Don’t you wish to be able to purchase insurance on-demand just like how you would stream a movie? If you only have a small budget such as $20 set aside for insurance each month, wouldn’t it be difficult to satisfy all your basic insurance needs at once? Well, such concerns will soon be a thing of the past thanks to TRIBE, Singapore’s first subscription-based insurance that pioneers a revolutionary way of insurance protection to meet evolving consumer needs. TRIBE, developed by NTUC Income, is a flexible monthly insurance premium subscription that adapts to your needs based on your life stage. By offering insurance via online subscription, it is bringing convenience to the lives of modern consumers across life stages and financial circumstances.
TRIBE by Income
TRIBE allows users to purchase insurance directly based on a monthly insurance premium subscription. As at time of writing, TRIBE has launched 3 packs – Child Pack, Recovery Pack and the Essentials Pack. Each pack actually consists of 2 different types of insurance plans so that it meets more basic needs than compared to a single product. More details of each pack can be found in the 2nd half of this article. Do note that a simplified underwriting online is required to purchase any of these packs.
The packs are available in 3 sizes- Small, Medium and Large, an easy-to-understand format similar to how we would select a piece of clothing. They start from as little as $5 a month, which equates to a standard meal in a food court these days. As they are bite-sized and easy on the wallet, they are ideal for policyholders with tight budgets or on an irregular income.
Subscription style also means that policyholders can choose to start and stop their insurance coverage any time without penalty, effective the following billing cycle. There is even more flexibility afforded as policyholders are able to upsize or downsize the TRIBE packs on a monthly basis as shown in Diagram 1.
Here is a review of the first 3 products launched by TRIBE and how it may suit certain profiles.
1) Child Pack
As a parent of a 2-year-old, the first thing that caught my attention was the Child Pack, which is a bundle of a Child Illness Plan and Child Injury Plan. I compared it with what Olympia already had, and found that the Child Pack offered additional coverage including treatment by a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, psychiatric therapy and even replacement of damaged spectacles as shown in Diagram 2.
Impressed at what I saw, I promptly tried to sign up for this pack by first creating a TRIBE account with my MyInfo via SingPass. After filling in the insured and policyholder’s personal details, I arrived at the declaration section as shown in Diagram 3.
“Has the insured person had to stay in hospital during the last 3 years (other than ordinary childbirth)?”
Recalling that Olympia was hospitalised on Day 9 due to high fever, I promptly answered “yes” to the question. Surprisingly, this resulted in me failing the underwriting and unable to purchase the product. At this juncture, I must emphasize that it is important to be truthful when answering ANY insurance questionnaire because we do not want to be denied an insurance claim due to concealment of truths. Regardless, I was undeterred and proceeded to explore the rest of the products on TRIBE.
2) Recovery Pack
The Recovery Pack is a combination of Illness Recovery Plan and Injury Recovery Plan. In traditional insurance parlance, this will equate to a hospitalisation cash plan except that it covers long-term MCs as well. Basically, it pays out cash benefit should the insured be hospitalised or on long-term medical leave as a result of injury or illness. For the gig economy worker, this provides peace of mind as the cash payout can partially replace the loss of income when the insured is unable to work.
The Recovery Pack is a plan that I never had in my insurance portfolio and one that I wouldn’t mind getting at only a few dollars per month, especially since it covers any hospitalisation due to Covid-19 or side effects from Covid-19 vaccinations. I proceeded to complete the questionnaire and was immediately informed that my policy has been issued and in force as shown in Diagram 4.
3) Essentials Pack
The last pack is the Essentials Pack which is a combination of a Term Life Plan and Critical Illness Plan. Depending on whether the Pack selected is Small, Medium or Large, death and total and permanent disability (‘TPD’) coverage ranges from $34,200 to $136,8001. This is an affordable way to bolster one’s coverage especially as one’s life stage changes. The Critical Illness Plan provides coverage ranging from $30,000 to $120,0001 against 37 severe stage critical illness. This will be a lump sum payout to provide timely assistance to the household of the policyholder. However, do note the sum assured for this component reduces as one grows older.
 Based on the profile of a 25-year-old male who does not smoke.
Addressing A Need In The Market
In Heartland Boy’s opinion, the unique selling point of TRIBE is its affordability and flexibility. These twin features allow someone with a limited budget to build up his/her insurance portfolio immediately via a purchase of multiple TRIBE packs. For instance, someone with only $20 per month to spare on insurance can potentially purchase all 3 packs and get coverage on:
- Illness and Injury coverage for their child (Child Pack)
- Death & TPD and critical illness (Essentials Pack)
- Hospitalisation cash benefit (Recovery Pack)
Consumers with limited budgets are no longer forced to make choice of prioritising which insurance to go for first. Instead, it is now possible to get coverage on MORE areas to ensure a minimum level of protection. It also offers a new way for consumers to manage their insurance commitments at their own terms, to fit their changing lifestyle and financial circumstances.
This shifts the perspective of the policyholder from being sum-assured focused to budget-centric focused, which is especially helpful during a volatile economic environment that we find ourselves living in today. When the financial circumstances of the policyholder have improved, he or she can then upsize the packs from Small to Large to get a higher level of coverage. In this way, TRIBE has made insurance more accessible and given control back to consumers by doing away with high premiums and long-term commitments. In its place are customisable insurance packs on-demand with no minimum lock-in periods and unparalleled flexibility.
Limited Time Promotion
To celebrate its launch, TRIBE (sign-up link) is running a promotion. Readers who sign up with the promo code of “SP50” can enjoy any TRIBE pack free for 1 month and also receive a $50 Shopee voucher.
Yes, I have double confirmed that there is no minimum purchase required to enjoy this tremendous offer. With packs starting from only $5/month juxtaposed against a $50 Shopee voucher, I am sure you can do the math yourself.
Disclosure: This article is written in collaboration with TRIBE by Income. It is for information only and reflects my opinion and not that of TRIBE.