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The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry had organised a Webinar: “General Insurance in a Changed Paradigm: Reassessing Strategies for the New Normal” to discuss the impact of COVID 19 Scenario in the Insurance Industry.
Indeed, the extended lockdown in the wake of covid-19 and the consequent slowdown has thrown up unprecedented challenges for Insurers. For one, the crisis has pushed insurance companies to depend heavily on their digital architecture. Additionally, the volume, nature & composition of insurance demand and claims have undergone a structural change.
Eminent panellist included Bhargav Dasgupta, MD & CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd, Mayank Bathwal, CEO, Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd, and Mahesh Balasubramaniun, MD& CEO, Kotak General Insurance.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhargav Dasgupta assured the customer that since going to the hospital has become a hazard during this pandemic scenario, ICICI Lombard has decided to accept cashless claim for certain home based care. The claim has to come from proper channel and only certain specific home-based care providers are allowed to provide this service.
He said their company is considering accepting claim for certain OPD procedures as well for claim actualisation.
Mr Dasgupta, mentioned that in light of the pandemic that has gripped the country they have added home healthcare, NCB benefit for coronavirus claims to existing insurance customers.
He said that in future AI is the way for the insurance sector.
Mahesh Balasubramanian, MD& CEO, Kotak General Insurance stated that at present the increase in covid claims are being balanced by the non-covid claims as people are avoiding getting hospitalized.
He further added that there has been an exponential growth in digital channels which will lead to cost reduction and increased efficiency. Kotak Health Insurance is bringing wearable for their customer for regular health factor assessment. These new watches will have thermometer, oxymetre and the data will be accessed by the insurance agency as well as the consumer. All these initiatives will create health awareness amongst the people in general.
Mayank Bathwal, CEO Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd. said that the IRDA recently included treatment of Covid-19 patients in makeshift centres.
He emphasized upon digitization and sound digital architecture and said that it is a great time to leverage upon the awareness created by the pandemic and focus on creating more customer engagement and product relevance. The insurance companies have been leveraging the gamut of data available to them for engaging the customers in place of ‘claims driven relationship’.
The issues of concern can be consolidated into the following broad areas:
1. Potential long-term changes to the industry
2. Structural change in the volume, nature and composition of insurance demand and claims
3. Increased dependence on Digital infrastructure for demand and claims servicing
4. Changed behaviour of customers
5. Inadequacy of existing digital architecture and processes
6. Inadequacy of Data analytics, Predictive Analytics and key algorithmic data interpretation
7. Assessing impact of Insurtech on industry
All the stalwarts of the General Insurance Industry agreed that since June 2020 Auto Insurance and business in other insurance verticals have gone up and with the new ecosystem the insurance industry is on the threshold of a new paradigm. (UNI)