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ZA International launches H.K. digital-only insurer

ZhongAn teams up with Fubon Life to launch ZA Insure under the Insurance Authority’s Fast Track program.

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ZhongAn Technologies International Group announced that its joint venture with Fubon Life Insurance (Hong Kong), called ZA Life, has obtained a digital-only insurer license from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority under its Fast Track pilot scheme. ZA Life will serve the needs of different people under the trade name “ZA Insure”, offering protection to a wider population with innovative insurance services and products.

Wayne Xu, president of ZA International and CEO of ZA Insure, said: “Following the launch of ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s first virtual bank, ZA Insure is a new business of ZA International in the local market. It reflects ZA’s determination to promote financial inclusion and fulfill users’ needs. As a fintech and insurtech company, we have adopted a “community-driven” approach and identified many pain points that remain to be resolved in the current insurance market. For example, some users fail to benefit from insurance products due to their levels of wealth, while some prefer more personalized products when seeking coverage. These have inspired us to be user-centric and build ZA Insure, a digital-only insurance platform that truly caters to users’ needs.”

Xu continued: “Technology has changed the traditional model of insurance services, allowing emerging insurtech companies to provide protection to a wider range of people in need through a streamlined operational structure, effective product innovation approach and business model. Thanks to the recognition from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, as well as full support from our partner Fubon Life Hong Kong, we believe ZA Insure can leverage ZA’s experience in technological innovation and customer service to raise users’ expectation for insurance products, and eventually redefine insurance.”

Jerry Chou, CEO of Fubon Life Hong Kong and director of ZA Life, said: “Technology advancement has fundamentally changed the way we access information and manage our needs. With this changing consumer landscape, Fubon Life sees the growing opportunity to improve distribution capability, customer experiences, and operation efficiency with innovative technological solutions. With ZA International’s strong track record in providing digital insurance services and Fubon Group’s profound experience in financial and insurance planning, ZA Insure will bring together our strengths to create a compelling value proposition to customers.”

ZA Insure will launch its services in the near future, with products including life insurance and critical illness insurance to cover different needs. Currently ZA Insure is fully engaged in the preparation for the official product launch.

Paddy Choy, chief actuary of ZA Insure said: “I am delighted that ZA Life has received a digital-only insurer license and will operate its digital-only insurer business under the name of ZA Insure. This is a recognition of ZA Insure’s technical strength, market experience and business model. Launching in such challenging times as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, ZA Insure will uphold the mission of providing protection for all users. Propelled by technology, we hope to increase the market penetration of insurance products with affordable prices and more efficient application process, so that more people can get the protection they need. “

Choy added: “Technology plays an important role in ZA Insure’s endeavor to improve user experience. ZA’s self-developed eKYC (Electronic Know Your Customer) technology will be fully applied to our underwriting process, substantially reducing the time required for purchasing coverage. We will also employ multiple security, risk control and anti-fraud technologies to ensure the safety of user information.”

The Hong Kong Insurance Authority launched the pilot scheme Fast Track in September 2017, to provide a dedicated queue for new authorization applications from applicants which would own and operate solely digital distribution channels. Insurers under the Fast Track must have an innovative and robust business model using digital distribution to bring benefits to the consumers in Hong Kong in product development, delivery, customer service and cost efficiency. They are required to comply with all relevant laws and regulations including solvency, capital, and local asset requirements. ZA Life’s digital-only insurer license was granted by the Insurance Authority under the Fast Track.

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ZA International launches H.K. digital-only insurer