The promise of fintech has been proven in so many arenas, save one. Can fintech bring about better insurance for Singaporeans?
That’s the foremost question on our minds, and when Singapore Life secured the deal to take over the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore, we knew we had our work cut out for us. The landmark agreement meant we would be entrusted with the entirety of Zurich Life Singapore’s clientele in Singapore – representing total value of about SGD 6 billion in life assurance coverage.
As the new kid on the block in Singapore’s highly competitive insurance sector, we knew we’d cast some ripples entering the fray. After all, you turn heads as a new local independent player entering the arena in more than 50 years.
But, with the Zurich Life deal – announced early this year and now with the clients onboarded to Singapore Life – it looks like we’ve made more than a splash. And that’s ok. The fact is, Singapore Life has entered the Big League, and now, we’re stepping up to the plate to bat. And when you’re already out on the mound, there’s nothing to do but to swing for the fences.
Capitalising on What Went Right
Milestones don’t come any bigger than this, especially when you’re barely a year old. The fact is, we didn’t just pick up some dusty old accounts. We were nominated and trusted to take over from Zurich Life, a credible veteran with a long record of trustworthiness. That’s huge.
Because they say knowing yourself is the key to success, after jubilation must come insight. The entire team sat down and thought about what went right, and how we can best capitalise on the momentum. Our consensus? We think it’s because unlike others, we’ve placed our bet on the future. Specifically fintech – and how it can change the fundamental relationship between Singaporeans and insurance for the better.
Stepping into an Underserved Market
Like most Singaporeans, you can probably recall the last time you received a cold call from an insurer, or had to break into an impromptu cha-cha routine just to escape an agent on the street. It may surprise you, then, to learn that over the past 5 years, Singaporeans are still being underinsured by nearly 20%.
That’s a large difference between how much cover we actually need on the average versus how much we actually have in place. Simply put, this shortfall may put many in a tight spot should the inevitable happen.
Yet, given the high cost of medical care here, and the continued advertisements, roadshows and marketing campaigns by players in this highly competitive market, it’s somewhat a mystery why the Singapore market remains underserved. This curious situation can seem daunting, especially if even veterans have yet to solve the puzzle. But new players often bring a fresh perspective to the table.
The Promise of Fintech
And here’s our insight. We believe that fintech can drive the change in how insurance is bought. We are excited to offer an alternative approach to insurance that strips out the unnecessary, and puts the control back into the hands of the customer.
Our premise is simple: Given how insurance is meant to help people, consumers should have complete control over the protection they want to get. Everyone should be empowered to easily understand the options available to them, and choose the most suitable plans for themselves. Of course, some of us may have more advanced or complex needs. When desired, consumers should have the ability to consult trained professionals on the coverage they should get.
Singapore Life believes that policies should be easily understood and convenient to access. No need for reams of printouts showing you what returns you might get, just the facts and the essential stats so you know the level of your protection at one glance. And so we’ve built our online insurance platform to do all the above, and more.
Ushering in a New Era
To be sure, there are challenges ahead to tackle, and the road ahead is a long one. But the path we’ve set ourselves upon is nothing if not exhilarating. As we become the custodians of our fellow Singaporeans who had signed on with Zurich Life Singapore, we’re both humbled and awed by the opportunity to continue serving their insurance needs. But also, perhaps more so than anything else, we’re excited to introduce our concept to the world.
Soon, even more Singaporeans will be able to experience a new level of convenience, access, empowerment and – dare we say it – confidence when it comes to insurance. They will find it much easier to understand, compare and choose the insurance policies that are just right for themselves and their loved ones, secure in the knowledge that they can always ask for professional help.
On the surface, that may not sound all too impressive. But, just like how a quiet ripple can grow into a roaring wave, a slight increase in trust, a tiny shift in attitude can be all that is needed to unlock the massive potential for insurance to benefit Singaporeans in a deeper, more organic fashion.
Insurance can – and should – complement every aspect of our lives. And for perhaps the first time, we have the tools and technology to make insurance truly accessible, convenient, and easily understood. The quest to get every man, woman and child the protection they need is now within plain sight. It’s just a question of who’s going to achieve the dream.
If that is not worth going all out for, we don’t know what is.