The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in improved awareness of life insurance as a risk cover. To further leverage the customers’ increased awareness, the onus lies on insurers to actively connect and engage more with customers and offer them options.
People are living differently, buying differently and in many ways, thinking differently. To keep pace with the changing times, insurers have enhanced their self-service capabilities, made operations easier, and improved the customer experience. They have stepped up their digital game to enable customers to take advantage of virtual execution of operations. Increasingly, insurers are deploying Artificial Intelligence-based models to optimise processes and build a host of predictive models and cognitive applications.
The future of insurance will now hinge on how the lessons from the pandemic will ignite a disruptive business transformation.
Forging Lasting Connections with Customers
According to the Capgemini Research Institute, 57 per cent of Indian consumers accessed mobile apps pre-COVID-19. Today, this number has increased to 70 per cent. To stay relevant, insurers need to adapt to the enhanced acceptance of digital methods of transaction. Consumers have accepted and almost expect end-to-end digital interactions as a way of life. This means customer on-boarding must be done via e-KYC or Video Based Identification Process (VBIP). Claim intimation and tracking is extended via WhatsApp services. Also, with the facility of online submission of the relevant documents, claim fulfilment can now be completed within 24 hours.The cloud infrastructure has opened new opportunities, enabling insurers to service customers in unique ways.
IndiaFirst Life has well integrated digital services into its operational ethos. It is providing information on claim intimation, digitally over its portal, for Group/PMJJBY (Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana) claims. Likewise, claim intimation for death of an individual is transmitted over WhatsApp. It is also providing nominees and distributors with seamless access for easy operations. Further, to aid customer convenience, IndiaFirst Life has also enabled one-day claim settlement for eligible claims.
Innovating the Product Portfolio
Insurers will have to emphasise on delivering a more integrated advisory service relevant to customers. Intelligent and innovative service-based models have given rise to new-age product portfolios. Flexible coverage, e-term insurance, micro insurance, etc., will continue to become viable alternatives in the long run. Currently, investors are increasingly opting for guaranteed insurance cover options where the expense structure is relatively lower. Such product offerings and digitisation processes reduce policy-related costs and the turnaround time. It also reduces the risk of fraud. Additionally, through initiatives like electronic policy issuance, remote access to policy information and Digilockers, IRDAI is further pushing for the insurance sector’s digitisation.
Paperless and Pragmatic
Paperless processes are the quintessential need of the hour. Traditionally, the insurance industry has been paper driven. However, the pandemic dismantled the old order. Despite the lack of in-person presence, seamless claims processes haven’t deteriorated. Insurance companies have continued to offer fast, cohesive, and hassle- free digital services in such testing times.
At IndiaFirst Life, we have always followed a #CustomerFirst ideology. Backed by high-end technology and a robust claim settlement ecosystem, we guarantee 100 percent settlement of genuine claims.
Currently, insurance penetration in India is 4.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as against the world average of 7.2 per cent. The existing non-insured citizens are an untapped market. Since technology increases access, it will bring more people under the insurance fold. By digitising insurance, insurers can further tap into deeper markets to extend insurance services. The future will, undoubtedly, see more personalisation and leveraging of technology by insurance entities, to ensure superior services. Increased dependency on technology will pave the way for an efficient business model in insurance.
We are in a phase of incremental innovation. It is time to embrace technology, leverage available resources and translate them into disruptive products for our customers.
Views Expressed By – Vishakha RM, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited.