An Interview with
Trusted Union was founded in 2016 after spending 12 years in different positions spanning the entire insurance industry in Hong Kong. Our job as insurance brokers is to represent our clients in all things risk management from the risk assessment to negotiating coverage to assisting with claims. Because we have always delivered on this promise, we have built up a great niche servicing expats and local business owners.
With these clients, we help them with all types of personal insurance (home, auto, life, health, travel, etc.) and commercial insurance (group benefits, commercial property, liability, directors & officers, etc.).
9 July 2020
Tell us about your background, and how you came to found your company?
In the 1980’s, I made frequent trips to the Fragrant Harbour to visit my Aunt and Uncle, and fell in love with Hong Kong. In 2003, I was able to secure a position in the insurance industry so I could move here.
During my time in Hong Kong, I worked for several insurance companies and brokerage firms until 2015, when I felt called to set up my own insurance brokerage company, Trusted Union, Hong Kong’s trusted independent insurance brokerage firm.
What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
Our mission is to deliver affordable and comprehensive insurance solutions to help you thrive today and protect tomorrow. Our hope is that once your risks are appropriately managed, you’ll be able to fearlessly push forward in life and business. We want to see our clients thrive and to thrive right alongside them.
Our core values are very simple: integrity, transparency, independence, and professional conduct.
Integrity – Straight talk and honest advice from all of our licensed insurance brokers.
Transparency – No hidden fees or hidden terms and conditions. We disclose everything upfront and give straightforward answer to all of your questions.
Independence – We are independent insurance brokers who act in your best interest free from any insurance company’s influence.
Professional Code of Conduct – As licensed HK insurance brokers, we must adhere to a professional code of conduct but we aim every day to go beyond.
Can you explain briefly how your service(s)/product(s) works?
Whenever we onboard a new client, we take them through a detailed process comprising 5 main steps: risk review, program design, information collection, policy negotiation, and administration.
In the risk review stage, we take the client through a discovery process to uncover their risks and insurance requirements. This can be as simple as a phone conversation or a more in-depth process involving contract reviews.
In the program design stage, we take what we learnt and design an insurance program meant to mitigate some of those risks identified in the previous stage.
In the information collection stage, we work with you to obtain underwriting information to allow us to negotiate with different insurers to secure the best terms for you in the policy negotiation stage.
In the policy negotiation stage, we analyze potential insurers and negotiate policy wordings and coverages on your behalf. This is where the real value of a good broker comes into play. Once we have secured some quotes for you, we put together an analysis to present to you.
Once we have made a choice, we issue all of the required policy documents and schedule renewal and subsequent meetings based on your personal or business needs and preferences.
How has the industry been changing in recent years?
One of the most prevalent changes in the industry, which has been accelerated by COVID-19 is the shift to digital. Over the last few years, insurers and intermediaries (including Trusted Union) have been committed to a digital transformation to improve not only internal efficiencies but also service delivery to meet the needs and expectations of their target market. Players across all sectors of the insurance industry have been moving business processes and more importantly: customer acquisition and service online.
I’m proud to say that Trusted Union has come a long way and is one of the digital leaders in the insurance industry in Hong Kong.
What makes you different from what’s currently available in the market?
Over the years, we have been able to carve out a great niche for ourselves in the way we deliver our service and the market segments we target. There are a lot of brokerages going after the retail market and a handful of very large brokerages targeting the very top end of the market in terms of size.
Where we have found our skills and agility provides the most client value is in the segment just below what the large brokerage houses are targeting. We find that these individuals and firms are more entrepreneurial and appreciate the way we deliver our service and deal with an advisory firm that is small but mighty, agile, and entrepreneurial. Here we can really leverage our strengths and punch well above our weight.
What does the future hold for your company?
The future is always uncertain but we know that it is bright. We are committed to doubling down on what is currently working for us and also rapidly iterating on experiments. With a company of our size, one real advantage is that we’re able to run experiments and iterate on them quickly.
For example, if we wanted to experiment with a new system or business process, we can do that with no disruption to existing clients. If the experiment goes well, we can keep the new system but if not, we can always iterate to improve it or scrap it altogether.
This ability to rapidly experiment allows us to grow and improve at a much faster rate than most of our competitors.