AIP News RoundUp – Episode 29 – Theresa Blissing and Shefali Sonpar – Is Mobile Phone Coverage the New Motor Coverage?


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance in Asia. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

Experienced leader empowering Insurers to drive growth through digital transformation. Shefali is passionate about building business solutions based on the transformation power of digital and data - pushing innovation boundaries – exploring the possibilities for technology impact on business.

October ends with the theme of conglomerates entering insurance. Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent is applying for a re-insurance license which seems to be part of their overall strategy all along. In 2017, Tencent has already launched its insurance platform WeSure and has invested in a number of InsurTechs including Zhong An, Waterdrop, Policy Bazaar and Blue

Another conglomerate making waves in insurance is Pacific Century Group (PCG), the parent company of FWD. PCG’s new InsurTech venture bolttech has partnered in South Korea with telco carrier LG to offer smartphone protection. In Thailand, FWD is venturing into general insurance after the acquisition of Siam City Insurance and is offering the same smartphone coverage developed by bolttech.

What is interesting about their smartphone insurance is that they are not only covering costs but are also providing repair and replacement services. Find our latest podcast episode with Melissa, Group Chief Digital Officer at bolttech, here and our episode with FWD General Insurance CEO Bob Wouters here

Another tech company on its journey to become a regional conglomerate is ride-hailing company Grab which is now classified as a FinTech. Grab Financial Group has just launched a new insurance product in Indonesia. Hospital Cash Cover is a  micro-insurance protection that users can buy via the Grab app using their OVO wallet. 

In other InsurTech news, Doctor Anywhere started offering online mental health video consultation service in Singapore. An important topic especially in times of a global pandemic and high uncertainty. Cover Genius partners with QuickBooks to offer API-based parametric insurance covering earthquakes. Find our episode with Chris Bayley, the Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Cover Genius, here

The biggest news of this month, however, is the launch of BimaPe, founded by AIP Ambassador Rahul Mathur. We are certainly biased so we won’t tell you how awesome this new startup is. Go and check it out yourself here.

Other companies mentioned in this episode: GoJek, SwissRe.

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