NTUC Income, Singapore’s leading life and general insurer, today committed $4 million annually to set up a new operational unit comprising 40 staff and a brand new Orange-coloured mobile motorcycle fleet to deliver on its goal of providing an unprecedented level of service to its customers.
Coming on the back of returning $5 million through motor rebates to its 100,000 private car policyholders in 2011, NTUC Income’s new operational unit will despatch members of its “Orange Force” elite force to accident sites of its motor policyholders within 20 minutes, anywhere on the island. Responding to claims by its motor policyholders that they tend to be confused on what to do when they are involved in accidents, NTUC Income’s elite force will offer advice and relief in a mishap.
On arrival at the accident scene, the NTUC Income staff will render help to the policyholder, ensure their safety at the site, assist in removing their vehicle if necessary, arrange alternative transportation and ensure that the policyholder’s rights are fully protected. The NTUC Income fleet and its newly set-up dedicated command centre, modelled after its multi award-winning call centre, will serve its policyholders 24 hours by 7 days a week.
Orange Force will operate publicly from the third quarter of 2011.
The latest push is part of the overall experience in providing an unrivalled level of service to NTUC Income’s motor policyholders. After battling losses in the motor insurance business arising from rampant inflated claims and unsustainable premium rates due to aggressive competition in recent years, NTUC Income has managed to turn the business around.
It embarked on a series of initiatives in its motor business, including raising premium rates, enhancing its risk selection process and tightening its claim control measures. NTUC Income has also begun contesting fraudulent claims vigorously in courts and settling directly with third parties as much as possible.
To complete the customer experience for its motor policyholders, NTUC Income will introduce a fleet of chic motorcycles bearing NTUC Income’s vibrant Orange colour, and which will take policyholder’s experience to new heights.
Public Recruitment Begins
Kicking off the public face of the project, NTUC Income will run a series of recruitment advertisements from 26th February 2011 as it looks to hire 40 staff who will become part of this new customer experience. Each member of the elite force can potentially earn up to $60,000 a year.
Chief Executive Tan Suee Chieh said that the decision to introduce Orange Force was inspired by the genuine need to address the anxiety of motorists when they get involved in accidents. “When someone is involved in an accident, it is often the case that the motorist will be at a loss as to what needs to be done. The presence of the Orange Force is our strategy to address this need,” he said.
“The three factors that made this radical service innovation possible are NTUC Income’s sizeable share of the motor insurance market, the compactness of Singapore and ultimately our desire to create meaningful interventions to elevate customer experience and the perception of NTUC Income” he said.
NTUC Income’s Motor Insurance Business
NTUC Income started its motor insurance business in the 1970s and is today Singapore’s largest motor insurer. There are 932,000 registered vehicles in Singapore of which, more than 240,000 are insured with NTUC Income (25.8%). More than half of motorcyclists are insured with Income.
In terms of claims, NTUC Income processed a daily average of 92 motor claims amounting to $464,000 in 2010 or totalling $169.2 million annually. Of this total payout, about 85% is paid out on account of third party damages and injury claims. The remaining 15% of the claims were paid out for own damage claims (11%) and miscellaneous claims (4%).
NTUC Income’s journey to become a Singapore icon has been gaining momentum. The insurer recorded exceptional results for 2010 across all lines of business – growing 22.3% in premium revenues to $3.7 billion compared to the year before.
In the motor insurance segment, NTUC Income grew its premiums by 3.5% to $244.4 million (market share 20.8%). In 2010, NTUC Income made a significant underwriting profit turnaround in its motor insurance business while the rest of the industry continued to sustain losses.
In its life insurance business, premiums for NTUC Income’s class of life single premium products jumped 43.4% to $2.0 billion (market share of 35.3%), which amounted to the best performance in its history and also propelling the insurer to the top league. The insurer also broke other new records in its 40 year history, with weighted life insurance new business premiums across all channels jumping to $344.1 million (market share of 20.8%) from $275.2 million in 2009 (market share 19.3%).
Sales through NTUC Income’s bancassurance channel jumped about two-and-a-half times to $87.5 million (market share 19.2%) in weighted new premiums on the back of strong alliances with local and foreign banking giants operating in Singapore. These banks, as a channel, contributed 25.4% to NTUC Income’s weighted life new premium revenues in 2010, compared with a negligible base two years ago.
Sharing with Singapore
NTUC Income remains committed to its “Made Different” proposition, which aims to improve the lives of Singaporeans. NTUC Income plans to introduce a series of initiatives which will be an extension of its OrangeAid flagship effort, announced in October 2010. NTUC Income will commit 1% of its annual insurance operating profits to adopted charities. Based on the insurer’s 2010 financial performance, the annual contribution is expected to amount to $1.6 million.
Having the intertwined goal of combining financial contributions with volunteerism, NTUC Income will launch a major fund-raising initiative to help disadvantaged children and youth in Singapore.