A multitude of products and “insurtech” have made the process of purchasing a plan and settling claims easier and faster.
The process of purchasing an insurance policy is unrecognizable today compared to two decades ago. Competition and a flood of products and options have combined with the growing awareness and needs of the insurer public. Insurtech, or insurance technology, has stepped in to reduce much of the friction associated with buying insurance or getting claims.
Compare that to the early days of life insurance, when underwriters met every six months to review the handful of life insurance proposals received and to determine whether to underwrite the risk or not! Collecting premiums and settling claims on time has always been a challenge in the offline world. But not more.
In India by the early 1990s, credit cards had become commonplace and Internet banking services entered the scene by the late 1990s. In 200,1 The Insurance Act, 1938 was amended to allow various premium payment methods, including credit cards and Internet banking.
Payments by mobile application
The technology offered was a godsend in times of crisis. While demonetization has seen us pay our household staff through internet banking, the pandemic has pushed almost all purchases and payments to mobile apps.
Over the past 20 years, almost the entire insurance buying process has gone digital. The way I bought my policy last week is a good example. I completed an online proposal form, completed the Know Your Customer (KYC) formalities digitally, and paid using an app on my phone. Almost instantly
I was able to download the complete font with electronic signature. Plus, all of my policies can be stored in an online insurance account for easy retrieval and transaction. The electronic insurance account also facilitates renewals with KYC and other compliances.
Yet some physical processes will always be involved because we live in a physical world. Thus, a medical assessment or vehicle inspection before a policy is issued may be necessary, as may similar formalities for settling claims, even cashless.
Buying insurance starts best online with research based on your unique awareness of your needs and constraints. Product information and premium calculators on insurance company websites should be your stop on this journey.
On the websites of insurance brokers and web aggregators, you can dig deeper and make comparisons, deciding between insurance policy options for coverage and other conditions, including premium and premium. focus on the company to buy from.
You can buy most policies from company or intermediary websites by filling out the application form and uploading supporting documents such as KYC or vehicle papers.
There are advantages to sticking with an insurance company with which you have previous policies. On the other hand, going to an aggregator opens up your options on policies and also future purchases as you build a new relationship.
Paying a policy is the easiest, and simple renewals just got easier. If you need coverage improvement or policy changes, allow time and effort to get them processed on time to meet the renewal deadline. Offline processes, if any, will be facilitated by the company representative.
The earlier e-insurance account makes renewals much easier. Not only do they add to the swell of your SMS or email inbox with renewal reminders and sometimes offers, but they also provide their own payment mechanism.
A word about renewal links. This is where you will be making the payments. Use caution to make sure you are visiting a genuine link.
Look for the security certification on the website where you intend to pay, such as the “https” protocol on the payment site / page. For absolute security, instead of clicking on renewal payment links, enter the site URL yourself.
A lot of good products don’t catch up that quickly. One of them is the electronic insurance account mentioned above. A digital account containing all of your insurance policies is such a convenience in a world of hypermobility characteristic of the working age population or the contrasting hyper-immobility of working from home lately!
It’s an account worth making and I guess it’s not popular because it’s free!
It’s not just about buying and paying for insurance that has gone digital. Cashless claims, introduced in the early 2000s, have dramatically improved the convenience of health insurance.
Cashless claims are also available for auto insurance from garages in the network affiliated with insurance companies, typically vehicle dealership workshops. This has relieved many of the headaches of the damage and repair cost estimation process and ensures that you get genuine replacement parts and service, as well as a much faster return of your vehicle with repaired damage. .
The cashless process is mostly invisible to the insured. In the event of a health insurance claim, the hospital deals with the insurance company’s service provider (the third party manager or TPA) for documentation and payment. We can all remember times when these were more painful than the condition itself!
Remember that the hospital should give you information about the fees charged to you under various counts for your cashless claim. This is so that you can verify that you are not being billed twice for the same expenses.
The pre-approval of claims added to the ease of the insured and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India even required COVID-related claims to be pre-approved within 60 minutes!
Rather, it is insurance at the speed of light!
(The writer is a business journalist specializing in insurance and company history)