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Ride-hailing App Grab to Offer Insurance in Southeast Asia Given the company's regional presence in Southeast Asia, the China-based entity has formed a joint venture with Grab to expand its services in the region

By Komal Nathani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Singapore-based Grab entered into the digital insurance space by partnering with the Shanghai-based ZhongAn, which is China's first Internet-based insurer. The ride-hailing will offer a platform to Singaporeans to purchase insurance online. Given the company's regional presence in Southeast Asia, China-based entity has formed a joint venture with Grab to expand its services in the region.

The digital insurance marketplace will offer the innovative insurance products in a range of categories with fractionalized premiums, directly to users through the ride-hailing app, said the company in its statement.

Adding further, it said, the company will collaborate with global insurance partners to develop products that are tailored specifically to Southeast Asians' lifestyle needs.

Expanding Beyond Transport Offering

Ming Maa, the president of Grab, said, "The launch of our insurance platform is part of our commitment to becoming the leading everyday superapp in the region. With over 130 million downloads in Southeast Asia and presence across 336 cities, our deep understanding of consumer behavior and needs uniquely allows us to deliver innovative insurance products that create value for our customers."

The Singapore-based app is being foraying business into different sectors via its delivery app. Last year, the company expanded into food delivery operations, which was beyond its core transport offering to become the region's super-app. Along with food delivery, the app also started parcel delivery, grocery delivery, financial services, content and more.

This year, the company is focusing to expand its operations into cross-border remittance and online healthcare.

First Launch in Singapore

The platform will be first launched in Singapore in the first half of 2019, before being rolled out in other Southeast Asian markets, said the company in its statement. It aims to give users an access to insurance products through their mobile phones, allowing them to directly browse and pay for affordable insurance products, without going through an agent or broker.

Wayne Xu, vice general manager of ZhongAn, said, "During the past five years, ZA Insurance has accumulated rich experience providing a new generation of customers with protection against risks in daily life. We have joined hands with over 300 Internet ecosystem partners and exported our technology solutions, with a shared aim to build an insurance ecosystem centered on ZhongAn. We're confident we can better meet the insurance needs of customers in Southeast Asia, with Grab and other leading insurance companies."

The collaboration will address the usual pain points of insurance discovery, unaffordable premiums and payment options by allowing insurance premium payments to be adjusted and automatically deducted through GrabPay or its affiliate payment partners. To start, in conjunction with Chubb, Grab will offer a drivers' insurance product to its driver-partners in Singapore to protect them from loss of income owing to illness or accident.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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