An interview with Anand Pejawar

On Insurance then and now.

Let’s discuss life and non-life Insurance covering the decade from 2011 to 2021. Insurers now focus more on the service aspect, right from pre-sales. For example, the proposal form for a distribution plan before 2011 spread across 16 to 24 pages! In fact, there was a study which was conducted some time back, saying why people don’t buy Insurance. The onboarding process was so tedious that people felt it was not worth it.

The big questions were –

  • How do you make the entire process more user-friendly?
  • How can I make it digitized?
  • How do I create a completely different experience for a customer?

The first change we saw was when insurance companies came out with distributor apps, which converted these thick application forms into a digital format. We built a mobile connect application that enabled the entire process – from identifying a prospect to selling the Insurance – on a single app. We were the first company in India to come out with a paperless, painless policy issuance process. We also went one step ahead and automated our underwriting module. So today, when the underwriter interacts with the customer, he has no paper; the whole thing comes on just two screens – an internal one and the application form.

On the post-COVID scenario.

COVID digitally transformed insurance companies. Everyone was working from home – We had to provide dealers with router screens and record calls from their homes. Call center queries had to be routed and recorded at the residences of the executives. So how do you manage this entire cycle, from sourcing to servicing claims?

For example, the distributor is based in Noida, and the customer lives in Agra. The distributor can explain the product, do a presentation, record the call, and then send the filled form for authentication remotely. Digital payouts went to almost 99% during this period. It’s as though it took ten years for digitization to start, and in just two years, there was a mind-boggling adoption of digitization across the globe!

On Vymo.

We integrated Vymo with our CRM. If a customer dials the call center, the discussion between the customer and the executive is captured. This helps the distributor draw insights when he talks to the customer on policies relevant to him. In turn, the customer understands that there is proper coordination and a smooth handoff. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Hence the customer is happy.

These small things matter to customers because they feel like they’re talking to one company instead of disconnected individuals. So the onboarding process becomes effortless and transparent for the customer.

On the future of Insurance.

There will be four trends that will stand out in the next decade.

  • Analytics – It will be a part of every department and every field. The scope is infinite – analytics can help develop new products that match customer expectations based on their existing profile.
  • Eliminating underwriting frauds – Based on past data, we will be able to segregate prospects into low, medium, or high risk. Then, ask for additional documents if the prospect is high risk. This will help us weed out doubtful cases at the entry stage.
  • Renewal management – The records of customers can be tracked to categorize them into different baskets. For example – one who pays on time without even informing you. One who pays only after you give him a call. One who pays you only after you start pestering them. Based on each profile, the distributor can develop an apt strategy.
  • Sachet products – Product Development will undergo a huge change. Instead of a life insurance product offered for more than ten years, it could be for a short term. Don’t be surprised tomorrow if an insurance company provides products with a lifecycle of 30 days! A current example is when a person travels by the Indian Railways, he is offered accidental death coverage, which extends only for the period of travel – it could be for one day or three days.