Singapore Poised to Become a Hotbed for Insurtech in Asia

Singapore Poised to Become a Hotbed for Insurtech in Asia

by April 26, 2017
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The insurance is on the brink of a major disruption and insurance companies are very much aware of that. According to a survey conducted by PwC, three in four insurers predict disruption of their business over the next five years.

Insurtech is the fintech sub-segment addressing existing insurance challenges and opportunities. 2016 saw a surge of interest in insurtech globally and the trend isn’t expected to slow down in 2017. Singapore, in particular, is quickly becoming a hotbed for insurtech in Asia.

monetary authority of singapore fintech hubThe Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is working with the British Government (UKTI) and 15 insurance industry representatives including Aviva, AXA, AIA, IAG, Allianz, Etiqa and InsurTechAsia to promote digital innovation in the insurance sector in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

A statement-of-intent was signed in February and will see the introduction of the ASEAN Insurtech LaunchPad, which aims to facilitate collaborations between locally-based insurance incorporations and startups.

Startups will be able to run pilots and Proof-of-Concepts (POC) with Singapore-based insurers, leverage on their networks and create successful partnerships in the region.

Separately, IAG has announced plans to launch an insurtech innovation hub in Singapore. The move aims to connect the Australian insurers to Singapore’s global innovation network and vibrant entrepreneurial community, IAG said in a media release.

The hub, to be called Firemark Labs, will act as an incubator for IAG to work with top talent, startups, research and technology partners to co-create new products and services. It is backed by a AU$75 million fund.

The opening of the new hub is supported by Singapore’s central bank, MAS as part of the authority’s broader efforts to promote a culture of innovation in the financial sector.

“Singapore is recognized as having one of the most developed fintech landscapes with a growing insurtech scene,” said Julie Batch, chief customer officer of IAG. “Launching Firemark Labs in Singapore will allow us to lead the development of talent, tools and networks that will help us quickly respond to changing trends and create new customer solutions.”

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer for MAS, said:

“IAG’s initiative presents an exciting platform for both the insurance and innovation community to come together and co-create innovative InsurTech solutions across retail and reinsurance applications for the region, and will further bolster Singapore’s development as the global insurance hub.”

According to a report released in March, Singapore’s insurtech landscape counts more than 30 players, excluding the industry enablers, incubators and accelerators.

insurtech landscape singapore

Local startups tackle various areas including distribution, insurance management and human resources administration, aggregators and comparison platforms, insurance-related services, and underwriting and propositions.

GoBear, for instance, provides insurance and financial comparison services throughout Asia. In December 2016, the service expanded to Vietnam.

PolicyPal has developed a mobile application that allows users to better understand and track their insurance policies.

Meanwhile, Homage is a senior home care technology platform that connects seniors with the best care professionals for their needs in real-time.

Other notable startups include Active.ai and Frame, which both deliver artificial intelligence services to banks and other financial institutions, as well as Leo Tech, a software development and IT firm, and Bluzelle, a blockchain startup.

On May 24 and 25, 2017, the Insurance Nexus Asia Summit in Singapore will feature speakers from Google, Fitsense, Allianz, AIG and Swiss Re Life and Health Asia, among many others, to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to insurtech.

Insurance-Nexus-Asia-Summit

Featured image: Hand of doctor pressing a button on modern medical screen by Creativa Images, via Shutterstock

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