News Life and Health09 Jan 2018

Singapore:Newest life insurer takes over Zurich's local business

| 09 Jan 2018

Singapore Life, the newest life insurance company in Singapore, is acquiring Zurich Life's business portfolio in the city state, with policies amounting to approximately S$6 billion (US$4.5 billion) worth of coverage, the two companies said yesterday.

Zurich Life Singapore‘s portfolio, which comprises about 5,000 policies for life, critical illness and disability benefits, has formally been in run-off since December 2015. Singapore Life will become responsible for all of Zurich Life Singapore’s customers’ policies when the deal is sealed in the first half of this year, subject to confirmation by Singapore’s High Court.

Singapore Life CEO Walter de Oude said: "Bringing this portfolio of customers into that of Singapore Life's is exactly in line with our strategy to accelerate quickly in becoming a preferred Singaporean insurance company for our customers' needs.”

In a statement, Zurich said the agreement does not affect the branch operations or businesses of Zurich International Life or Zurich Insurance Company in any way. Existing international life and commercial insurance customers and distributors “will continue to enjoy the same quality of service and product choice that they have received in the past”.

Customers who are impacted will receive further information from Zurich Life Singapore and Singapore Life regarding the personal details of their transfer in early 2018.

“This decision is in line with Zurich’s strategy to optimise its portfolio and geographical footprint, and follows an extensive process to ensure that existing policyholder terms and conditions are safeguarded. Our international life customers are unaffected by this announcement,” Mr David Kneale, Zurich Life Singapore CEO, said.

Mr Reg Peacock, CEO of the company's Commercial Insurance, Singapore, stressed that even with the sale, Zurich remains fully committed to its commercial insurance business in Singapore. “We look forward to continuing to service and protect our customers from risk in this key strategic market for Zurich in Asia Pacific,” he said.

Singapore Life, which became a fully licensed direct insurance company in 2017, describes itself as a 100% digital life insurance provider. It is backed by Chong Sing Holdings FinTech Group and IPGL Holdings.

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