- Health insurance boom
- In conversation with Sanjay Dutta, Underwriting Chief, ICICI Lombard General Insurance
non In the life insurance market, till a few years ago, most motor insurance policies were sold, but due to the costly treatment and increasing awareness due to the huge bills of private hospitals, now health insurance (Health). Insurance) ie mediclaim policies have started selling the most. Due to the COVID epidemic, awareness about life and health insurance has increased rapidly. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company is a leading company in the non-insurance sector, which is growing more than the industry on the strength of its innovative insurance products and superior customer services. Today the company has over 115 million health insurance customers. Underwriting Chief, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company regarding changing trends, consumer preferences and costly bills of private hospitals in the non-life insurance sector Sanjay Dutta commerce editor from Vishnu Bharadwaj Conversed. Here are the highlights of the discussion:-
Health insurance is fast becoming a growing segment in the general insurance sector. What are the main reasons for this?
It is true that health insurance has become a fast growing segment. Earlier motor insurance used to be the largest contributor to the total premium income of the general insurance sector, this is also because motor insurance has been mandatory, but in the last years the awareness of health insurance has increased rapidly among the people. People are more inclined towards corporate hospitals for better treatment, but there is more money, hence the importance of mediclaim policy has increased. Secondly, the government increased the income tax benefit on medical insurance premium payment to 50 thousand rupees for senior citizens and 60 thousand rupees for senior citizens on the inclusion of family and parents under 80D (80D). Thirdly, with large companies now many companies have started taking group health insurance. And now the demand has increased rapidly due to the COVID epidemic.
What is the average sum insured more people are taking in health insurance?
It is such that with awareness the buying power of the people has also increased. So people are now buying health insurance for their entire family including parents. Twenty years ago people used to take a mediclaim policy of average sum insured of 50 thousand rupees, then started taking sum insured of 3 to 5 lakh rupees. And now the average sum insured has reached Rs 10 lakh. Now even first time buyers are buying a policy of Rs 5 to 10 lakhs.
Which type of insurance products (policies) are in high demand at present?
In today’s date, there is a high demand for 2 types of health insurance products. There is a demand for a normal product, which will cover the hospitalization expenses and other products, in which some extra cover is available. Apart from hospital expenses, expenses like outpatient treatment, checkup-diagnosis should also be covered. Because apart from being admitted to the hospital, there are many expenses in the treatment. Apart from this, critical illness should also be covered for other serious diseases like cancer. Also, home care treatment expenses should also be covered. In this way the demand for innovative products is increasing along with normal products. ICICI Lombard is also providing such innovative products to the people. Whereas in motor insurance, there is a high demand for comprehensive motor insurance policies with covers like zero depreciation, engine protection.
Now Digital India is gaining momentum. What percentage of people are buying policies online in General Insurance and what percentage of policies are being issued online?
Surely India is going ‘digital’. Digital transactions and processes are also very convenient for the customers. The insurance sector has also gone digital. Now all types of policies are being issued digitally. ICICI Lombard is also issuing all types of policies digitally. The customer can purchase the policy through our various channels such as bank partner, agent, broker, motor dealer or directly online or through telephone channel. Almost the entire process is done online, which is easily done in very less time. Once the process is complete, a soft copy of the policy is sent to the customer on his e-mail immediately. As far as online buying is concerned, today around 5 to 10 percent people are buying policies online. This trend is expected to increase further.
How many customers are liking your IL Tech Care App?
People are liking it a lot. ICICI Lombard also launched its IL Take Care app for retail customers last year for the convenience of people in the Corona epidemic. The app not only helps our health insurance customers with claim processing and service from the comfort of their homes but also provides services like wellness, OPD, teleconsulting and home care. Due to these features, it is becoming very popular.