First internet-only insurance company gets temporary greenlight

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : January 30, 2019, 18:23 | Updated : January 30, 2019, 18:23


SEOUL -- South Korea's top financial watchdog gave its temporary greenlight to an internet-only insurance company which would provide easy access through mobile devices and introduce new concept goods by analyzing real-time information with 5G technology.

The new insurance company will have an initial capital of 85 billion won ($76 million). Hanwha General Insurance, a local insurance company, controls 75.1 percent and South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom (SKT) 9.9 percent. Hyundai Motor owns 5.1 percent, and the South Korean branch of U.S. investment firm, Altos, will have a 9.9 percent stake.

The Financial Services Commission said Wednesday that the internet-only insurer would revitalize South Korea's saturated insurance market and improve consumer convenience with products using new technologies. Hanwha hopes to start service this year.

Hanwha and SKT plan to combine information and communications technology (ICT) and infrastructure while sharing customer lifestyle changes with Hyundai Motor. They would analyze big data between industries such as insurance, telecom, and automobile to launch new concept products.

Hanhwa said it would develop various life-friendly products by using big data and blockchain technology. As its first product, the internet-only surer plans to sell personalized auto insurance by analyzing the mileage and driving habits of customers so that they can pay the insurance premium in proportion to the distance traveled.
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