Embracing the new normal amidst COVID-19

In a recent article published by Oliver Wyman on ‘The Post-COVID Opportunity for Banks’, it was reported that contracting economic activity, growing loan provisions and expense increases for additional customer support and resilience requirements are already taking a toll on bottom lines. These headwinds exacerbate existing commercial challenges for financial institutions, from low interest rates to stiffer competition from market disruptors. Taking all these factors into consideration, defining how firms can find growth, efficiency and resilience will be at the heart of rethinking a ‘New Normal’.

The global pandemic has also significantly awakened one’s awareness on both wealth management and health care coverage. This is a critical time to address the role of life insurance in your clients’ wealth management plans, to analyze the suitability of existing policies, to adopt additional coverage if needed, and to explore liquidity options for clients who need cash immediately to weather the current storm^.

^ https://www.fa-mag.com/news/addressing-life-insurance-uses-and-needs-amid-covid-19-56102.html?section=3 (best viewed on Chrome)

Paving the way for the new normal

With more than 50%* of the world in lockdown of various forms, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented halt to normal life. Whilst there are opportunities emerging, the crisis is also making change mandatory. With social distancing and travel restrictions in place, clients are unable to travel overseas for their medical examination.

In response to these challenges, Private Client Services by Mercer has helped our clients pave the way for the new normal.

* https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2020/oct/the-post-covid-opportunity-for-banks.html


Case study: Paving the way for the new normal

As a case-in-point, we recently helped one of our existing clients, a family of 3 aged between 29-60 years, to place three Whole of Life (WOL) policies with their medical examination done onshore in Bangkok amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.

  PCS by Mercer Solutions


Instead of the usual face-to-face meetings, our PCS by Mercer consultant conducted an annual policy review with the clients over a video conferencing platform


Upon reviewing the clients’ current portfolio and needs:


  • Medical history of one of the clients appeared as a high risk case if not explained in detail, which would have resulted in premium loading
  • Detailed interviews with client on each ailment were done to facilitate the context to insurer 
  • Standard rates were obtained after further negotiations with the insurer 
  • WOL plan with different and guaranteed features on Cash Value and Death Benefit were also introduced to the clients 
  • The clients were unable to fly to Singapore for their medical examination and had instead agreed to complete their medical locally in Bangkok first followed by analysis of pricing and detailed features
  • Long-term interest rate trend and impact on clients’ policies were discussed at offer presentation

The smooth virtual process led to the successful closure of three WOL policies, with total Sum Assured of USD 17.1 Million and a total premium of USD 5.06 Million.

Above view of mom working on the laptop computer while her daughter reading the e-learning resources on the digital tablet in the workspace at home



  Key success factors and takeaways


  • It is vital to always remain in close contact with clients through various virtual platforms to create window for opportunities in the current climate
  • Medical ratings can be improved if client’s health has improved over the years
  • Collaboration efforts between RM and Consultant are vital to ensure that client’s concerns are addressed appropriately and in a timely manner
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Our experienced Private Client Services by Mercer Consultants across Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Switzerland are here to support you in these uncertain times and beyond.
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