The outbreak of pandemic has brought the survival of human race under threat, but it also carries some opportunities. It is evident that every change in the market structure creates new products and categories. Covid has stamped the need for insurance in average customer’s life. It is now seen as a mandate, not just for the elite but for every customer, said Anup Seth, Chief Retail Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, while addressing a virtual panel discussion during BFSI NextGen Virtual Summit, organised by Elets Technomedia.
Excerpts of the address:
“In my opinion, there has been a temporary slowdown in the insurance industry due to Covid outbreak. Both the Healthcare industry and the life insurance industry have first prioritized the safety and wellbeing of their employees and government too ensured safety of the common people by announcing nationwide lockdowns. This move was also to make sure that the necessary services continue to reach people,” said Seth.
“However, in this entire process, the economy faced several challenges which resulted in lowering down the transactions. People are no longer consuming that much weather its travel, eating out or shopping, everything came to a standstill. The economy went into a slowdown which means that in the long term we will pay the price in terms of growth rates both as a country as well as the life insurance sector. However, in the medium to long term, I see growth coming back to the domain.”
“The outbreak of Covid has even more amplified the need of buying insurance for the sake of life and for assets. The need to buy insurance was always there but the need has now accelerated with the pandemic as the risk of meeting life goals is at threat and survival has also become a challenge. Hence, people are now more aware that the risk is now greater and across the board and they now need to insure it. Life Insurance and General Insurance helps them in mitigating those risks. People are now using their limited cash flows in long term goals that they were earlier spending in traveling, eating out or buying clothes.”
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“In my view, the outbreak of pandemic is not good, but every change in the market structure creates new products and categories. Covid has stamped the need of insurance in average customer’s life. It is not just for elite need but it is a necessity for every customer.”
Talking about the scope of growth during and after the pandemic, Seth said, “India has suffered the severity of economic slowdown higher than other parts of the world due to the extended lockdown. So, the intensity of lockdown, as per global standards was good, but when it comes to pumping cash into the market, our performance was average. This will cause some pain. The government has paid some impetus also. So being hopeful, I don’t see 8-9 percent GDP growth but 6-7 percent is definitely achievable. And, Life insurance also grows three times the GDP growth. So, I see at least 8-9 percent GDP growth for the Life Insurance sector.”