Just about everyone and everything is embracing digital today – and, yes, that includes some insurance providers. While traditional insurance business models continue to exist, a few insurers are delivering dedicated online offerings for customers.
One such insurer is FWD, who launched in Singapore with a bang in late 2016, boasting the quickest way to check prices or make claims online for both car and travel insurance. Since then, the company has launched more digital products including term life insurance, motorcycle and home insurance, and – their latest offering – International Health. To find out more about this flexible and, like the web itself, borderless product, we spoke with the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Abhishek Bhatia.
Tell us about FWD’s International Health in a nutshell.
It’s a completely customisable plan that allows consumers to pick and choose the type of coverage they need, with medical benefits of up to S$3 million annually. International Health comes with a base plan that includes hospitalisation and surgical benefits that cover a slew of trusted medical partners worldwide. Beyond this, customers can create their bespoke plan by mixing and matching benefits that are most relevant to them — from options such as outpatient, maternity, and dental and vision.
Is it suitable for anyone?
While anyone can buy FWD’s International Health, it’s best suited for expats looking to either top up their current company’s medical policy, or insure themselves and their families should they not be covered under a company’s medical policy. It also suits the lifestyle of Singaporeans looking for access to world class medical facilities outside of Singapore with their preferred choice of treatment and doctor, or even giving their children the same world-class coverage should they be going overseas to study.
The ‘eligibility criteria’ involves the age of the policyholder and spouse (18 to 65 years), and of their children dependents (0 to 21 years, or up to 25 if the child is studying full-time in a recognised institute of higher learning).
Why did you aim for such a strong digital focus with this product?
When we looked at creating International Health, we wanted to marry what could possibly be the best product in the market with the best purchase experience available. Deloitte’s 2018 Asia-Pacific commerce report shows that modern consumers are ready to transit to a new digital model, and our own research showing that 68 percent of consumers are comfortable buying their insurance online. Hence, we endeavored to allow customers of International Health to be able to purchase their health insurance by making informed choices at their own time.
What are some other features of the plan?
While there are many benefits, we are most proud of the following:
No Claim Bonus – doubling coverage after two years
This is where keeping healthy literally pays off. International Health is the only borderless health coverage plan that will increase the annual hospitalisation limit by 50 percent if you haven’t claimed against the policy in the previous year. That means you can double your coverage after a two-year period. Dubbed the ‘No Claim Bonus’, this unique feature makes it possible for a policyholder to start off with a S$100,000 annual limit, and end up with S$200,000 by their third year, if no claims are made against the plan in two years.
Reload Benefit – never worry about annual coverage limit
Another feature is the ‘Reload Benefit’. If your annual limit is exhausted by an accident event, an additional limit is automatically applied. This additional amount is equivalent to your annual limit, and covers accidental incidents that result in hospitalisation, up to the coverage end date. Additionally, families with at least two members can purchase the plan with a premium discount of 10 percent, which applies to the total premiums, and will continue to be applicable at each renewal.
Outside of product features, we have also simplified the emergency services and claims process with just one number to call, any time 24/7.
Expats are frequently on the move. What happens with an FWD policy if someone relocates from Singapore?
With the increasing trend of global mobility, International Health’s multi-border coverage ensures that you are protected, if and when you move to another country. As such, coverage purchased in Singapore will apply when an expat moves back home, or has to relocate to another country for work. (Should the country not be covered, FWD will refund the pro-rated premium amount.) This entails access to world-class medical facilities around the globe, worldwide emergency treatments, and the flexibility to choose doctors and treatment facilities globally.
Want to know more about online insurance, from health to home and other types of cover? Visit fwd.com.sg to get started.
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