Customers today are becoming more digital and tech savvy: Priya Gilbile, COO, ManipalCigna Health Insurance

Priya Gilbile

Technology and digitisation has always been existed in the insurance industry. Technological advancements like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Blockchain holds
a huge opportunity to disrupt the customer onboarding & servicing, shares Priya Gilbile, Chief Operating Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance with Shruti Jain of Elets News Network (ENN).

The pandemic has changed the way people look at health insurance coverage. Do you see it as a blessing in disguise for the insurance industry?

The pandemic has been a wakeup call for most of us. While most people had a health insurance, the pandemic taught us that just having a health insurance is not enough. One needs to be prepared with a comprehensive, and adequate sum insured plan to access quality treatment without worrying about healthcare expenses.

The pandemic turned health insurance from a grudge purchase to a nudge purchase.
The question is no more “Do I need Health insurance?” but it is more “How much coverage do I need”? People have now understood that buying a health insurance policy needs to be included in one’s financial planning as it will help safeguard finances in the long run.

The pandemic has definitely made people understand the importance of having a comprehensive health insurance policy and how it will ensure there are no compromises on receiving quality healthcare.

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How is the insurance industry catering to increased demand for online purchase of health insurance?

Customers today are becoming more digital and tech savvy. With information available at their fingertips, they find online journeys convenient. From research to purchase, everything can be done online. At ManipalCigna, we have ensured that our digital experience is made for the customer and the interface is user friendly. On our website, one can check the coverage they need through the coverage calculator, then they are recommended the products accordingly. If they want, they can also compare the different policies and purchase riders along with their policy itself for the added benefit. In case they want to access any policy document, they can do so through our myManipalCigna mobile app. In case they need any assistance during their buying journey, they can also ask our virtual assistant, Expert Assist – a Chatbot. We are constantly trying to improve our customer journey and make it smoother, and we will continue to bring more user centric experiences.

While in the insurance industry, technology and digitisation always existed, but with technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML)
and Blockchain, it holds a huge opportunity to disrupt the customer onboarding & servicing and making it more personalised and smooth purchase and service experience.

How is the insurance industry prioritising its innovation quotient? What major challenges are you facing in incorporating the transformative changes?

The insurance industry is becoming more customer centric and there is also a push from the IRDAI to do the same. For us, at ManipalCigna, innovation means humility to continuously learn and change for a better tomorrow. Hence, we have always been at the forefront in meeting the consumer’s needs through our innovative products and services. For instance, ManipalCigna ProHealth Prime plan covers all types of hospitalisation expenses and also comes with revolutionary features such as “Cashless OPD” coverage for doctor consultation, prescribed diagnostic tests and pharmacy expenses, it covers
“Non-medical Expenses” to ensure there are zero deductions towards non-medical items during hospitalisation and offers a wider range of options with respect to sum insured for customers to choose from. We also have a specific plan, for lives suffering from the medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
These customers need not wait for long, as the pre-existing disease waiting period for these listed conditions is only 90 days. Through our research, we identify gaps in the industry and try to address with each of our products. It is not just the innovations that we pay attention to, we also track how it is impacting our customers and the acceptance of our differentiated offerings. ManipalCigna has paved the way for the industry through its path breaking innovative products and services by influencing the other insurers to also introduce products that addresses the core issues which customers are facing.

How is ManipalCigna providing a personalised experience, which can enhance healthy outcomes & appropriate in-network care for clients?

Social media has helped create a virtual world where consumers can now interact with brands directly and a space for two-way communication, which is not easily available through alternate mediums. It offers a higher engagement rate, greater visibility, and significant brand awareness levels.

At ManipalCigna, we are guided by our mission to improve the health, well-being and peace
of mind of those we serve. We believe we are here to put our customers’ satisfaction at the center of everything we do, and we continue to raise our own bar for excellence in providing an exceptional customer experience. We have a trusted network of 7500+ hospitals, through which we ensure that our customers get the best care. We also offer wellness programs which are integrated with our plans. ManipalCigna was the first to launch ‘ProActiv Living’, a health rewards program in India. For those with Diabetes and Hypertension, we offer “ProHeal” program to an insured person, so they can manage their illness. We also offer a reward based step tracker all our social media platforms, we have a loyal following and we are leveraging this to make create a positive brand sentiment. Even with our recent Health Ki Keemat campaign starring our brand ambassador Manoj Bajpayee, though it was made for multiple channels, we optimised it for digital mediums. We have our ads now on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. We even had our hashtag #ExpertKiSunoSahiChuno trending at #1 on Twitter, reaching an audience of over 6 million.

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The transition to a more digital world has made it possible for us to reach those far and near, across Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities as well. For health insurance to thrive through marketing efforts, the needs of various demographics must be addressed as well. For instance, Youngsters are warming up to health coverage. The search for health insurance in India has grown by 35-40 per cent in the last 2 years as per industry reports, hence, marketing and communication efforts directed to awareness should be prioritised e.g. memes, gifs, videos, and emoticons are the preferred way to communicate.

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