Accordingto Bank Negara Malaysia, the life insurance and family takaful penetration rate lies at a worrying 36.5%. Only 4 out of 10 Malaysians are currently protected, a far cry from the government’s previous aim of reaching 75% by the year 2020.
Amidst this concerning statistic, Founder and CEO Jon Ng has launched DearTime to close the insurance penetration gap in Malaysia by offering insurance that is affordable, simple, and accessible to all through fully digital means. It is the first life insurer in the Bank Negara Malaysia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox, which aims to provide a regulatory environment that is conducive for the deployment of financial technology and facilitate overall innovation in the country’s financial sector.
“For years, life insurance has been unaffordable, complicated, and inaccessible for many Malaysians, especially among the B40 community as well as those in less urban areas. We believe life insurance is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. Through DearTime’s unique business model, we have made insurance affordable, simple, and accessible so that even those who cannot afford insurance can get covered by DearTime,” said Jon.
DearTime’s fully digital business model is an innovative one, which allows customers to buy, edit, and claim insurance directly from the company via the app. By creating a direct link between the customer and DearTime, DearTime is able to offer an innovative and affordable life insurance option to Malaysians. Moreover, customers will be able to access DearTime’s services anytime and anywhere, as the entire process is done digitally via the app.
To put things into perspective, a healthy 30-year-old male would only need to pay RM73 per month to be covered by DearTime for a coverage amount of RM100,000 for every insurance product – medical, critical illness, death, disability, and accident.
“There is no better time to launch a digital life insurance company than now, as mobile and internet usage across all groups of Malaysians is at its highest. With today’s wide connectivity across the nation, DearTime’s fully digital insurance solution is how we want to tackle the issue of low insurance penetration head-on,” added Jon.
DearTime is the first fintech company in Malaysia to be an approved participant of Bank Negara Malaysia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox to conduct life insurance business in Malaysia.
Simplifying Insurance for All
On its mobile app, DearTime offers 5 easy-to-understand insurance products for individual customers: medical, critical illness, death, disability, and accident. These are pure insurance products prioritised for protection only, without confusing terminologies and unnecessary frills such as savings and investments.
The app’s User Interface (UI) is user-friendly and easy to navigate, while its policy management is flexible and convenient. If customers have any general enquiries, they can contact DearTime’s customer care representatives via the in-app live chat or hotline. Should a customer require it, claims-related enquiries can be made 24/7 via DearTime’s hotline as well.
DearTime currently has about 300 hospitals as part of its panel. When a customer makes an insurance claim, DearTime liaises directly with panel hospitals while customers need only wait for the approved claim payout to be deposited into their respective bank accounts. To claim insurance from DearTime, customers simply need to perform a face scan in the DearTime app. Once verified, a unique claim code will be generated, which is to be presented to the panel hospital staff over the counter.
“Over the years, insurance products have grown increasingly bloated and complex, and this deters the everyday Malaysian from taking the step to get protected. We focus on pure-protection insurance products and fully digital insurance processes so that it is simple for customers to understand and effortless to buy, edit, and claim – and therein decide to protect themselves and their loved ones with life insurance from DearTime,” Jon added.
Insurance for Good
As part of its manifesto of ‘Touching One More Life’, DearTime is also announcing its Sponsored Insurance initiative – a programme for customers to pay it forward and ultimately, help with getting every Malaysian covered. Through this initiative, customers can allocate up to 10% of their premiums to the DearTime Charity Fund. The funds are automatically used to sponsor eligible persons from the B1-B2 groups (those with household incomes of less than RM3,170) with DearTime’s insurance.
“Our manifesto expresses our commitment to providing every person the means to be a part of DearTime’s mission and vision in covering every human life directly with life insurance. To close the insurance penetration gap, we must collectively advocate to friends and family the importance of getting themselves protected with life insurance. Through DearTime’s Sponsored Insurance, you are not just buying insurance for yourself when you get covered by DearTime. You are also sponsoring someone who cannot afford it. Together, we are touching one more life,” Jon concluded.
Insurtech Spearheading Industry Disruption
DearTime’s pioneering life insurance using a fully digital process looks set to catalyse a surge of other insurtech players that will disrupt the industry in Malaysia.
This is in tandem with Bank Negara’s 5-year Blueprint 3.0 plan to develop and innovate the financial sector; its Fintech Regulatory Sandbox catering to the demand for Insurtech solutions such as end-to-end digital insurance, digital insurance brokers and financial aggregation businesses.
The DearTime app is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For more information, please visit www.deartime.com.
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Founded in 2019 by Jon Ng and together with insurance industry experts, DearTime is Malaysia’s first life insurer in the Bank Negara Malaysia Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. DearTime aims to close the insurance penetration gap in Malaysia by democratising the insurance industry through fully digital means and making insurance affordable, simple, and accessible. DearTime believes that insurance is a fundamental human right and the company’s tagline Touching One More Life embodies its vision to cover every human life directly with life insurance.
 Bank Negara Malaysia Insurance Report 2018
 Regulatory Sandbox, Bank Negara Malaysia 2022
 Bank Negara Malaysia Annual Report 2020