Japan-based Sumitomo Life Insurance has acquired nearly 25% stake in digitally-focused life insurance company Singapore Life for $90m (£71.62m).
Currently, Singapore Life provides universal life, term insurance, critical illness and endowment plans. The insurer is said to offer competitive product rates to consumers via direct and third-party channels such as independent financial advisers and high-net-worth brokers.
Established in 2014, Singapore Life had $247m (£196.55m) in total assets, as of 31 December 2018. The digital life insurance company reported a net profit of $5m (£3.98m) and $98m (£77.98m) in gross premiums in 2018.
In December 2018, the company secured a $20m (£15.91m) minority equity investment from US insurance company Aflac. Prior to that, in January 2018, the company signed a deal to acquire the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore.
Singapore Life is expected to launch a new business lines and product verticals shortly in order to consolidate its place as the technology-first life insurance and wealth company in the region.
The company, which began its retail operations towards the end of 2017, has plans to utilise its strength as a fully digitalised company to grow its presence across Southeast Asia.
Sumitomo Life Insurance president and CEO Masahiro Hashimoto said: “We are currently conducting studies in the possible provision of new digital services – mainly at the “Sumitomo Life Digital Innovation Labs” launched in Tokyo and Silicon Valley in early 2018.
“By investing in Singapore Life, which has in-depth expertise and know-how in utilizing technology, we aim to strengthen our ability in gathering information on the latest trends in Singapore where insurtech is flourishing; as well as the application of technology to actual business operations in order to improve customer ease and achieve greater management efficiency.”
Sumitomo Life Digital Innovation Labs have been created to act as hubs to fast track innovation of businesses and provide services in the age of digital transformation. In the US, the digital innovation lab has been collaborating with Sumitomo Life’s fully-owned subsidiary Symetra to speed up network building in the region.