Covid provides push for insurance through online platforms

Reported by: |Updated: January 15, 2021

A study by reinsurance major Swiss Re has brought out that supportive government policies and a covid-enforced spike in digital activity are pushing consumers and their insurance needs online and that the growing presence of e-commerce and digital wallet apps presents opportunities for innovative partnerships between insurers and digital platforms to bridge the $369 billion health protection gap in India. Swiss Re says the findings underline Indian consumers’ extensive use of digital platforms and their preference to purchase insurance through them. It found that around 65% of Indian respondents are likely to use digital channels such as e-wallets, bank or insurance websites and e-commerce platforms to purchase insurance in the future, indicating there is potential for primary insurers to move their offerings online and engage new digital consumers. The study titled ‘Going Digital – Insights Optimize Consumer Appetite for Online Insurance’, carried out by Swiss Re Institute covered some 1800 consumers in India, Indonesia and Malaysia in June 2020 to understand their attitudes toward digital platforms and perceptions of buying insurance online. The survey also tested their acceptance of selecting and purchasing 6 life and health insurance products tailored to fit digital platforms. The respondents were household decision-makers aged between 18 and 65 and had used digital platforms at least once within 3 to 6 months prior to being surveyed. Hadi Riachi, Market Head, Swiss Re, India, said health and safety measures intended for curbing the spread of covid have now driven a clear paradigm shift towards digitalization in the post-virus era and with an increasing number of digital platforms extending their business reach into financial services, insurers need to adapt their business models to become more relevant and responsive to the latest customer needs. The study results indicate that digital platforms have high penetration rate in India, with an average of 90% using these channels at least once a week. Among them, digital payment apps such as Paytm are most popular, used by 85% of Indian respondents at least once a week, closely followed by health-tracking apps (84%), e-commerce apps and websites (76%) and connected commuter platforms (69%).