OneDegree granted Hong Kong’s third virtual insurer licence

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OneDegree Hong Kong Ltd has been granted a virtual insurer licence by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (IA), under the regulator’s Fast Track scheme. It is the third firm to be granted such a licence.

Following the granting of the licence, OneDegree said that it will launch a range of products, beginning with pet insurance, followed by health and cyber insurance products.

“We’ve seen how technology has disrupted big industries from mobility to communication, and that transformation is happening in insurance right now,” said Alex Leung, co-founder of OneDegree. “At OneDegree, we recognized this emerging trend early on and, since 2016, we have been working to build our technology and ecosystems to offer a more integrated user experience.”

According to the IA’s statement, the Fast Track scheme was launched in September 2017 to provide a dedicated queue for firms seeking to enter Hong Kong’s insurance market using solely digital distribution channels. Aside from satisfying all the prevailing regulatory requirements on solvency, capital, and local asset requirements, applicants must possess an innovative and robust business model, the regulator said.

“With three virtual insurers, two in the general sector and one in the long term sector, we are witnessing greater vitality and wider diversity in the insurtech domain,” said Clement Cheung, chief executive officer of the IA. “The recent COVID-19 outbreak has helped demonstrate how we can leverage technology to help cope with operational challenges.”

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