U for Life eyes potential in life insurance

27 Jul 2015 / 05:36 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: U for Life Sdn Bhd, which introduced online life insurance premiums for as low as RM9.85 a month, sees potential in what it thinks is an under insured market in Malaysia, with a goal of developing more insurance products in the future.
    U for Life is 60%-owned by the world's third-largest reinsurance company Hannover Re and 40% by New Zealand-based Intelligent Life Ltd.
    Intelligent Life specialises in designing and deploying distribution systems for the life insurance industry featuring electronic underwriting and straight-through-processing. Using this platform, a fully underwritten life insurance policy can be quoted, underwritten, paid for and issued online in 10 minutes.
    Policies offered by U for Life is underwritten by Tokio Marine Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd, a member of the Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc in Japan.
    U for Life general manager Iskandar Ezzahuddin said it will benefit from Hannover Re and Tokio Marine's market understanding and expertise in the Malaysian life insurance landscape.
    "U for Life is new and we're learning. Any experience that we can learn from Hannover, Tokio Marine and Intelligent Life and the experience in other markets is valuable to us in tailoring our campaigns moving forward," he told SunBiz in an interview recently.
    "We see Tokio Marine as a strategic partner for us and we look at it as a long-term partnership. Any new products that we want to have, moving forward, will definitely involve Tokio Marine as our strategic partner," said Iskandar, explaining that currently the plan is to solely work with insurer Tokio Marine.
    He said there is a clear protection gap in Malaysia where the average protection is RM500,000 to RM700,000 and the average sum insured is RM34,000.
    "We want to increase the number of Malaysians who have life insurance from 56-75% to support what the government wants to do (by 2020) and that's the key element of the (U for Life) stakeholders."
    He said the concept of U for Life is to make the product as affordable as possible by keeping it to its necessity, which is the protection element.
    "Sometimes a life insurance product comes with different elements like investment and protection so when you have all these components coming together, the price becomes higher. If we strip it down to just protection, it becomes more affordable."
    U for Life was first introduced in May and the company is still looking at the initial results. It will also look into customers' feedback to determine how things will pan out, such as products that customers require and the suitability of the online platform.
    "For whatever feedback we receive, we will consider and how we move forward depends on what Malaysians want us to do. We will take it as a success if we're able to have some impact at increasing life insurance penetration in Malaysia.
    "There's also definitely a possibility for us to expand into other insurance products," said Iskandar.
    U for Life offers life insurance protection of RM100,000 for only RM9.85 per month, banking on simplicity, instant and affordability.


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