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Current and future trends for the Indian Insurance Industry

Indian Insurance Industry

Remote collaboration and the now ubiquitous ‘work from home’ status are fast becoming the “new normal”. Enterprises across sectors are engaged in strategising their next steps to effectively manage the disruption caused by the pandemic. Many organisations are designing and developing new products and features that are ‘online-compatible’ and attempting to stay ahead of the chaos by leveraging digital transformation. The sector that has taken a lead in managing the crisis admirably is the insurance industry that is set to be valued at $280 billion by FY2020 in India. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to bring businesses all over the country to their knees. With one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, apart from essential services, India was shut down for almost 3 months and the high touch insurance industry was among those badly hit. 

COVID-19: The Catalyst for Change

The changes that were brought about as a direct result of COVID-19 are all too evident in the Indian Insurance industry and are at a scale that is unprecedented. Consumer preferences have changed phenomenally and the industry has not been slack in responding to them. Some Insurers have been quick to effectively leverage the power of cloud technology to stay relevant. Others are building plans to incorporate technology into their plans and are innovating their products to cater to the new needs of both their clients and their businesses. 

Puneet Chandok, President of Commercial Sales, India and SAARC, AISPL emphasises three current trends:

  • “Business resilience” has taken on a whole new meaning with all business models being reset and new ones being developed.
  • No longer optional, digital technology and cloud adoption are critical to business success. 
  • Businesses are beginning to focus on innovation: new digital use-cases, new customer journey maps, etc.

Ashish Dhawan, Director and Head, Enterprise Business, AISPL, highlights the future trends in insurance as:

  • Behavioural Policy and Pricing: The use of IoT sensors like wearables to provide individual client information in real-time. 
  • Customer Experience: Harnessing the power of AI and automation through chatbots – collecting key social and geographical data and sending targeted messages.
  • Claims Settlements: Implementation of online interfaces to settle claims faster and also prevent fraud.

Sustainable Cost Advantages

 Kirti Patil, Executive VP and COO, Kotak Life Insurance says that the company will continue with its investments in technology that will allow them to leverage the new normal to their advantage. The company sees:

  • A clear shift in investment patterns, the speed of approval cycles, use-case acceptance and business purchasing.
  • The importance of investment in a digital learning platform to ensure that employees are upskilled during the pandemic.
  • The benefit of investing in use-cases with potential value.

 Trends in Mindset Shifts

The need of the hour today is for insurers to ramp up both the speed of their services and their portfolio of products in order to align with customer’s needs. Manu Lavanya, COO, Max Life Insurance, feels that perception and the need for overall protection has increased significantly and that insurance companies today are strategising about how they could launch new products that are focused around COVID-19. Ms. Lavanya is of the opinion that:

  • Companies must weave wellness and protection plans into their products in order to find a more widespread consumer base.
  • Including the government’s COVID Suraksha plan in insurance policies would be a good starting point.

Insurers are strategising, innovating and executing the changes necessary to power their businesses through the pandemic. This is essential in order for them not only to be able to bring relevant products to their customers in a manner that is safe, but also to ensure their own sustainability and growth. 

Reference: https://www.cnbctv18.com/technology/insurance-businesses-accelerating-digital-transformation-during-covid-19-6970241.htm 

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