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Singtel bundles insurance into mobile services for foreign workers

IN a move targeted at foreign workers, Singtel will be bundling NTUC Income-provided insurance coverage into its prepaid and remittance app services.

The telco is absorbing the insurance premiums as acquisition cost, hoping that the move will encourage cross-platform subscription and increase its market share.

The telco serves 60 per cent of Singapore's 1.17 million foreign workers across its prepaid and remittance services. However, not every prepaid customer remits money using the Dash app, and not every Dash user is a Singtel mobile subscriber.

The new insurance coverage is meant to supplement, not replace, the mandatory medical insurance that employers are expected to purchase for foreign workers.

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The insurance payouts by NTUC Income are thus relatively small: S$5,000 for permanent disability or accidental death, and S$20 per day in hospitalisation income, for example. (see amendment note)

Singtel customers can receive coverage in three ways.

First, if they remit more than S$100 using the Singtel Dash mobile app, they will qualify for permanent disability and accidental death coverage.

Second, if they top up at least S$20 on a prepaid card, they receive the same coverage benefits, as well as a S$200 cash payout in the event of job loss after hospitalisation.

They also receive a one-time S$50 and 1GB of local mobile data after the fourth day of hospitalisation.

Third, purchasing Singtel's new S$2, 50MB Protect data plan entitles customers to the same benefits as the prepaid card top-up, but expands the job loss payout to S$3,000.

All three methods trigger coverage for a 30-day period from the time of the triggering action.

They can also be used in conjunction with one another but with a cap.

A customer maximising these insurance benefits, for example, would receive S$25,000 in the event of permanent disability or accidental death, and S$9,200 for the loss of a job.

While there are no terms or conditions excluding citizens or permanent residents from receiving these benefits, Singtel expects that most of them would already have more robust insurance coverage.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the insurance payouts will be made by Singtel. The payouts are in fact by NTUC Income. The article has been revised to reflect this.