GoBear’s accelerated expansion pushes beyond Singapore ambitions
First meta search engine in Singapore accelerates regional expansion
SINGAPORE – In just five months after its launch in Singapore, GoBear is expanding beyond Singapore into Thailand. GoBear Thailand will be launching the comprehensive insurance meta search engine for Bangkok, bringing to life the mobile-first website which offers comparison of hundreds of insurance plans in seconds.
CEO Andre Hesselink, who helms GoBear, sees insurance search as a space that is both evolving and in flux. Insurance companies, agents and brokers are working with an ever-intensifying ecosystem of consumers’ wants and needs, coupled with industry-wide changes in technology.
“Today’s insurance buyers are mobile-first, multi-screen and social media savvy. To reach them, insurance companies will need to employ an increasing emphasis on simplicity in search.
The increasing traffic we see on GoBear Singapore proves the confidence users have in our comparison data. Our key priority now is to broaden the products on the GoBear platform as we continuously look to enhance the seamless user experience, with search, filter and insurance quotes.”
On the expansion to Thailand, Hesselink shares, “GoBear is a global brand in the making and we are very focused on being local to serve customers in each of our key markets in the best way.
In Thailand, it is important for us to offer the best comparison services put together by a team of Thai specialists. It's our belief to focus any expansion plans to be built around the community in which we are operating in.”
On the GoBear Singapore side, health insurance has just been added as the third product on the insurance comparison site alongside travel and car insurance. It is the first meta search website in Singapore to offer a free comparison of over 130 health insurance products, and users will be able to find a range of insurance plans in just four clicks that matches their profile and their needs.
Key considerations when choosing health insurance
Unlike other forms of general insurance, the search for the right health insurance plan requires more consideration especially when the needs of more than one person in the family have to be taken into account.
Importance of portability & maternity features
Impending life stage factors, such as job mobility and maternity are integral to the decision process. Many have discovered that their company health insurance plans do not offer portability. This becomes an issue when they switch jobs and are required to work in another country. This scenario becomes more complicated if the policyholder is found to have pre-existing conditions as this often is not covered in the subsequent health insurance policy. Maternity is also another area of consideration as treatment costs could swell on occasions where there are complications.
The strain of inadequate coverage
Policyholders often only discover the adequacy of their coverage when they are alerted of a medical condition. Findings have suggested that areas such as hospitalization and surgery, coverage for outpatient and prevalent medical conditions such as cancer are limited.
Based on the World Health Organisation’s Top 10 Causes of Death, ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive lung disease have remained the top major killers during the past decade. Chronic diseases cause increasing numbers of deaths worldwide. Lung cancers (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) caused 1.6 million (2.9%) deaths in 2012 while diabetes caused 1.5 million (2.7%) deaths.
Depending on the treatment required and the patient’s condition, medical costs could go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Without adequate insurance coverage, patients could find themselves having to fund these huge medical costs.
As part of upholding the unbiasedness, GoBear also features a wide listing of user reviews on each insurance provider, giving users a different insight into the plans that they are considering.
At the same time, only the best matches are presented to each user, giving them an overarching view of choices, without being distracted by an excessive number of options. Hesselink explains, “This does not in any way compromise GoBear's unbiased presentation of information. We ensure that all insurers who are able to provide the right plan are represented in the consumer's choice to help the user find the insurance plan that best meets their needs.”
It is also on the basis of unbiasedness that the payment and service facilitation is carried out by the insurer, broker or agent and not by GoBear.
GoBear currently lists over 130 health insurance plans on its website and will be adding more in the months to come. GoBear Singapore also offers over a hundred insurance plans for car and travel.
GoBear Thailand will offer hundreds of insurance plans for car and travel at launch.