InsurTech Startup PolicyPal Wants to Help People Manage, Track and Understand Their Insurance Policiesby Fintechnews Singapore April 5, 2016
Earlier this month, notorious accelerator program Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore unveiled the ten teams it had picked to integrate the program, among which PolicyPal, a young and ambitious startup that intends to help us manage our insurance matters more easily.
The PolicyPal app, expected to launch in beta in six weeks, will allow users to manage their policies in one place and understand where they have duplicate or missing coverage. It will also let them find the policies that are the most suitable for their needs.
According to PolicyPal’s founder and CEO Val Jihsuan, the purpose is to provide consumers with a simple, user-friendly tool that would allow them to manage their insurances more conveniently and select the right options.
Jihsuan, a former banker at OCBC Bank with a background in risk assurance at PwC London, said the idea of PolicyPal emerged when her family faced an unfortunate event that made her realize the struggle of keeping up with insurance policies and payments, highlighting that a proper tool was still missing.
“The idea struck me when my mother’s health insurance claim was rejected because it was lapsed for a few months,” Jihsuan told Fintechnews. “My sister bought a health insurance policy for my mother but due to her busy schedule, she missed the premium payments and it was lapsed for a short period of time. A year later, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, thankfully she recovered but we were not able to file a claim against the policy.”
“It takes a long time to shop around for new policies and often it is not clear what we are covered for and what the premium difference is,” Jihsuan said. “We need to help people manage, track and figure out their insurance.”
Jihsuan quit her job at OCBC Bank earlier this month to entirely dedicate herself to PolicyPal, a venture she hopes will make a difference in people’s lives and deliver a “social impact.”
“PolicyPal would like to curb the hard selling and mis-selling problems in the insurance industry by bringing transparency. We are empowering consumers to make the right decisions for their needs,” she said.
This argument is what differentiates PolicyPal from competitors as direct online purchasing and insurance comparison websites are failing to recommend the best insurance policy for consumers.
“There will always be an inherent conflict of interest by pushing in-house products or recommending an insurance product based on a simplistic comparison model,” Jihsuan said.
“As we have an overview of their insurance portfolio, we are able to recommend insurance policies that best fit their needs without any bias or conflict of interest. Think of us as your friendly insurance advisor that is always in your pocket.”
In the long run, PolicyPal plans to use data analytics to provide robo advisory services to handle consumers’ insurance needs. Jihsuan said she wants to offer personalized insurance coverage to users based on their historical data and improve the efficiency of insurance distribution.
The next steps for PolicyPal would be to grow its team, increase marketing efforts to grow the user base, and eventually secure funding to scale across Southeast Asia, a region that is still under-served for insurance distribution, Jihsuan said.
Featured image: Insurance concept by Shutter_M, via Shutterstock.