Most InsurTechs choose to focus their efforts on a specific part of the industry, be it aggregation, claims or vertical-based customisations.
There are, of course, some exceptions. These include Oscar (health insurance), Zhong An (online property insurance), Singapore Life (next-generation life cover), and Beijing-based Bihubao
Of these, Bihubao is the least well-known, but of great interest, for its efforts to upgrade and establish a truly online to offline (O2O) business model.
In order to achieve this, Bihubao has isolated three business functions:
- Agency tools
Bihubao Agent automates the workflow for insurance agents. Its intelligent recommendation engine underpins the agency tools and these pre-populate pension assessment and tailored health insurance plans, according to the agent’s input. Bihubao’s agent tool is reducing the possibilities for mis-selling and miscommunication on the part of agents.
- Commercial ORC
Bihubao has partnered with including some of Chinese biggest eCommerce and social media companies to provide low-priced and low-limit health insurance to consumers in tier two and three cities.
These cities have previously only been covered by government insurance and personal savings.
- TPA for Alibaba
Finally, Bihibao is the designated third party administrator (TPA) claims processor for Alibaba’s Xianghubao health insurance programme.
Xianghubao is a mutual protection product that provides critical illness cover for around 100 illnesses.
Members contribute evenly (around CNY 0.5) to payouts of as much as CNY 300,000 (£35,000/$42,500) when a participant falls critically ill. Sign up is free, there are no premiums or upfront payments, and disputes over claims are handled by volunteer members.
The commoditised nature of life and health insurance in China has exasperated competition.
Bihubao is notable for its efforts to reinvent the way consumers encounter health insurance.
It is also bringing a new level of consistency and transparency to the agency channel which remains the most important means of distribution in the market.