With the current insurance penetration rate at less than 2 percent, and a protection gap at a gaping P1.5 trillion, there is definitely a need for the entire insurance industry to hustle and make itself heard and understood by the up and coming Generation Z (Gen Z) market. Taking a different approach in addressing this challenge, the country’s leading insurance company AIA Philam Life, turned to college students for fresh ideas through AIA Philam Life Hackers 2019, an innovation contest to hack and future-proof the company, which was held last November 9 and 10 in Pasig City.
According to AIA Philam Life Chief Operations Officer Gigi Pio de Roda, over 500 students from close to 40 schools registered for the event. “This is our first hackathon and it was conceptualized because AIA Philam Life has been focusing on digitizing the business. We wanted to widen the scope in terms of impact, so that we can be known for our digital and innovation initiatives. Involving our staff in mentoring can also drive a change in innovative mindset within the institution,” she added.
There are two categories in the competition: Most Innovative Business Solution and Most Innovative Tech Solution. “We didn’t have any preconceived solution that we wanted to see, that is why we expanded the scope of the hackathon, where it is not just hacking and coding. That makes us different from other hackathons, because we wanted to give our participants a voice and the flexibility of what they wanted to create. A lot of the entries were not straightforward tech or business solutions and they have advocacy attached to it. As a business leader, it is very important to us to have that, and not just be focused inwardly in terms of what the goals were,” Pio de Roda explained.
The Most Innovative Business Solution award went to UT-UT (Usap Tayo, Usad Tayo), with De La Salle University students Stephen Sausa, Won Suk Cho, and Gio Acosta launching A.P.A.T, which targets the need for financial literacy education as the basis before product sales, and at the same time simplifying the insurance process through digitalization.
The Most Innovative Business Solution Runner-Up and winner of the Best Breakthrough Idea award was Start, a group composed of Dione Gan, Stephen Foja, Christine Castro, and Janella Ong from Ateneo de Manila University, and their “data lord,” Lawrence Dy from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Their big idea was called Genesis Jr.: Philam Life Student Ambassador Program, which allows students to become immersed in financial literacy and in turn be able to explain it better to their peers. This, they say, will encourage more people from their generation to look towards the insurance business for their career path, by being a mentee of a financial advisor and by engaging with people their age group as ambassadors of the brand.
Innobait, which is composed of De La Salle University students Miguel Quiambao, Patrick Narvasa, Jericho Dienzo, and Cheska Cruz was awarded Most Innovative Tech Solution for their pitch titled “Hero”. The Gen Z search for something meaningful is tapped in their advocacy-based idea, where potential policyholders can also contribute to a cause or charity of their choosing when they post their microinsurance payments online. Through the app, they can also get updates on their advocacy efforts and share about their Hero product on social media to drive awareness.
Most Innovative Tech Solution Runner-Up went to PhilAmazing, with Ana Caballero, Chette Baguilod, Nicole Domingo, Jayvee Gabriel, and Kayle Tiu. Their PHILAM 360 project aims to give AIA Philam Life users the best customer experience by providing them a mobile application that allows a hassle-free transaction by digitizing the end-to-end customer journey, integrated with AIA Philam Life’s game-changing program, Philam Vitality. Technologies such as QR Code, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Chatbot, and APIs will be incorporated into the said application as well. It is expected that this application will be adopted well by the consumers because of the exclusive rewards given to the users by the established partners of the company.
Reaching the youth
With AIA Philam Life heading towards its 100th year in the next 28 years, it seeks to future-proof the business by tapping into the youth segment, creating awareness on the relevance of life insurance and gaining insights on this market segment through events like the hackathon. It has been effective as far as the participants are concerned because aside from the experience of joining the competition it has given them a deeper insight on the need for insurance protection and being prepared for eventualities, concepts that they would not have not ordinarily encountered, given their age.
For insurance industry executive Pio de Roda, what struck her the most about the entries was that they were not so much business with a focus on revenue and sales. “They are very specific on what their advocacy will be, and that is something we can build on, as Philam Life is not just focused on building the business but a vision of driving protection and coverage through financial literacy. It was refreshing to hear from them, as the solutions are not just business but what your legacy can be for the Filipino people.”