The SM group, the largest shopping mall and retail operator in the Philippines, has opened up its vast shopping mall network to be a pioneering insurance sales platform, beginning with the sale of the simplest products that require relatively small premium payments like motor compulsory third party liability (CTPL), travel and dengue insurance.
Eventually, the plan is to offer other insurance products such as for pets, motorcycles and cancelled weddings, reported the Philippine Inquirer.
“If we could make insurance more accessible, then it would create better awareness,” BDO Insurance Brokers general manager and senior vice president Tracy Tan said. “If we offer products that are simple enough to obtain over the counter, then it would increase people’s appreciation of what insurance is all about.”
The group has teamed up with 63-year-old Filipino-owned insurer Pioneer to offer the products to the mass market in a programme called “InsureME@SM” or “Insurance made easy at The SM Store”.
The idea of selling insurance through the SM group’s department store chain – at the same counter where people pay their utility bills – came from BDO Unibank chair and SM Investments Corp vice chair Teresita Sy-Coson, who had seen similar arrangements work well in overseas markets.
By the end of this year, the SM group will have 65 malls in the Philippines – 22 of which are in Metro Manila, 33 in Luzon outside of Metro Manila, five in the Visayas and five in Mindanao.