Insurtech obtains financial adviser approval

  • SMEBiz
  • Monday, 17 Jun 2019

One up: Lee (left), seen here with his team, says PolicyStreet is the first local Insurtech to be given the FA approval.

LOCAL Insurtech PolicyStreet has expanded its scope following its financial adviser (FA) approval from Bank Negara.

Last week, the firm obtained the approval to conduct financial advisory and Islamic financial advisory business under Section 11 and 15(1) of the Financial Services Act 2013 respectively.

The approval enables PolicyStreet to source, aggregate, compare, customise and advise consumers and businesses of the best insurance products across the board.

PolicyStreet’s chief executive officer Lee Yen Ming says it has at its disposal, the ability to work directly with all 47 life and general insurance and takaful providers in Malaysia. Unlike an agent who can only represent a particular insurance provider, PolicyStreet will be able to analyse and provide advisory services on various products.

“We often find that insurance providers tend to have many competing products that cater to different segments of customers. For example, insurer A might offer a life product suited for customers above 40 years old and insurer B may offer a more compelling life product for customers below 30. Aggregation will not enable us to advise the right products to different target customers but FA will. We want to advise customers without prejudice and we will marry technology and innovation to remove ‘fats’ in the ecosystem by driving transparency and simplicity in insurance,” says Lee.

He adds that the approval was timely as PolicyStreet embarks on a new fusion business model that creates synergy between the old and new economy by capitalising on technology such as artificial intelligence and big data. It employs an offline-to-online operating model to communicate insurance complexities while reducing process inefficiencies and improving overall customer experience.

With the approval, PolicyStreet joins the list of 32 other approved financial advisers in Malaysia.

According to Bank Negara governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, insurance in Malaysia accounts for merely 1.7% of the country’s gross domestic product and only 5.8% of financial assets with less than 40% of Malaysian citizens owning a life insurance or family takaful policy. There are at least another 8 million working-age individuals and over 700,000 micro enterprises in Malaysia that need protection, notes Lee. Of these, around 3.7 million are from the bottom-40 income group.

Lee says PolicyStreet is committed to advance a higher life penetration and support the under-insured businesses.

In just over two years of operations, PolicyStreet has underwritten over RM400mil in sum assured and sold more than 10,000 policies. It has also raised US$500,000 in seed funding from KK Fund, an Asean-based venture capitalist and was a recipient of a government grant from Cradle Fund.

It has also worked with more than 100 companies, organisations and groups in curating products to identify business pain points and curate products to enhance their business models.

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