Digitising Motor Insurance Is A Win-Win Situation For Customers: Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance Broker
In an interview with BW Businessworld, Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance Broker, talks about motor insurance proposition, digital initiatives in the sector and more
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With a slew of new entrants coming into the fray of late, the insurtech/ distribution landscape is getting quite competitive. What differentiates your business, and what market gaps are you trying to fill?
We are building our portal as a one-stop online insurance hub not just for individuals but also for business and corporates. Probus Insurance will be a go-to place for all their personal and business insurance needs. We have taken initiatives to make various complex insurance products available online, for instance, using our portal, POS is helping individuals, businesses and shop owners in comparing and buying a home and business property insurance online. Soon, customers will be able to compare and buy a home and business property package insurance directly from our portal and get a cover instantly.
For commercial vehicles, we are already providing a comparing and buying portal for goods and passenger carrying vehicles. Moreover, we are working on providing seamless Workmen Compensation, Marine, and Personal Accident (PA) insurance solutions for comparing and buying on our online portal.
Are you seeing any trend shifts in the way Indians approach insurance, particularly life insurance? Is there an increased propensity for pure risk products?
Though there’s a shift in opting for pure risk insurance products, it’s still a long way to go as compared to other insurance products. Term plans are still not that popular in comparison to other life insurance investment and savings plans. However, there’s an increase in buying of pure risk products because today there’s more awareness about what it offers and why it is a must-have insurance plan in your portfolio. These days many individuals are diagnosed with blood pressure, terminal illness, or suffer a stroke at a very young age, which may lead to a premature death, and people don’t want their loved ones to suffer financially in such unpredictable cases — indicating that people are now more aware and want to secure their family’s future financially.
We have also seen an increase in NRIs opting for term plans. The growth is due to the readily availability of information online, transparency, and simple to understand the insurance product. Another contributor to the sales growth of pure risk products is relaxation around the regulation of POS selling pure term plans. Making an informed decision is now much easier as product details are available online and various plans offered by different top life insurers can be compared on our portal instantly.
Do you follow an online distribution model, or do you predominantly focus on the traditional “feet on street” business model?
Our distribution model is completely online. A person visiting our site or using our app can directly choose the desired insurance product and fill up the basic details to fetch quotes from different insurance companies. Once the quotes are fetched, it is displayed in a format that is easy to compare various insurance plans and their premiums. It is as simple as it could be.
Not just that, there’s still more to our online distribution model. We have Point of Sales (POS) persons as our distribution channels across India. Each POS person acts as a Probus Insurance’s digital channel, providing various insurance plans to customers from their mobile using our online portal and app. Probus Insurance’s POS persons have embraced the digital world to turn the customer’s traditional insurance buying experience into a convenient online experience.
With POS persons as “feet on the street” using our unique individual and business insurance solution platform, we are digitizing offline insurance business model and propelling the Digital India wave.
Tell us a bit about your motor insurance proposition, and how your digital initiatives have helped you build out this aspect of your business in recent times.
With the recent amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act 2019, we have seen a 200% increase in motor insurance sales in the first week of September.
In the first week of September, Probus has witnessed the growth of 278% in the renewal of lapsed two-wheeler policies. So far, in just one week, our platform has helped over 32,000 two-wheeler owners to renew their lapsed insurance policies instantly. And we are seeing more and more vehicle owners looking forward to an instant solution not only to rescue them from paying hefty fines but also securing themselves and others on the road. Digitizing motor insurance is a win-win situation for customers and our business.
In your opinion, what measures do the industry and the regulator need to take right now to usher in the next phase of growth for the insurance industry?
With more private players coming in, Digitization, 100% FDI in insurance intermediaries, and relaxation in the regulation around POS selling will surely result in insurance industry growth and penetration in India. And with technology disrupting the industry, we are already seeing many changes in the Insurance industry and consumer behavior.
However, we need to understand that today’s generation is looking for more contextualized products. The next millions of customers want customized insurance solutions, instant policy, simple proposal form and application process, and clear understanding of the claim process. All these can be achieved when the whole process of buying is data-driven. The premium for various products should be customized and data-driven. More flexibility in plans as per the needs, more transparency with respect to product coverage, and a simple process of policy issuance.
Lastly, do tell us about some of your business goals for the next year, in terms of revenue and premium mobilizations across products.
To build our digital channel across India, we are building an army of trained insurance people as POS persons. Any person who has a minimum 10th pass certificate and has completed 15 hours of online training through our app can become POS. Our insurance comparison platform is open to more than 25 lakh registered insurance agents, who can become POS with us and start using our platform in no time to grow their own insurance business. For the next year, our goal is to reach out to more than 5 lakh inactive insurance agents and provide them with our unique platform to sell insurance products as per the needs of the customer.
Further, we are channeling our efforts in making complex insurance products readily available on our portal for easy comparing and smart buying. Overall, the aim is to embrace technology fully and make a seamless product to drive growth.