Home >Insurance >News >COVID-19 transforming insurance industry: Claim settlement in a day to 95% rise in online sale

Gone are those days when you have to call an agent home to buy an insurance policy. Over the last couple of years, the insurance industry has adopted several changes. Artificial intelligence, wearable devices, mobile applications, virtual assistance and video conferencing have replaced the decade old practice of paperwork.

From customers browsing policies on internet to chatbots on WhatsApp to answer buyers' queries, the digital transformation of industry have begun a couple of years back. And COVID-19 only augmented this journey further, said Goutam Datta, chief information and digital officer, Bajaj Allianz Life insurance.

"The pandemic saw customers adopting digital modes at an enhanced pace – as stepping out became difficult or not advisable. We understood that customers will leverage our digital assets to pay towards their policy or service it," he further added.

Bajaj Allianz Life insurance has recently launched Smart Assist to "ensure smooth deliverance of contactless services and interactions with customers." It is a first-of-its-kind co-browsing service in the industry. Smart Assist service provides real-time assistance to Bajaj Allianz customers. Over 4,500 users spent 24,000 sessions on Smart Assist within the first month, the insurer said. "Further to save our customers from the ordeal of doing physical medical tests for buying an insurance policy, we have moved to tele and video medical examination reports," Datta added.

"Both Smart Assist and moving to the tele and video MERs have enabled Bajaj Allianz give the right solution to our customers at the right time. Furthermore, our self-servicing digital platforms for customers such as Whatsapp, Life Assist customer portal and app, BOING, our BOT – all have witnessed increased engagement among customers," Datta explained.

Claim settlement in 24 hours:

The insurer have equipped the underwriting and fraud prevention teams with digital technologies for "faster and efficient" settlement of claims. "Most of our non-early insurance claims (claims received for policies that have completed a period of three years) are now approved within 24 hours," he added. In the five months ended August FY21, Bajaj Allianz Life insurance has settled over 2,000 non-early claims in one day.

Any attempts at defrauding is detected at a very early stage itself through multiple digital capabilities including AI risk model, which enables verification of claim documents, Datta added.

95% year-on-year increase in online sale

With customers moving online for their purchases (including life insurance) during this pandemic, buying a policy online reflects how customers are being proactive to purchase term or health plans, and engaging with the brand, he said.

Bajaj Allianz Life insurance saw an increase of 95% in the number of policies sold online during the first five months of FY20-21 against the same period last year.

Once a customer buys a policy online, the insurer sends the documents over email. The company also sends the physical copy to the buyer via post. However, with the current pandemic the logistics have become a challenge. IRDAI recent move on issuance of e-policies for offline sales has helped in reducing issuance time drastically for customers, Datta said.

People are more willing to buy policy in the wake of COVID-19

In the wake of COVID-19 policy, the customers show more interest in buying insurance policies. Bajaj Alliance saw a 47% increase in number of policies sold till August FY20-21, this indicates more people buying life insurance, he explained.

"The industry players are investing to keep their digital ecosystem safe and secure, and this means each of us will reach out to more and more people using social media, and other initiatives, and over time it will have a positive impact on the numbers for sure," Datta mentioned.

"Technology support has played a major role in ensuring smooth transition to work-from home set-up for employees, ensuring data security for organisation, cloud integration for partners and safe digital touch- points for customers. I believe this trend is here to stay," he concluded.

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