Meet 10Life, a startup that decodes insurance

November 14, 2017 11:20
Set up by three insurance professionals, 10Life helps users by providing relevant information from understanding insurance policies and filing claims to making product analyses and scores. Photo: HKEJ


A Hong Kong-based startup founded by experienced actuaries and insurance experts aims to decode complex insurance products into unbiased, easy to understand scores and rankings.

Set up last year by three insurance professionals, 10Life helps users by providing relevant information from understanding insurance policies and filing claims to making product analyses and scores.

“As a former investment banker and insurance strategy executive, I do have a hard time reading the tedious insurance policies,” co-founder Dennis Lun said. “They are too complicated and customers often lack knowledge of what they have enrolled in. These are in fact the problems in our society that we at 10Life want to tackle.”

10Life was formed to address people’s insurance needs in an instantaneous way.

As co-founder Thomson Ho explains, the company offers three typical services: insurance product analyses and scores by actuaries, consumer information, and an online platform where users can ask questions anonymously to get instant responses from multiple licensed advisors.  It does not charge users for any of its services.

By bringing simplicity and transparency to the complicated world of insurance, 10Life has become Hong Kong’s most downloaded insurance-related app. According to the company, the number of visitors to its online platform has reached 7,000 per month and there are over 300 licensed insurance advisors registered on the platform.

One of the major features of 10Life is its insurance product scoring and ranking scheme, which was created by actuaries.

“Insurance products are sophisticated, often containing verbose and complicated features and terms, making it difficult to compare one against another,” co-founder Iris Lun said. “But based on our extensive experience and actuarial expertise, we understand which features affect an insurer's profitability, and which features are important to enrollees.”

While product comparison websites work best for car and travel insurance, 10Life offers scores and rankings of life savings insurance, critical illness insurance and medical insurance as well.

When it comes to evaluating a product, three measures are basically used, Iris Lun said. First, coverage: 10Life figures out the coverage areas of different insurance product types. Then the premium: the coverage amount is compared with the premium to measure the value of the product. Third, terms: the company consults insurance industry experts and medical specialists to define terms and search for exclusions that are less favorable to the policyholders.

“Points will be deducted if we found any ‘devil in the detail’,” she added.

10Life plans to be the “Trip Advisor in the insurance industry”, but unlike other insurance sites which compare only selected partners' products, “we aim to decode products from all insurers in the market. 10Life is unbiased and objective, and is not influenced by any insurers,” Thomson said.

“There are online global insurance search aggregators out there but all of them will charge some form of commission or lead fees for directing users to insurers, so their recommendation might not always be unbiased. At 10Life, we aim to decode products from all insurers in the market independently,” Dennis Lun said.

year after the company's launch, he admitted that since they don’t charge users for the services, they don’t have a revenue model yet. But they don’t feel any pressure to become profitable, so they focus on winning their clients' trust.

“Our service helps reduce friction in various areas of the industry. If we can put consumers and insurers together on a platform, then it brings value to both parties. We have a great chance of successfully building an ecosystem around it, then the revenue would come in,” Dennis said.

“When you have good product-market fit, and know the pain points of the customers intimately, we’re finding that they [industry players] are signing up quickly because we’re addressing a real problem for them,” he said.

Thomson said: “Earning revenue from commission fees or lead fees is not likely our business model. Going back a decade ago, even Jack Ma [of Alibaba] or Jeff Bezos [of Amazon] couldn’t have guessed where their business revenue would come from.”

The three co-founders pitched in for the initial capital of several million Hong Kong dollars. Two years after launch, the company is planning to have its first round of funding in the next six months.

The company expects to raise several million HK dollars in the upcoming funding round, although details are not yet confirmed.

“The new investment would likely come from individual investors,” said Dennis, adding that the new funding will enable 10Life to broaden its product lines, launch analyses of various insurance products and not just life insurance, and enhance the consumer-centric functionality of the app.

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Co-founders (from left) Thomson Ho, Iris Lun and Dennis Lun believe that once they have built an ecosystem around 10Life, revenue will come in. Photo: HKEJ

EJ Insight writer