That is what customers of one Singapore insurer now realize, amidst new ‘circuit breaker’ measures amounting to a partial lockdown.

Amid the latest measures in Singapore to contain the spread of the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of workers are now confined to their homes by the Circuit Breaker.

One firm that has stepped up efforts to help residents reduce the need to travel outside of their homes for essential services has fast-tracked the digitalization of its insurance products.

Great Eastern Singapore had been progressively rolling out services on digital platforms since 2018 as part of its digital transformation strategy, comprising an integrated set of initiatives to empower its financial representatives to deliver better customer experiences. Customers were already able to purchase motor, home protection, domestic helper, travel and other general insurance solutions via the firm’s digital affinity partners before the pandemic.

Now, in addition to online customer services already in place, people looking for protection during this difficult time can make insurance policy applications through digital channels. Online purchases of certain life insurance products and tele-advisory services capabilities were made available to customers from as early as February, before the latest ‘circuit breaker’ government measures were implemented on 7 April.

Said Great Eastern Group CEO Khor Hock Seng: “The COVID-19 situation is accelerating the speed of digital adoption to complement what is traditionally a face-to-face business. This new-normal ‘virtual’ way of doing things, empowers financial representatives to continue serving customers, with speed and agility. We are fully committed to ensuring quality customer service continues under current circumstances. We will continue to be accessible and responsive to customers through a number of touchpoints. We are glad to see that our customers are getting more used to engaging with us online, just as seamlessly as they do in their interactions with our financial representatives.”

The firm’s customers will have the convenience and option of ‘tele-advisory” sessions, not unlike virtual medical consultations, with financial representatives on video conference call from the comfort of their own homes. During this time where physical meetings are discouraged, digitalization has helped simplify the policy application process, enabled quicker response times and improved quality of customer service, but without comprising health and safety of both its customers and financial representatives.

In the last few weeks since its roll-out, the firm has seen positive response from customers seeking hospitalization, term life as well as investment-linked policies. In the next few months, Great Eastern will be introducing additional digital capabilities that will allow its financial representatives and customers to seamlessly browse interactive screens and co-create ‘life storyboards’ on mobile devices. Simplifying digital authorization of policy purchases will also allow applications to be more quickly processed.

Separately, customers who do not require financial advice for simple and annually-renewable insurance products such as personal accident plans have been able to make these simple transactions online or through a personalized link from their financial representatives.

Customers who purchased the products through this platform will still enjoy the post-purchase services from their assigned financial representatives.

Ryan Cheong, Managing Director, Digital for Business, said: “In the last two months, over 40% of all personal accident plans have been purchased online. In the next quarter, we plan to give customers this option to purchase a growing range of plans including savings and protection plans. They can purchase the plans at their own convenience digitally, yet enjoy the servicing support from their financial representatives. If they want professional advice, our financial representatives are still be accessible through a multitude of means to serve them.”