Carpool aims for B100m in premiums

Carpool Insurance Broker, a Thai insurtech firm, aims for 100 million baht worth of premiums during its first year of operation.

The company has rolled out a product that requires owners of at least five cars to pool in the same group to buy a car insurance policy. They will receive a 30% cashback of the premium in case of no claim.

If some insured cars in the group make claims, the cashback will be lower than 30% but those without any insurance claim history will continue to have good driving records eligible to receive up to 50% discount in premiums in the following year.

The company expects at least 600-1,000 groups, with a total of 6,000 cars, will take part in the company's Carpool Drive with Cash Back this year.

The product is underwritten by Muang Thai Insurance, the country's fourth-largest insurance company.

Apart from the maximum 30% cashback, Carpool Insurance's customers are also entitled to free coverage inpatient medical compensation of up to 3,000 baht per accident, a waiver of upfront fee of 3,000 baht for car repairs, and a 20-50% discount for good history with car insurance premiums to the car for next year, said Ed Sirivallop, the company's director.

According to statistics, only 10% of insured cars are driven by negligent drivers. For this 10%, insurance companies end up having to pay up to three times the annual premium paid by the car owners in repair costs.

The company, in which 49% stake is owned by Thai Re Services Co Ltd, started operations in April. Other shareholders are Silver Spoon Co Ltd, owned by Mr Ed, with 40%, and two minor shareholders making up the rest.

Carpool Insurance has paid-up capital of about 22.5 million baht.

Mr Ed said the auto insurance market currently has a market size of more than 100 billion baht with an average annual growth rate of 1.4%.

But premium growth this year is expected to be higher on the back of buying new cars following a lapse of the five-year lock-in period of cars bought under the first-time buying scheme.

The Federation of Thai Industries automotive industry club recently forecast that domestic car sales were expected to rise by 6.7% in 2017 to 800,000 units, marking an increase for the first time in four years after shrinking sales since 2013.

"According to our study, each group with driver members of about 10 persons will be eligible for cash returns and the good driving history discount for the following year. So these drivers' relatives and leasing business customers are our target clients," Mr Ed said.

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