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Home / case studies / Case study: How Cathay Life promotes financial inclusion

Case study: How Cathay Life promotes financial inclusion

Cathay Life is the leading brand in Taiwan’s insurance industry, with business sites around Taiwan that include 33 branches and 300 agencies with over 27,000 sales agents providing customers with a wide variety of products and services. Recognising that an inclusive financial system can provide equal opportunity to help reduce poverty and promote prosperity, Cathay Life seeks to expand the usability and accessibility of financial services  Tweet This!, so that the public can enjoy required financial services equally.

This case study is based on the 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report by Cathay Life published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Cathay Life has been providing alternative financial inclusion products to fulfill the demands of various social groups, including the economically disadvantaged and the elderly, so as to maximise social stability centred on insurance. In order to promote financial inclusion Cathay Life took action to:

  • offer micro insurance for the economically disadvantaged
  • provide the first petty amount whole life insurance
  • launch Asia’s first medical insurance for cancer patients
  • provide student group insurance

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report Cathay Life identified a range of material issues, such as corporate governance and ethical corporate management, responsible investment and lending, customer rights preservation, attracting and developing talents, information security and customer privacy. Among these, promoting financial inclusion stands out as a key material issue for Cathay Life.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards             

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Cathay Life engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees ·       Engagement Survey

·       Training and Development

·       Mailbox

·       Forum

·       Employee Activities

·       EAP

Customers ·       Satisfaction Survey

·       Website

·       Cathay Life App

·       0800 Customer Services

·       Smart Digital Customer Services

·       Service Mailbox

·       Policyholder Activities

Suppliers ·       Supplier Activities

·       Supplier Management System

Communities/NGOs/ NPOs ·       Charity Annual Report

·       Charity Activities

·       Media Promotion

·       Website

·       Seminars

CSR Experts

 

·       CS Report

·       CS Website

·       Email

·       Seminars

Investors ·       Annual Report

·       Stewardship Report

·       Meetings

·       Public Conferences/ Forums

·       Investor Conferences

Government and Competent Authority ·       Life Insurance Association

·       Meetings

·       Email

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Cathay Life engaged with its stakeholders through surveys and interviews, including a questionnaire survey among 3,943 stakeholders.

What actions were taken by Cathay Life to promote financial inclusion?

In its 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report Cathay Life reports that it took the following actions for promoting financial inclusion:

  • Offering micro insurance for the economically disadvantaged
  • From 2009, Cathay Life began offering micro insurance to provide basic coverage to the economically These products cover injury, death, disability and medical expenses. As of the end of 2018, micro insurance provided protection totalling NT$59.4 billion for around 190,000 economically disadvantaged people, the highest in the industry.
  • Providing the first petty amount whole life insurance
  • Cathay Life expanded its micro insurance to all people, and led the industry in offering the first petty amount whole life insurance in 2017, which offers the largest coverage and can be afforded by almost anyone. The product allows people to get basic coverage, even for those who cannot apply insurance because of age or poor physical condition. The features of this product are low application requirements and premiums, allowing people to obtain basic insurance coverage easily. As of the end of 2018, nearly 180,000 policyholders have been insured, providing a total insurance coverage, NT$51.6 billion approximately, against personal risks for society. This is the highest amount of total coverage in the industry.
  • Launching Asia’s first medical insurance for cancer patients
  • After being diagnosed with cancer, many cancer patients finally realise how insufficient their coverage is but cannot transfer the risk by applying insurance, and have to face the burden of immense medical expenses directly. Cathay Life saw the need of cancer patients for getting coverage and launched Asia’s first medical insurance for cancer patients exclusively in 2018. The coverage is for the top 12 most common primary cancers in Taiwan, such as colorectal cancer or breast cancer. This product can cover about 80% of cancer patients and offer them adequate economic and psychological support, has gained widespread social approval and has inspired industry peers to follow suit.
  • Providing student group insurance
  • From 2017 to 2018, Cathay Life provided student group insurance with a total insured amount of about NT$3 trillion, protecting 3 million students around Taiwan. Cathay Life and the K-12 Education Administration also implemented the Sustainable Campus Project, to provide students with more thoughtful and expanded services. Nearly 6,000 agents, as the sustainable campus ambassadors around Taiwan, visited schools to increase students’ awareness of self-protection and sustainability issues.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts

Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Cathay Life, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Cathay Life: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.