New online insurance player dangles Valentine's Day carrot

A new online service that compares and sells insurance policies has opened for business, with the aim of making the process easier for consumers.

Insurance Market, as the portal (www.insurancemarket.sg) is called, offers policies in the area of travel, personal accident, home, pet and maid, with plans to include motor, motorcycle and international health - focusing on hospital care.

And for the next few days, it has a fun and free promotional policy to insure yourself against having a broken heart on Valentine's Day.

Insurance Market, which started late last year, was set up by Dutchman Otbert de Jong, who hit on the idea after encountering difficulty in buying motor insurance here in 2014.

Mr de Jong, 58, was running his risk advisory consulting business at the time.

He recalled the fraught process of getting motor insurance: "Eventually, it took me more than a week, the filling out of many forms and being left with the nagging feeling that I really did not get the best deal.

"I had ended up worn out, confused and buying a random product, not knowing whether it really met my needs."

Mr de Jong, who obtained a broking licence in March last year, said Insurance Market wants to drive the point home that buying online is the "most effective way" to get coverage.

He said: "By doing this, we eliminate hard-selling tactics and commission-driven sales agenda simply because we do not have insurance agents selling our products.

"We essentially go online to acquire customers and then give them a superior experience."

He said that by going through the "filter, compare and buy" process, people would find that it is convenient to buy insurance online.

The company is entering the online insurance space which has been quite active recently with players like Budget Direct, DirectAsia, GoBear and FWD Insurance. They offer mostly non-life plans such as travel and motor while DIYInsurance offers life insurance plans.

Mr de Jong sees Singapore as an incubator and has plans to expand into the region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'New online insurance player dangles Valentine's Day carrot'. Print Edition | Subscribe