Insurance sector to undergo major tech-innovations in 2021: Rakesh Wadhwa, CMO, Future Generali India Life Insurance

Rakesh Wadhwa

The outbreak of covid-19 has helped people in realizing the importance of insurance in their lives. As the spread of the virus is rising, more and more people are enquiring about life insurance cover especially, term insurance and critical illness insurance. As the demand for insurance is inflating, we at Future Generali India Life Insurance are onboarding innovations such as AI-driven underwriting, development of plug-n-play ecosystem of microservices for enabling new partnerships, mobility solutions for agents and distribution partners and cutting edge program for customer engagement says Rakesh Wadhwa, CMO, Future Generali India Life Insurance Co. Ltd, in an exclusive conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

After the outbreak of Covid, what major changes did you come across in the demand of insurance?

The Pandemic has forced people to think about the fragility of life and the burden of healthcare costs that can fall on any family if they are not financially well prepared. As the situation persists, we see more customers reflecting on their financial preparedness for meeting their life goals leading to an increase in inquiries for life insurance cover especially, term insurance and critical illness insurance. The other development we note is that as customers have become more cautious about spending, they prefer guaranteed savings plans over ULIPs.

How the marketing strategies changed post the pandemic? Is social media playing a significant role for you?

Our media strategy squarely focuses on digital channels and we have doubled down on that. I would not hesitate to add that it is a focused, hardworking, long haul, keep the wins strategy. We want to be a Lifetime Partner for our customers and distributors which mandates us to operate from a place of authenticity, ownership, and empathy.

Also Read:- How is Corona impacting the insurance industry?

We have been ahead of the curve as far as the pandemic is concerned. So far, we have launched 3 phases of our engagement campaign – The first one started with busting myths around the Coronavirus, remedies, precautions, etc. We launched a 24/7 helpline and curated authentic content on social channels for our customers to provide them fact-based information. The second phase began with the announcement of the first lockdown in March. We launched #LockInGoodHabits intending to motivate our stakeholders and customers to stay safe and healthy at home. Series of live video workshops and happiness coaching sessions were curated reaching out to over 20Mn audience. The third phase began with Masters Speak as unlocking was announced to address the anxiety about the future of jobs, businesses, lifestyle, finances, etc. We are preparing for the fourth phase of the campaign now. More on that as we go along.

Which segment or age group of customers majorly opted for insurance lately? What role is the insurer playing in meeting their changed requirements?

We have not seen any significant change in the customer segment opting for Insurance in recent times, however, the way customers have been engaging and transacting with Insurance Company has changed, including existing customers. Customers today want us to be available across channels of their preference and time of their choice therefore, an omni-channel strategy that allows for 24/7 availability helps in augmenting customer experience and building trust. We are available for our customers across a plethora of platforms ensuring that over 95% of DIY transactions are available to them on the medium and time of their choice. Other important facet is to simply or de-jargonise communication. We have undertaken an ambitious program to reform all our customer communications using B1 language (CEFR for languages). This is a complex process but we are excited about the challenge.

Also Read:- Changing face of Insurance amid covid-19 pandemic

Digital is the new normal so, how is Future Generali transforming in alignment with the current trend?

Having embarked on an ambitious Digital Transformation 3 years back, we had digitized most of our front end and back end processes before the pandemic struck. Our digital-first thinking paid off in these very turbulent times as we were able to put the required business continuity protocols, WFH infrastructure support, data security protocols, expanded cloud services into action in a matter of a few days. Here are a few noteworthy initiatives we have taken for customer experience transformation:

  1. We launched a full-stack Digital Sales Kit for our sales teams covering activity monitoring, video-based solicitation tools, quote generation, paper-less contracts, video-based client verification, and mobile-based training and broadcast in only 2-3 weeks.
  2. We added new services on our DIY platforms. Now 95% of all customer transactions can be done on our self-service platforms like a customer portal, mobile app, Whatsapp. Also, our contact centre was WFH ready in a matter of a few weeks.
  3. Our NPS program is a digitally enabled community-driven program that engages the entire organisation in delivering customer satisfaction. As a part of the program, we proactively identify pain points and systematically eliminate them to ensure we don’t have repeat failures
  4. We launched a truly novel initiative called BOLT whereby our intelligent underwriting algorithm identified customers who could be offered any of our products through the agent/distributor, without having to fill long forms or conduct a medical examination. With our enhanced digital payments ecosystem, customers could complete the transaction in a few minutes and have the policy issued to them within 1 day.
  5. We have a mobile based e-learning/video-based platform with the capability to address thousands of distributors. This platform helps us deliver, monitor, and personalise learning programs at scale.

What innovations have you planned for 2021?

Our mission is to become an insurer of preferred choice for our customers and given the substantial investments we have made in digital, data, skills and tech infrastructure we will continue to push the limits on innovation and improve customer experience in 2021. Some of the big areas of interest for us are AI-driven underwriting, developing the plug-n-play ecosystem of microservices to enable new partnerships, mobility solutions for our agents and distribution partners and cutting edge program for customer engagement.

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