hogg. Mr. Hogg has had 38 years worth of experience in the insurance industry and has spent most of it as an expat in Asia.
Now, as the CEO of Heliren Insurance Broking Company, Mr. Hogg uses his expertise to bring top notch multi-product services in China.
Learn more about Mr. Peter Hogg’s insights and experience in his full interview below.
I was originally involved in China when Managing Director of Willis Faber Far East in the mid 90s and we starting developing a Chinese retail account from there. I moved with Willis to Dubai, and when I left them in 2000, I started a TPA in Dubai called Neuron, which we sold to local interests in 2013. In 2006 I was approached through someone, I had known for many years who had come across an opportunity in China to work with a Government-related entity (PCEA) to develop a large scale Accident Health programme and needed someone to administer it for them. This ended in 2008 when the Ministry of Health introduced Universal Healthcare here. The decision was taken to instead try and develop a broking company in partnership with PCEA to develop for their assistance subsidiary (CEAI) a range of products. In 2011, we obtained our license as a Chinese Insurance Broker though by then we had broken our ties with CEAI.
Our international connections, we handle all classes of business, not just Medical, there are two main types of broker here the large Multinationals, and local Chinese Brokers who either deal with one particular class or have very strong local connections but often lack knowledge of the International Market. We as Heliren are a Chinese Broker but can not only place business locally but also handle business around the World. We are able to handle more complex class of business, for instance, Credit Insurance, D+O, etc. We are also active in bringing in new medical insurance products by helping international insurers and MGAs enter the market.
The market is surprisingly still quite young, when I first joined Willis only Marine and Aviation were underwritten and it was only when I went to HK in 1994 that I found Non-Marine, life etc being underwritten. The reputation of the market has been affected in the public eye by the aggressive selling of Investment life products, something the Regulator is trying to change. So insurance buying is still very low in relation to the potential. This applies to IPMI as well, the large figures for Medical Premiums are mostly from the Supplementary Policies that attempt to fill some of the gap between what is available on the Social Insurance Scheme and the actual cost of treatment in the Public Hospitals, with Critical Illness being used to cover excluded conditions. The potential for IPMI is huge as the Chinese population demand ever higher levels of service and have the disposable income to afford it, but currently, volumes remain small, with Hospital charges very high and premiums reflecting that. There are encouraging signs of new investment in Private Hospitals and that the Government is encouraging the use of these facilities and thus insurance.
We are on the healthcare side working with other professional companies to look after their client’s Healthcare Insurance needs while we look to develop our own connections with larger Chinese Groups. We have a few such schemes about to start but at the moment, we cannot give any details of them.
At the moment, we prefer to keep a small team and act more as a Wholesale/Reinsurance broker on the Healthcare side. We plan to start building a sales force of our own in 2016. In general, we have been able to attract very capable people to join us to date.
A leading question. We have some issues to sort out and need to concentrate on the short term on developing the schemes we are currently working on but hopefully, later this year we will start to expand our team and develop much more quickly. We also are looking to develop more international connections both to help Brokers from elsewhere handle their accounts here in China and vice versa. A possible move back into the UAE market is also being looked at.