SINGAPORE-BASED insurtech firm Axinan has entered the Philippine market as it is set to launch a smartphone insurance product with The Mercantile Insurance Co., Inc. (Mercantile).

The two firms are set to launch the digital mobile insurance product Mobile 360 via Axinan’s igloo app, where consumers will be able to buy policies and make claims digitally. The product covers screen, camera, battery, accidental and liquid damage protection for phones.

This is the first partnership between a non-life insurer and an insurtech firm in the Philippines, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

Axinan Country Head Eric Bataga said they target to launch the product before the year ends.

Aside from Mobile 360, Axinan Founder and CEO Wei Zhu said the company is also looking to expand its exposure to the local market through different partnerships in the future.

“The launch of the igloo app is only the beginning of our entry for the all different electronics insurance products in the Philippines. Going forward, we definitely see us expand partnerships not only through our own app but also to help distribute through variety of partnerships, so that could include both online and offline partnerships,” Mr. Zhu told reporters in a roundtable discussion on Tuesday.

Mercantile President Melecio C. Mallillin said the partnership with Axinan will reduce the turnaround time for both benefit payment and delivery of service.

“That probably is one area that we in the insurance field have to really hone our skills — how to make the turnaround time for benefit payments fast. I guess that’s the primary reason why we are aligning ourselves with Axinan because we see the potential. On the service side, [it’s] very fast, the turnaround time for the benefit payment was also very, very fast,” Mr. Mallillin said.

This could also help reduce delays in the processing of client requirements, he said.

Axinan’s Mr. Zhu said Mobile 360 covers about 3,000 smartphone models, while authorized repair centers are spread across the country.

However, Mr. Mallillin said the usual wear and tear of smartphones is not covered by the product.

According to a 2018 study by SquareTrade cited in the statement, 66% of smartphone users damaged their phones last year. About 29% of the total was damage to screens, 27% have scratched screens, while 22% have non-working batteries.

Axinan is a Singapore-based insurtech firm specializing in big data, actuarial risk management and machine-learning processes for businesses and clients.

The firm currently has operations in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and in the Philippines, as well as development offices in China and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Mercantile offers a number of non-life products including fire, marine cargo, motor, personal accident, liability, miscellaneous casualty, aviation and engineering and surety insurance protections.

Mobile 360 will be under miscellaneous casualty, the company said.

“With our partnership with Mercantile who understands the local non-life insurance segment deeply, we believe that there will be more of such solutions from igloo by Axinan,” Mr. Zhu was quoted as saying in the statement. — B.M. Laforga