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General insurance industry to embrace tech, incubate solutions for new risks: Lawrence Wong

THE general insurance industry in Singapore needs to find ways to incubate insurance solutions for new and emerging risks.

This point was made by Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance on Wednesday night at the General Insurance Association's (GIA's) 50th anniversary celebration.

He pointed out that shifts in economic production to higher-end manufacturing and services sector increase risks that include reputational, environmental, cyber and supply chain interruptions.

For example, the widespread use of digital and mobile applications have exponentially driven up the risk and cost of cyberattacks against businesses and consumers. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the global economy more than S$400 billion a year.

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The cybersecurity market in the Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow in excess of 15 per cent per annum from 2014-2019, said Mr Wong, who added that new risks are not well understood by businesses and remain a challenge for insurers to quantify.

General insurers also need to embrace technology and innovation, he said.

The minister noted that even as the advent of driverless vehicles raises new questions for underwriting, policy wording and claims management for motor insurance, these complex issues have to be thought through carefully.

He welcomed GIA's move to engage stakeholders such as autonomous vehicle manufacturers, on the opportunities and challenges new technologies pose for motor insurance.