Much like online shopping, Filipinos can now get health insurance with just one click on their smartphones or laptops.
This, as life insurer Pru Life UK ramps up its digitalization efforts with a full suite of insurance products accessible through digital platforms Shopee and GCash – introducing a new era for driving financial inclusion in the country.
"Across the Philippines, we have over 33,000 digitally-empowered financial advisors who regularly engage with many Filipinos and families through our digital asset called PRUOne, helping them get the most out of life by understanding and fulfilling their financial and health protection needs consistently. Our financial advisors are also able to tap on our AI-powered health and wealth app called Pulse and collaboration with like-minded partner ecosystems like Shopee and GCash, to reach out and bless many more Filipinos and families at speed and at scale like never before," said Pru Life UK President and CEO Eng Teng Wong.
"Digitalization is hugely important to Pru Life UK not only as a company, but as our competitive edge moving forward," Wong said. "We started this journey maybe about three, four years ago. And the way we do digitalization is really people-centric: our customers, our distributors, especially our agency workforce, our own people, the colleagues, the people who support our business."
Wong said Pru Life UK's digital push is an initiative towards the company's goals to make health protection accessible to everyone, particularly to the underserved sectors of the society.
"I think there are a number of barriers, but the most important one is still perhaps the lack of financial awareness," said Wong.
Insurance penetration in the Philippines is among the lowest in Asia, recording lower than two percent of the population, according to the Insurance Commission. Mobile phone users, meanwhile, have grown to around 82.3 million in the Philippines, highlighting the potential in digitizing insurance to reach more Filipinos.
"With technology, we have been able to reach and raise financial awareness, along with our like-minded partners, to a level that we have not seen before," Wong said.
Filipinos who availed insurance products have also increased in the last three years because of the pandemic.
"Through our agency workforce, we add on the reach with professional financial engagement and advice for the customers in this case, and that has resulted in a double digit growth in our business, in terms of the number of customers that we have been able to acquire."
Getting insurance online
For many Filipinos, getting insurance online is easy with online channels available 24/7, and with e-payments that may be done in a few minutes.
"Typically, the user journey is quite straightforward, right?" Wong said. "You provide some basic information in a user-friendly screen, then with three or four clicks, the transaction is done, and the policy is issued simultaneously."
Shopee users can purchase e-vouchers for Pru Life UK's PRUDengue MedCare and PRUDengue MedCare Pro – priced between P200 and P350 with coverage for 6-12 months, depending on the chosen package.
Both products offer a lump sum benefit of P10,000 for the life insured upon diagnosis of dengue. PRUDengue MedCare Pro, on the other hand, also provides a lump sum benefit of P100,000 if the life assured passes away due to dengue. These products are available on Pru Life UK's official Shopee page, where consumers can choose product e-vouchers, pay, and redeem via PRUShoppe in Pulse.
For GCash users, PRUPersonal Accident Junior for children is now available under the GInsure feature, a renewable term insurance plan for students aged 18-22 (if Life Assured is also the policy owner), or for children aged 5-17 (if Life Assured is the child of the policy owner). For P48.95 per year, this protection plan is designed to provide accidental death and disablement coverage amounting to P30,000 up to P100,000.
Meanwhile, the basic package of PRUPersonal Accident Standard will provide benefits for total and permanent disability, and death due to murder and assault. The full package will include the same benefits plus a minimum of P5,000 medical reimbursement and P250,000 hospital income benefits.
Insurance being made available via online platforms GCash and Shopee constitute an 'Insurtech,' which the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development describe as 'new technologies with the potential to bring innovation to the insurance sector and impact the regulatory practices of insurance markets.'
"And of course, we also have our direct website available for customers to also buy from," Wong said. "So, in summary, we provide as many options as possible to actually reach the customers."
With the life insurer shifting its gears to the digital stage, financial advisors also learn to adjust to the new norm of engaging with customers.
"We are experiencing very good engagement with our customers beyond the immediate location where the financial advisor is," Wong said. "For example, a financial advisor could be in Cagayan de Oro, serving the needs of a customer in Baguio. For those who really want to firstly understand the needs, and also the benefits, then I still encourage the customers to speak or to engage our agents, whether face to face or virtually, right, because holistic plan compensation is important, right?"
In 2023, Pru Life UK said it aims to further advance and enhance service experience to continuously ensure customer convenience.
"We are not resting on our laurels. Digitalization is a journey," Wong said. "We listen to our customers, we listen to our distributors, we launch new initiatives."
Apart from the company's efforts to ramp up its digitalization journey, Pru Life UK said it has also collaborated with over 2,000 teachers across the country on the basic understanding of financial awareness and literacy.
For further information, visit Pru Life UK's official website, Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Shopee pages.
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