Taking the Insurance Sector to the Digital Age: Challenges & Opportunities
It’s no secret that the pandemic-ridden yesteryears have fundamentally transformed the insurance sector in India and accelerated the pace of change across the stakeholders, including the insurers, the healthcare ecosystem, consumers, and the regulator. This watershed moment could well have a long-lasting positive impact on positive insurance penetration, product and process innovations, and, most importantly, customer experience. If the insurance industry was traditionally dominated by offline channels like corporate agents, offline brokers, or banks, today, all forms of mediators are increasingly vanishing from the picture. Rapid digitization, product innovation, progressive regulation policies, and the digital India boom have cumulatively made it possible for consumers to buy insurance through multiple distribution channels with the click of a button. This promises further growth avenues for the industry. Deciphering the latest growth opportunities and challenges in the Insurance industry is Jasleen Kohli, MD & CEO, Digit Insurance (Go Digit General Insurance).
Jasleen joined Digit as a founding member in 2017. She has been a significant aspect of the company's success over the last five years. Jasleen today boasts more than two decades of insurance industry experience. She is a wizard in deciphering customer pain points and expectations and addressing sales and distribution challenges.
In conversation with Jasleen Kohli, MD & CEO, Digit Insurance
The insurance market in India is expected to reach $ 222 billion by 2026. Tell us about the factors catalyzing the growth.
The general insurance penetration in India is as low as 1 percent of the GDP, and this huge gap gives the Indian insurance market huge room for growth by reaching out to the uninsured population. We have seen the insurance sector grow in the last decade, and several factors are contributing to the overall growth of the industry.
The insurance sector, along with the regulators, has been undertaking initiatives to promote transparency and efficiency in the non-life insurance market and improve customer experience. The insurance watch body, IRDAI, has also been encouraging insurers to build innovative products with the right interventions. Many initiatives are being taken to advance technological integration within the industry. For example, concepts like "use and file" have helped insurance companies launch products into the market faster. Introducing tech-enabled concepts like "Pay as You Drive" shows the focus is turning more toward product innovation. The IRDAI has a vision of "insurance for all" by 2047. Various reforms are being undertaken to achieve this and facilitate sustainable growth of the industry. New-age companies are focusing more on solving multiple challenges using tech. AI/ML-based models are disrupting many traditional manual processes. At the same time, various partners within the ecosystem have come together to increase customer-centricity in the insurance industry. The ease with which a customer can buy travel insurance while booking their flight ticket serves as a great example of the kind of innovation that collaboration can foster. All these factors collectively are likely to ensure the insurance market continues to see good growth in the coming years.
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistance to customers, addressing their queries, are helping guide customers through the insurance process. These technologies have greatly improved customer engagement and have reduced human interventions
What are the latest technology interventions that revolutionize the industry?
Technology has been instrumental in transforming the insurance industry in recent years, bringing about significant changes and disruptions. The latest technological advancements have not only revolutionized the way insurance companies operate but also enhanced customer experiences and streamlined various processes.
One signification revolution has been the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms into insurance operations. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistance to customers, addressing their queries, are helping guide customers through the insurance process. These technologies have greatly improved customer engagement and have reduced human interventions. Along with this, AI and ML models are being extensively utilized for risk assessment and underwriting. These models also help insurers in making accurate predictions about potential risks by analyzing vast amounts of data, including customer profiles, claim history, and market trends.
In addition, many new-age insurers now offer user-friendly online portals and mobile apps that allow customers to purchase policies, manage their accounts, and file claims with ease. For example, at Digit, we use many of these tech solutions that we have built in-house. This has helped us significantly reduce turnaround times and improve customer satisfaction. This has helped us maintain a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 on Google and 4.9 out of 5.0 on Facebook. Overall, these latest digital disruptions have improved operational efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced customer experiences.
Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
At Digit, we always focus on guiding our team to unlock their capabilities and help them transform their visions into tangible things. For that, it is important for us to provide our team with an environment where no one is apprehensive about asking questions. We firmly believe that asking the right questions will automatically lead to solutions.
We also follow the rules of delegation. By giving our team the liberty to make decisions, we can foster ownership and constant learning. We also passionately believe that ownership leads to efficiency. To make one feel that ownership, as a leader, one must give them the space to experiment and nurture them.
How would you define your team? What are the skills that you look for in fresh candidates?
Our team is a good blend of experienced veterans with deep knowledge of the industry and curious young minds filled with ideas who constantly question the status quo, which is one of the core values of our company.
We believe that skills can always be sharpened by practice, but one quality that we look for in fresh talent is curiosity and the willingness to learn, as we believe that the quest to learn more is the biggest drive to achieve the unachievable.
What would be your advice to the individuals aiming to set benchmarks in their career in this industry?
In the insurance industry, knowing the products inside out is very important. Only when you are well aware of the product and the customer can you constantly improve, customize, and cater to the customer’s needs. When working on a product, we try to think if this would be something we would buy for ourselves or our family. That automatically brings the human element into the equation, which is very important for everyone who wants to work in this industry. Also, from my journey in the industry, I have learned the importance of continuous upskilling. In an ever-changing market and with rapidly advancing technology, it is crucial to constantly expand one’s knowledge and skills. Rather than always trying to be the smartest in the room, it is often better to seek out situations where you are not the expert. This will not only help in learning from others but also open chances for growth.
Hobby: Interior Designing
Favorites Cuisines: Chinese
Favorite Movies: The Pursuit of Happyness
Favorite Books: It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff
Favorite Travel Destination: London