The recent launch of the PruBSN Takaful’s link series highlights that product innovation in the Malaysian Takaful sector remains alive and kicking. In the past, Takaful products have been specifically targeted to a specific want or need from the market. As a gap in the market emerges it is filled with a product that can meet that demand, creating a raft of similar inflexible products in a heavily saturated market sector.
However, as the Takaful industry continues to grow apace, product sophistication has to take place in order for the Takaful products to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving landscape and against a highly competitive conventional insurance industry.
As part of its five-year celebrations PruBSN saw an opportune time to launch something different into the market. As a result it has looked at, strengthened and reinvigorated its core product offering. Its original Takaful link product was launched at PruBSN’s inception and this latest offering serves as an evolution to those building blocks.
As a result it is hoping that this latest product evolution will widen the target audience of its Takaful product, as from its inception it has sought to offer a product suite that caters to the whole cross-section of the Malaysian population.
The product is extensive in its offering and demonstrates a willingness by Takaful and insurance operators to put significant resources and investment behind their Takaful operations and product suites that will only help to enhance the industry moving forward.
This unique approach in a crowded market place should allow PruBSN Takaful to realize its aspiration of becoming the number one Takaful operator in Malaysia. With a first quarter 2011 Takaful market share of around 26%, PruBSN Takaful has come a long way for a relatively new company. Azim Mithani, the CEO, hopes that this latest offering shows that the company is a leader in product development and that it is comfortable in bringing new products to customers.
This is a demonstration that the Takaful market has become increasingly perceptive to the needs of its customers. It also highlights that consumers have become increasingly aware of Takaful products as a whole and of their own individual requirements from such products.
It also highlights the role of the agency distribution model in Malaysia. It is this model that has allowed Takaful operators to gain a greater level of feedback on their product offerings as to the needs and wants of the customer, something critical to any formative industry. The constant evolution and enhancement of the features offered through Takaful products continue to demonstrate the robustness of such offerings and their success.
Life achievement bonus
All three plans under the PruBSN Link series provide a unique life achievement based loyalty bonus to participants. This unique loyalty bonus is a key feature of the revamped product suite, rewarding participants through milestones such as academic excellence and other life achievement-based bonuses whereby the policy will pay a percentage of the annual contribution as a reward for milestones reached or achieved: such as marriage, property ownership or undertaking umrah or haj.
This creates attractive benefits, appealing to those looking to build for their futures. It is hoped that this will provide a motivational aspect to the policy. It also serves as a means of attracting policy uptake for those who do not immediately recognize the benefits of such product offerings, such as young adults with other priorities and limited budgets.
As always, a low contribution entry point will be critical in getting first time buyers into the policies. However, the greater sophistication of products now available in the market should encourage people to think about protection benefits at an earlier age, lessening the cost of accessing such products and rewarding policy holders in due course. – SW