Expanding insurance access in emerging Southeast Asia

Indonesian insurtech seeks to address low insurance penetration in the region

Expanding insurance access in emerging Southeast Asia

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Southeast Asia is one of the favourite expansion markets for many insurers, as the region’s low insurance penetration, young population, and growing middle class are factors that are attractive to growing an insurance business.

However, one major opportunity also poses a challenge to insurers, as low insurance penetration can sometimes mean that the public is not aware or hesitant to buy insurance, or that there are many obstacles that prevent purchase.

Insurance Business spoke with Cleosent Randing (pictured above), founder of PasarPolis, an Indonesia-based insurance technology startup, on how the company is working to make it easier to access insurance in the region.

“PasarPolis’ business model involves working with distribution partners, digital platforms, agents, as well as going direct to consumers in order to provide insurance through technology,” Randing said. “PasarPolis has built a business-to-business-to-consumer partnership network to help us widen our product distribution by collaborating with 40+ strategic ecosystem partners, 50+ insurance partners, 10,000+ partners/agents to deliver impactful and meaningful insurance products.”

Recently, PasarPolis launched its retail distribution channel, called TAP Insure. According to Randing, this is in line with the company’s mission to deliver insurance for all in the region through technology and innovation.

“We aim to make insurance more accessible by providing direct service to the customers across market segments and by continually building needs-based and affordable insurance solutions that can be purchased and managed by a simple tap, through our TAP Insure app,” Randing said.

Outside of its home market of Indonesia, PasarPolis expanded into neighbouring countries Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. Randing said that these markets, especially Vietnam, have some similarity to Indonesia. However, awareness of insurance in Vietnam is still relatively low, compared to Indonesia or Thailand, which is maturing fast. By expanding into these two markets, Randing said that PasarPolis will be able to contribute to the growth of insurtech in the region and help narrow the large insurance gap.

Since its launch in 2015, PasarPolis has gained numerous insights as it operated in these three Southeast Asian markets. Randing shared several of these insights, which may help other insurance professionals in the region to achieve their common goal of providing coverage to as many people as possible.

“On the operations side, our team has seen the embedded insurance model to work most effectively,” Randing said. “The model allows for a needs-based solution that pushes relevant product offerings according to what would be best for people’s everyday use. For example, an insurance option is provided as the last step to a big online transaction. Insuring high-ticket items will provide customers with the peace of mind that their purchases will arrive hassle-free. In order to make this possible, PasarPolis puts a heavy emphasis on making sure that our B2B2C partnerships would yield the most reliable, credible, and high-value proposition to customers.”

Randing highlighted the success of PasarPolis’ embedded insurance model, as it brings insurance closer to consumers’ daily lives.

“Our digital distribution presence is unparalleled in [Indonesia], as we’ve built captive collaborations with ecosystem partners, companies, and digital agents,” Randing said. “This allows our products to be deeply embedded in customers’ daily activities and we insured more than 80 million people in 2021 – that is one out of every three Indonesians. We want to increase this number throughout Asia and partnerships have definitely been able to support this.”

According to Randing, most of the problems PasarPolis encounters boil down to the low insurance awareness and education in most markets. There is a lack of understanding about the nature of insurance itself, which means the industry should re-educate newer generations about their misconceptions about insurance, especially in the areas of affordability, convenience and importance.

“While every industry has its hurdles, we are confident in the future of the insurance space. It’s continuously evolving and so we strive to continuously learn and improve our solutions to match the market,” Randing said. “We want our brand to bring insurance into a more positive light and change perceptions on what the service can deliver in value.”

Looking forward, Randing says PasarPolis will continue to strengthen its partnerships with insurance and non-insurance businesses in the region.

“We plan to continue strengthening our partnerships and expanding to even more countries in the future, maintaining a strong and wide distribution channel to reach more people,” he said. “We’re also looking forward to pushing further into our B2C channel. We’re expecting to provide more people with their insurance through TAP Insure’s debut as we provide insurance access through a wider digital ecosystem of mobile apps.

“Lastly, we just want to continue building a digital insurtech ecosystem that creates micro-insurance products, suitable for daily needs with affordable premium prices and delivers a pleasant experience to all users.”

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