February 2017

Providing Right Insurance Solutions Digitally

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Ritesh Kumar,
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company

Digitisation is the future of transactions. With digitisation, customers have various other modes to make payments like – online transfers, websites, mobile apps, PoS, payzapp, e-wallets / mobile wallets as well as Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) says Ritesh Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Tell us about your products and services in India.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, the third-largest non-life Insurance Company in India, is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd., the country’s premier Housing Finance Institution and ERGO International AG, the primary insurance entity of Munich Re Group.

We offer a complete range of general insurance products ranging from Motor, Health, Travel, Home and Personal Accident in the retail space and customised products like Property, Marine and Liability Insurance in the corporate space. Our Commercial Insurance covers a wide range of corporate risk including white-collar crimes, litigation, employment disputes and extortion attempts and more. Under Rural Insurance, we offer Crop, Health and Cattle Insurance, thereby touching the rural sector of India. Our focus is to provide the “Right Insurance Solutions” for all. It is our constant endeavour to improvise and cater to every need of the modern-day customer with superior customer support service. This helps us give our customers a seamless and hassle-free experience.

HDFC ERGO recently launched its mobile insurance portfolio organiser app on Apple Watch, can you apprise us about the product and its usage?
We have recently launched our “Insurance Portfolio Organiser” (IPO) app on the iWatch. IPO app on iWatch allows policyholders of HDFC ERGO to get a host of quick, hassle-free and easy-to-access services for Motor and non-Motor insurance policies at their fingertips. The app allows policyholders to access their policy related information like Policy Details, Heath Card, Register Motor and Health Claims. Policyholders can also easily locate nearby Branches, nearby hospitals/garages.

The Geolocate feature on the app instantly navigates users to the nearest HDFC ERGO Branch and the nearby network of cashless hospitals and garages. In emergency, the user can locate the nearby network cashless hospitals in three swipes on the iWatch. The user can further change the distance range to search the nearest cashless hospitals on the iWatch. Once the user selects the required cashless hospital, the exact location of the hospital will appear on the iWatch screen and the user can start the navigation without the loss of any time. The same facility is available for the Motor Insurance policyholder, to locate the nearest network cashless garages in the event of a motor related mishap.

Customers can also conveniently Track Claim Status, request for the Policy Document on email and also request for the Health Card through the app on the iWatch. With just one click the required document will be mailed to the corresponding logged-in App ID. A click on “Call for Assistance” leads the call to HDFC ERGO’s official toll-free number, thus making navigation of the IPO app on the iWatch extremely easy and friendly for users.

India is getting digitised with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s digital India dream, how is HDFC ERGO assisting India in adapting digitisation?
Digitisation is the future of transactions and more and more financial transactions are now becoming digital with the increasing penetration of Internet and growing adoption of mobile internet devices. With digitisation customers also have various other modes to make payments like – online transfers, websites, mobile apps, PoS, payzapp, e-wallets / mobile wallets as well as AEPS and USSD.

Online purchases represent a small component of insurance related activity in India. But the overall influence of Internet on purchase of insurance products in India is growing steadily. Therefore, through our website we offer various payment options for our customers to buy insurance online like – Net banking, Credit Card / Debit Card, e-Wallets and mobile apps. This ensures that an essential service like General Insurance is made available to all easily.

Instances like demonetisation and banking data breach have opened new vistas for digital payments and Data centres, kindly share the innovations initiated by insurance sector in this regard.
The central government’s recent drive to demonetise the high-value currency notes have given a great impetus to our population to go cashless and increased the adoption of online interactions. Transactions over the internet are playing a key role in how most organisations conduct business and reach out to their customers. Increasing penetration of Internet and growing acceptance of mobile internet devices like smartphones and tablets, online financial transactions in India have grown at rapid speed in the last couple of years.

In today’s era all insurers offer the option of online payment of premiums. Apart from this, customers can also pay through an ECS or with the use of Credit / Debit cards wherein the customer can also avail of the EMI service. Moreover, the adoption of e-Wallets and payment via mobile apps is a trend that has been welcomed with open arms by the insurers as well. These trends are expected to have a far-reaching impact on the way insurance products are purchased and serviced in the country.

Our focus is to provide the “Right Insurance Solutions” for all. It is our constant endeavour to improvise and cater to every need of the modern day customer with superior customer support service.

HDFC ERGO General Insurance recently entered the nascent trade credit insurance segment, offering cover to corporates against possible defaults by their clients, how would you distinguish your services competitors of the same domain?
HDFC ERGO Trade Credit Insurance Policy safeguards suppliers against the risks of non-payment for the goods or services delivered to the buyers. Under this, the insurer covers a portfolio of buyers and pays an agreed percentage of the invoice or receivables that remain unpaid as a result of insolvency, bankruptcy or protracted default. Our Trade Credit Insurance provides a safety net for supplier to do business with peace of mind. It acts as a risk mitigation tool, playing a pivotal role in the trading cycle of a company by protecting its profit, cash flows, sales growth, the balance sheet and a company’s customer base. This policy covers the business of the insured against the commercial risks of their buyer’s default. Under the policy, we cover a portfolio of buyers and pay an agreed percentage of an invoice or receivable that remains unpaid. The causes of loss covered under this policy are:

  • Insolvency: The insured business entity can protect its business against the risk of non-payment if a buyer becomes insolvent
  • Protracted Default: When buyer fails to pay the receivable within a pre-defined period calculated from the due date of payment of the receivable

With this policy, we are playing a proactive role in helping customers trade more securely and helping businesses taking prudent risk management decisions about who to trade with.

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