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‘Making Digital India Become A Reality’

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Digital India is centered on three vision areas, first, is access to digital infrastructure to every citizen, second, is providing services on demand and the third, digital empowerment of a citizen. We, at Universal Sompo General Insurance, are constantly working towards achieving this vision, says Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd., in conversation with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN).

Give us an overview of your product line and services in India.

We, at Universal Sompo General Insurance, have always envisioned providing superior value to the customers and continually enhancing the same to win their confidence. This philosophy drives us to offer Innovative and Customised Risk Solutions across customer segments including rural and social sector, utilising varied distribution channels. We have a bouquet of 125 insurance products to extend insurance cover to various customer segments like rural and urban retail customers, corporate and MSMEs clients. The product line extends across business segments like fire, engineering, marine, motor insurance, health insurance (both retail and group mediclaim), liability including cyber liability, personal accident policy including Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and CROP Insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

The extensive network of Bancassurance of our Founder banks viz. Allahabad bank, Indian Overseas Bank & Karnataka Bank and other bank partners has helped Universal Sompo General Insurance to reach across length and breadth of the country. Along with Bancassurance, Universal Sompo has strong traditional network of agents and brokers, coupled with emerging channels like Web Aggregators, Common Service Centers (CSCs) and Point of Sales. Universal Sompo General Insurance has specifically designed innovative products to reach potential customers through Point of Sales and CSCs channels.

Universal Sompo General Insurance in association with Karnataka Bank recently launched KBL Suraksha for coverage against all types of accidental deaths, how are your services different from other counterparts in this domain?

KBL Suraksha is a Group Personal Accident Insurance scheme extended by Universal Sompo General Insurance in association with Karnataka Bank to all its Savings Bank customers against a nominal premium payment. On the service front, Universal Sompo General Insurance has simplified the overall process across the Insurance Value Chain starting from policy issuance to claims settlement. The claim settlement process has been made hassle-free, considering the ordeal suffered by victim’s kin in case of any unfortunate event. Dedicated helpline is provided for faster and smoother claims processing. In terms of coverage, Privilege Savings Banks customers are offered the coverage free whereas the other Saving Bank customers have to pay a Rs 50 annually for Rs 5 lakh coverage and Rs 100 annually for Rs 10 Lakh coverage. Also the renewal of the policy can be done till the maximum age of 75 which is one of the highest coverage provided across all personal accident schemes available in the insurance industry.

India is getting digitised with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India dream, how is Universal Sompo assisting the nation in embracing digitisation?

Universal Sompo has always maintained a forward looking attitude towards providing superior value to customers. Digital India is centered on three vision areas, first is access to digital infrastructure to every citizen, second is providing services on demand and the third, digital empowerment of a citizen. We, at Universal Sompo General Insurance, are constantly working towards achieving this vision by enhancing capabilities on digital platform through the likes of Web Aggregators, Common Service Centers (CSCs) and Point of Sales (POS) to reach out to potential customers.

Common Service Centers forms the strategic access points for delivery of essential services to rural India, thus of strategic importance under the Digital India Vision. Universal Sompo has been one of the frontrunners in extending insurance service to villages through CSCs with customised insurance products based on need-gap analysis for rural India. Universal Sompo is the first insurer to provide Cattle Insurance Policy through CSC channel. We are among the very few Insurers who provide Motor Comprehensive Policy (Both Own Damage and Third Party) through CSCs Channel.

For semi-urban and urban masses, we have extended our services through Web-Aggregators and Point-of-Sales Person (POSP). The 13 Insurance products through POS are specifically designed keeping in view adequate protection as per customers’ need.

Universal Sompo General Insurance has also run campaign for customers’ awareness regarding Digital India initiatives. Regular workshops are conducted for Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs), Agents, and employees of bank partners to create awareness about digital platform extended to them. Our employees and insurance partners’ work as change agents for making a digital India.

Instances like demonetisation and banking data breach have opened new vistas for digital payments and Data centers, what kind of modifications have been made by insurance sector in this regard?

Instances like demonetisation are defining moments for the India economy which has long term positive impact in terms of increased transparency and making a truly Digital India. Insurance sector has welcomed this step and have made required modifications across the insurance value chain to enhance customer service. This has led to E-issuance of insurance policies primarily motor insurance and will fasten the claim settlement process. Various E-Commerce players like wallet providers, web aggregators and online financial market place are joining as the distribution agents for General Insurance products. This can be seen in case of IRCTC extending Travel Insurance to passengers, Airtel Money extending Insurance for Wallet money and ET Money foraying into extending Motor & Health Insurance. In the long term, demonetisation will bring transparency and efficiency in the healthcare sector curbing fraudulent and suspicious claims cases and will benefit insurance companies in the long-run.

Instances like banking data breach calls for an enhanced focus of insurance industry to come up with the comprehensive cyber security framework for the sector. Two separate working groups for Life and Non-life sector have been formed by Insurance Regulatory and Devolvement Authority of India (IRDAI) to recommend and provide a comprehensive framework to mitigate internal and external cyber threats, Cyber Security Audit, Fraud prevention and detection and access impact of various legal risks arising out of cyber laws. Along with it, the Government of India has announced to establish a Computer Emergency Response Team for Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) in recent union budget. This will further enhance the sector against the cyber security threats like hacking and phising.

Moreover, Industry is working on Fraud Risk Mitigation Portal (FRMP) to identify and curb fraudulent and suspicious cases plaguing the Indian Insurance Industry. Major cases of frauds come from Motor and Health Line of Business. As per FICCI report, “Out of the total outgoings in health insurance, nearly 25% are fraudulent claims.”

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