The youth-oriented online insurance segment has been slowly growing in Malaysia, as they increasingly look for simplicity and convenience in their insurance coverage, coupled with an user-friendly customer experience. Under the Tune Protect Group, Tune Protect Malaysia is a licensed insurtech player that prioritises this experience and squarely targets millennials, zillennials and SMEs in Malaysia.
Primarily, this is done via its mobile-first strategy and user-friendly website with an e-commerce-like interface, with a mobile application launched back in the year 2020.
The app lets users self-manage their insurance digitally at any time, according to their preferences and shifting needs – a radical concept in Malaysian insurance where policies have fixed terms according to the needs of the majority, and usually don’t vary until periodic policy review periods.
Digital First, Frictionless Customer Experience
In an exclusive sit-down with Fintech News Malaysia, Rohit Nambiar, Chief Executive Officer of Tune Protect Group, said Tune Protect was among the pioneers of this digital-first, customer-centric approach in Malaysia,
“We have always been a digital insurance company. No insurance company has as many products as we have,” claims Rohit. “We can offer products, which are standalone products, which you can buy on our website, or through our mobile app, or through our digital partners, [or] you can buy embedded frictionless insurance, which is a core part of our offering.”
Seeking to offer more product diversity and flexibility to customers, embedded insurance is when insurance coverage is integrated into the purchase journeys of other platforms, such as purchase protection in e-commerce sites or travel insurance when buying a plane ticket online.
“Last year, we probably did about RM115 million sales of embedded frictionless insurance,” says Rohit, highlighting the demand for such protection when it is a seamless part of the user purchasing journey.
“The whole concept behind all of this is a three-three-three commitment we made. You can buy from us in three minutes, you can receive a response from us in three hours, and your claims will be paid within three days upon approval,” he explained.
“95% of our claims today are paid within three days upon approval,” Rohit clarified, giving examples of travel products that Tune Protect offers in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Middle East that can sometimes be approved and paid out before the customer’s flight lands.
Tune Protect Differentiating With Digital
Rohit claims the reliance on a variety of digital tools is what sets Tune Protect apart in the marketplace, with the objective of delivering smooth customer engagement at the heart of their offering,
“We have chatbots, live features. We are regularly doing customer NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys where our scores have been consistently among the highest in the industry. Internally, we use new-age technologies like APIs, but we also use RPA (robotic process automation), bots and stuff.
“And I think the key part of our differentiation is, our tech is owned by us,” he added. “That’s why we are an insurtech today. A lot of insurers actually want to use our tech you know and that’s really our biggest differentiation.”
Modernising The Backend
Tune Protect Group’s technology foundation is robust enough that they are now bundling it for other service providers under the Group’s technology arm, White Label Sdn. Bhd. Tune Protect also migrated to the cloud early, and recently became the first insurer in Malaysia to adopt SAP insurance core and core on the cloud, to replace its legacy general insurance core system.
While many insurtech and other digital businesses now start early with cloud infrastructure, Rohit noted that the core systems of most companies in Malaysia is still primarily on premises. He expects the cloud-based core migration to “profoundly improve processes, downtime, uptime, security, infrastructure, [and the] ability to launch innovative products and services” for the Group.
Besides improving customer-facing processes, Rohit notes that the “highly scalable, agile” nature of the SAP core will also improve various backend functions, simplify workflows, streamline operations, reduce manual effort, and overhaul data management to eliminate data discrepancies and improve data integrity.
In addition, it can enhance operations across various departments, “not just policy and admin, but finance, underwriting, reinsurance”.
“Moreover, we have a head of AI and data, whose job is to see how we can use data,” he added. “And not only, of course, comply with data needs, but also how do we launch new, exciting artificial intelligence and innovation propositions. So that’s really how we look at things.”
Prioritising SME Customer Needs
In May, Tune Protect introduced two new digital insurance products for one of their underserved and underinsured target markets, small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The first offering is an online employee health and life insurance by Tune Protect Life, allowing employers the flexibility to purchase life or medical insurance or both, for their employees directly on a business-to-consumer (B2C) channel.
The second product is a user-friendly homegrown SME microsite that is a one-stop platform for micro SMEs to obtain business insurance solutions that are tailored to their needs, along with offering profession-based insurance bundles such as Business Shield with a 15% platform-exclusive premium rebates, and connecting them with partners’ offerings.
The purely digital model allows Tune Protect Group the agility to offer tailored coverage plans for businesses, working to what they can afford rather than fixed price points.
“If you look up the buying experience [on the microsite], we don’t sell it based on sum assurance, we actually sell it based on what is the amount you can afford,” Rohit emphasised. “And then our system is able to give them back options. So this has been quite critical. And that’s why we got into the fintech sandbox and the whole idea of making the difference.”
“Fully Digital Experiences”
“The fintech sandbox” is Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Financial Technology Regulatory Sandbox, which the Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Tune Protect Life obtained approval to participate in, with the aim of providing life and health protection for first-time insurance buyers and digitised propositions. The ultimate objective of sandbox participants is to drive financial inclusivity for lower income groups and the aforementioned SMEs.
And, of course, “all our experiences are fully digital”, which Rohit states has been instrumental in understanding what customers need, and how to best serve them. “I always say we have to treat our customers the way we would treat ourselves and our families.”
Being a digital insurer has also helped Tune Protect Group meet some of its sustainability objectives – such as becoming a fully paperless organization in 2022. Tune reflects these values back to their customers, too.
“So that same experience will apply to SMEs as well, for whom resources are always short,” Rohit said.
Making a Digital Business Work
The chief executive lamented that despite the focus on meeting customer preferences via digital services, the wider public often misunderstands a digital business.
“Every time you speak about digital people talk about tech, but actually for digital to work, there are three things that nobody can take away. One is you have to have an innovation culture. The second one is, you need to have a culture where it’s okay to fail,” he elaborated, before adding:
“Last, but not least, be a company with very young leadership. Tune Protect team comes from all walks of life – it’s an extremely multicultural, multinational leadership team, which includes people from Thailand, India, Malaysia, Germany and all different experiences. Because that’s needed as we grow into this new space.”