News Non-Life08 Feb 2018

Singapore:Motor market lures new players

| 08 Feb 2018

The Singapore motor insurance market has opened its doors to several new players, among which is local start-up company, Vouch Insurtech, which has launched the island state's first car insurance "No-Claim Rebate" (NCR) feature.

Three insurance companies - NTUC Income, Sompo Insurance Singapore and Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore – have partnered with Vouch Insurtech (Vouch), to offer customers up to 15% cash back on annual premiums, in addition to existing No-Claim Discounts (NCD). Through its innovative digital platform, Vouch is set to disrupt the car insurance industry, a sector that has experienced little change in the past several decades.

“In the traditional car insurance model, safe drivers pay higher premiums to cover the risks of unsafe drivers. This is unfair, and we saw an opportunity to work with insurance companies, to give drivers more choice to influence the premiums they pay and also reward safe drivers. Insurance companies also want to encourage a safe-driving culture in Singapore and we were delighted when three established insurance companies came onboard. Drivers can now receive a cheque from their insurer for driving safely, instead of for making a claim,” said Mr Chean Yujun, Vouch CEO and co-founder.

Vouch works by grouping drivers of similar driving profiles together via their online platform. Drivers may also choose to form private groups with friends and family. At the start of each drivers’ policy (policies can have differing start dates), the insurance company sets aside 15% of the drivers’ premiums as NCR. This is pooled with members in the same group. During the policy period, if any member makes an own damage claim, part of this claim is deducted from the rebate pool, and the remainder of the pool split among the members at the end of their respective policy period. If the pool runs out, there is no negative impact to customers, as everyone is still covered by their respective insurance company. If the group stays accident-free, everyone receives 15% cash back of their premium. With less than 15 claims for every 100 drivers in Singapore annually, many safe drivers will stand to benefit from this cash back.

Drivers can quickly and easily apply for their car insurance policies via Vouch’s website. It takes less than 5 minutes to get a quote, make payment and receive policy details. Customers can retrieve essential policy information via Vouch’s website anytime. They can also monitor any changes in their NCR and choose to join or form new groups.

Vouch was set up in late-2016, with the first year spent developing the algorithms and analytical technology for their cash back service and also securing the partnerships with insurers. In 2017, Vouch was selected by global reinsurer Swiss Re as one of five start-ups globally to be part of their InsurTech Accelerator programme, which mentors start-ups with the potential of disrupting insurance practices. By end of 2017, the company raised S$1 million (US$756,000) in seed funding from investors like GREE Ventures, Nogle Capital Management and several angel investors. Vouch is also incubated by NUS Enterprise and benefitted from being based at Technopreneur Circle, a platform initiated by Vertex Ventures to help the early stage start-up ecosystem by providing mentorship, and opening doors.

Moving forward, the company aims to expand regionally, initially targeting Thailand and Malaysia.

Car insurance broker

Separately, car insurance broker, Kwiksure, has announced the launch of their office in Singapore. This office is established to bring Kwiksure's nearly 20 years experience with car insurance to drivers in Singapore.

Kwiksure Singapore is offering a full range of car insurance solutions from six major insurers. Plans available include: comprehensive cover; third party fire and theft; and third party only.

Apart from motor cover, the broker is also currently offering: home insurance, travel insurance, and through their operating partner, Pacific Prime Singapore, health insurance.

Kwiksure Singapore is a marketed brand, owned and operated by Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers Singapore, a member of the global Pacific Prime group and a registered Direct Insurance Broker with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Kwiksure, founded in Hong Kong in 2000, has grown to become the largest car insurance broker in that territory.

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