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Human intervention is still relevant for health, term insurance purchase: survey

Health and term insurance providers are pivoting towards technology to sell their products and offer seamless customer service. (Photo: iStock)Premium
Health and term insurance providers are pivoting towards technology to sell their products and offer seamless customer service. (Photo: iStock)

  • Insurance has always been a push product where agents or advisers have played an instrumental role in bridging the gap between the insurance companies and customers. Therefore, the human touch will remain essential from customers’ viewpoint

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NEW DELHI: Health and term insurance providers are pivoting towards technology to sell their products and offer seamless customer service. But policy buyers appear to be taking time to adopt to new-age technologies promise do away with human intervention and invasion of privacy, as per PolicyX.com Health & Term Technology Survey 2022.

And that human touch remains crucial.

The Indian insurance industry has always been led with a physical touch where agents have played an imperative role in marketing different insurance companies and their plans. Even with widespread digitization in the industry, dealing through an agent is preferred by policyholders at different stages of insurance proceeds, as per a latest survey conducted by PolicyX.com, a web insurance aggregator. The study found that majority of respondents want human assistance at different stages of insurance dealings including purchase, filing of claims, among others.

Naval Goel, founder and CEO, PolicyX.com, said, “Insurance…has always been a push product where agents or advisers have played an instrumental role in bridging the gap between the insurance companies and customers. Therefore, the human touch will be essential from customers’ standpoint as it is an important commodity for them this human intervention is required by them to ensure that they are investing in the right product plan and convenience in the following process".

Survey respondents included existing health insurance customers and term insurance customers, with 1,176 responses received.

Take a closer look at survey findings:

Buying Insurance: Majority of respondents (65.5%) expressed discomfort in purchasing health/term insurance through a website or mobile app without dealing with an agent or a representative. Wherein 29.1% of respondents seemed absolutely comfortable in buying insurance through a website or mobile app.

Filing Claims: The largest portion of respondents expressed that they won’t be comfortable filing health or term insurance claim on a website or mobile app without an agent. Almost 67.3% of participants declined proceeding without a representative, 21.8% of participants agreed to be congenial with the complete digital transaction and 10.9% people seemed disorientated with their choice, as per the survey.

While insurance companies are exploring new techniques and technologies to provide a seamless claim experience to the customers, policyholders are wary of the review of claims via artificial intelligence (AI) from start to end. About 72.7% of respondents said they won’t be comfortable if a health/term insurance claim is reviewed completely by AI instead of an agent, while 23.6% said that they will be comfortable if health/term insurance claim is reviewed without any human interference.

Privacy concerns over discounts: Insurance companies have also explored a trade-off method to push the audience to become more receptive to new technologies incorporated by them. The insurance companies are asking for personal details or a tracking system in exchange for some discounts or coupons.

Survey participants are open to considering if the insurance company asks to share their food habits and healthy practices to track data through a website or mobile application in exchange for discounts in the premium. As much as 36.4% of respondents claimed to be okay, while 49.1% denied any such tracking and 14.5% seemed indifferent.

Customers' views on health monitoring gadgets like fitness band, etc. which collect health related data and help in assessing habits was also sought. About 21.8% of the respondents expressed comfort on connecting their smartwatch with an insurance website or app to collect their personal data if promised a lesser health insurance premium for the following year, while 58.2% respondents showcased their concern on sharing any such data. About 20% said their choice will depend on the affordability of the premium, as per the survey.

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