As we set our feet in 2023, having experienced a roller-coaster ride last year thanks to the geopolitical tensions and some lingering rub-off effects of COVID-19, it drives home that "change is the only constant."
Like any other industry, insurance is undergoing paradigm changes at different levels, whether recruiting potential candidates or customer onboarding, to name a few. However, a common thread that ties the myriad business functions of an insurance company has been data and innovation. There has been an ever-increasing need for insurance providers to use data and embrace innovation in their routine activities, eventually to stand the cut-throat competition.
Taking cognizance of this, the third edition of Aureus Analytics' Yearbook endeavours to bring together some of the top business leaders in the insurance industry, offering their invaluable insights on the necessity of transformational innovation, technology, and global trends.
Power of Innovation
There is seldom any doubt that the significance of innovation and technology is unparalleled in the insurance industry. Rushabh Gandhi, Deputy CEO IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited, talks about employing innovation and technology in activities such as:
- Recruiting potential candidates
- Helping the sales team pitch new products
- Customer onboarding
Doing so assists insurance providers with the ability to "RIDE" with ease to reach their destination of success.
Insurers must focus on the health of their customers to ensure their happiness and well-being. In this vein, health insurance is pivotal. Prerak Sethi and Nipun Virmani, founders of RIA Insurance, enlighten us on the growing significance of health insurance and touch upon the new possibilities for health insurers that require transitioning from mere protection to proactive management, especially in the age of increasing medical costs.
Moving on from health insurance to life insurance, Varun Gupta, Chief & Appointed Actuary at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, emphasizes that India's economic and demographic profile and regulatory reforms can lead to a higher insurance penetration in the coming years. Life insurance has undergone myriad product innovations. He reflects upon these changes and identifies how innovation in products may evolve, keeping in mind the host of challenges that would need to be addressed in the process.
Further, to ensure a happy customer, engaging with policyholders is equally essential apart from offering quality insurance products. Ganesh Iyer, CEO of Iyer's Pro-Risk Group, emphasizes digital communication in engaging with policyholders. Artificial intelligence is widely used in the industry. While there are several positives of using advanced technology, there are some negatives too. However, the positives outweigh the negatives, writes the author and discusses in detail the different policyholder engagement activities prevalent in the insurance world and their importance in retaining customers in today's competitive market.
Picking up from where Ganesh Iyer left, the next piece in the book sheds light on some of the exciting policyholder engagement activities undertaken by the top insurers worldwide. The customer is the focal point of any business. Insurance providers can enhance customer experience and meet customer expectations by having a healthy relationship with the policyholders. For this, engaging with them is paramount. The writer elaborates on insurers' numerous policyholder engagement activities, from offering user-friendly websites to using emotional AI in their day-to-day business. Some of the exciting examples of policyholder engagement drives are highlighted in the book.
Data and Digitization
"Customer is the king" is a famous statement in any marketing book. Rajanikanth Vurimi, SVP & Head of Analytics, Projects & Process Quality Excellence at SBI Life Insurance, stresses the need to be customer-centric. To attain this customer-centric goal, insurers formulate strategies backed by sophisticated data. One of the strategies is to tailor the insurance products to achieve customer satisfaction and posit that the industry is customer-centric. Customized products can be designed with the help of personal data and the latest technology, which eventually helps raise the bar of customer-centricity, explains Vurimi.
Of late, the Indian government has made extra efforts to develop Tier 3 cities and other rural areas. The technology is spreading thick and fast, creating new economic opportunities there. Rajiv Malhan, Head of Strategic Projects & Business Transformation at Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance, explains that despite the internet penetration in these regions, there is still a gap between Tier 3 cities and cities in the top tiers. The writer believes that a way to bridge this gap could be to think like the people in question in rural areas and develop products to cater to their specific needs.
A heterogeneous customer base coupled with changing technology characterizes the insurance industry. Michael Lewis, VP of Corporate Strategy at The Hanover Insurance Group, believes that data is one of the most significant assets for any insurance company and has tremendous benefits for the industry's two critical stakeholders: agents and carriers. He posits the usefulness of "new" data and how it can help build winning strategies.
Evolution of Data and Analytics
Like any other industry, the insurance industry experiences problems in its day-to-day activities. However, not getting bogged down by them is the key. Insurance problems have evolved, and data scientists use intelligent machine learning and analytical techniques to solve them. Insurers with the urge to find innovative solutions backed by technology set them apart from their peers. Aureus' Data Scientists come together and share some unique solutions that deal with the problems through this piece.
Talking about problems, Insurance fraud has become a common phenomenon. While technology has been a boon over the years, it has somehow translated into becoming a bane as executing fraud has become easier. Striking a balance between technology's advantages and disadvantages is the key. Anil PM, Head of Legal & Compliance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd., looks at the positives of insurance technology and how it can be leveraged to mitigate the rising insurance fraud.
Technology can be a double-edged sword; making good use of it is in the hands of the user. Christopher Paradiso, company owner and independent agent at Paradiso Financial and Insurance Services, takes an optimistic stance on technology. Client retention, scalability, and profitability are the foundation of the insurance industry, and to keep this foundation strong, embracing technology is pivotal.
Finally, the book closes with some path-breaking digital transformations the insurance industry has made in the recent past. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Insurance industry will see more such revolutions in the future.
It has been an exciting journey for us at Aureus to bring our dear readers invaluable insights through our 2023 Yearbook themed "data and innovation." Data and innovation have become integral parts of the insurance industry, and for insurance providers to succeed in this competitive market, proactively embracing them is of the essence. The contributors certainly put their thinking hats on to come up with such amazing words of wisdom. We eagerly look forward to your views and opinions that will help enrich us and continue to serve you better.
Download your ebook today!