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An introduction to the history, products and current operations of Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad (GELM)
Great Eastern Life began its operations in 1908 as a branch office of The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited. The Malaysian operations were subsequently transferred to a locally incorporated public company, GELM under the Scheme of Transfer of Business. The Company was certified by The Malaysia Book of Records in 1998 as “The Oldest and Largest Life Insurer” in Malaysia.
With more than a century of experience and solid financial foundation, GELM has RM81.2 billion in assets, over 3.0 million policies in force, and a network of 19,000 agents nationwide as at 31 December 2018. To date, GELM has 21 branches nationwide and products including life insurance plans, investment-linked plans, mortgage protection, business protection, employee benefits, medical insurance and group health benefit schemes. GELM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eastern Holdings Limited (GEH) and its ultimate holding company is Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) Limited.
As the oldest and most established life insurer in Malaysia, we continue to set new standards as an innovative industry leader. We have provided generations of Malaysians with innovative financial solutions to protect them against the unexpected throughout different stages of their lives. This is complemented by our expanding suite of health protection products to help our customers better manage the economic implications of escalating medical costs.
Over the years, we have won many prestigious accolades in affirmation of our industry leadership. In 2019, GELM made history by becoming the only life insurance company to be conferred the prestigious Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Gold Award in the Life Insurance category for the 16th consecutive year. Additionally, GELM bagged Gold in the category of Health Insurance for the second consecutive year. The company also won the Nation Branding Award at The BrandLaureate BestBrands Awards 2018-2019, and the Putra Brand Award 2018 for Top Brand in Banking, Investment, and Insurance category amongst many other awards.
Delighting the customers
The company believes that a long-term partnership begins with great customer service. In its aspiration to be the choice financial services provider, GELM continually develops innovative and consumer-centric financial planning products.
GELM offers flexible and affordable group health benefits and protection schemes to both the corporate and public sector's employees and their families.
On the business front, GELM continues to explore and tap potential markets through alternative distribution channels, as well as in the retirement benefits and medical health segments.
Constant improvements are made to the workflow processes, with a focus on quality customer service. The road to excellence is never-ending. We will continue to deliver great customer service experience to our policyholders.
Delivering greater value with information technology
GELM continues to forge ahead through greater use of leading-edge technologies to modernise its IT infrastructure and systems capabilities. This will further improve and enhance our various business processes in delivering greater value and better user experiences to our customers and agents.
One of the key transformation programmes undertaken by GELM recently was to revamp the customer portal with the new Unified Internet Portal (called e-Connect), powered by a 360° customer view (Master CIF) and Transaction Data Store. This particular transformation programme successfully clinched the IDC’s 2017 Financial Insights Innovation Awards (under the Asia/Pacific’s Leader in Insurance Enterprise Transformation category), which was held in Singapore. With this highly intuitive customer portal, the e-Connect, GELM customers can access their policy account online. Direct channel insurance products can also be purchased through this platform.
As a LIFE company, GELM champions every effort to empower our agents to serve our customers better. That is why we are the first life insurer in Malaysia to launch the Mobile Point-of-Sales (MPOS) platform that provides a seamless end-to-end user experience with secured online real-time electronic payment, in collaboration with OCBC Bank. MPOS is an Apple iPad application for agents to manage customer profiles, conduct fact finding, sales illustrations, finally electronically signed and submission of insurance proposals to GELM. Given the successful track record of being the first life insurer to achieve 100% electronic submission of insurance proposals in 2010, we are confident to achieve the same success with this new MPOS platform. Amongst various collaborative tools, agents are also given online access to the agency portal (e-Partner), which connects agents to the information resources and tools needed to run their business effectively.
GELM has also adopted cutting edge training technology in developing a powerful Learning Access Management Platform (LAMP) by commissioning a world-class learning management system provider from the United States. The LAMP system has the capability to provide online registration for training courses, capture training history and records of agents, and act as a platform that enables e-learning and interactive forums for pre and post training discussions. It enhances virtual learning among agents who are located in different towns nationwide as training in Kuala Lumpur can be telecasted live to them, enabling real-time information sharing. Agents throughout Malaysia are also able to access the system through web and mobile devices.
The continual pursuit in rolling out innovative solutions attests to GELM's commitment to invest in relevant technologies to make life great for our customers, agents and staff.
Sharing with the community
Launched in 1995, GELM ChildrenCare is a long term community project benefitting over 10,000 Malaysian children in registered children homes under Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat. ChildrenCare aims to inspire underprivileged children to discover their potential in life under the three core pillars of Education, Health and Wellness, and Personal Development.
In 2014, ChildrenCare launched Program Aspirasi Gemilang ‘A’ which is an initiative under the Education pillar. The programme aims to help underprivileged children perform better in their public examinations through educational aids and a series of workshops carried out throughout the year. Subsequently, ChildrenCare kicked off new programmes under the Health and Wellness, and Personal Development pillars in 2015.
Besides channelling donations to various charities and homes, many interesting activities are organised to bring cheer to the underprivileged children throughout the year, including ChildrenCare Annual Youth Camps, Legal Awareness Camp, Children's Art Therapy sessions and even equipping a playroom for abused children in the first video recording witness suite under the care of the Polis Diraja Malaysia.
The company's noteworthy education and human capital development project is the Great Eastern Supremacy Scholarship Awards for deserving students to pursue their tertiary education locally and overseas. In 2018, 10 more scholarships were presented, bringing the total scholarship amount to over RM12 million awarded to 180 recipients since its inception in 1998.
(Formerly known as Overseas Assurance Corporation (Malaysia) Berhad)
Great Eastern General Insurance (Malaysia) Berhad (GEGM) started operations in Kuala Lumpur in 1954 as a branch of the Great Eastern General Insurance Limited, Singapore (GEGS), formerly known as Overseas Assurance Corporation Limited. GEGM’s early focus was in general insurance but it expanded its life insurance business in 1963, making it one of the earliest composite insurer in Malaysia.
In 1998, the branch operations were restructured to become a locally incorporated subsidiary of GEGS to comply with the requirements of the Malaysian Insurance Act 1996.
By 2000, GEGM was one of the largest providers of life, health and general insurance in Malaysia, serving a customer base of more than 500,000 policy owners with total assets exceeding RM2.5 billion. With the merger of GEGS and GEH in December 2000, GEGM's life insurance business was transferred to GELM in September 2001. Arising from this development, GEGM is now a pure general insurance operator that spearheads the Great Eastern Group’s development and expansion in the general insurance sector.
GEGM had officially acquired the general insurance business of Tahan Insurance Malaysia Berhad (Tahan) with effect from 1 January 2011. Following the acquisition, Tahan’s entire general insurance business was transferred to GEGM.
As at 31 December 2017, GEGM has total assets in excess of RM 1,101 million with a paid-up capital of RM 100 million and a network of 13 branches with more than 3,000 agents.
Building confidence and trust
At GEGM, building confidence and trust has always been the core. We put customers first by treating them as partners, fostering trust and respect through our unwavering commitment and uncompromising quality of service.
We have a proven track record of building confidence and trust that can be traced back to our humble beginnings more than 60 years ago. We have solid and lasting partnerships with some of the biggest names in Malaysian business, who bank on our comprehensive range of general insurance products and excellent customer service.
Trust comes with confidence. Our clients enjoy this confidence through our established corporate reputation and our affiliations with the Great Eastern and OCBC Group (Group). With the legacy of integrity and professionalism, as well as the financial security and stability of the Group, GEGM is well positioned to continue its growth and expansion in years to come.