Singapore-based regional InsurTech firm Igloo has appointed John Chen as Country Manager, Igloo Thailand. In his new role, Chen will spearhead the growth and operations of Igloo in the market, in addition to establishing more strategic partnerships and delivering an expanded range of insurance products to Thai consumers, the company announced in a statement on Monday.

He brings over 15 years of experience in both emerging and developed global markets, and has held prominent positions in e-commerce and fintech firms in Southeast Asia, including Co-Founder of neobank. Chen leads Igloo’s strategic partnerships, with the latest collaboration being with Capital A’s AirAsia Ride.

Underwritten by ERGO Insurance (Thailand), AirAsia Ride’s Personal Accident and Motor Insurance starts at THB 3990 ($113) for 180 days. The insurance plan provides coverage for the ride-hailing platform’s fleet of over 10,000 drivers, protecting them against theft, vehicle damages, accidental death, and injuries which may arise during the course of the journey.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2020, Southeast Asia recorded the second highest road traffic fatality rate among all WHO regions, at 20.7 deaths per 100,000 population. Among the countries analyzed, Thailand ranked second in traffic-related mortality, Igloo noted.

This has led to an increase in demand for related insurance products that are affordable. Accenture’s 2019 Global Financial Service Consumer Study, a significant 87 percent of surveyed individuals in Thailand indicated preference for lower car insurance costs, compared to the global average of 64 percent. Igloo’s offering not only strives to render motor insurance more budget-friendly but also aims to foster responsible driving behaviors.

On his priorities for his new role, Chen shared: “We want Igloo to be Southeast Asia’s insurtech leader, and Thailand, with an estimated $32 billion insurance market plays a significant role in achieving that goal. We are seeing significant government support in expanding the insurance market, particularly in championing technology-first initiatives. We believe this can be achieved through partnerships with major consumer-facing platforms, which is great for an insurtech like us.”

Per the International Monetary Fund, Thailand’s domestic insurance penetration has risen substantially, with the Thai government investing heavily in growing the insurance sector for its aging population.

“The non-life insurance market has seen steady growth driven by digital adoption – more consumers have started using e-commerce platforms and mobile apps to search, research, and purchase insurance policies. Expanding our presence in Thailand is top priority for me and the rest of the team, and that starts with more partnerships and proactively expanding our product offerings, which is why we are excited to partner with brands such as AirAsia Ride,” added

“Igloo is committed to our vision of ‘Insurance for All’. John is the right person to take this journey with us”, said Raunak Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of Igloo. “Thailand has a vast pool of top insurance enablers and the OIC’s vision is encouraging for us. John’s appointment will bring forth collaborations with new partners like AirAsia Ride to achieve our goals. His experience will help Igloo scale our business across the region through the fostering of even more new partnerships and deepening existing ones.”

In Thailand, Igloo is already partnered with AIS Insurance Service for Mobile 360 insurance and Phone Screen Protection plans. Other notable collaborations include partnerships with Thai Paiboon Insurance for Personal Cyber Insurance. At the height of the pandemic, Igloo also insured 45,000 foodpanda riders in one of its most successful partnerships to date. In 2022, the company closed a US$46 million Series B round to sustain its regional expansion efforts.

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