PETALING JAYA: Ouch Protect Bhd aims to offer takaful insurance to the B40 and M40 income groups through its insurtech platform Ouch!, driven by demand for affordable protection in the local market.

In August 2023, the company entered the takaful market as the first digital takaful operator in Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) regulatory sandbox.

Citing a recent report, its CEO Shazy Noorazman pointed out that Malaysian Takaful Association CEO Mohd Radzuan Mohamed stated that an estimated 46% of Malaysians do not have any personal financial protection.

Shazy noted that the figure is derived from the number of policies enforced against the population. He reckoned that if an individual has more than one policy or takaful, then the number of uninsured increases.

“The figure may be higher due to multiple individuals owning more than one policy and that the underinsured/uninsured comprises mostly of the B40 and M40 groups,” he told SunBiz, adding that it should be a cause for concern.

Shazy opined that cost could be a major factor for insurance policy ownership, in general. Touching on the takaful model, he said that traditional takaful companies share insurance surplus, in which 100% of surplus is “given back to the participants”.

“All these (mechanisms) in place allows us to be very competitive in pricing. On average, we are 20% cheaper than the (products in the) market,” he said.

Moreover, Shazy pointed out that the products it offers are targeted towards the B40 and M40 market, instead of the T20 market.

Based on his observation, most of the products in the local market are catered towards the T20 income group, thus the top-tier households are “getting the protection that they need”, while the other groups are largely underserved.

“We want to focus more on the people who need it the most, the B40 and the M40. With these groups, we have to be really price conscious and very clear in terms of the offering that we're providing.

“For B40 or M40 insurance products, it's not exclusive to them as the T20 can also get them but if its the other way around, T20 products are exclusive to them because they can afford it,” said Shazy.

Moving forward, he does not rule out the possibility of the company offering a range of products which cover the whole domestic market.

To date, it offers one product on its online platform and app, Pusara Pro, although Shazy said the company has plans to launch new offerings in the market soon.

“Some of them will be provided by partners and we would like to focus on the life aspects of takaful life products. I'm hoping that the next product (can be launched) at the end of this year,” he shared.

However, Shazy declined to share further details as the products are still in the works and pointed out that any new insurance products will require approval from BNM’s regulatory sandbox.

He also shared that the company is looking to roll out a minimum of one product every year.

“I think we will have to look at a minimum of one but there's also another aspect of innovation on the existing products as well. Those products can be further innovated,” said Shazy.

On revenue contribution by state, he said Sabah makes up the bulk with 25%, while the rest is contributed equally by Sarawak, Kelantan, Johor, Klang Valley and the rest.

“We've got a few advocates for us who do strong referrals. We cast a wide net and this product is for all Malaysians,” he added.

In terms of growth, Shazy said that its sales have been doubling month on month since January this year. Since its initial entry, he said that its been focused on brand awareness, refining its customer experiences and marketing, which has resulted in an upward trend in sales.

He added that they are aiming for a double growth this year, driven by their marketing strategy through community engagement and events as well as new product offerings.

Furthermore, he disclosed that they intend to hold a Series A Funding round towards the second half of the year.

“It’s mainly for the digital insurer and takaful operator licence, there will be a capital required for that ... as well as to expand our offerings and operations,” Shazy said.