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Prudential offers Singapore fintechs S$20,000 cover against accidental death, injury to employees

THE full-time Singaporean employees of close to 150 fintech firms in Singapore can now get insurance coverage against accidental death and injury for free up till early April next year, under a collaboration between insurer Prudential Singapore and the Asean Financial Innovation Network (AFIN).

The staff of Singapore fintech firms that are signed up on AFIN’s online marketplace and sandbox API Exchange (APIX) can receive complimentary coverage of up to S$20,000 against accidental death and injury under Prudential’s PRUAffinity Personal Accident Plan. This is so long as they are Singapore residents between the ages of 18 and 64. 

This coverage will last through to April 7, 2021. To add, the coverage sum increases to S$50,000 if employees are retrenched, with the increased coverage lasting for six months or until the employee finds a new job, whichever is earlier.

If served quarantine orders between April 6 and June 30, these fintech employees will also receive a one-time S$500 cash benefit. Those hospitalised for Covid-19 over the same period will also get a S$200 daily hospitalisation allowance.

As part of the package, these employees will be entitled as well to a one-time payout of SS$500 if hospitalised for dengue fever.

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APIX facilitates innovation and cooperation between fintechs and financial institutions. The non-profit entity was set up in 2018 jointly by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation and the Asean Bankers Association. There are currently 231 fintechs on the platform, of which 146 are Singapore firms. 

More fintech firms can also sign up to APIX. There are more than a thousand fintech firms based in Singapore, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed.

Prudential Singapore's chief executive officer Dennis Tan said he hopes the package can give fintech employees “some peace of mind” during these challenging times. 

"We want to support the fintech community that has helped our industry innovate, and with whom we have been partnering to make insurance simpler and more accessible to our customers.” said Mr Tan.

Currently, Prudential Singapore does not have plans on implementing retrenchment-linked benefits – an uncommon entitlement among insurers in Singapore – on a wider scale.

Singlife, an insurtech that offers such benefits, said it has seen an uptick in interest in its “endowment” plan, gauging from an increase in individuals who have downloaded its mobile app. 

But the firm declined to share the actual number of account holders.

SingLife late last year launched a hybrid product that combines savings, endowment insurance and layoff benefits. One of its key unique features is the embedding of a retrenchment benefit into an account that allows customers to both accumulate funds and spend through it.

The retrenchment benefit is bundled with an "endowment" account, known as a Singlife account, which comes with a corresponding Singlife Visa debit card. This benefit lets account holders who are laid off to claim for up to three months an amount equal to their average card spend over the preceding six months before retrenchment, if they are unable to find a job within four months.

Its chief executive Walter de Oude would only say they have seen over 50,000 downloads in April, with an 11 per cent increase in app installations, week-on-week, over the past six weeks, during Singapore’s “circuit breaker” period.

“Downloads is the best measure of customer intent, and we track this as the key indicator of our marketing activities. We are currently seeing a ratio of 72 per cent of downloads converting to new Singlife Accounts within the same day of downloads, which demonstrates more intent to sign up over the circuit breaker period,” Mr de Oude said. (see amendment note)

Amendment note: An earlier version of the article quoted Mr de Oude as saying that 72 per cent of downloads are converting to new Singlife Accounts. Singlife has since clarified that this rate of conversion happens within the same day of downloads. The article has been amended to reflect this. 

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