Mobile-first insurance firm Singlife Philippines has teamed up with GCash, a homegrown mobile wallet and financial service app, to provide alternative yet better coverage for Filipinos especially during difficult times.
Asia’s fastest growing life insurance provider, Singlife offers simple and flexible products at affordable prices, with a vision of unlocking the potential of money for all Filipinos. The partnership comes at a crucial time when health and financial security are a priority.
Singlife Philippines president Rein Hermans said life insurance market in the Philippines had started evolving along with technology and only handful of products were actually offered digitally.
“We want to have access to a very large market segment of younger digitally-savvy people that are open to new possibilities. We found a partnership with GCash that is basically tending customers in the same way we do—offer financial services in a totally mobile way in a mobile app. The focus has always been how can we optimize what we are offering to GCash customers. How can we make sure that the total set of products, the total range which is being offered is actually creating high customer satisfaction for the GCash customer,” he said.
In the Philippines, only 5 to 6 percent of the insurable population own at least one policy and research indicates that another 15 to 20 percent of Filipinos are attracted by the value of life insurance.
Hermans said that economic growth and changes in demographics, specifically the rise of the middle income segment, had accelerated life insurance in the Philippines. In less than a year, Singlife Philippines signed up 5 million policies which are held by 3.5 million households.
“That’s a decent size market. However, if you consider that the Philippines with around 27 million households, penetration is still low,” said Herman. He noted that life policies in the Philippines were dominated by single premium and regular savings plans which are processed face-to-face or through physical interface.
What sets Singlife apart from competitors, he said, is the unique strategy of putting customers in control of their policies, “having them decide for themselves how to manage their policies and make changes to products they want to have.”
“Given that, we can insure that the financial solution you’re having fits exactly to your financial need. Secondly by being digital, we make sure that people have accessibility to the products 27/7. So you’re always in control. By going digital we know we can actually have much lower unit cost than our competitors,” Hermans said.
Singlife identified several hurdles that prevent people from getting insured. These are limited access, complex products and high premiums. Limited access to buy through financial advisors lead to doubt if the customers’ needs are indeed prioritized, and whether the financial advice given is best for them. High premiums come with the expectation that payments will be made in 5 to 20 years to optimize the value of the policy.
Herman noticed that many Filipinos were somewhat intimidated to engage with agents that led them to delayed purchases while others who had purchased found the overall value and customer service lacking. These often lead to discontinuation of contributions and in most cases, waiving of benefits.
Singlife and GCash will launch this month the first of a series of collaborations on affordable portfolio of products. The first product, Cash for Dengue Costs, is an innovative yet comprehensive protection product that provides multi-level benefit medical costs for those afflicted by mild to severe cases of dengue—a first of its kind in the market.
The product is flexible with customizable coverage levels, payment terms and the option to cover an individual or the whole family. As an introductory offer, Singlife will extend the cover by adding a free COVID-19 rider, providing customers protection from the ongoing pandemic.
GCash president and chief executive Martha Sazon said the application process for Cash for Dengue Costs only takes less than five minutes. Customers can even pay, view, manage and file claims on their Singlife policies directly in the GCash app.
The innovation is made possible by fully utilizing technology and digital processes to ensure that Filipinos have a seamless and paperless experience, allowing policies to be issued and managed real-time.
Initially made available to a limited group of GCash users in September, Singlife’s Cash for Dengue Costs will be made available to all verified GCash users via the GCash Insurance Marketplace later this year along with other Singlife protection products.
Singlife shares its vision of making simple yet meaningful health and income protection products available to all Filipinos thru GCash.
“This is why we are also preparing to release a full suite of products in the coming months so that the rest of the Philippine population can have no-fuss protection, helping them take better control of their financial lives in an easy, quick, and affordable manner,” Hermans said.
Singlife Philippines is a majority-owned subsidiary of Singlife with partners Di-Firm and Aboitiz Equity Ventures.