New insurer buying Zurich Life Singapore portfolio

Policies totalling $6b in coverage to be transferred to Singapore Life

Life insurer Singapore Life is acquiring the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore.

The deal announced yesterday involves Singapore Life becoming responsible for all Zurich Life Singapore's customers' policies. These total about $6 billion of coverage for life, critical illness and disability benefits.

This agreement, which follows Zurich Life Singapore's closure to new business in December 2015, will not affect any of Zurich's other life or commercial insurance businesses here. These include Zurich International Life, a direct life insurer, and Zurich Insurance Company, which operates as the Asian commercial insurance business for the Zurich Insurance Group.

The transfer of all Zurich Life Singapore's policies to Singapore Life is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, subject to confirmation by the High Court.

Singapore Life chief executive Walter de Oude said: "Bringing this portfolio of customers into that of Singapore Life's is exactly in line with our strategy to accelerate quickly in becoming a preferred Singaporean insurance company for our customers' needs.

"We are proud of what Singapore Life is doing. Both our online and advised sales have exceeded our expectations for 2017, which suggests that our customers are happy with our offering also."

Singapore Life, which became a fully licensed direct life insurer last year, describes itself as a digital insurance company that uses technology to streamline applications and claims and keep premiums low.

STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

Bringing this portfolio of customers into that of Singapore Life's is exactly in line with our strategy to accelerate quickly in becoming a preferred Singaporean insurance company...

SINGAPORE LIFE CEO WALTER DE OUDE, on catering to clients' needs.

HIGH STANDARDS

We are confident our customers will continue to enjoy a high level of service and security with Singapore Life.

ZURICH LIFE SINGAPORE CEO DAVID KNEALE, on what clients can expect following the transfer of policies.

All Zurich Life Singapore policyholders who transfer to Singapore Life will continue to have the existing terms and conditions of their policies upheld and will get the same service level as existing Singapore Life customers. This includes 24/7 access to their policies online.

They can also use Singapore Life's online capabilities to manage their policies - either on their own or with financial advisers. All existing relationships between customers and their financial advisers will be maintained as well.

Customers who are affected will receive further information from Zurich Life Singapore and Singapore Life regarding the personal details of their transfer early this year.

Zurich Life Singapore chief executive David Kneale said that the move is in line with Zurich's strategy to optimise its portfolio and geographical footprint.

"We are confident our customers will continue to enjoy a high level of service and security with Singapore Life," he added.

"We remain fully committed to growing our commercial insurance business in Singapore and maintaining excellent customer service for our international life customers who are not impacted by the transfer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on , with the headline 'New insurer buying Zurich Life Singapore portfolio'. Print Edition | Subscribe