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Covid-19 Impact: Online Insurance Sees Bumper Business
Online insurance portals are witnessing bumper sale—350-500 additional sale of insurance on a daily basis—translating into 30-40 per cent jump compared to the pre-lockdown period
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During the pandemic, service providers are receiving numerous queries regarding coronavirus insurance coverage and whether their standard health plans cover coronavirus. Confirms Tarun Mathur, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, Policybazaar.com. “With digitisation, it is issuing around 1200-1500 health policies daily,” he says. Previously, the company was issuing around 900-1000 policies a day. Others in the space including PolicyX, Bimakaro and others too are clocking growth, experts say.
Comparatively, the sale of physical insurance (through agents or companies directly) has witnessed a decline. According to news reports due to strict adherence of social distancing norms, there were virtually zero sale of physical insurance policies post March 25th.
As is known, in order to do tax planning many salaried people tend to buy policies in the month of February or March. But this year, post corona and lock-down, the online sales has zoomed. While the latest numbers on premium collections are being complied for the full-month of March, the gross receipt of premium for non-life insurance category that includes health, auto, property, credit card among others shows a healthy increase. Health, for example, witnessed around 40 per cent increase in premium collections for FY20 compared to FY19.
“Situations like these demand for industries to innovate & create new ideas for even better customer service during such trying times,” Mathur tells BW Businessworld.
While the company is ensuring complete end-to-end digital delivery of insurance to all the consumers.
In order to further boost the online sales, Policybazaar has partnered with insurance companies both in life and health domain to issue a policy to the buyer by way of tele-medical consultation instead of a physical medical test. “A large proportion of health and life policies have already been sold on our platform by tele-medical consultation,” adds Mathur.
During the pandemic, service providers are receiving numerous queries regarding coronavirus insurance coverage and whether their standard health plans cover coronavirus or are there a need to get a new plan. Policybazaar.com is also noticing trends around how few have started buying basic low-cost health cover and are later upgrading to a higher desired sum insured (up to 1 crore) by buying super top-ups whenever they are comfortable.
Premium Collection Go North
As IRDA has recently asked the standalone health insurers and general insurers to take premiums of the insurance policies from customers in instalments. Another aspect which has offered a sense of relief to the consumer. “The premium instalments facility can be offered either as a permanent facility or for at least 12 months in respect of all health insurance policies due for renewal up to 31st March 2021, depending upon the insurer,” said Amit Chhabra, Health- Business Head of Policybazaar.com. Although insurers have time till 1st October to refile their insurance products, the guidelines are to be followed with immediate effect. “However, customers should keep in mind that including such an option in the existing products is subject to IT preparedness of the insurer,” said Chhabra.
Post Covid-19, insurance companies will definitely see an increase in digital penetration as the customer’s faith in digital platforms has increased manifold during this lockdown period. “We expect digital's share in total insurance to grow by three-fold,” hopes Mathur while he believes Pandemics like Covid-19 can come anytime but letting customers have the flexibility to continue the cover is crucial.