Ep 16 – Rob Galbraith and Theresa Blissing – East Meets West – The Most Interesting Man and Woman In Insurance


Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance in Asia. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

In this episode AIP founder Theresa Blissing and host Michael Waitze discuss InsurTech trends and the differences between the US and Asia with US based insurance Thought Leader Rob Galbraith. Rob is the author of the new Amazon bestseller “The End Of Insurance As We Know It and the Director of Innovation at AF-Group

Rob and Theresa compare the state of InsurTech and innovation in the US and (emerging) Asia. While the US is a very mature and saturated market, developing Asia demonstrates a completely different landscape. Insurance penetration is low as is awareness of financial/insurance products. While the US has already mostly passed the wave of insurance aggregators, emerging Asia still sees a low percentage of online sales and currently experiences a rise of aggregators and comparison platforms.

What unites the two markets is the trend for partnerships. Consumer’s trust in insurance companies is throughout low on a global level and collaborations with super apps and InsurTech startups seem a promising way to reach consumers and achieve higher engagements. Rob and Theresa see a slight trend of developing countries leapfrogging certain developments. We have seen this in other industries like telecommunication before. The question is, will countries like Myanmar do their research in insurance and build the next generation of insurers? 

Correction: The company mentioned for digitized sales in Cambodia is not Metlife but Manulife.

Companies mentioned in this episode:

Lemonade, Trov, PolicyBazaar, Muang Thai Life Insurance, Zhong An, Ping An, Go-Jek, GRAB, MetLife, FairDee, TechSauce

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Episode 16