Sony Life Insurance plans to open agencies in shopping centres in Singapore where people can shop for policies from multiple insurers.
To this end, the Japanese insurer is establishing a joint venture in Singapore next month, partnering with Tokyo-based Starts Securities, which has a track record in insurance sales in Japan. Sony Life will own 74% of the venture, with Starts holding the remaining 26%.
The Sony Financial Holdings unit aims to open nearly 50 agencies in the city state over 10 years, making a new move to expand its overseas business following an Australian investment last year, reported Nikkei Asian Review.
The agencies will sell mainly life insurance policies, which are relatively less common for a mature economy like Singapore's. Savings-oriented policies account for a big share of the local market, which has few agencies where customers can choose policies from various insurers.
Sony Life will take the same consultation-based approach to sales it does in Japan. The agencies will sell other insurers' policies at first, but Sony Life aims to eventually offer its own products as well.
Sony Life intends to make the new business profitable in five years' time and to recoup accumulated losses by the ninth year.