Gobear, the first metasearch engine for insurance in Malaysia, expects around 40% of consumers to search for insurance options via its site in the next 10 years.
This is based on the consumer behavior trend changes in response to metasearch engines for travel-based products, which saw around 40% of consumers using the engines, compared to 40% going directly to the service providers and 20% via brokers and agents.
“Before the travel metasearch engines were introduced, around 80% of consumers went straight to service providers,” GoBear Malaysia country director Iskandar Ezzahuddin noted.
He was speaking to reporters after launching the engine here last Friday. “GoBear originated from the idea that people today want easy access to service information, and that customers should be able to compare various financial products easily before making a decision.
“This is where GoBear steps in, to provide new experience that makes searching for financial products quickly, easily and transparently.” Iskandar said.
He continued, “Today’s insurance buyers are mobile-first, multi-screen and social media savvy. To reach them, insurance companies will need to employ an increasing emphasis on simplicity in search.”
Currently, the GoBear site only offers comparison for travel insurance and credit cards, but it will be introducing a car insurance vertical by September, term life insurance by year-end and personal loan comparisons by the end of the month.
Iskandar believes the engine is a good platform for service providers due to its high conversion rate – around 15% in Thailand and 30% in Singapore – and he expects the conversion rate in Malaysia to be between 15% and 30%
GoBear currently has a presence in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, and will be launching in Philippines at the end of the month.
It also hopes to enter Hong Kong and Vietnam by year-end, and Indonesia by next year.
Iskandar said the biggest challenge GoBear faces is getting service providers to accept the idea of putting up their offerings to be compared with other service providers.
“A lot of banks and credit card providers structure their products in such a way it makes a comparison between product A to product B very hard to do.
“Now with GoBear, we are putting everything close together, and I think that sometimes makes them a bit reluctant because they are simply not used to doing things this way.” He said.
However, he said more service providers are getting accustomed to the idea and are accepting it.
GoBear aims to provide easy access to service information and ease comparison between service providers for users.
It currently lists over 1000 financial products and will be adding more in the months to come.
The site has recorded a 50% month-on-month growth in usage with over 1.2 million users since it established itself in Singapore and Thailand.
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