EP 26 -Tom Duncan – Head of Insurance at Grab – Radically Simplifying the Product


Michael has previously worked for major international organisations including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, UBS and CitiGroup as well as supported and advised local tech giants like aCommerce and investors like Ardent Capital in Thailand. Since 2016, Michael has been running his media business hosting several tech podcasts in Asia.

Tom Duncan

Tom is the Head of Insurance at Grab, where he oversees the strategic direction and development of the insurance offering in Grab Financial Group. He and the team are on a mission to help address the insurance gap in Southeast Asia, by using technology and data to design innovative digital solutions.

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In this episode, Michael Waitze spoke to Tom Duncan, the Head of Insurance at Grab. Tom is not new to the financial services sector in general and the insurance business in particular.   After more than a decade working in Global Markets at banks like ANZ and Barclays, Tom moved into the startup world and then became the Head of Digital Partnerships at Chubb in Singapore.

In a theme common to a lot of our recent conversations, Tom notes that an important part of the InsurTech space is its developing focus on alternative distribution channels.  Employing partnerships with companies like Chubb and its announced joint venture with Zhong An Technology, Grab continues to methodically build out its insurance product and marketplace.

Tom gives insight into Grab’s strategy selling insurance within the ride-hailing platform and ecosystem. Today, Grab’s insurance strategy focuses on alternative distribution channels and strategic partnerships with insurers including NTUC Income. Tom also touches on their partnership with Zhong An Technology, their plans to roll out their insurance capabilities across Southeast Asia and comments on Grab’s potential to build its own underwriting capabilities. 

Michael and Tom also discuss the importance of consumer education on financial products. Grab has launched initiatives to raise awareness for insurance products among their drivers, partners, and clients. Their strategy is to develop simple and easy to understand micro-insurance products that are relevant to the lives of entrepreneurs and the clients that use its platform across the board.

Other companies mentioned in this episode:

GoJek, Tokopedia, Sunday, Traveloka, Chubb, Acko

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