Persons with disabilities matter to Allianz Malaysia
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Diversity and inclusion are important values at Allianz Malaysia. In its effort to promote a more inclusive society, the Company is now providing insurance solutions for Persons with Disabilities (“PWDs”). CEO of Allianz Malaysia Berhad and Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad (“Allianz General”), Zakri Khir and CEO of Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad (“Allianz Life”), Rangam Bir introduced three products that cater to PWDs at Aloft Hotel, Kuala Lumpur today. These three products are Allianz Ability Life, Allianz Care Individual and Allianz Individual PA.
“According to the World Health Organisation, over 1 billion people, about 15 percent of the world’s population, live with disability1, making them the world’s largest minority2. A compilation of information from Allianz’s operating entities worldwide shows that one in three people either have or are close to someone who has a disability. What few people realise is that only a small percentage of people are actually born with disability, with 82 percent of PWDs acquiring disability as a result of age, illness or accident. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of PWDs’ needs means that a large proportion of PWDs have difficulty accessing many things that we take for granted,” said Zakri Khir, CEO of Allianz Malaysia Berhad.
At the event, guests were made to undergo an experiential challenge, with some being blindfolded and given walking sticks and others made to navigate a simple obstacle course in a wheelchair. This was a literal crash course in understanding things from the PWD perspective, and in having a greater appreciation for the challenges that PWDs face. Later, guests adjourned for the official introduction of these three products where Zakri delivered his speech and Rangam presented the features of the three products.
The idea of coming up with a product for PWDs came about through the Innovation Incubator Workshop held in September 2014; a design-thinking workshop with the aim of finding business solutions for social issues. The workshop consisted of Allianz employees as well as representatives from non-governmental organisations working with PWDs, Bank Negara Malaysia and Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat who worked together to address the design challenge of understanding and improving ‘Accessibility for PWDs’. At the end of the workshop, the teams presented their ideas for ways that Allianz could make a difference, spurring the Company to develop insurance solutions for this community.
“A lot of the feedback we received was that PWDs do not need special treatment, they just needed to be treated fairly. So, it was important to us that these products are not charity or philanthropy-based. All we are doing is removing the assumption that PWDs are high risk. They will still be subject to medical underwriting - just like any other Allianz customer. It is because of this commercial viability consideration that our products do not cater to all seven types of disability. We currently are unable to cover persons with learning and mental disability. However, this is still a learning process for us, and we need to evaluate how the products are received before making further adjustments to increase their scope,” said Zakri.
The first product, Allianz Ability Life; underwritten by Allianz Life, is a yearly renewable life insurance plan. This product, which is designed exclusively for PWDs, comes with affordable premium rates starting from as low as RM50 for Sum Assured of RM25,000 and RM70 for Sum Assured of RM50,000. This plan is open to PWDs between the ages of 16 and 70 years old.
The other two products, Allianz Care Individual and Allianz Individual PA are underwritten by Allianz General. These two products are existing products which are now extended to PWDs.
Allianz Care Individual is a hospitalisation coverage that helps to fund healthcare costs in case of hospitalisation for any non-existing conditions. Customers can choose between a cashless or a non-cashless plan, which are both supported by a 24 Hour customer service hotline to assist with any queries or requests related to hospital admission. Allianz Individual PA on the other hand provides coverage in case of an accident at very affordable premium rates, as low as RM10 per year for RM10,000 coverage.
“At Allianz, diversity and inclusion are important values. We value and respect each individual and seek to understand them and provide what is best for them. Thus, we hope that these three products will be able to, in some way, help PWDs by providing insurance solutions catering to their needs,” concluded Zakri.
1 – World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs352/en/
2 – United Nations - http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=18