Bowtie is Hong Kong’s first virtual insurance company. Our co-founder and co-CEO, Fred Ngan has interviewed 100 customers for better understandings about them.
More than 40% of the interviewed customers have existing group medical insurance from their employer. They purchase additional products from us to “top-up” their protection.
“Topping-up” their protection is important because often our customers find their employers’ provided medical benefits inadequate. Among our customers, teachers, civil servants, and employees of small agencies face this challenge the most.
By buying a VHIS plan from us, customers can “top-up” their existing insurance plan. They may use it to cover deductibles from their group plans. Or save it for a rainy day, retirement, or an upcoming career move.
35% of the interviewed customers buy Bowtie products as their primary protection. Some of these customers are business owners, job seekers or freelancers, so they have no group medical plans at all. Facing more job uncertainty, they tend to choose the higher benefit limit and broader benefit coverage that we offer in our Flexi Plans. It becomes a no-brainer for them when they are facing an upcoming career change, or about to start a business.
The rest of the interviewed customers are buying for their families. Anticipating their parents’ declining health, customers want to be able to send them into private care. Bowtie makes it easy for customers to purchase medical insurance on behalf of their parents, without having to make special arrangements.
Our youngest insured customer at the time of writing this is 16 days old. In fact, children policies for kids aged 0 to 5 are the most popular among family related purchases.
Our customers are diligent. 80% of the interviewed customers did their homework by comparing us with other well-known insurance brands. Most of them rely on the many free online comparison tools like MoneyHero, MoneySmart and the government issued VHIS Plan Search Engine. A few read about us in the Consumer Council’s Choice Magazine.
Unlike most insurance products, VHIS benefits and terms are standardized by the Food and Health Bureau (FHB). This information gives customers unprecedented transparency into what they are paying for. For the first time, customers can easily compare the cost, brand and service quality of insurance providers, and make the best decision for themselves.
On average our customers compare 2.8 brands before making a purchase. Nearly one-third looked at more than 4 brands before making a purchase, including our largest competitors in life and medical insurance. Some are first-time buyers, while others are seasoned insurance product shoppers. We even attract insurance brokers who want to save on the agent commission – a key feature of Bowtie’s products.
Most people know they need protection, but few make it a priority until it’s too late. A big challenge that we face is accepting that sometimes we will have to wait for weeks, and even years, before a customer decides to complete a purchase.
The brave few who did not feel the need to compare before making a purchase, did so because they trusted the media that our premiums are the most competitive. They felt that we are affordable.
$147 per month for a 35-year-old male? Sounds fair to me.