SE Asian insurtech firm Igloo expands in the Philippines

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SE Asian insurtech firm Igloo expands in the Philippines

Igloo, a Singapore-headquartered insurtech firm, today announced partnerships with Union Bank of the Philippines and Akulaku.

Igloo will now be offering personal accident products on UnionBank's API Marketplace and Akulaku's platforms - including for family, household, Kasambahay, and Panatag Ako.

Igloo, a full-stack insurtech firm, employs big data, dynamic risk assessment, and expedited claims management, to provide partners with widened distribution networks and allows consumers access to customised insurance solutions. Since the company was founded in 2016, Igloo has already benefited over 15 million customers in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

In this technology-driven era, Igloo sees the need for the transition from a traditional insurance industry into a digital-driven insurance ecosystem."

The Philippines has one of the most significant insurance gaps in the world, according to Igloo. In 2018, the insurance penetration rate in the country stood at less than 1%, and the relative cost of the insurance gap represented 1.3% ($4.2bn) of its GDP.

To close this gap, the market for micro-insurance products has been growing. The penetration of micro-insurance in the Philippines is one of the highest globally - making up to 25% of its population last year, and expected to reach 48% by 2022.

Raunak Mehta, chief commercial officer of Igloo, said, "In this technology-driven era, Igloo sees the need for the transition from a traditional insurance industry into a digital-driven insurance ecosystem. People today are exposed to highly personalised experiences driven by data, and their experience with insurance products should be no different."

"Our digital-first approach, growing product portfolio and best of practice learnings from the region can help to increase insurance awareness and provide Filipinos with access to affordable insurance that addresses their needs and bridges the insurance gap in the country."

Arvie de Vera, UnionBank senior vice president and fintech group head shared, "Through the partnership, Igloo's micro-insurance products are now made available on UnionBank's API Marketplace. This plays a vital role in enabling and boosting insurance penetration rates in the Philippines through innovative means, and contributes to our shared goal of financial inclusion as Filipinos will gain greater access to affordable insurance solutions."

Ian Chan, merchandising department head of fintech startup Akulaku (which counts more than 6 million users, said, "We see a huge income disparity in the Philippines. Insurance is important for every Filipino and it has proven its worth during the covid-19 pandemic. By partnering with Igloo, we could make insurance possible for every Filipino across all income brackets."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.