Whittington Group, the international insurance investor and services provider, today announced the launch next week of a new direct online insurance company, DirectAsia.com, in Singapore.
This is Whittington’s boldest initiative in Asia to date. Providing fast, easy access to insurance needs online, DirectAsia.com offers motor, travel, home and personal accident insurance.
Whittington Group, which has been headquartered in Singapore since 2006, saw an opportunity to bring the direct on-line insurance business model to Asia, where surprisingly virtually all personal lines insurance is still sold through agents.
The agents take commissions ranging from 10% to 50% and there has been significant disquiet expressed by consumers about the service and premium levels charged by the local market.
Whittington has spent the last two years assembling an internationally experienced team and implementing state-of-the-art IT to bring the best in the world on-line business process and practices to Singapore.
Licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, DirectAsia.com is wholly owned by Whittington which has a proven track record of launching over a dozen insurance start-ups internationally.
“The introduction of direct insurance is long overdue in most Asian countries. We have already seen the success of the direct business model in many other markets around the world, including Japan and South Korea”, said Anthony Hobrow, Group Chief Executive of Whittington Group.
“DirectAsia.com will offer consumers 24/7 convenience, great value for money and a range of transparently priced cover options that will transform the buying experience for Singapore consumers. Couple that with a claims service that will be far superior to any other local insurer and we have the base to transform the insurance landscape in Singapore and thereafter in other Asian markets”, he added.
Reinsurance support for DirectAsia.com is provided by Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers. “Munich Re offers DirectAsia.com stable and sustainable reinsurance capacity founded on our financial solidity. Our reinsurance agreement gives DirectAsia.com access to our international network, consulting expertise and extensive motor insurance know-how. It also underscores our position as a high-value solution provider in Southeast Asia”, said Alexander Lay, Head of Casualty Underwriting, Munich Re Singapore.
The business is led by Andrew Byrne, DirectAsia.com Chief Executive Officer, an Australian with a successful track record in Australia’s personal lines insurance business, one of the toughest and most competitive markets in the World.