News Technology10 May 2018

Singapore:NTUC Income rated No. 1 in insurance innovation benchmark

| 10 May 2018

NTUC Income, a homegrown insurer in Singapore, ranks overall first in the inaugural Applied Innovation Institute Singapore Insurance Innovation and Digital Benchmark, ranking the innovation and digitisation efforts of 25 insurers in Singapore.

Produced by the Applied Innovation Institute (Aii), in partnership with Quest Ventures, this is Singapore’s first benchmark to measure the ability of corporations to cope with disruptive innovation.

Researchers at the Applied Innovation Institute recorded and analysed more than 80 data points across social, online, and innovation metrics to benchmark the progress of insurers towards key industry innovation and digitalisation goals.

The goal of the benchmark is to help insurers in Singapore understand the effectiveness of their innovation initiatives and drive innovation and digitalisation amongst insurers in Singapore. Insurers such as NTUC Income, AXA, Prudential, and Aviva, have all set up innovation initiatives in Singapore.

Professor Paris de l’Etraz, chairman of the board at the Applied Innovation Institute, said, “In a world where disruption is the only constant, we believe that it is even more important for corporations to understand the incredible challenges that lie in their strategy roadmaps. Singapore is a key hub for innovation in the region. The Applied Innovation Institute looks forward to being a key partner for leading corporations in Singapore and help foster innovation and disruption in the region.”

Mr James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures, said, “Singapore is a perfect innovation hub for insurers. Global and regional insurers have set up innovation labs and innovation initiatives in Singapore to cope with impending disruptions. With thousands of startups around the world hot on the heels of incumbent insurers, understanding disruption today is more than just an insurance policy for insurers.”


  • Insurers were benchmarked based on three categories: online, social and innovation. The categories contributed to the overall score and were weighted 40%, 30%, and 30% respectively.
  • Online: Insurers were evaluated based on their online user experience and efficacy of acquisition channels. We also take into account Google’s Knowledge Graph and the web optimisation of insurers, including their search optimization and website quality.
  • Social: Insurers were evaluated based on average engagement rates and follower growth across 5 key platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat). Absolute numbers from an insurer’s follower pool were used to fairly benchmark the relative engagement rates of insurers. Frequency of social media posts do affect the score.
  • Innovation: Insurers were evaluated based on their foray into and success of incremental and disruptive innovations. Key categories included direct-to-consumer (DTC) insurance, online claims processing, personalised insurance, on demand insurance, rapid claims processing (<5 minutes), service first mindsets, fee-driven insurance, innovations to improve user behaviour, and data collection to improve risk underwriting. DTC only or DTC heavy insurers received a slight boost.

Other key insights 

  • NTUC Income’s performance was the result of strong sub-section scores in the online and innovation. Income, for example, ranked on the first page of Google Singapore’s non-personalised search results in 7 of 7 relevant categories (Travel, Personal Accident, Health, Home, Motor, Maid, and Life).
  • Regional and local insurers, including NTUC Income, Etiqa Insurance, and FWD Insurance, ranked in the top 10 of the overall benchmark.
  • Insurers with strong customer-centric mindsets and comprehensive innovation strategies succeed.

The top 10 insurers in the 2018 Benchmark are:

  1. NTUC Income
  2. AXA
  3. Aviva
  4. AIA
  5. Etiqa Insurance
  6. AIG
  7. FWD Singapore
  8. Tokio Marine
  9. Manulife
  10. Sompo Japan.

The Applied Innovation Institute, a non-profit organisation founded in 2009 with roots in Silicon Valley, brings together global leaders in industries, governments, and academic organisations to help each transform to address competition, disruption, and innovation through education, consulting, and partnerships.

Quest Ventures is a leading early-stage venture fund for companies that have scalability and replicability in large Internet communities. Located in key global cities where innovation and disruption with technology is taking place at an incredible pace, Quest Ventures has invested in some of Asia’s leading companies.

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