The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has changed our lives like never before. It also had an impact on different areas of finances. Amid crisis, the focus has been solely on the digital platform. The insurance buying has been no different when it comes to the delivery of general insurance products like health insurance, which are significantly moving online in a big way.
Insurance has become an essential product during this COVID-19 crisis. “People have become more aware of its importance and hence there has been a spurt in the sales of general insurance policies especially health insurance, resulting in a change in its landscape. Many companies have launched coronavirus specific products. Now, people have more than one choice when it comes to buying health insurance. Looking at the current unprecedented scenario, the government and the insurance regulator have announced several relaxations for the customers,” says Sudarshan Motwani, Founder & CEO, BookMyForex.
For example, companies have started providing health insurance without a medical check-up through a tele-underwriting process. Here, the entire underwriting decision is based on a telephonic interview. The recorded telephone call is used to gather risk-related information directly from the applicant. Insurance companies now are depending more on health declaration by the insured and also on other factors like credit scores. So when you are buying health insurance, you can expect a doctor from the insurance company asking you questions about your medical history and health conditions, over a phone call.
With the actual physical movement being hampered, customers have become more reliant on e-commerce companies for their insurance requirements. This has meant that digital insurance players have seen a spurt in sales. The companies are ensuring end-to-end digital delivery of insurance products as they ramp up their digital presence. Considering the present scenario, we can say that the offline sales have taken a backseat as of now.
“As a foreign exchange platform that caters to international travelers, BookMyForex used to only deal in travel insurance before but looking at the demand of online insurance, we have added other general insurance products like health, motor and home insurance in our product portfolio,” says Motwani.
There is likely to be a shift in consumer behaviour due to the coronavirus crisis going ahead. A major part of the business will shift to e-commerce. “This shift will make it inevitable for business organisations to modify their operation models and opt for technological advancement for their survival in the post-pandemic economy. Additionally, awareness of health products will increase,” he adds.