Insurance must enhance digital & trust

Reported by: |Updated: October 10, 2020

Industry voices advocate greater use of digital at 2 virtual conferences organized by FICCI in August 2020:

FINCON 2020  Bring Ease of Claims

Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs

While the government accelerates the ease of doing business, insurance companies should work towards bringing ‘Ease of Claims’ by making it painless. A seamless process will further help dispel the impression that insurance companies may not own up to claims swiftly. This single step will boost customer confidence. Insurance companies must further adopt digitization, log onto platforms used by various segments, and emphasize trust building. Globally, we must look at best practices and benchmarks, and adopt and adjust them for the Indian customer. The industry has gradually pushed insurance penetration into the country and proliferation of insurance schemes. The government has come out with several schemes with a low premium and in the rural areas, these products might be a better fit. The post-covid world will be very different and India’s insurance sector must gear up to seize the moment. My assurance to the insurance industry is that we will work with you to unleash the potential of this sector to create more employment, provide innovative products, and build a culture of risk management in the country.

Up Digital Platform Usage – Dr. Subhash C Khuntia, Chairman, IRDAI

There is a need for insurance companies to include standard products and focus on simpler products that are both innovative and transparent in nature to enhance insurance penetration in the country. IRDAI introduced 2 standard products ‘Corona Kawach’ and ‘Corona Rakshak’, during the pandemic. Insurance companies should focus on long-term measures post covid to increase customer base. They should come out with innovative processes and increase the use of digital platforms to engage with customers. Connectedness with the customers is very important as it helps in building trust. IRDAI had introduced a regulatory sandbox and the first phase received good response. The second window is opening from 15 September and I invite fintech companies, along with insurance companies to participate in creating innovative products and processes. We will be happy if more emphasis is given to dealing with the current and post-pandemic solutions. In order to build trust among the customers, insurance companies should focus on faster claim settlements and streamlining of grievance redressal mechanism. In difficult times, insurance companies have to come to the rescue of policyholders. Our operations are anti-cyclical in nature. We will come out with positive growth very soon.

Invest in Tools, Analytics – Rashesh Shah, Chairman & CEO, Edelweiss Group

The 3 key factors that will drive the way forward: (i) investing in digital tools and advanced analytics, (ii) need for new products, services and the way to cater to the demand, and (iii) accelerate cost optimization.

Virtual Health Insurance Conference 2020-Innovation for Bridging the Gap

Innovate: Blockchain, AI – TL Alamelu, Member, Non-Life, IRDAI

Health insurance companies should focus on launching disease-specific policies to cover a larger population rather than focusing only on healthy individuals and to increase the customer base. There is a need to set up a mechanism that the person with an insurance policy gets benefits even at the diagnostic center and pharmacy. It is better to have minimal health insurance with all the exclusions than a situation of no health insurance. During this time, the number of grievances related to covid polices are very less and resolutions are also positive. Health insurance companies should extend this mechanism to all other types of health insurance policies as well. To promote the use of artificial intelligence in the sector, we are planning to come out with a regulatory sandbox for fintechs and insurance companies for bringing innovation through the use of blockchain and AI which can be further broad-based with suggestions.

Digital Health, OPD Spend – Mayank Bathwal, CEO, Aditya Birla Health Insurance 

OPD expenses, contributing to more than 60% of healthcare spend and important for driving preventive care, are still largely not covered under insurance policies. With the advent of digital health and significant government and regulatory interventions like the NDHB and guidelines for tele-medicine and e-pharmacy, this is the right opportunity to enhance the scope of health insurance benefits to cover OPD expenses.

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