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Here’s how Insurtechs are evolving India’s Insurance landscape during the Pandemic

7 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent global lockdowns triggered plenty of structural changes that forced insurance companies to enter the arena with their eyes on the prize. The pandemic year thus proved to be a catalyst, in turn, nudging insurers to shift their focus and prioritize customer experience, market agility, and business resilience. 

According to BCG, “Globally, insurtechs raised $7.5 billion last year, as COVID-19 accelerated the need for digital transformation in insurance.” 

Investor funding in insurtech came to $5 billion in the first quarter of 2021 with 261 deals, according to Forrester’s “Insurtech funding roundup, Q1 2021” report. 

How has the pandemic impacted Insurtechs in India 

India is the second-largest insurtech (insurance technology) market in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 35% of the $3.66 billion of venture capital coming into the sector, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

“Insurance technology investors are attracted to India since it is one of the fastest-growing insurance markets in the world,” said the report. 

Insurance premiums in India have been reported to have totalled $107 billion in India until March 31, 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from FY15 to FY20. 

“While big techs are vying to become digital intermediaries in the insurance space, established carriers are building proprietary digital channels. Startups that assist both incumbents and big techs in making this transition will likely emerge as winners,” the S&P report continued.

“Partnerships between large insurers and insurtechs have the potential to enable more personalized online distribution, predictive underwriting, and more efficient claims management,” said Alpesh Shah, managing director and senior partner, Boston Consulting Group while speaking with the business daily, Mint. 

Read: How Insurtech is Reshaping the Future of Insurance

The fast-growing industry is introducing solutions for AI-based underwriting, virtual claim filing, among others. The next big revolution could come in the form of blockchain contracts, where customers might not need to file a claim. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has already introduced a travel insurance product that uses blockchain to settle claims on flight delays automatically.

In another scenario, Acko General Insurance tied up with over 20 digital platforms across retail, travel, finance, and others to distribute bite-sized insurance. Ola’s trip insurance by Acko has insured more than 23 million rides in less than 10 months and is being hailed as one of the most innovative insurance products in the industry.

Another Insurtech startup, Toffee Insurance, offers insurance against theft or damage to bicycles and accidental injuries related to a fitness activity or sport.

Image Courtesy: fintechnews.sg 

Speaking about the Insurtech evolution and their funding in India, BCG’s India Insurtech Landscape and Trends reports that, “Global funding in Insurtechs have grown from about $2 billion in 2016 to $6 billion in 2020. While Americas account for the largest share of funding (68 percent of funding in 2020), Asia has been the fastest-growing geography till 2019 (5-year CAGR of 60 percent). In India too, albeit with a smaller base, funding has seen an increase from a modest base of $11 million in 2016 to $287 million in 2020. The funding trend has continued with Turtlemint raising $30 million in November 2020 and Digit raising around $84 million at the start of 2021.” 

“APAC-based insurtechs attracted $1.4 billion—up 15% year-over-year from the previous year—driven by companies headquartered in China ($800 million) and India ($450 million). Representative examples are Medbanks, a medical database-services company offering oncology-related services, which brought in $305 million in Series E+ funding, and Policybazaar, a price-comparison portal that raised $130 million in Series E+ funding,” the report continued. 

Insurers vs. Insurtechs in the current ecosystem

Image Source: everis.com 

Claims in the digital age

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, customers had already begun leading digital-centric lives that required insurers to rethink their MO and strategies. “With the demands and constraints of the pandemic, a technology-enabled service delivery with a digital claims process is non-negotiable and mission-critical. In the past, these needs may have gone unmet due to lack of technology solutions or an insurer’s inability to capitalize on technology, but the situation today is very different,” reports Deloitte. 

The COVID-19 pandemic affected Insurtech firms on various levels, impacting demand, claims, and loss patterns in a number of ways across product lines and operating models. 

Thus, arose a need to overhaul and reset the core value system and give way to a new growth engine led by customer retention and loyalty, both driven by customer interactions with insurers, specifically during the claims experience.

“Claims operations, which have been traditionally treated as outputs of a “reactive back office,” will have to become a powerful differentiator—innovative and uncompromising on customer service, with multifaceted talent and capable of driving strong results,” continues the Deloitte report. 

Digit, an India-based multi-line insurer, launched a new product that covers pre-and post-hospitalization expenses, road ambulance charges, and a second medical opinion regarding eight viral diseases, including COVID-19 and dengue. 

For Care Health Insurance, erstwhile Religare, Mantra Labs, the Bengaluru-based Insurtech firm deployed Hitee, a conversational chatbot to be the first-level customer support for existing and new customers. This led to higher New Business Conversions by a factor of 10X, and a significant drop in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20%.     

Source: www.mindbowser.com 

The pandemic and its subsequent wave accelerated the shift towards going digital in the insurance industry. In 2021, there is an apparent inclination towards personalization, data mining, automation, and cloud computing in the Insurtech space.

Read the 7 key trends we’ve expected this year in Insurance here. 

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How To Get Design Inspiration?

3 minutes read

Did the egg come first or the chicken, it makes you go round and round in circles. That’s the feeling you get when you start designing something new. 

Inspiration can come from everywhere, especially if you are a designer. To create your finest design, you must get into the nitty-gritty of everything. I began my journey as an interior designer which gave me an edge when I transitioned to UI/UX Design. When we start working on projects, the first thing we do is construct a mood board. But for me, the challenging part was deciding what was good or bad and what worked in the real world.

So, I began with extensive thought about the problem at hand, followed by conceptual visualizations of all possible solutions. It seems intimidating, but it worked for me. I’d later project all those things from my imagination onto the screen. This process didn’t always produce viable solutions, which was a major problem to cope with. After all, what’s the purpose of having a good design if it doesn’t work? So, I merged this approach with swiping and gathering inspirations that I loved by favoriting my way through multiple sites to create a perfect Mood Board.

Next, was putting the mood board into action and creating something unique.

And, in my opinion, this is the most basic process chosen by designers.

Then I joined Mantra Labs, which was intimidating since I went from being a loner to being a loner in a group. From analysing my own ideas to working with a group of amazing designers who don’t hold back on their criticisms. (They never stop talking :P.) It was also intriguing to observe every designer as each one had a different approach to getting design inspiration and it was reassuring to know that there is no right or wrong way. It can come at any moment, anywhere, and in any form; all you have to do is enjoy the experience because it’s a Pandora’s Box, where you get lost and then come out with something amazing you weren’t expecting to find.

I try browsing design websites and talking to others about their work to get insights. And I can say that I’m definitely getting better as a designer day by day- the key is to stay curious and explore new things.

Here is a compilation of some wonderful exercises I intend to try on my projects as soon as I have the opportunity.

Create a lot of opinions and then pick the best one.

Creating a lot of different variations for one project and then critiquing it to bring it down to one which you like. 

Take a counter intuitive path

Going crazy with the thought process, and breaking the stigma of keeping basic, and crazy is fun, and it might surprise you.

Inspiration outside

This includes everything we have done or do on a regular basis, such as opening a bottle or flicking through the pages of a book.

Try apps in your category

Like for an education app, look for inspiration on social media, in travel, or something else.

Visit design websites

As you examine different types of designs, it inspires you and gives you a bank of ideas; all you have to do now is learn how to use those ideas on time and on the right project.

Ask a friend

This is one of the best ways to get better insights and diverse perspectives which can be very helpful.

Conclusion:

The exercises listed above may or may not work for you because there is no perfect science to getting creative inspiration.  Lorinda Mamo once stated, “Every great design begins with an even better story.” So, in order to find design inspiration, you must first find the story. Keep experimenting with different ways; you never know what might work for you.

About the author: Neha is a designer at heart who walks and talks too fast and is always willing to try new things, whether in business or in life.

Want to know more about designing?

Read our blog: 5 Things to Consider while Designing an App for Gen Z’s

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