As a region, Southeast Asia has its fair share of natural disasters, particularly in the volcano-riddled, earthquake-prone so-called “Ring of Fire” around Indonesia. Add in typhoons, tsunamis and flash-flooding, and you can begin to understand how the insurance market in the area is buoyant.
According to research by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, there are over 360 million internet users in the region, making it a fertile market for insurance companies to make the move to providing online products. This has led to a surge in insurtech startups in Southeast Asia as fintech companies, and traditional insurance providers team up to better serve their markets.
From life and health to property and travel, every aspect of insurance is getting a digital overhaul. With the insurtech startups reshaping this landscape, we explore the offerings of five of the region’s biggest disruptors and how they are making a difference in their countries.
Encouraging people in over 20 countries to look after their health with an emphasis on prevention rather than cure, CXA claims to be Asia’s leading insurtech provider, serving more than 766,000 workers at over 500 companies.
By giving employees more control of their healthcare through flexible plans and access to over 1,000 products and services, CXA helps staff to be proactive about their health, stay motivated and pay for the service through an easy-to-use eWallet. This benefits employers too, as they have a healthier, more motivated staff and easier-to-manage insurance costs.
As CXA continues to grow its market share, it does so with the help of funding injections from many investors, with the latest coming from HSBC and Humanica in May 2020 for an undisclosed amount.
A subsidiary of the Tune Group, a business that owns various companies including Air Asia, Tune Hotels and mobile service provider Tune Talk, the insurance wing, Tune Protect claims to make insurance easy for millions of their customers in over 35 countries.
The group, founded by Malaysian businessmen Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun in 2001, branched out into the insurance sector in 2012. Tune Protect offers a wide range of products from personal accident, car and dental to sports insurance all through their easy-to-use platform.
Since 2015, PasarPolis has been simplifying the process of obtaining insurance coverage for the people of Indonesia through its tech-based services. Now, during the global pandemic, the company is also offering a COVID-19 insurance product. Designed to help give peace of mind to their customers, this protection covers hospitalisation due to illness or injury during the pandemic.
Since PasarPolis started raising funds, the company has had investments from some of Indonesia’s biggest startups, including unicorns GoJek, Traveloka and Tokopedia. The last known injection of cash came in 2018 to the sum of around $6.5 million USD. With such prestigious backing, PasarPolis has an opportunity to expand and stay true to its mission statement of providing “insurance for all”.
Awarded the honour of “Thailand’s Best Fintech Startup 2019“, Sunday has been making waves in the insurance market of Thailand since 2017. The relatively new fintech kid on the block offers personally tailored insurance for car, travel and health — both personal and corporate.
Making applying, managing and initiating claims as easy as Sunday mornings has helped this company stake its claim on a slice of the insurance market pie in Thailand. Series A funding of $10 million USD from VC firm Vertex Ventures in February 2019 gives the company a boost for its plans to expand into neighbouring countries of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
As Cambodia tries to play catch-up with its more technologically advanced neighbours, fintech and insurtech startups are gaining a foothold in the country’s economy. BIMA is one such company at the forefront of the technology revolution, helping Cambodians to find affordable, accessible insurance products.
By teaming with one of the country’s biggest telco providers, Smart Axiata, BIMA offers the option of paying for your insurance through your mobile phone plan, making it so much easier and faster for everyone to get personal accident, life and health coverage.
These insurtech startups in Southeast Asia are using the latest fintech technology to have a massive impact on how insurance is bought, managed and claimed in the region. By transforming the underwriting processes, tailoring products to the needs of their countries’ populations, all through their mobile devices, these innovative startups are helping to eradicate the underinsured problem found in developing countries.
As fintech firms continue to grow in numbers and size, with their help, more insurance companies will inevitably evolve into technology-led insurtech products, changing the way the industry works in Southeast Asia and beyond.