Insurance has long been considered dry, convoluted, and none too user-friendly.
It has been that way for decades, until recently, when a new composite insurer called FWD Singapore entered the market.
Branding itself as “Singapore’s New Direct Insurer”, FWD Singapore wants to “change the way Singapore feels about Insurance”, by making use of technology to provide fast and direct service.
It pledges to provide Insurance products that are well-priced and easy to understand.
Can they actually pull it off, injecting new life into an industry (in)famous for its reluctance to reinvent itself?
Let’s pop the hood and find out.
FWD, who art thou?
We did a bit of snooping around their website and quote this verbatim:
FWD Group is the insurance business arm of investment group, Pacific Century Group with minority shareholder, Swiss Re. Pacific Century Group (PCG) is an Asia-based private investment group established in 1993.
Ok – we shall agree to internalize it like this: FWD Group is owned by folks who have deep insurance expertise and understand Asia well. Oh, not to mention they have pretty deep pockets. (Always nice)
FWD Singapore is part of the FWD Group.
Their Modus Operandi: A Breath of Fresh Air
A quick click on their site brings this up.
Wait, what! This is supposed to be an Insurance website!
Then where is the avalanche of information?
The dizzying array of products?
The tiny font sizes?
All I see are clear icons, neat paragraphs, with nary a shred of ambiguity to be found.
Everything is well laid out – and all relevant information is always within easy reach. For some reason, exploring the site made me think of a well-trained butler.
Who knows what you want, even before you ask for it. And hands it to you on a silver platter.
Every page contained just the right amount of information, enough to keep me reading but not put me to sleep. More importantly, I found myself being able to understand their explanations.
Here is my personal favourite, while exploring their car insurance features:
(All Drivers are automatically Named Drivers under FWD policy)
Anyone you trust to drive your car is insured: If you trust someone to drive your car, we’ll insure them – no need to name them.
Ha! I’m not an expert on General Insurance, but with language like this, I could very well feel like one.
The site is clear, colourful, and friendly. Quite a breath of fresh air.
It is also evident that being upfront and transparent is a big priority for them. I’ll let the checkout page speak for itself:
So far so good – they have a seamless site which is easy to navigate, and oh so easy on the eye.
Outstanding web architecture aside, will their products live up to expectations?
Shaking Up Car Insurance: Immortal NCDs
Turns out that one doesn’t just show up in Singapore, ready to be the new Insurer on the block, without a market-shattering proposition.
For FWD, their sledgehammer of a proposition is what I fondly call: The Immortal NCD
Yup, you heard this term from us first. NCD that can never be revoked – truly an eye opener.
How this works is: If you have already acquired a 50% No Claims Discount (from any insurer, even your existing one!), then FWD will simply apply that NCD as long as you are insured with them.
Met with an accident that year? Your NCD is safe.
Met with 3 accidents that year? Your NCD is safe.
Met with 7 accidents that year? You NCD is safe.
Met with 2,432 accidents that … ok you get the idea right?
The philosophy behind it is that FWD does not believe drivers should be penalized for accidents, especially if the full NCD has already been earned. Sort of like a badge of honor.
They call it the Lifetime NCD. (I think the Immortal NCD sounds more catchy though. Will drop them a note later)
Not bad for one product. Will that be all?
Terrific Travel Insurance: A whole new experience
If one market-shattering proposition is good, then two must be even better.
Out pops the other sledgehammer: Claims via Whatsapp
You read correctly. There isn’t a typo here.
Make your claim(s) via Whatsapp, that is their proposition.
Here’s what it really means for travellers:
Buy your travel insurance via your mobile phone. No need to stress out if some creep is hogging the internet terminal at Changi. You can even buy it on board the plane, before the cute air stewardess asks you to put your phone away.
If you need to make a claim, everything can be done via mobile phone as well. Snap a picture of the relevant document (boarding pass, medical bills etc) and send it to FWD.
This is really taking it to the next level. FWD, a friendly insurer? Yes, we established that earlier.
But Whatsapping them to make a claim? That’s… almost like… a friend. And I don’t even WhatsApp all my friends.
No paper forms to print, to fill, and to sign. (unless you really hate trees)
Go on, take a minute to let that new reality sink in. The best is yet to come.
In the pipeline: Term Life Insurance
As a proponent of Life Insurance, we are pretty excited for FWD to launch their Term Life Insurance later in the year.
They have already committed to making it an exceptional online user experience, with a simplified underwriting process, which is automated (of course! we expect nothing less now).
Translation: Get your quote for Life Insurance online, fill up your particulars online, get the policy issued online, and receive your policy documents online. You don’t have to leave your room, let alone your house, to buy Life Insurance.
So trusting FWD’s penchant for transparency and their upfront nature, we are willing to bet that the policy features will be explained in plain English, with all relevant clauses properly highlighted.
Life Insurance that is easy to read, easy to buy, all without ever meeting a single agent. Looks like our Christmas is going to come early this year!
Putting the D in Direct (Finally!)
2016 will be marked in our books as a great year for Insurance. Not only because Direct Purchase Insurance was launched, giving consumers greater flexibility to remove the middle man.
It is also because there is finally an Insurer that puts the D in Direct, in more than one sense of the word.
Direct in their language: No complicated jargon
Direct in their purchase: No hidden clauses, no surprise costs
Direct in their claims: No tedious forms to fill
From start to end, FWD Singapore lives and breathes the word Direct.
We are officially impressed.
Check them out
FWD Singapore is owned by the FWD Group, a new pan-Asian insurer. The company was launched in 2016 and is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, and supported by cutting-edge digital technologies.
Customer feedback is their focal point, and through listening to what Singaporeans really want, FWD offers insurance that caters to their insurance needs.
Find out more about their company and products by visiting http://www.fwd.com.sg
Receive a 10% discount off their usual price for all policies by quoting this promo code (valid for 1 month):
In case you are wondering, FWD stands for Fu Wei Direct. Fu Wei is mandarin for Wealth Protection or Wealth Protector.
Like what you see? Let us know about your experience with FWD Singapore in the comments below!
This article was written in collaboration with FWD Singapore. We thank them for inviting us to express our thoughts about them.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.