Digital Hong Kong – InsuranceAsia News

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Hong Kong’s first on-line life insurer began promoting insurance policies on Wednesday beneath the model Blue. The enterprise, which is a part of Aviva’s digital transformation, is a three way partnership between the British insurer’s Hong Kong unit and Hillhouse Capital and Tencent.

However Blue is just not the one insurer claiming to be the town’s first digital insurer. Additionally this week, insurtech startup OneDegree raised HK$100 million (US$12.7 million) in Collection A funding, billing itself because the “first digital insurer candidate in Hong Kong with a totally digitised insurance coverage course of end-to-end”. The deal represents the biggest ever fundraising spherical for a pre-revenue insurtech startup in Hong Kong.

By means of its web site, Blue is at present providing two commission-free insurance policies masking time period life and significant sickness, and is aiming to shake up an trade that’s dominated by bancassurance and company gross sales. Certainly, direct gross sales contribute simply 1% of particular person enterprise in Hong Kong, principally by FWD Life.

Blue’s merchandise supply instantaneous, paperless approval based mostly on a handful of evaluation questions. The time period life product offers as much as HK$eight million of protection, whereas the crucial sickness plan covers most cancers, coronary heart assaults and stroke as much as HK$2.5 million.

“We attempt to supply options catered to clients’ wants,” stated Charles Hung, the corporate’s chief government, who was beforehand chief danger officer of Aviva Asia. “We are going to take away the complexity from insurance coverage and unlock distinctive worth for patrons. We are going to assist clients take possession of their very own safety, as we consider that clients know their wants greatest. We’re dedicated to creating their lives straightforward by doing what is correct for them.”

Aviva first introduced the settlement to develop a digital insurance coverage firm in Hong Kong with Hillhouse and Tencent in January 2017, when it revealed that Aviva and Hillhouse would every maintain 40% and Tencent would maintain 20% in Aviva Hong Kong. The three way partnership was accredited by the Hong Kong Insurance coverage Authority (IA) in February.

Having been gradual to reap the benefits of the expansion alternative in Asia, Aviva has been specializing in differentiating from the competitors by reworking itself right into a digital insurer. To that finish, it has arrange a digital storage in Singapore that helped the Asia enterprise to recorded a 28% enhance within the worth of latest enterprise to US$119 million through the first half of the yr.

By means of Blue, it’s hoping to domesticate a direct relationship with policyholders that affords the chance to ship a greater buyer expertise with out, for instance, a financial institution sitting within the center.

As Chris Wei stated once we first spoke to him in regards to the insurer’s digital plans within the area again in 2015: “Each insurance coverage firm says: ‘We’ve acquired to go digital first, we’ve acquired to get buyer centric.’ On the finish of the day, it’s about execution,” defined Aviva’s government chairman for Asia and FPI, and world chairman of Aviva Digital.

The success of the brand new enterprise shall be a check of that potential to execute, however it’s also a welcome addition to the aggressive panorama in Hong Kong. Town has been gradual to embrace the shift to digital and has been accused of letting Singapore acquire a bonus as a regional insurance coverage hub, however the launch of Blue is a optimistic step within the digital path.

The regulator has at the least been making an attempt to foster extra innovation. It created a fast-track pilot scheme for digital-only insurers final September, offering a devoted queue for brand new authorisation functions from insurers utilizing purely digital distribution channels. The objective of the scheme is to hurry up the authorisation course of by giving the authority a possibility to evaluate proposed digital distribution channels at an early stage.

OneDegree is within the technique of acquiring authorisation by the scheme. Its insurance coverage platform will assist personal-line common insurance coverage and medical insurance merchandise, integrating a user-friendly front-end app with a back-end system that allows superior analytics and automation of claims processing, coverage administration and customer support.

“We’re on the cusp of a brand new period,” stated Alvin Kwock, co-founder of OneDegree. “As we speak’s insurance coverage fashions are not any totally different from the way it was performed 100 years in the past, and one of many main causes of this inertia is outdated know-how methods. We’re taking over a tall process by modernising an trade with massive incumbent gamers, and constructing a extremely versatile and scalable insurance coverage know-how platform from scratch.”

Plainly digital insurers are like Hong Kong trams — you wait ages for one after which two present up on the similar time.

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