Igloo Expands in the Philippines, Citing Strategic Partnerships as Growth Drivers - Adobotech | Tech, Gadgets Served in Adobo Flavors

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Igloo Expands in the Philippines, Citing Strategic Partnerships as Growth Drivers

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Igloo, a regional insurtech business, has recently secured a successful Series B fundraising round of US$19 million and is leveraging its success in the Philippines by forming critical partnerships across industries.

With a technologically savvy population and a low insurance penetration rate, the Philippines market presents Igloo with substantial opportunity. According to data from the Insurance Commission (IC), barely three percent of the country's adult population is insured.

The Philippines' domestic insurance market, meanwhile, has seen a 64.3% increase in gross written premiums from Php169.6 billion in the third quarter of 2016 to Php278.7 billion in the same period in 2021.

Strong Philippine growth
Under the leadership of Country Managing Director Mario Berta, Igloo has forged partnerships with insurance companies Etiqa, Malayan Insurance, PGA Sompo Insurance Corporation, and Mercantile Insurance, as well as more than 12 commercial partners in the finance, logistics, lifestyle, and travel industries.

Igloo Philippines has handled over 60 million protection plans and increased gross written premiums by 20 times during the past year. Its most recent agreement with Etiqa and Shopee makes inexpensive Cracked Screen Protection and Electronics Protection Plans available to Shopee Philippines' over 73 million monthly visitors.

The insurtech company has also cemented its successful partnership with leading e-wallet provider GCash and now offers a suite of microinsurance protection plans– Online Shopping Protection, Gadget Insurance, and Pet Insurance – to GCash’s 60 million users.

“Insurance partners are increasingly looking at how to digitalize their internal processes and distribution channels,” said Mario Berta, Country Managing Director, Igloo Philippines. “This is where Igloo comes into the picture. We offer insurers a plug-and-play solution for distributing insurance products via the platforms of big tech players in the Philippines and the region.”

Insurance for all Igloo’s growth in the Philippines also sees it delivering protection plans to a wider reach of the population, some of which include traditionally underserved segments like gig economy workers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In January, Igloo expanded its partnership with food delivery FoodPanda to the Philippines, assisting FoodPanda riders in the country in minimizing risks and mitigating inadvertent losses while on the road.

More recently, its partnership with UBX's SeekCap has allowed the rapidly expanding online lending marketplace for MSMEs to offer affordable fire coverage and broader personal injury insurance to over 50,000 MSMEs' family members.

For Neil Trinidad, Vice President of GCash and Head of Insurtech and Crypto, enabling insurance for all is something the company aims for in partnership with Igloo and Etiqa. “The Philippines is a story of massive potential opportunity. But one of the biggest challenges that we continue to see is the gap in financial inclusion. With only 63% of Filipinos not having access to bank accounts.”

Giving power back to consumers
These technological advancements innovate the insurance industry by enhancing customer experience, overall coverage, and cost savings. Insurtech makes insurance accessible to the masses and gives the power back to the consumers by simplifying the entire insurance journey – from the discovery and buying experience, right up to policy and claims management.

“Our objective in the Philippines is to be able to empower our partners to sell digital products such as insurance,” Berta said. “Our goal is to bring the most competitive product into the market and new products into the market, and to ensure 102 million Filipinos in 7,300 islands depending on the type.”

Etiqa Philippines President Rico Bautista said insurtech offers a huge opportunity to the Philippines because of its high mobile connection and internet usage. He added that one of the things that makes the Igloo and Etiqa partnership unique is their composite license that enables them to offer both life and non-life products.

“We offer a digital customer journey, and therefore, seamless. From the purchase of the insurance to the claims. We are an insurance company that does what we do because our vision is to make our country a better place,” Bautista added.

Capitalize on SEA and Philippine opportunities
With its recent funding announcement, Igloo is primed to build on the strong momentum it has enjoyed in the Philippines. Berta, who boasts an illustrious career across multiple sectors like IT, eCommerce, fintech, and telecommunications and has managed and coached commercial teams across APAC, is planning to keep strengthening the position of Igloo as the leading insurtech player in the Philippines and the region.

“Igloo will continue to invest in reinforcing its full-stack capabilities and innovating its dynamic risk assessment and AI-powered claims assessment tools,” said Berta. “In line with our vision of ‘Insurance for All’, product development and distribution focus will be further targeting the underinsured low to mid-income population segments in Southeast Asia.”

Igloo’s insurance solutions have already benefited over 15 million users in Southeast Asia. Igloo’s strong business potential lies in Southeast Asia’s growing digital economy, which is expected to hit US$300 billion in 2025. The increasing digital insurance penetration opens up new opportunities for digital players and insurance companies which are worth over US$10 billion in the region.

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