FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

This start-up aims to provide insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost

The annual plan costs $539.88 with no need for a deposit.

Bandboo is an insurance technology platform that enables users to form digital communities and obtain insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost.

The platform was established by Ashley Kee, along with Ng Zhong Qin (CTO) and Ou Zhiqi Co (COO). Kee shares that being very dissatisfied insurance customers, they saw the slow pace of change in the insurance industry, as compared to the financial and banking industries. With this pain point in mind, they developed Bandboo.

Bandboo provides insurance as a form of service, charging a nominal membership for users to join, and ownership of premiums are given back to users with what is not utilised at the end of the membership term rebated back to them, making this insurance at the lowest possible cost, says Kee.

Here’s how the Bandboo platform specifically works: First, members pay into the Communal Pot: they choose from a monthly or annual payment plan. The monthly plan requires a $99 deposit followed by $44.99 a month membership and premium payment. The annual plan costs $539.88 with no need for a deposit.

Then, they draw from the Communal Pot if they are retrenched - a payout equivalent to 3 months of their income spread across 5 months, capped at $18K.

Lastly, they share the Communal Pot - at the end of their 1-year membership the balance remaining in the fund is divided equally amongst all members – a 100% unconditional rebate of premiums not used to pay out claims.

"Just imagine having a refund on a term insurance policy if claims are not as high as expected. This means that users can now enjoy coverage for almost nothing if the community on a whole does not make a claim due to our rebate system," shares Kee

Bandboo notes that it has taken a traditional and very successful form of financing, powered by communities, and made it more efficient and transparent with the application of blockchain technology. All customers, too, have full access to the information on payouts and premiums required each month. All transactions are tracked on a blockchain ledger which details exactly how premiums are calculated, claims made and how the rebate takes place.

"Compare this with 1,000 people who purchased a term policy, with not a single member making a claim, I do not see it likely in the current system that they will receive any of the premiums back," Kee continues.

Bandboo is currently preparing to raise USD 1,000,000 to USD 1,500,000 to help strengthen their development team in deep technology stacks such as A.I and Data Science, Kee shares, and also to help position themselves as a dominant player in the insurance tech landscape.

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