Micro-insurance on offer at 7-Eleven
Five local insurers have joined to offer micro-insurance products at 7-Eleven convenience stores to attract low-income earners.Counter Service, the payment service at 7-Eleven, last month received the first licence from the Insurance Commission to sell micro-insurance products.
The five firms are Muang Thai Life Assurance, Bangkok Insurance, Muang Thai Insurance, Allianz CP General Insurance and Thaivivat Insurance.
The premiums range from Bt490-Bt1,000 per year depending on the type of product.
Micro-insurance regulations cap annual premiums at Bt1,000.
Weeradej Ackapolpanich, assistant vice president of Counter Service, said yesterday that the new business would be known as Counter Service All-Insurance. The company and the five insurers worked together to develop policies that were easy to understand, came with simple conditions and included uncomplicated claims processing.
To buy a policy, customers are required to show their identity card, insert the ID card into the card reader and enter their mobile-phone number. After getting the payment receipt, they will receive a confirmation text message from the insurer.
Counter Service handles 10 million transactions per month from 7 million customers per day at more than 8,000 points nationwide, of which 6,800 are in 7-Elevens.
Counter Service's fees are included in the premiums.
If micro-insurance revenue increases by 20 per cent per year, Counter Service can upgrade itself into a full-service insurance brokerage within five years.
Insurance brokerage is part of the attempt to provide various payment services to meet the revenue-growth target. Counter Service has kept its fee at Bt10-Bt15 per bill for 20 years while the costs of information technology and labour keep rising.
The company's payment service |will be extended next to entertainment tickets.
Pravej Ongartsittigul, secretary-general of the Insurance Commission, said the regulator expected 300,000 micro-insurance policies for the first year.
Sara Lamsam, president and chief executive officer of Muang Thai Life Assurance, said penetration should increase after the country gets micro-insurance because low-income earners can easily obtain coverage at a reasonable price.
The life-insurance penetration rate is currently 30 per cent.