Ouch!, the only insurtech start-up in Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s regulatory sandbox with a Takaful proposition, is looking to introduce a new product hopefully in 2024, according to CEO Shazy Noorazman.
“We are considering it, [but], we do not know how long this will take. We hope to come up with a new product by next year, if all goes to plan,” shared Shazy.
One of seven companies currently in BNM’s sandbox, and one of the 31 insurance applicants since the sandbox was established in October 2016, Ouch! is the first and only one to have launched an Islamic insurance product: a term life product, Pusara Pro.
Product development will focus on simplicity and cost efficiency.
“For example, we don’t think critical illnesses [policies] need to cover 36 [diseases] — let’s focus on the two that are important in Malaysia: diabetes and hypertension … A lot of medical products in the market are focused on inpatients, so, let’s look at smaller products for outpatients instead.”
Founded in 2019, Ouch! entered the market as an insurance aggregator distributing both Islamic and conventional products. But the start-up faced issues with meeting consumer demand effectively as well as building customer loyalty due to competition from other aggregators.
“The strategy did not work for us. We identified that we [needed] to take control of the product so that we can change the product over time based on customers’ needs,” explained Shazy.
The start-up then pivoted to become a product owner, with an exclusive focus on Shariah compliant products as the market segments it wants to address — the B40 (bottom 40% income earners) and M40 (middle 40% income earners) — ‘resonate’ with the Takaful concept.
Ouch! is eyeing for a Digital Insurers and Takaful Operator (DITO) license, which the central bank is expected to open applications for at the end of this year. BNM is looking to issue up to five DITO licenses.
This is an excerpt of an interview with Ouch! CEO Shazy Noorazman on the insurtech market in Malaysia. For the full discussion, log on to IFN Podcast.