Hong Kong-based and Tencent-backed insurer, Blue, is set to begin selling policies from its entirely digital platform in a first for the city
Planning to employ only around 100 members of staff, Blue hopes to undercut competition with a direct sales strategy.
Chief Executive, Charles Hung Tak-chow, said:
“By turning from a traditional insurance company into a digital insurance company, we do not need to pay any commission to middlemen”.
“We can thus charge policies at a lower price and we will transfer the benefit to customers”.
Mr Hung did not elaborate on how much customers can expect to save compared with Blue’s competition.
Blue will compete for market share with AIA, MetLife and Manulife, who have each begun to incorporate technology such as big data and automated risk analysis to determine premiums and handle claims.
The city’s government has been pushing for increased incorporation of “insurtech” in Hong Kong’s insurance sector, and introduced new measures last September which allow companies to use such technology to streamline their services and bring costs down.
The South China Morning Post said that the company’s ownership is split between Tencent at 20%, British insurer Aviva at 40%, and investor Hillhouse at 40%.
Of Blue’s investors, Mr Hung added that “Aviva has an insurance background, Tencent has internet knowledge and Hillhouse can support capital needs. All three major shareholders have their contributions to Blue”.
The online platform, SCMP reported, will make the process of buying policies straightforward and consumer-friendly, with “customers only needing to answer a few simple questions about their health and personal information”.