Fi Life Offers the Cheapest Life Insurance for Women
By Sustainability Matters March 3, 2023
- Widening gender pay gap, a burden to women accessing financial services
- Company promises to refund the difference if a cheaper option is available elsewhere
Fi Life has launched an online life insurance product with a price guarantee for women below the age of 55. The company, in a press release, states that the price difference will be refunded if comparison premiums are cheaper elsewhere for a given health and lifestyle profile.
Being an online-only insurance company allows Fi Life to reduce its operating costs – with agent commissions going up as high as 40% of premiums - which in turn is passed on to its customers. While the price guarantee is specifically for women within the approved age bracket, the company also states that it offers the highest sum assured of US$223,400 (RM1 million) for online insurance and the cheapest life insurance for men between the ages of 35-45.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) released a discussion paper on Licensing Framework for Digital Insurance and Takaful Operators (DITO) in January 2022. The purpose of the framework, as noted by BNM, was to attract new digital players with innovative solutions to address the protection gaps among the unserved and underserved segments of the population.
According to the Dept of Statistics, the mean wage for Malaysian males in 2021 was US$689 (RM3,085) versus US$663 (RM2,968) for females. Further analysis found that the pay gap between males and females in both management and professional roles widened between 2019 and 2021. The gender pay gap for managers had widened from 4.57% in 2019 to 18.12% in 2021, while for professionals the gap rose from 13.98% to 16.72% between 2019 and 2021.
The gender gap is an important consideration within the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific target calling for governments to undertake reforms to ensure the female right to economic resources, including financial services. The widening gender pay gap is an additional burden for women who tend to live longer than men but earn lesser on average. Women also tend to pay more for their needs due to the pink tax, which can further limit their capacity to afford financial services such as insurance.
Malek Ali (pic), founder, and CEO of Fi Life says that making insurance more affordable for Malaysians is an important part of the company's positioning. "We believe nobody should have to choose between protecting themselves and their loved ones or being uninsured due to cost. It is imperative that we make insurance easy and affordable. So it is more accessible to those that need them the most,” he added.
Fi Life is also able to innovate more in the space now as it has been approved to participate in BNMs Regulatory Sandbox Programme, allowing it to underwrite its own insurance policies. Before this Fi Life positioned itself as an online distributor of insurance products from AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad and Tokyo Marine Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad.
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