ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, the first online-only insurer in China, has announced that its subsidiary ZhongAn Technologies International Group, and Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia's leading online-to-offline mobile platform, will establish a joint venture company to enter the digital insurance distribution business in Southeast Asia.
The JV will create a digital insurance marketplace that offers innovative insurance products in a range of categories with fractionalised premiums, directly to users through the Grab mobile app. It will collaborate with global insurance partners to develop products that are tailored specifically to Southeast Asians’ lifestyle needs.
As part of the agreement, ZhongAn International will bring technical assets to build the platform and insight into Internet ecosystems to the JV. Grab will launch the digital insurance platform through its mobile app and tap its wide user base and customer insights to deliver customised insurance products to millions of users.
The platform will be launched in Singapore in the first half of 2019, before being rolled out in other markets. It will give millions of uninsured and underinsured people access to insurance products through their mobile phones, allowing them to directly browse and pay for affordable insurance products through the Grab app, without going through an agent or broker.
The tie-up will address the usual pain points of insurance discovery, unaffordable premiums and payment options by allowing for insurance premium payments to be adjusted and automatically deducted through GrabPay or its affiliate payment partners. To start, Grab will offer a drivers’ insurance product in conjunction with Chubb to its driver-partners in Singapore to protect them from loss of income owing to illness or accident.
Last year, Grab expanded beyond its core transport offering to become the region’s super app and provide users with food delivery, parcel delivery, grocery delivery, financial services, content and more.
This year, Grab will expand into cross-border remittance and online healthcare.
Mr Ming Maa, president of Grab, said: “The launch of our insurance platform is part of our commitment to becoming the leading everyday superapp in the region. With over 130m downloads in Southeast Asia and a presence across 336 cities, our deep understanding of consumer behaviour and needs uniquely allows us to deliver innovative insurance products that create value for our customers.”
Mr Wayne Xu, vice general manager of ZhongAn, in charge of international business, said: “We are very pleased to announce this profound partnership with Grab, the Internet giant in Southeast Asia. During the past five years, ZhongAn Insurance has accumulated rich experience providing a new generation of customers with protection against risks in daily life. We have joined hands with over 300 Internet ecosystem partners and exported our technology solutions, with a shared aim to build an insurance ecosystem centred on ZhongAn. We’re confident we can better meet the insurance needs of customers in Southeast Asia, with Grab and other leading insurance companies.”
Mr Reuben Lai, head of Grab Financial, said: “Through this partnership, we hope to provide our users, driver-partners and merchants with relevant and affordable insurance protection from life’s uncertainties. As the only digital payments player to have licences across the six major Southeast Asian countries, we will leverage our regional reach and work with global insurance partners to quickly scale up across our markets.”
ZhongAn International, founded in December 2017, has focused on building technology capacity and fostering platform cooperation to support overseas business development. Going forward, ZhongAn hopes the Asian market will act as a bridgehead in expanding the group's business globally with the mission of redefining insurance in the connected world.
Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.