How InsurTech is reshaping insurance? Everything you need to know about it

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The insurance industry is an ever-adapting industry that changes according to the times. Recently, we are seeing a growing rise in InsurTech startups completely change the way the industry works. Customers today expect a seamless process and a fast experience. InsurTechs have been working to bridge the gap between the expectations of the customers and the requirements of the insurers. Today, we will be learning about how insurtech is reshaping insurance and everything you need to know about it.

 

To understand it better we reached out to Mr Mahavir Chopra, the founder of Beshak.org. Mahavir has been a part of the technology revolution of the Indian insurance industry for more than 16 years. With experience in major roles in companies like Coverfox, Marsh, Bonsai insurance broking and more, Mahavir will be able to give us a view of where we are headed. We are very happy to have him on board and get an understanding of the insurtech space in India. This is a part of our series- #PeopleOfInsurance. 

Here, we collate unique views and perspectives about the Indian insurance space to help you understand insurance better.

Let us get started.


What are the recent developments in the InsurTech space in India?

 

Mahavir: Insurtech for years, before it was even called insurtech was restricted to only improving efficiencies and digitization. The focus was to digitize the process and make it more efficient using technology and automation. So we had insurance portals everywhere but offering remote assistance through call centres. We essentially replicated the offline model over the internet.


However in recent years, things have changed – there is a renewed focus on experience, on solving hard problems.  We now have direct to consumer digital-first insurance companies, we have technology companies focusing on solving a specific problem in the insurance space.


For instance, we have players that only focus on improving the employee benefits and players that improve the health insurance experience. We also see deeper integrations.


Then we have infrastructure companies like Assurekit that will empower distributors with technology without investing in large tech teams. Then we have technology companies that are bringing much needed revolutionary automation in claims, underwriting.


What has made these developments possible?

 

I think two things have led this to happen:

One, the global insurtech space really kicked off in the last decade. The success of these models, the launch and blockbuster success of ZhongAn in China, Oscar, Lemonade in the USA to name a few have attracted young, serious world-class talent to Insurtech in India like never before.


We have so many problems and gaps in India to solve, the sky is the limit in terms of opportunities, business models. Add to this, the regulatory environment with respect to FDI caps etc. is improving, which will attract more risk capital for innovation and revolutionary startups.


Two, the customer has changed, their environment has changed. Every business has moved into a little square box on your smartphones called an app. Customers can without speaking to anyone order stuff or return them, I think the user’s expectations on how the services should look, their appreciation for an experience beyond just price sensitivity has also had a positive impact on these developments. The user is essentially ready for the hi-tech seamless experience. 

 

How does this affect insurance as a business?

 

I think one major reason why retail insurance has not grown or done well as much as it should is the problem of trust and bad word of mouth. Insurance is merely a promise till a claim is fulfilled to the expectations of the consumer.

Customer confidence will improve with better, well informed and more deeply integrated experience beyond just product sales. This will have a direct impact on sales and business.


Goes without saying that the efficiency of technology, reduced dependence on human selling, reduced fraud can make products more affordable too. All this will help insurance businesses to scale faster than ever before.


What do you believe the future of InsurTech will be? Where is it headed and why?

 

Insurance has had a bad reputation at least for the individual consumer. Insurance receives the highest number of consumer complaints in India above every product and service. I think Insurtech can change this. I really hope Insurtech in India will bring in the customer/user centricity that customers badly need. Customers have been treated second fiddle to distributors for like ever. It’s time to put the customers in their place – in the centre.


I see insurtech headed by really bright founders giving back control to the end consumer. I see insurtech solving for the product complexity, reducing the information asymmetry between customers and distributors, enabling integrated experiences instead of just selling products and plans. Times are exciting and I am glad to be a part of where it is headed.


Conclusion

 

There you have it, an inside view of the insurance industry and how insurtech is affecting it. We got to learn a lot and are excited to be a part of the change. We are excited to see how the industry is going to adapt to the new changes and where it is going.


Thank you, Mahavir for taking the time and sharing your valuable insights with us. Do go check out Beshak.org, they are a go-to source for clear, research-backed information and analysis of insurance plans.


To learn more about the insurTech space and get insights from people in the industry check out our other insurtech related articles.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurtech for years, before it was even called insurtech was restricted to only improving efficiencies and digitization.

  • We now have direct to consumer digital-first insurance companies, we have technology companies focusing on solving a specific problem in the insurance space.

  • We have so many problems and gaps in India to solve, the sky is the limit in terms of opportunities, business models.

  • Customer confidence will improve with better, well informed and more deeply integrated experience beyond just product sales. This will have a direct impact on sales and business.

  • Insurance receives the highest number of consumer complaints in India above every product and service. I think Insurtech can change this.

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