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COVID-19 raising China’s sense of urgency for insurance: WeSure CEO

8th June 2020 - Author: Charlie Wood

Tencent WeSure Chief Executive Officer Alan Lau says COVID-19 has unexpectedly raised the sense of urgency in insurance purchase in China.

Alan-LauLau states that educating the largely under-insured population, building trust among users, and employing technology are the three thrusts to gain an edge in China’s vast insurance market.

“People often say that insurance is important but not urgent. But the pandemic did create quite a large group of what I would call ‘half-ready’ users, whose risk appetite or sensitivity to risk have grown but aren’t quite ready to buy,” Lau said.

To make insurance buying less of a headache, Tencent WeSure has landed on two approaches: First is the adoption of a pre-selection pattern, wherein the platform hand-picks insurance products and tailors offerings based on individual needs.

The other more important gameplay is to employ the power of social “Word of Mouth” to both attract and retain customers.

Lau said WeSure has always upheld viral marketing as a ‘very core aspect’ of the business, touting its indispensable role in this trust-based industry.

“There’s no better connection and social relationship than what already exists…and no better way to sell when you hear it from your friend’s recommendations.”

Apart from driving sales, the social aspect also weighs in on the post-purchase end, when making insurance claims could be a lengthy and troublesome process. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and human intervention, WeSure assigns each customer with a virtual ‘claim concierge’ that would follow through the entire process.

Bill Song, CEO of ZA Tech Global, echoed Lau’s view, saying the comprehensive internet ecosystem, the technology to scale, and the regulatory leeway offered by the authorities hold key to success in China’s booming insurance market.

According to Leonard Li, a partner at Oliver Wyman, the four major growth drivers in Asia’s insurance market are the large protection gap, technological readiness, favorable ecosystems that provide one-stop shop to lifestyle needs, and thriving fintech investment activities.

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