During COVID, it is digitise or die situation for insurance industry: Avez Sayed, CRO, SBI General Insurance

Avez Sayed

Covid-19 situation forced us to adopt more of digitalization in the way that happened during demonetisation. Demonetisation also forced the entire country to adapt to digital payments similarly this particular trend forced us to quickly adapt to the entire platform of digitisation but even if we remove this entire period of covid there was an industry trend going towards digitisation and that is the reason there was a very strong trend around insure-tech concepts happening. It is promoting touch-less, intermediate touch less services, claims, policy payments, video chats, video KYCs says Avez Sayed, Chief Risk Officer, SBI General Insurance.

Avez Sayed

While addressing a virtual panel discussion at Elets Nextgen Virtual Summit, he said , “For us at the insurance industry, it is digitise or die situation, in a bid to be agile and relevant to the customer. You also want to familiar and fluid. Insurance is a very old subject wherein people end up buying insurance but we also have millenials as our customers who are buying up more insurance in the form of session insurances. They don’t want many questions to be asked. Youngsters are buying insurance for a cycle or for purchasing a high-end gadgets. So, the concern is, how do we insure these products, go back to office, fill up the forms an all.”

Excerpts of his address: 

Covid-19 situation forced us to adopt more of digitalization in the way that happened during demonetisation. Demonetisation also forced the entire country to adapt to digital payments similarly this particular trend forced us to quickly adapt to the entire platform of digitisation but even if we remove this entire period of covid there was an industry trend going towards digitisation and that the reason there was a very strong trend around insure-tech concepts happening, we go completely touch-less, intermediate touch less services, claims, policy payments, video chats, video KYCs. For example, we have customers from remote areas who want to opt for cattle insurance. So, how do we initiate that insurance without visiting the place? So, we started doing the nose biometric of the cattle.  Right now, due to digitisation, payments of 25 percent of the insurance is done lighting fast earlier the claimant had to wait for 20-25 minutes. Insurers understand the need of going digital otherwise they will be lost in the entire journey.  Otherwise, somebody else will come and overtake.

Specifically talking about cyber spends, I think when we are creating our own journeys to meet up the requirement of this digital economy is demanding from us, I assume that the digital spend would definitely go up. It might take a pause for some new innovative things. There are a lot of innovative things happening in cyberspace so, they may wait for a while but they will not give up on the fundamental requirements. I don’t see any internal discussion happening around our Chief Risk Officer community that there will be any cut on the cybersecurity budget. So, security remains an area where nobody would like to touch the budget space.

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