The pandemic has directly affected businesses of all types. And, the insurance industry, in particular, is going through a tough phase due to the outbreak of Covid-19. It is unprecedented and insurers are planning out strategies as the situation unfolds. The key here is to be flexible and act on the need of the hour. Despite the adversities, we at Digit are aiming to grow our market share by offering simple relevant products and seamless processes enabled through technology. We have gained 1.34% overall Market Share, as on 30th September 2020, all this in less than 3 years of operation and also, we’ve achieved breakeven as of June 2020 says Vijay Kumar, Chief Executive Officer & Principal officer at Digit Insurance, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
1. How has been Digit’s journey so far? How are you handling the adversities posed by Covid-19?
Digit Insurance was founded by Kamesh Goyal, an insurance veteran with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Digit’s core idea was to simplify the insurance customers’ journey and provide them with a seamless experience. Right from products to processes and documents, we are trying to simplify their journeys. We are glad that with this mission within three years of operations
- we have crossed a base of 14 million customers
- with a premium of $674 million and
- closed more than 260k claims.
We have gained 1.34% overall Market Share, as on 30th September 2020, all this in less than 3 years of operation and also, we’ve achieved breakeven as of June 2020.
In India, motor is one of the major products for general insurers. However, in the last 6 months, the motor market in India has seen a de-growth in the motor insurance business due to the reduced sale of new vehicles.
- So, the challenge for us was to fortify our portfolio with relevant products and build a mix beyond motor. This was also in line with our philosophy of creating relevant personalised products and with the help of technology, we could launch such products fast. Like in February when the COVID cases had started surging in the world we launched India’s first Coronavirus fixed benefit cover. Later we saw a gap in coverage of SME workers, and added a COVID group cover in our health portfolio. Also, recently with the need and demand for health insurance going up, we have launched a basket of health insurance products.
- The second challenge was to ensure that customers and partners faced no issues as we moved to remote working. Being 100% cloud and with our API integration and ERP systems, we ensured that business was not affected as data was readily accessible throughout the organization. Our partners and teams could still issue and endorse policies like before without a change in the experience.
- The third challenge was to ensure that our service levels weren’t affected especially during the lockdown, owing to workshops being closed. But we have offered spot settlements to customers and constant communication with them has helped us tackle such situations. We have been able to resolve 96% of customer cases over calls during the lockdown period. And as a vote of confidence, customers positively recommended us on Facebook, taking our rating to 4.9 out of 5 and making us the highest rated insurance company on Facebook.
2. How is technology helping you convert the challenges into opportunities?
Digit is a technology-first company. Technology has always been the backbone of our entire ecosystem, across distribution, buying and the claims processes.
The insurance industry is going through a tough phase right now. COVID-19 has directly affected businesses of all types. It is unprecedented and insurers are planning out strategies as the situation unfolds. The key here is to be flexible and act on the need of the hour. The current scenario has created a surge in digitisation in all markets, and therein lies the opportunity. For instance, during the initial period of lockdown, the industry saw a de-growth, but we grew by 35% from April to June. This has been possible because of our digital-first model, our cloud infrastructure, and our constant focus on customer service backed by technology. We offered services through WhatsApp and also an entire zero-touch experience so that no manual intervention is required. Hence technology helped us convert our challenges of a remote infrastructure into an opportunity for a digital insurance experience.
3. What are your expansion plans in the Motor & health insurance segment post-COVID-19?
Our aim is to create products with real benefits that we would like to buy for ourselves and our families and that would cater to the customer’s needs from time to time, across all lines of business and not only motor and health. So, we are continuously exploring need gap or a pain point in the market to develop new products. That’s how we launched India’s First Sachet COVID Benefit product, a shop insurance product, a group COVID product from SMESs, a standalone flight delay product, to name a few. Even in future wherever we will see complexity, one-size-fits-all products and a need gap that hasn’t been addressed to, we will launch products to cater to them.
4. What measures have you taken for customers during the Covid-19 period?
- We launched a basket of relevant products covering COVID that would protect customers from financial losses due to the virus in a pandemic world.
- We empowered our partners during the lockdown through our cloud infrastructure and customisable APIs to ensure they could still issue and endorse policies without depending on us
- We kept focusing on maintaining our service levels and also on improving our TATs for claim settlements wherever possible. During the lockdown when workshops were closed, we have offered spot settlements to customers and constant communication with them has helped us tackle such situations. We also offer WhatsApp services to customers so they can easily know about their claim status.
- We have also developed a zero touch insurance experience where the customer doesn’t have to face any manual intervention right from buying to claiming through technologies like DIY self-inspection, 24*7 audio claims, WhatsApp service to name a few.
5. How is Digit planning it’s 2021?
The insurance industry, at large, will see disruption and innovative products customised to the need of millennials will be introduced. Our aim is to grow our market share by offering simple relevant products and seamless processes enabled through technology. We will keep innovating more on simple processes with technology being an enabler. Our focus currently is the health segment; however, we have also launched home and shop insurance, which will be another big area for us to emphasise.
We will be also focusing on the SME sector, because, in India, SME penetration is low. We are also trying to issue our documents in vernacular language as we have observed a language barrier in SME products. Digit aims to be a diversified insurer with a focus on all sectors that customers need.