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Trends in General Insurance

Posted by - Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director
March 03 2017

A lot is happening in the general insurance space and Mr. Sanjeev Mantri shares his views,

In the Union Budget 2017, the Government has focused on an inclusive agenda with increased allocation towards schemes like PMFBY. What’s your take?

The Union Budget rightly focuses on pursuing an inclusive and long term development of the economy. It targets the key building blocks i.e. infrastructure, digitisation and rural development among others. While pushing for growth is important, it is equally essential that we maintain a balance through risk mitigation. The introduction of schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana rightly aligns with this thought process. By increasing the budgetary allocation to ₹13,240 for coverage under this scheme and thereby extending its coverage from 30 per cent to 40 per cent in FY 2018, policy makers are ensuring that growth is well protected by adequate risk management measures in place.

‘Wellness’ is a theme that your company has been very vocal about. Could you share details?

Conventionally, non-life insurance as a sector is perceived to play a role only in case of an untoward incident, with focus on settling claims efficiently. At ICICI Lombard, we believe that we would rather play a more proactive role and adopt the principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’. We have been developing our insurance solutions accordingly and have introduced innovative and relevant ‘Wellness’ benefits in our health insurance covers. Today, we offer benefits such as Gym & Yoga reimbursements, nutrition consultation, sports & fitness therapy to encourage and handhold our customers in their quest to stay healthy.

Further, we have introduced innovative open access platforms such as ‘Health Advisor’, which empower consumers to benefit from peer opinion pertaining to quality of treatment at hospitals. We also provide detailed information on the infrastructure and cost of treatment at specific healthcare providers through our website

What technology initiatives are being taken by ICICI Lombard currently?

We were the first in the industry to introduce the online channel way back in 2005 and have been the pioneers in offering technology enabled insurance solutions since then. We have developed a suite of innovative, tech driven solutions for our customers that can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime. Most recently, we have unveiled a completely new, mobile first website that offers end to end solutions to our customers.

We have also launched a unique solution for our customers which enable hassle-free renewal of lapsed motor insurance policies. Traditionally, when a motor insurance policy expires, a mandatory inspection is required to be done by a surveyor which is time consuming. With our ‘Mobile Self Inspection’ feature, customers can conduct the vehicle survey themselves by uploading a self-inspected video on ICICI Lombard’s ‘Insure’ app. The video is reviewed by ICICI Lombard’s underwriting team. Once approved (within a few hours), the customer can pay online and the policy is renewed.

Another unique feature that we introduced sometime back is to allow customers to receive a renewal quote by simply sending a picture of their existing policy (from any insurer) through ICICI Lombard’s ‘Insure’ app. On receipt, a quote is sent within a few minutes with details of the insured and vehicle pre-populated. The customer can accept the quote or modify the proposal as required and then pay through the app for instant policy issuance.

How is long-term two wheeler insurance faring?

The two wheeler segment has for long grappled with the problem of uninsured vehicles on roads. As per estimates, around 70 per cent of vehicles plying on roads do not have an insurance cover. The Long Term Two Wheeler policy is one of the many innovative steps that we have taken to plug this insurance gap.

In terms of the response to the product launched in April 2015, we crossed the 5 lakh policy mark and garnered over ₹100 crore premium in the first year itself. Today, the product has already crossed the ₹200 crore mark. This proves that a simple yet innovative product can go a long way in reinvigorating a category. To understand the customer response in detail, we conducted a comprehensive research with nearly 1000 customers who had purchased the product. We registered 90 per cent acceptance levels and more than 94 per cent advocacy from customers.

On a different note; you are an avid marathon runner. How do you manage to pursue your passion for running?

Certainly I am very passionate about staying active through some form of physical activity that keeps my adrenaline high. Fortunately, my current role also necessitates that we play an active role in our customer’s life to keep them fit and healthy. That being said, I truly enjoy the process or the build-up that goes in running a marathon, more than running one. I believe that each one of us should have an activity that we pursue as a hobby, one that goes beyond our day to day work life and can go a long way in keeping us mentally and physically fit.

(Source-Outlook Money)

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