Hong Kong’s Bowtie launches VHIS online product

ZhongAn Online has entered a joint venture with Grab targeting the digital insurance distribution business in Southeast Asia (Image wutwhanfoto / iStockPhoto)
Bowtie has launched a product compliant with the Food and Health Bureau's VHIS (Image wutwhanfoto / iStockPhoto)

You can only go so much with the tagline “Hong Kong’s first virtual insurer” and Bowtie is one willing to stretch this claim as it launched its online insurance platform and making available a product that falls into the Food and Health Bureau’s Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS).

Bowtie is not the only one that is taking up the government’s challenge to introduce VHIS products. Manulife, AIA, and AXA Hong Kong are among several traditional insurance companies, as well as banks, in the city to latch on to the scheme which attempts to offload the financial burden of providing health insurance coverage to residents.

According to Michael Chan, Bowtie co-founder and co-CEO, the company’s online-only medical underwriting engine will evaluate users’ health conditions instantly to provide what it claims is fairer and more transparent insurance pricing for Hong Kong citizens.

Bowtie’s platform and product feature the following unique elements:

  • Full end-to-end digital VHIS experience: Everything can be done online via smartphone or computer – from initial application to online underwriting, to making a claim. No medical examinations or paper forms required, application process is shortened from at least 3 days to as fast as 10 minutes.
  • Same protection, better value: From day one, Bowtie has reinvented the very structure of an insurance company and is harnessing the latest technology. By offering commission-free products and reducing operating costs through efficiencies, it can pass on the savings to its customers while still offering the same level of protection. According to Food and Health Bureau¹, Bowtie’s standard premiums for most age groups are lowest among all 25 VHIS providers with certified Standard Plans.
  • BowtieCash loyalty program: BowtieCash is a unique loyalty program which complements the Standard Plan, enabling customers to earn, and pay for medical costs that exceed the VHIS Standard Plan coverage. This helps relieve customers’ medical expense burden at critical moments in their lives.

Bowtie’s customers will also benefit from comprehensive and convenient customer care. Customers can seek assistance from its dedicated Hong Kong-based professional support team over live chat, email, its hotline, as well as a physical customer service center.

The Bowtie professional medical concierge service team comprises of a qualified doctor who is able to assist with making doctor appointments, handle hospital admission arrangements, answer queries relating to claims estimates and more. If diagnosed with critical illness, the team will also support customers with a thorough explanation of treatment details, provision of medical second opinions and health tips to customers whenever they need.

Presumably as and when its client base grows, the startup will hire more doctors.

The other co-founder and co-CEO Fred Ngan said that the company is investing both online and offline customer services.


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