InsurTech is the hot buzzword of 2016 next to FinTech (of course!) and there is reason for this to come to light as the opportunity to revolutionize this 5.25 million industry, or 6 billion premium in Singapore alone is massive! Now comes our startup of the week is PolicyPal – Simple. User-friendly. Your digital insurance manager!
PolicyPal founder Superwoman Val Jihsuan Yap has been busy living the startup life juggling prepping for pilot partnerships, pitching at conferences, wall climbing, volunteering and developing a kickass beta launch. The team is getting noticed and definitely showing a lot of promise.
Let’s hear from Val and her team about what they are up to this week!
1) Tell us about PolicyPal.
PolicyPal is your digital mobile insurance manager that makes it easy for you to view and track all your existing insurance policies and coverage on your mobile. Furthermore, we provide you with a review of your insurance portfolio to identify potential savings and protection gap.
My name is Val Jihsuan Yap, Founder & CEO at PolicyPal. I am a former banker at OCBC Bank. Previously, I worked in Regulatory Risk Assurance for PwC London. I am also an active volunteer at Willing Hearts as I believe that giving back is something truly powerful, and energizes me. Rick and Jun Wei joined the team 2 months ago. Before PolicyPal, they were at TagPass accelerator programme as full stack developers, and started a startup to solve the customer’s pain of long, unmanageable queues during lunch peak hours.
2) If we were to personify PolicyPal, what kind of person would he/she be?
PolicyPal your friend for protection. You can always ask PolicyPal for any queries you have on your protection.
3) What do you think is your team’s strength?
PolicyPal is young and dynamic. We are solving the real pain of customers, based on personal experience. With a group of diverse members bringing various strengths to the team, we are able to create ideas that are unconventional and solid. In addition to that, a culture of transparency where members trust one another, are open about their passions, motivations, and dreams, contributes to the cohesiveness of the team. Mutual admiration is how the team is able to stay curious and bold, voicing out their different perspectives and working towards a shared goal.
4) What do you do for team building?
Eating regularly with the team allows for casual conversations in a comfortable environment, giving team members a chance to get to know each other outside of work. We are also joining the Startupbootcamp FinTech 2016 cohort to Sentosa next weekend to relax, unwind and bond!
5) Where do you think the future of insurance lies?
Insurance helps customers cover risks they don’t want to take, providing security and protection. Today, internet, social media and mobility have changed the game, with the balance of power shifting towards customers. The new generation of customers demand simplicity, speed and convenience in their interactions with businesses. Concurrently, ongoing commoditization of products stressing on importance of choice and price, leads to customers demanding greater transparency and lower cost of insurance products. Increasing reliance and usage of the internet, means that consumers are now also willing to buy direct online through trusted sources like forums, friends or family.
Today, despite many insurers lacking access to a 360-degree customer view, it is crucial to be obsessed over customers and their risks, identifying their key moments to create a targeted customer experience. Increasing “touch points” and leveraging on big data to provide bespoke offerings to customers will increase customer retention rate.
We see the future in algorithm-based robo advisory where the platform could provide real time response to customers’ needs. The collaborative model, robo advisory and financial advisor working together, can offer a highly effective platform for attracting new customers and serve changing needs of existing customers.
6) What was your week like and what is PolicyPal’s key achievements this week?
I was in Hong Kong to attend FINNOVASIA and RISE conferences. I was honoured that people approached me as they have read about PolicyPal and were interested to know more about what we are building. During the trip, I also met up with a couple of insurers and banks to learn and understand more about the market in Hong Kong.
7) What is one challenge you faced in the course of building PolicyPal?
Insurance business and its distribution model have been the same over the past 100 years. insurers are catching up to refresh legacy systems and processes. It is a challenge to convince key stakeholders on how digital platforms could help transform their organisation into a customer-centric organisation that offers tailored products to the customers’ changing needs and behaviours.
8) Are there any startup founders you wish to meet?
I would really like to meet other female entrepreneurs and learn from their success stories. #WomenInTech
PolicyPal has just launched their ios app, and are giving exclusive access to the first 200 users. Download their app today for better insurance management!
Catch up on Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore’s #StartupOfTheWeek series here: