Interaction with Tapan Singhel
1. What new challenges do you see for insurance cos. in India in the next decade?
New challenges for insurance companies in India in next decade are –
- Addressing the underserved and uninsured
The insurance gap in India is significant. With general insurance penetration of less than a percent, the economic losses are highly disproportionate as against the insured losses. This not only affects the economy at a macroscopic level, but even individuals lose out on their lifetime’s savings owing to sudden and unpredictable losses.
The problem further aggravates when even the insured aren’t adequately protected. Underinsurance is a faceless behemoth in India. It predominantly stems due to lack of understanding. People fail to realize that the cost involved in the purchase of the right insurance is far lesser than bearing the repercussions of not having the adequate insurance in the long run. In future, insurers need to work towards changing this mind-set of considering insurance as a passive investment to as a contribution towards society.
- Distribution of Future – ‘Phygital’ interactions
So far insurers had focussed on leveraging digital for direct to customer interactions. However, in the future insurers would need to drive digital enablement and sophistication across all the distribution channels. With a face for customer interaction and a seamless interface for servicing, the insurers can with the game of getting the country covered to its last mile.
- Building Ecosystems
To create sustainable differentiation, insurers will have to bring in business models which not only address customer’s insurance needs but also fulfil their other related needs in a comprehensive and integrated manner. For example, a motor ecosystem will entail, entire services of safety, security and convenience to customers while also assisting in cost savings. Insurers will have to either create such ecosystems or participate in the existing ones.
- Process digitization 2.0
The last wave of digitization has led insurers to digitize their core insurance processes of sales, claim settlement and back office operations. Many players have launched processes and apps for distribution partners and customers. However, for process digitization 2.0, insurers will need to leverage the rapidly developing digital infrastructure in the country as well as the latest technological advances.
- Enhanced Customer Engagement
Despite the consultative nature of product and significant financial implications for customers, insurance as a product faces key challenge of limited customer touch points and low customer engagement. With the robust growth of digital mediums, customers are reshaping the insurance business. Whether the customers are deciding to buy a new policy or switch insurers, more are doing their research online than ever before. For insurers it is imperative to understand these trends and offer customers’ experiences and products personalized as per their needs and preferences based on the implicit behaviour, explicit permission and interactions they had with the insurer.
- Product 2.0
In the rapidly evolving world, insurers would need to offer products which meet the evolving needs and growing niches of customers. For example, insurance cover against rising cyber risks. Additionally, to stay ahead of the curve, the insurers would also have to provide the right product at the right time to make insurance relevant to customers and incite their interests. Instead of treating it like a traditional industry, to remain relevant and to gain the genY buy-in, insurers need to revamp and re-structure their products, and offerings in a way that appeals and asserts its benefit to the end customers.
- Riding the waves of regulatory shifts
Regulatory changes have always had large implications for insurers. With changing business environments, one expects the regulatory environment to continue to be dynamic in the future. Insurers while working with regulatory body need to ensure positive implement ability, customer impact and business economics.
2. Will the internet reshape the industry?
The impact of easy access to large amount of internet data coupled with rapid mobile penetration has already impacted most of the traditional sectors with insurance being one of those. Today consumer wants to have consolidated banking, insurance and wealth protection, as well as retirement data, at fingertips — all in one place. They are increasingly receiving omni-channel experience for retail services and they expect similar services when it comes to financial and insurance services.
This essentially means that insurers would have to speed up their existing processes and deploy new systems that are capable of identifying, analysing and deriving answers from vast amounts of historical data and provide customers with right products at the right time.
For effective digital realization insurance companies need to incorporate internal development and partner-engagement models. They need to become more responsive in digital designing and deliver digital innovations across the insurance value chain – from policy purchase to claims pay out.
3. How different is your company from other insurance companies? Mention 1 USP
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance differs from other companies, in terms of its customer centricity. Obsession towards the customers is our key USP. Understanding how a customer sees and perceives an insurance product and the claims experience, and then redefining it to a level which he/she is not even expecting – is our obsession.
4. At the ET Insurance Summit on 6th Dec, What are 3 key points/topics you would like to focus?
- Public private partnerships
- Insurance as a social cause
- Leveraging Digital & Human Capital for optimal output
- Your thoughts on platforms like ET Insurance Summit?
Platforms such as The ET Insurance Summit help to bring out expert insights on a unified forum where we as a company collaborate with visionaries, thought leaders, heads of states, policy makers, academicians, and corporate heads cohesively driving a singular agenda for scripting economic change by placing insurance as an important stakeholder in the economic landscape of India.