Highlights of 2021 at Ageas in Belgium

CEO Belgium Heidi Delobelle looks back on some of the most significant highlights of the past year for our Belgium business.

Highlights of 2021 at Ageas in Belgium

Major technology developments set us up for the future

We have embarked on two significant technology projects that will help shape our future. In what is the most important IT-project undertaken for more than three decades at AG, we are in the process of transferring 70 billion lines of code to a new future-proof IT infrastructure in record time and with zero disruption. At the same time, we are building a new Data Platform that will enhance our customer knowledge thanks to a unique customer database and stronger data analytics capabilities. These projects will not only lead to significant cost reductions and a higher storage capacity and processing speed. They will also provide us with the building blocks to develop new digital tools for our customers with greater flexibility.


We have continued to evolve our digital products as seen through the launch of Uppie, a fully online investment product, alongside our new partner KeyTrade Bank. It was important for us to ensure this proposition was not only simple and transparent but also well understood by our customers. AG Health Partner, launched a few months before the Covid-outbreak, has been scaled up in response to an increasing demand in the B2B market for prevention and wellbeing at work initiatives. And we continued to refine and enhance our Health care app with easier access and enhanced features. Today app users send 80% of their cost declarations through the app, which allows for faster and more efficient claims declaration and handling.

Ultimately, it’s all about the customer

To evaluate how our efforts are landing with the end customer we have made a gradual shift from tracking not just the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of our distribution partners, which are consistently high. We also started measuring NPS with the end clients with whom AG has direct contact, with encouraging results across all sectors providing us with vital insights to further improve the client experience. 


As we continue to battle the challenge of a low interest rate environment we have deliberately increased our focus on Unit Linked where we are growing faster than the market with several new products launched. We have focused strongly on the Protection business working hard to create awareness of the protection gap and significantly increasing the education around this need, leading to a 45% increase in premiums in 2021.


We have been strengthening our relationships with our distribution partners. We aligned with BNP Paribas Fortis in the launch of Protection Non-Life Pro, their first Non-Life offer to business clients. At the same time our new dedicated Partnership department has been developing new relationships, while testing or piloting others.

Covid brought challenges but opportunities to do things differently

Covid continued to have a significant negative impact on our recurrent income on our investment assets and especially on our investment in Interparking (our public car parking operator), but this was compensated for by other positive contributions. Within AG we have adapted fast to a hybrid way of working and we found many different ways to stay connected. The opening of our AG Campus will provide our employees with a unique working space that promotes lifelong learning but in a fully sustainable environment that meets the highest standards in energy consumption and carbon emissions.


Also on the sustainability front, we have appointed a director of sustainability, published our first sustainability report and started the process to define clear ambitions for the future, setting tangible targets in line with the Group’s ambition to put sustainability at the heart of our strategy.

Supporting our customers through the devastating floods

As a leader in the insurance industry, the most important test is when disaster strikes. They come no bigger than the summer 2021 floods in Belgium. This is when as market leader we needed to step up and be there for our clients. And we were, with incredible solidarity demonstrated across our teams. The claims procedure was complex, the legal framework that existed insufficient, and the scale as a nationwide disaster extreme. AG worked hard to ensure a highly coordinated approach, making sure also that we were exactly where our customers and our partners needed us to be. This extended to helping our brokers to continue to operate when some had been impacted themselves.

Step by step towards 200th anniversary

Impact24 is an important growth opportunity for us and marks the coming of age of AG as a sustainable and resilient company for the decades to come. Our aim is to be top quartile in terms of sustainability, and in customer and employee satisfaction. The three levers that will allow us to do that are people, tech and data and our partners. And 2024 has special significance within AG. It is the year in which we celebrate our 200th anniversary as an insurer, a reminder of past achievements. But it is also a marker for what is still to come. The steps we take today will ensure that what happens next is even more exciting and makes us even prouder in the future.

Heidi Delobelle

For me, 2022 will be a success if we succeed in completing the digital replatforming process smoothly and on time. It will make such a big difference to what we can do in the future. And while the battle against Covid is not yet over, success will be determined by small and big initiatives that allow us to keep a close connection with our stakeholders even from a distance.

Heidi Delobelle, CEO Belgium
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