From our vantage point, we believe that Covid will undoubtedly change the health insurance industry permanently. The perception of consumers towards insurance has moved from mere compliance or tax-saving towards a protection standpoint. This over time will lead to health insurance transforming from a traditionally “push” product to being a “pull” product, one that consumers understand and want to buy for its core purpose. Further, the specialised Corona policies have prompted many first-time customers to enter the category. They will go on to form a larger base for upgrading to comprehensive policies as they sample and understand the value of health insurance.
The pandemic has accelerated the pace of the irreversible process of digitisation for the insurance industry. We now need sustained and concerted efforts to build even more seamless and customised digital experiences. Customers need to move to a more robust online purchase decision process and supplement it with frictionless and digitised fulfilment. That would mean collaboration to mine the rich data available to develop a robust underwriting process, which will mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions without inconveniencing genuine customers.
We believe that one of the challenges that the industry faces today is that health insurance is largely perceived as a last resort to cover hospitalisation expenses. Global experience has demonstrated that younger customers tend to gravitate towards more holistic health and wellness solutions. We see a future where newer types of comprehensive products and services will be introduced. These will not only serve to pay for treatment costs but will put greater emphasis on prevention, disease management and lifestyle choices.
In the post-Covid world, consumers will want their health insurance policies to work harder for them. The insurance eco-system will be expected to focus on customised and delightful wellness experiences and not just build basic protection products.
The writer is CEO of Policybazaar.com