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46 Asia Insurance Review April 2017

C over Story InsurTech: Innovation, DisruptionDistraction?

The disruptors
With insurance named as the industry most affected by
disruptive change, Asia Insurance Review speaks to three
of such disruptors/startups as they share their unique
propositions for the insurance industry.
By Ann Toh

Scaling up
Ms Rosaline Koo, CEO of Singapore-based InsurTech startup CXA,
knows that in order to compete with the big boys in the employee
benefits brokerage game, her three-year-old venture cannot afford to
stand still.

A
lready the big sister in Asian just capping premiums using defined
InsurTech, having revolution- contributions fixed budget is a more
ised the employee benefits sustainable solution.
industry by allowing employees to This is because combatting wors-
choose a mix of insurance and wellness ening health and chronic diseases premiums. Ms Koos keys to the king-
benefits that best suits them, Ms Koo through incentivising employees to dom? Being able to capture a trove of
is working on solving her customers lose weight, lower cholesterol, con- data (from claims to health screening
next pain point: double-digit increases trol glucose levels, or participate in results to lifestyle and sensor data from
in premiums that outstrip revenue and diabetes management programmes, wearables and medical devices), and
salary growth. This she plans to do by through team competitions and re- the clout to convince her ex-clients of
working with insurers and reinsurers ward programmes, drives behaviour over 10 years to move in this direction.
to pre-negotiate reduced premiums, modifications that ultimately improve CXA has amassed a clientele of 500
conditional upon companies employ- health and lower claims. The solution accounts, out of which 45 are Fortune
ees improving their health. will be piloted with several customers Global 500.
Improving employee health and re- in April 2017, and then introduced to all Data is captured and stored in a
ducing premium is now our next goal, companies on CXAs platform. data warehouse built and managed by
said the industry veteran who used to CXAs team of machine-learning arti-
run Asias largest employee benefits An ecosystem for health and ficial intelligence data scientists and IT
broker, Mercer Marsh Benefits. wellness experts, who make up a quarter of her
Ms Koo believes that reducing the If CXA solves this pain point, the 200-strong staff strength in Singapore
root cause of why employees make US$100 million startup will be the and Hong Kong.
a claim against her original intent first employee benefits broker to suc- We are integrating insurance with
of controlling her customers cost by cessfully help its clients achieve lower claims data, biodata, sensor data and

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April 2017 Asia Insurance Review 47

C over Story InsurTech: Innovation, DisruptionDistraction?


lifestyle habits, said Ms Koo, so that whole host of insurance and wellness with Shanghai-based osun to extend
we can give employees personalised needs, including storing their e-wal- CXAs presence to three cities in China
recommendations on relevant in- lets, enrolling for services, assessing in the second quarter of 2017, and
surance coverage and what to do to their health, shopping for insurance another deal with Howden Broking
improve their health. Firms can also and wellness services, taking part in roup. The latter owns brokerage
reward employees if they lose weight, corporate health competitions, storing licenses in India, Korea, Indonesia,
lower their blood pressure or win team their medical records and submitting the hilippines, Thailand, Malaysia
challenge competitions. And all of claims, she added. and Taiwan. A plans to expand
these data will be captured in a wear- to these cities by une 20 , with a
able device. Expansion plans view to integrating with local insur-
CXA believes its platform is its Ms Koo knows that speed is of the es- ers as well as health and wellness
crown jewel the ecosystem that sence in her ambitious plans to scale providers.
will aggregate employees, insurance her startup before any competitor This will allow her to respond to an
providers, hospitals and panel clinics, big or small catches up. That is why, increasing number of requests from
as well as disease management and unlike her first foray into Insurtech, CXAs Fortune 500 clients to support
wellness vendors such as gyms and As expansion mode outside of their o ces across Asia. These invest-
yoga studios. Singapore and Hong Kong will not be ments, including a shared services
e are digitising every single through acquisitions processes, but centre to support all the 10 cities, will
process so that we will become the through revenue-sharing partnerships. be funded with the US$25 million Series
ecosystem for employees to perform a She has signed a partnership deal B funding raised in ebruary 20 .

Reinventing fundamentals
Chinas TongJuBao wants to throw traditional insurance concepts to
the wind as it furthers its goal of protecting social communities and
advancing users interests. Mr Tang Loaec, Founder of P2P Protect
Group, the holding company of TongJuBao, elaborates in this interview.

I
n Tong JuBaos P2P model, cus- its monthly claim and acceptances
tomers join social communities rejections.
or groups as members. They buy
units of protection after creating a P2P pioneer
deposit account into which an adminis- Tong uBao, an early pioneer of 2 Mr oaec admitted that Tong uBao
tration fee and a guarantee deposit are insurance, embodies the purest form also struggles with this conundrum,
paid. of the P2P model, with ideals Mr Loaec and the company plans to relaunch its
Tong uBao offers three products believes even high-profile startups such user ac uisition model in the next six
marriage (divorce) protection, child as emonade which he calls digital months. As he does not think his model
protection for women, and ID loss for insurance models with lots of chatbots is limited by geographical context or
young, white-collar migrant profes- and do not meet. He thinks many cultural values, he plans to expand the
sionals. Its policyholders comprise competitors have packaged behavioural service to the US and France (under the
mainly married women with children science technology to lead users into P2P Protect brand) to advance the value
in their 0s and young professionals in buying their products and services of solidarity and reciprocal help that
their late 20s. the antithesis of a pure 2 model, is relevant in any market and aims
The goal of such a model is to re- which is to fight for users benefits. for ambitious and aggressive user-
solve users frustrations, allow users to In the adoption of 2 Insurance, build-up in those markets. e would
protect each other, and apply greater the problem is not the P2P but the also consider Indonesia, Malaysia or
fairness to pricing and claims, said insurance. People are reluctant to Thailand if approached by the right
Mr Loaec. purchase insurance and many do it local partners, he added.
And if that entails scrapping the only because it is mandatory. They Mr oaec said an example of a 2
insurance model, it has no qualms are o en encouraged to participate in model that could be tied to a countrys
re-inventing protection from the roots mandatory subscriptions or pushed to cultural values is Taiwanese P2P in-
up . e dont care about insurance tick a box to buy insurance bundled surance company Intercare owned
but the users, said Mr oaec. In our with another sale. Most P2P insurance by Shacom.com Inc , which has the
model, there is no con ict of interest models to date have not realised that distinction of being the only 2
we do not profit when we reject a claim. if they just duplicate insurance strate- company to sell life insurance instead
e also provide systematic and uni ue gies, they will be going nowhere, he of general insurance. The company
transparency to each community on said. provides life insurance for underserved

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48 Asia Insurance Review April 2017

C over Story InsurTech: Innovation, DisruptionDistraction?


customers who are too old or too sick model where building communities of links, seed groups and build up chat
to qualify for it. users that share risks, talk to and help volume. As compared to traditional
each other, are more important than insurance multinationals, our strategic
The importance of social tech amassing client bases. differentiation is fre uency of contact.
Social technologies are especially That is why we focus our customer If we build communities of people who
crucial in the P2P insurance model. Mr acquisition channels on social media, talk to each other and to us, we have
Loaec said that social technologies are using them not only as communication frequency of contact that can only be
at the heart of its social meets finance platforms but channels to build social dreamed of in the insurance industry.

The insurers intelligence


engine
Indias Coverfox.com began life as a disruptor of insurance distribution
but Mr Devendra Rane, Co-founder and CTO, plans to tackle product
innovation in its next phase of growth.

W
hen e-commerce gained insurance plans across verticals are
traction three years ago, the now offered to customers, as against
founders of Coverfox.com 0 plans in ecember 20 . The site
knew the insurance industry stood at has also added Travel insurance to its ance requirements and work with
the cusp of a revolution that could de- suite of Health, Motor and Term Life insurers to innovate and customise
mocratise the way insurance products insurance products. product offerings.
were sold and distributed in India. Mr Rane said his customers cut It has created and is fine-tuning an
Believing that India, with its huge pop- across gender, age and geographical Insurance Intelligence ngine model,
ulation and technology talent, can take divide. They have warmed up to the which has uncovered interesting cor-
advantage of InsurTech, Coverfox.com value of insurance and banking prod- relations between consumers and the
was born to vest consumers with ucts and services, and see a need for premiums they pay, their brand a ni-
the power of choice, and education better uality service, more e cient ties and propensity to claim.
through unbiased advice on insurance systems and fewer processes.
products. India is a big enough market
Towards a more dynamic Coverfox.com does not see itself
Faster, seamless and more product market expanding outside India in the near fu-
transparent process Having democratised insurance ture as it believes the Indian domestic
Three years later, overfox.com has a distribution, Coverfox.com is eyeing market offers ample depth for further
shining report card to show. We have disruption of the product innovation innovation.
achieved a faster, seamless and more space. Insurance is an extremely large
transparent process for customers to Similar products are sold today segment and the InsurTech innovation
buy insurance online while getting as 20 years ago and these products has only touched the tip of the iceberg
educated about product features, mak- have not kept pace with changing the retail sector. There are other
ing insurance a less feared term, said risk profiles and landscape, said Mr sectors B2B that are ripe for dis-
Mr Rane. ane. The challenge that the industry ruption. I dont think we are anywhere
Customers can insure their cars on needs to address is innovating exist- close to claiming that the problem of
Coverfox.com in seven minutes and ing insurance products to make them distribution has been solved. Insur-
their two-wheelers in four minutes. easy to understand, instead of simply ance penetration and awareness in
About 80% of Coverfox.coms bike competing on distribution and brand- India is so low that new aggregators
customers insure their vehicles on the ing, he said, citing hinas InsurTech will end up targeting niche segments
online platform without intervention players as a good example of product to grow and the industry will benefit
from an adviser. dynamism and innovation. as a whole, he explained.
Its customer base has also grown By collecting extensive data on But while we see many more
by leaps and bounds. Presently, 30,000- consumer behaviours over the last aggregators formed, each trying to
plus policies are sold monthly, a huge three years, and having its team of disrupt distribution of various insur-
jump from the 11,000 a month sold at data scientists analyse consumer ance products, eventually, there will be
end 20 . The number of insurers has interactions, Mr Rane plans to give consolidation and a few large ones will
also grown from 17 in 2015 to 35 in data-driven insights to help insurers come out dominating the industry, he
end 2016, and over 100 products and better understand customers insur- predicted.

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