FWD Singapore pulls the plug on employee-benefits business

FWD Group, the insurance arm of Hong Kong-headquartered Pacific Century Group, will be closing its employee benefits business in Singapore by December 2020. This means that the insurer will stop pitching for new contracts for that business and will also not renew existing contracts once they expire.

"FWD Singapore has made a business decision to focus on and allocate more investment and resources to other lines of business that support stronger future growth in the market including our fully direct and online life and general insurance business," said the FWD spokesperson in response to queries from The Business Times.

The majority of the insurer’s employee benefits business comprises group medical insurance.

In April 2016, FWD entered Singapore after acquiring a 90% stake in group medical insurance provider Shenton Insurance from Parkway Holdings, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of IHH Healthcare. Shenton was then rebranded to FWD.

On its website, the insurer states that it has over 10 years of experience in providing employee benefits solutions with its client base spanning across a wide array of industries including financial institutions, information technology, manufacturing and retail.

Its group medical insurance is a full-plan integrated programme that covers general practitioners’ services, specialist outpatient services as well as inpatient treatments provided by a network of medical practitioners and four of healthcare group Parkway Health’s private hospitals. The programme also extends to government restructured hospitals. It encompasses hospitalisation and surgical, clinical and specialist outpatient, major medical, dental and maternity protection plans.

Under its employee benefits business, FWD Singapore also has a group life insurance programme consisting of term life, critical illness, personal accident and disability income plans to protect employees in the events they are hurt by natural and accidental causes.

Outside of Singapore, the insurer has operations in Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia where it offers life and medical insurance, general insurance, employee benefits as well as shariah and family takaful products.

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