Press Release

Bowtie celebrates its third anniversary with Hongkongers

Defining a new category of health insurance!

Over 10,000 VHIS customers, 2022 Q1 total VHIS premiums doubled year-on-year
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2022-05-04
Updated on 2022-05-04
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Defining a new category of health insurance from scratchFree upgrades in VHIS for up-to-date medical protections

As the first virtual insurer in Hong Kong, Bowtie Life Insurance Company (Bowtie) has been holding its ground since its birth three years ago to provide pure protection products to Hongkongers and enable them to unlock private medical services despite shocks brought by the pandemic and economic challenges.

As Bowtie celebrates its third anniversary, the number of its Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) customers exceeds 10,000 which is a milestone for the company. Total VHIS premiums of the virtual insurer in the first quarter even doubled that of 2021 despite the fifth wave of COVID-19. Up to date, the total insured value surpassed HK$40 billion, guarding over 60,000 Hongkongers. According to Insurance Authority’s market statistics1, Bowtie consistently ranked first throughout 2021 in the direct channel in terms of number of paid policies sold.

With the trust and support from our customers, Bowtie defined a new category of health insurance from scratch to bring unprecedented transparency and diverse choices to the market. The digital adoption of insurance purchasing also grew by several times in the past three years, with no signs of slowing down or reverse.

Defining a new category of health insurance from scratch

As the words spread, trust is built between Bowtie and its community from the ground which establishes a concrete customer base and solidifies Bowtie’s status as a new challenger. In the past three years, Bowtie has been witnessing tremendous growth, especially in its hero VHIS products:

  • In January 2022, the VHIS policies exceeded 10,000 and the total VHIS premiums in the first quarter doubled that of 2021 since the fifth wave of COVID-19 with nearly 1,000 new VHIS customers each month.
  • Bowtie’s average annual VHIS policy premium has increased by 60%, from $2,500 to $4,000 per policy per year. Over 75% of Bowtie customers chose its VHIS flexi plans for extra coverage, a quarter of the new customers bought the full cover plan, VHIS Pink. The sales data reflect the higher consumer confidence in Bowtie.
  • Currently, Bowtie is the most googled brand2 when people search for VHIS while winning mindshare is its top priority as a new brand.

“We are encouraged by our achievements today. Even under the fierce competition from industry giants and new entrants, Bowtie remained first in the direct channel throughout 2021 with market share as high as 30%1. We hope that Bowtie will be the first company that comes to your mind when you need health insurance. Bowtie has been working hard towards this vision and will continue to upgrade our digital technology to provide superior user experience and double down on customer service to build trust.” said Fred Ngan, Bowtie’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO.

  • 1According to Insurance Authority’s Provisional Statistics for Long Term Business 2021, Bowtie Life ranked first in number of new individual paid policies through online sales channel (Direct channel) in Hong Kong
  • 2Google search based on “Insurance company brand + VHIS”, 2022 Feb

Free upgrades in VHIS for up-to-date medical protections

Bowtie truly believes that medical insurance is not confined to the responsibility of a legal contract, instead, the virtual insurer commits to provide up-to-date medical protections to customers to ensure they can receive the most ideal and caring support. In celebration of Bowtie’s third anniversary, Bowtie is providing free upgrades for all of its VHIS Flexi customers. Every year, reviews on customer experience are conducted to scrutinise and enhance the benefits.

In fact, Bowtie has offered free upgrades to customers two years in a row. Even under the soaring medical inflation in the past three years3, Bowtie has not increased the insurance premiums to allow the insured to obtain sufficient protection at a very affordable price.

  • New upgrades to VHIS flexi plans benefits, broadening coverage of seven items in four major areas
    • Surgery coverage increased by over 20% (Surgeon’s fee, anesthetist’s fee and operating theatre fee)
    • Basic coverage increased by 5%-29% (Room & board and miscellaneous charges)
    • Pre/post confinement outpatient care coverage increment is as high as 55%
    • Waiting period and reimbursement arrangement of unknown pre-existing conditions are adjusted, 100% coverage from second policy year onwards

Michael Chan, Bowtie’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO said, “We’re humbled to have this rare opportunity to define a new category of health insurer, as we truly believe technology will change how customers access healthcare fundamentally. We don’t take your insurance as just a fixed legal contract, or something that we can sell you and forget about later. Instead, the VHIS you have with Bowtie is constantly improving. Think of it as your smartphone, where you get regular software and content upgrades. We’re inspired to do more for Hong Kong, and to deliver high quality and very, very affordable health protection for millions of families.”

“The birth of Bowtie has reconstructed the local healthcare ecology which allows Hongkongers to access private medical services outside the public healthcare system through affordable medical protections. We are delighted to see the total insured value hitting HK$40 billion with the amount being 100% pure protection. With Bowtie’s health protection, the general public can access medical services in time which can help to alleviate the imbalance between the public and private medical services.” said Bowtie’s Senior Advisor John Tsang.

  • 3The medical inflation in Hong Kong this year exceeded 8% while the general medical inflation each year is about 6-10%, a much higher figure when compared with CPI inflation (about 2%) of Hong Kong
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