MUMBAI: The ongoing pandemic has heightened the importance of life insurance among consumers. A considerable part of consumers are beginning to perceive insurance as an indispensable guarantee against unforeseen scenarios. As a result, the insurance industry is witnessing a positive shift in awareness of life insurance products and their benefits.
In an interview with Mint, Parag Raja, Managing Director and CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance said that due to the impact of the pandemic, consumers have realized the importance of life insurance products. and the recent trend shows that they have increased the search for life insurance plans online.
How has consumer behavior changed in terms of purchasing life insurance?
Due to the impact of the pandemic, consumers have realized that life insurance products should not be valued simply by viewing their benefits as a tax saving instrument or as an investment product. or both.
The current scenario has further accelerated the adoption of digital channels by consumers for survey and evaluation purposes. Organizations that have understood this changing landscape and implemented digitization to keep pace with the consumers of the future will move forward.
Building a strong Direct to Customer (D2C) channel was an imperative step in that direction and, unsurprisingly, it has become our fast growing channels. We are strongly committed to being present where the customer is. Although there is an increase in the number of consumers looking for life insurance plans online, sales continue to be conducted offline.
Therefore, the prevailing situation has prompted us to rethink the entire sales process, from face-to-face meetings to approaching customers remotely and closing deals. We also created digital sales tools that enabled an interesting and interactive conversation with prospects and customers. Today, our entire front-line sales team is equipped with digital applications that have improved their productivity.
What are the prospects for global pandemic coverage for the Indian consumer?
The covid-19 epidemic has presented the Indian insurance industry with several challenges. However, the primary concern of Indian insurers has been to protect individuals, communities and businesses from the financial implications of unfortunate events while striving to maintain business continuity. Consequently, Indian insurers have responded by implementing innovative processes and designing policies that reduce the financial burden on clients.
During the pandemic, insurers kept reviewing their existing offerings and updating them in accordance with regulatory guidelines to remain relevant to consumers.
In these uncertain times, insurers must navigate quickly and confidently to become financial first responders for all of their customers affected by covid-19, regardless of their coverage.
In terms of products, what are the products for which consumer demand has increased?
In general, consumers are inclined to insure the life of their loved ones and their own under comprehensive protection insurance plans. We can testify to this validation thanks to the growth recorded in the new business premiums (NBP) of life insurers, recorded in March of this year.
The industry has seen an increased number of product launches in the peerless space and in the future, to meet growing customer demand for these products. In addition to protection, given the uncertainty associated with the pandemic, the demand for guaranteed savings plans is on the rise.
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