Kyobo Life plans new products with start-ups

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Kyobo Life plans new products with start-ups

Kyobo Life Insurance, the third largest life insurer in the country, is looking to work with start-ups to strengthen a relatively new insurance category backed by advanced technologies that reward health-seeking activities.

Unlike other cooperation programs focused on financially supporting start-ups, Kyobo said that its program, dubbed Innostage, aims to actually apply technology from its chosen start-ups to its new businesses.

“We will bring at least two to three new services to our healthcare application based on the technology cooperation, starting next year, after holding a demonstration event by the end of this year” Kyobo said in a statement.

The healthcare application is used by holders of reward-based insurance programs that offer various benefits including discounts on insurance subscriptions, higher claims or different vouchers when a subscriber follows through with healthy goals such as taking a certain number of steps per day or eating meals with fewer calories.

The move comes after the financial authorities announced earlier this month a plan to lift regulations on such insurance programs by allowing insurers to provide wearable devices or health-related advice as a part of the programs.

Presently, insurance companies are banned from engaging in such activities.

The life insurer has selected five start-ups for the project.

Potential business areas include products that reward healthy and regular dental care and eating habits.

The head of Kyobo Life Insurance said that the move is part of the company’s efforts to keep up with the fast-changing trend in the segment.

“We will push for a healthcare platform business in line with innovation in the insurance field,” said Yoon Yeol-hyun, CEO of Kyobo Life Insurance. “With the plan, we aim to become a leading insurer in offering digital insurance services.”

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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