I am going to hazard a guess that for most Singaporeans, insurance is something that they have multiple iterations of – each to cover and protect specific aspects of their lives – illnesses, death, accidents, endowment, savings…the list goes on.
The truth of the matter is that the myriad of insurance plans and premiums that a typical Singaporean will accumulate will be too hard to keep track of when trying to see what kind of coverage you are receiving for a specific occasion.
A Bright Spark From A Dire Situation
PolicyPal may have a simple, catchy name reminiscent of Paypal, but it has its roots in matters that could affect anyone.
Founder Val Yap got the idea for her startup while making an insurance claim for her mother who was diagnosed with cancer.
As she was going through her different insurance policies, she found the process tedious and stressful, and if that was not bad enough, the claims she submitted were rejected because she was unaware that the insurance was lapsed by a few months, as the premiums were not paid for a short period of time.
While her mother has since recovered, they were still unable to file a claim, so in an effort to prevent a similar occurrence for herself, as well for others, Policypal was born.
What Is PolicyPal?
In a nutshell, it seeks to simplify the complexities of tracking your insurance policies.
With the help from her team of developers, Rick Wong and Ng Jun Wei, PolicyPal took off, and is now available three ways, on Android in the Play Store, on iOS in the App Store, or if you prefer using a computer – a web app through their website.
A product from a six week stint at Startupbootcamp, PolicyPal is the first app of its kind in Singapore, and opens up the realm of 2016’s startup buzzword ‘InsurTech’ to those that comes after them.
What the app essentially wants to do for you is to digitise policy information so that users can have a single overview of all the policies they own in a clear and simple user interface.
User can navigate between the various sections of the app to see the various insurance policies that they have input into the app easily.
At the end of the day, the app wishes to replace the individual apps by insurance companies that you have installed in your phone, to provide you a one-stop solution.
Just like how some people have multiple bank accounts with different banks, the same can be said of insurance which may have been purchased from different companies.
Forget About Filling Up Forms
This is probably the best thing about the app.
The whole idea behind this app is to negate the need for more paperwork, be it physically or digitally.
All you have to do here is just take a picture!
Using the in-app camera, the user will be directed to take a photograph of the first page of their insurance policy papers. The photo will then be put through an image recognition software within the app which then is smart enough to pick out the relevant information that needs to be stored.
Important details that are picked out by the app are the policy number, premiums, coverage and inception, and expiry dates, all information that the user needs to keep track of, and be informed of what they are covered for.
At a glance, users can expect to be greeted with an easy-to-read graphical overview of the information that they have scanned such as premiums and types of coverage to see and understand what they are really paying for, and areas where they are not covered.
Also, if you feel that you will need some help with insurance, for example, if you are under-insured or overpaying your premiums, users are also able to request for a free portfolio review which will typically take around 48 hours, through three financial advisers that the startup is working with,
Ultimately, An App To Help You Understand Insurance Better
“Insurance is a very complex product. We’re trying to make the user experience better. The goal is to make insurance simple and transparent, ” – Val Yap
With the shifting focus of products on the consumers, insurance also needs to adapt to the social media generation, and through this app, Val hopes that this could be the first step that the industry could take to create simple, fast, and convenient tools to aid their customers.
The next step for the app itself is to allow users to purchase more insurance policies directly, and the team at PolicyPal is hard at work at bringing more insurance providers on board with their products and to provide an all-encompassing insurance app that doesn’t just let you track your policies.
With plans to upscale within region to countries such as Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong, they have built themselves an ever-growing user base that is proving that the Insurance industry is ripe for disruption.