Pioneer virtual insurer debuts

Business | Avery Chen 18 Oct 2019

Avo Insurance, the first virtual insurer licensed through the "fast track" program by the Insurance Authority, expects to breakeven in three to four years.

The insurtech startup has officially launched with travel, cancer and eWallet protection plans, starting from HK$79 per year.

Customers can get a personalized quote and purchase a policy within minutes online by answering just a few questions, and are protected against cybersecurity threats such as unauthorized transactions, the company said.

At least two companies have applied for virtual insurance licenses through the program and will take a few months for approval, IA chief executive Clement Cheung Wan-ching said. He stressed the capital requirements of virtual insurers will be on par with traditional insurance companies.

Cheung expects to see a double-digit decline in new business premiums from mainland consumers in the third quarter due to the political unrest, as policies sold to mainland visitors have decreased to 26 percent from 40 percent.

The diversification of insurance products will help to reduce impacts, he added.

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