Home / Companies / People /  Covid-driven digital adoption supports life industry growth: Tarun Chugh

NEW DELHI : The covid-19 crisis has led people to rapidly adopt technology and digital platforms for the purchase, and servicing of life insurance. In an interview with Mint, Tarun Chugh, managing director and chief executive officer of Bajaj Allianz Life said that during the covid-19 pandemic, it is very encouraging to see that life insurance as an industry was able to and continues to stand by customers and offer them the right kind of value-packed products that they need to secure their long-term financial goals.

How has covid increased awareness and demand for insurance?

Last year, as risk perception grew in the country, the purchase of term insurance grew. We then saw that customers were looking for guaranteed returns, where our guaranteed products came in. Around December 2020, with markets showing some sign of positivity, ULIPs saw an uptick.

The life insurance industry was able to and continues to stand by the customers and offer them the right products so that they can secure their financial goals. This has led to a slight increase in insurance penetration in the country as well. However, as a country, we have a long way to go.

What are the changes seen in customer needs and demands since the pandemic has spread?

There has been a noteworthy shift in customers’ preferences for both products and services. The pandemic has enabled customers to understand the different life insurance products that are designed to meet their different needs. This has led the category to become a nudge product from a push product. On the service front, we saw rapid adoption of digital means from customers. Customers adopted digital platforms for purchasing and servicing life insurance.

Interestingly, digital adoption has happened across customer segments and across tier-I-II-III cities. This shift will help us manage and direct a lot of our future sales and service initiatives.

Has digital transformation within the organization helped ensure continuity of business?

Digital transformation has been seen across processes—underwriting, customer meetings, policy servicing, etc.—to enhance customer delight and increase efficiencies.

Further, to simplify the annuity pension claim process for senior citizens, we have enabled a digital life certificate process, wherein pensioners can submit their certificate of existence (COE) via WhatsApp. We have also simplified and shortened the buying journey through pre-filled forms, pre-approved sum Assured (PASA) offers, etc. These collective interventions have enabled us to become one of the fastest-growing private life insurers within our peer group, in FY20-21.

Are bite-sized/ sachet life insurance products gaining momentum?

Bite-sized life insurance is gaining popularity among customers looking to secure their family’s financial future over the short term. These policies come with a lower cover and low premium and create awareness about the benefits of life insurance. It is essential to get the pricing right and selling it on the right platforms to ensure they also help in increasing life insurance penetration in the country.

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