WeSure aiming to grab more market share

Tencent affiliate launches a low-cost health insurance plan in conjunction with Tailang Life that allows cover to be extended for six years. 

Tencent’s affiliate insurance platform, WeSure, aims to grab more share of China’s booming online private health insurance market by rolling out more attractive protection plans.

The Shenzhen-based company has launched a low-cost health insurance plan in collaboration with Taikang Life, one of China’s largest life insurers. The new offering allows policyholders a one-off insurance contract and extends coverage for six years without having to buying it once a year and requalify for cover.

The move is the latest attempt to address widespread concern over the renewal of personal health insurance.

Last year, Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial spin-off, and Ping An Health Insurance unveiled and upgraded their own long-term health insurance plans, which promise clients the renewal rights for six years.

Previously, customers could only access short-term plans lasting a year and with no renewals. 

These health protection products usually set deductibles at 10,000 yuan (US$1,445), but WeSure said its plan will be more favorable to the insured. If the beneficiary does not make a claim in the previous year, then the deductible will be reduced by 1,000 yuan in the next year and the threshold will be lowered to a minimum of 8,000 yuan.

A recent study by reinsurance giant Swiss Re found that China has a health protection gap of an estimated US$805 billion, the largest in Asia. This was mainly driven by the country’s large population, low disposable incomes, people's high out-of-pocket medical expenses as well as low health insurance ownership.

However, the private health insurance sector is burgeoning, thanks to growing protection awareness and insurance companies’ constant innovations of products and services.

Data from the Insurance Association of China showed that the country saw its accumulated premium income of Internet health insurance hit 12.29 billion yuan in 2018, double that of a year ago.


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