Igloo Expands in the Philippines, Citing Strategic Partnerships as Growth Drivers

Staff ni Anjie
Igloo, a regional insurtech business, is building on its success in the Philippines with meaningful relationships across many industries, fresh off a successful US$19 million Series B funding round.

Thanks to a tech-savvy population and low insurance penetration, the Philippines market provides excellent potential for Igloo. According to the Insurance Commission (IC) data, only 3% of the country's adult population is insured.

Meanwhile, the Philippine insurance business has had strong growth, with total gross written premiums increasing by 64.3 percent from Php 169.6 billion in the third quarter of 2016 to Php 278.7 billion in the same period in 2021.

Philippines' rapid economic development

Igloo has forged alliances with insurance companies Etiqa, Malayan Insurance, PGA Sompo Insurance Corporation, Mercantile Insurance, and over 12 commercial partners in the finance, logistics, lifestyle, and travel sectors under the guidance of Country Managing Director Mario Berta.

Igloo Philippines has helped arrange over 60 million protection plans in the last year, resulting in a 20-fold rise in total written premiums. Its most recent agreement with Etiqa and Shopee allows over 73 million monthly visitors on the Shopee Philippines platform to purchase inexpensive Cracked Screen Protection and Electronics Protection Plans.

The insurtech firm has also strengthened its relationship with significant e-wallet provider GCash, which now offers a suite of microinsurance protection plans to GCash's 60 million users, including Online Shopping Protection, Gadget Insurance, and Pet Insurance.

"Insurance partners are increasingly looking at how to digitalize their internal processes and distribution channels," said Mario Berta, Igloo Philippines' Country Managing Director. "Here's where Igloo comes in. We provide insurers with a plug-and-play solution for distributing insurance products through the platforms of major internet companies in the Philippines and elsewhere in the region."

See Also: Xendit Designates Series D Funding for Philippine Startups and Women in Tech

Insurance for all

Igloo's expansion in the Philippines means it can now provide security plans to a broader range of people, including previously underrepresented groups such as gig economy employees and micro, small, and medium businesses (MSMEs).

Igloo's cooperation with food delivery platform FoodPanda was extended to the Philippines in January, allowing FoodPanda riders in the country to reduce risks and manage inadvertent losses while on the road.

More recently, it partnered with UBX's SeekCap to provide over 50,000 MSMEs with affordable fire coverage and expanded personal accident coverage for family members through SeekCap, a fast-growing online lending marketplace for MSMEs.

In conjunction with Igloo and Etiqa, Neil Trinidad, Vice President of GCash and Head of Insurtech and Crypto, wants to make insurance accessible to everyone. "The Philippines is a tale of enormous potential." However, we continue to perceive a gap in financial inclusion as one of the most severe issues. Only 63% of Filipinos do not have bank accounts."

Consumers reclaiming control

These technological advances improve client experience, total coverage, and cost savings in the insurance sector. By streamlining the whole insurance journey – from discovery and purchasing to policy and claims administration -, insurtech makes insurance more accessible to the general public and gives consumers control.

"In the Philippines, we aim to empower our partners to sell digital products like insurance," Berta explained. "Our mission is to deliver the most competitive product and innovative items to market and ensure 102 million Filipinos on 7,300 islands of all types."

Because of its high mobile connection and internet usage, Etiqa Philippines President Rico Bautista believes insurtech presents a big opportunity for the Philippines. He went on to say that the Igloo and Etiqa relationship is unusual because of their composite license, which allows them to sell both life and non-life products.

"We provide a smooth digital consumer journey." Everything is taken care of from the time you buy insurance to the time you file a claim. "We are an insurance firm that does what we do because our aim is to improve our country," Bautista continued.

Capitalize on SEA and Philippine opportunities.

Thanks to its latest investment announcement, Igloo is poised to capitalize on its tremendous momentum in the Philippines.

Berta, who has managed and mentored commercial teams across APAC and has an extensive career in several sectors, including IT, eCommerce, finance, and telecommunications, plans to maintain Igloo's position as the region's top insurtech company.

"Igloo will continue to invest in bolstering its full-stack capabilities as well as innovating its dynamic risk assessment and AI-powered claims assessment tools," says the company. Berta said. "In accordance with our mission of 'Insurance for All,' our product development and distribution efforts in Southeast Asia will continue to focus on underinsured low- and middle-income populations."

More than 15 million people in Southeast Asia have benefited from Igloo's insurance products. Igloo's great economic potential is found in Southeast Asia's rapidly rising digital economy, which is estimated to reach US$300 billion in 2025. The growing use of digital insurance creates new potential for digital players and insurance companies in the region, with a combined market value of more than US$10 billion.

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