Ping An, Tencent and Alibaba joined forces in 2013 to launch Zhong An, China’s first truly digital insurer. Zhong An is China’s first property insurance company that sells all its products online along with handling claims.
China’s Internet service and insurance titans co-launched the country’s first online insurance company indicating that the booming Internet-based financial services market is further expanding. Through this cross-industry partnership, Alibaba and Tencent are trying to leverage their user bases with the help of Ping An to grow into traditional industries.
Zhong An, the first and only company in China that has an Internet insurance license, has underwritten over 630 million insurance policies and serviced 150 million clients in its first year of operation. Zhong An aims to reshape traditional insurance by applying internet thinking across the insurance value chain from product design to claims servicing. The online model on which Zhong An is based has lower operating and distribution costs. Big data and analytics support ensures accurate product pricing and risk control, making the internet ecosystem more desirable.
Commenting on the launch of Zhong An, President of the Insurance Institute of South Africa, Peter Todd, says that it is interesting to note which companies are behind the new online insurance firm. “These are not traditional insurance players, yet they obviously see an opportunity in insurance. This is significant, considering the distribution challenge in China, where a population of 1.5 billion is spread out across a wide geography. Digital technology would be a good solution to overcome this challenge if they can get it right.”