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Home / Money / Personal Finance /  'Consumers research life insurance policies online, but offline mode lead sales'

MUMBAI: The ongoing pandemic has accentuated the importance of life insurance among consumers. A considerable section of consumers is beginning to perceive insurance as an indispensable safeguard against unforeseen scenarios. Hence, the insurance industry is witnessing a positive shift in awareness about life insurance products and their benefits.

In an interview with Mint, Parag Raja, managing director and chief executive officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance said that due to the impact of the pandemic, consumers have realized the importance of life insurance products and the recent trend shows that they have increased research for life insurance plans online.

How has consumer behaviour shifted in terms of buying life insurance?

Due to the impact of the pandemic, consumers have realized that life insurance products shouldn’t be evaluated by merely considering their benefits as a tax-saving instrument or as an investment product or both.

The current scenario has further expedited the adoption of digital channels by consumers for enquiry and evaluation. Organisations that have comprehended this changing landscape and implemented digitalization to keep pace with consumers of the future will forge ahead.

Setting up a robust Direct to Customer (D2C) channel was an imperative step in this direction and unsurprisingly it has become our fast-growing channels. We are strongly committed to being present where the customer is. While there is an increase in consumers researching online for life insurance plans, sales continue to be offline led.

Therefore, the prevailing situation has nudged us to re-imagine the entire sales process from face-to-face meetings to remotely approaching customers and closing transactions. We have also created digital sales tools that have enabled interesting and interactive conversation with prospects and customers. Today, our entire front-line sales team is equipped with digital apps that have enhanced their productivity.

What is the outlook for overall pandemic coverage for the Indian consumer?

The covid-19 outbreak has presented the Indian insurance industry with several challenges. However, the primary concern for Indian insurers has been to protect individuals, communities and businesses from the financial implications of unfortunate events while striving to maintain business continuity. Hence, Indian insurers have responded by implementing innovative processes and designing policies that reduce the financial burden on customers.

During the pandemic, insurers have been continuously reviewing their existing offerings and keep updating them as per regulatory guidelines to remain relevant among consumers.

During such uncertain times, insurers need to quickly and assertively navigate for transforming into financial first responders for all their customers affected by covid-19, irrespective of their coverages.

In terms of products, which are the products that you have seen an uptick in demand from consumers?

Broadly speaking, consumers are inclined towards securing the lives of their loved ones and their own under comprehensive protection insurance plans. We can witness this getting validated thanks to the growth registered in new business premiums (NBP) for life insurers, recorded in March this year.

The industry has witnessed an increased number of product launches in the non-par and term space, to meet the rising customer demand for these products. Besides protection, given the uncertainty due to the pandemic, there is a surge in demand for guaranteed savings plans.

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