The API Insurance Platform

THERE are many pain points typically associated with an individual or a business entity in the market for insurance.

While some within the financial services industry see the emergence of fintech as a threat, others see it as an opportunity. Source: Shutterstock

The API economy

Some of the most pressing challenges that insurance providers have struggled with in recent times include delivering consistent customer experience, fixing the inherently inefficient processes, and leveraging the right technologies to optimize premiums via product customization.

The prevalence of these issues, among other factors, have restricted traditional insurance providers from reaching the market that needs the protection the most — the micro- and small- business owners.

However, one innovative Malaysian startup, Senang is leveraging technology to address some of these issues in the insurance market and provide its customers with a more seamless and integrated experience.

Senang’s first API insurance platform solves the lack of trust between businesses and insurers and a lack of customization to meet the needs of different e-commerce businesses across various industries.

“The market for micro and small entrepreneurs is currently neglected by the insurance distribution channel as the premium price is low,” the company’s co-founder and CEO, Sharian Raj, told Tech Wire Asia.

“Furthermore, insurance companies are unable to cater to this crowd as their product is annual based, bundled, and are complicated to be purchased online. Hence, Senang was created.”

Sharian explained that those in the bottom 40 percent in terms of income level in Malaysia (B40) are often excluded from insurance brackets due to several reasons, including a general lack of awareness.

“Insurance is considered expensive, complicated, and people don’t think about it,” he added.

Senang, being an on-demand insurtech platform, partners with insurance providers to offer micro and small business owners – that fall within the B40 category – with affordable insurance premiums, to better protect themselves.

Fintech makes banking not just about the interest rates and lower monthly installments but also convenience at fingertips and predictive next-best-action. Source: Shutterstock

Their products include shipment insurance, cleaners insurance, on-demand travel insurance, and on-demand personal accident insurance — separate from the bundled business insurance.

According to Sharian, the platform allows these products to be repackaged and customized to fit the needs of a different segment of an entrepreneur lifecycle better, while also bringing the unit cost of participation down to as low as MYR1 (US$0.25).

Further, the platform also enables seamless claims processes and fully integrated policy management using a smart cloud system which simplifies policy management and renewals.

Partnership with UNCDF

Earlier this month, Senang was one of three outfits chosen among 18 fintech companies that pitched their innovative ideas at MyFintech Week held in Kuala Lumpur as part of the Malaysia B40 Challenge, an initiative by Financial Innovation Lab Malaysia.

The Financial Innovation Lab is a collaborative project by UNCDF, Bank Negara Malaysia, and MDEC that is funded by the MetLife Foundation.

And by virtue of being one of the top three finalists in the challenge, Senang will continue to receive support from the project up to 2020 — something Sharian is very much looking forward to.

“We will be able to tap into UNCDF’s wide range of industry mentors. Apart from that, we will be working closely with UNCDF team for the next year to bring solutions into the market and scale it up nationwide and regionally,” said Sharian.

While it may be too soon to tell if the Senang’s platform will succeed in the quest to make insurance product more accessible to the B40 group, they are definitely heading in the right direction.

Singapore is a great springboard to the fintech industry but will local banks lose out? Source: Shutterstock

Over the last six months, the platform managed to partner with 14 insurance providers and successfully issued close to 1,100 policies.

“We hope to re-invent the general insurance industry by making the purchasing and claim process within a click of a button for low and middle income aspirational Malaysian entrepreneurs,” said an excited Sharian.

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