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Online insurance product offerings being enhanced

29 February, 2012

Online Insurance Product Offerings Being Enhanced


Life insurance companies are planning to extend their product offering on online platform for increasing insurance penetration. Insurers have been primarily focusing on online pure protection or term insurance plans. These insurance plans are easy to understand and straightforward for people to buy online.

But, insurers feel that online sales channel can be used to sell other insurance products like Ulips (unit-linked insurance plan) and traditional plans also.
“Online distribution system has not been able to replace traditional form of insurance distribution like agency or broker channels in most developed markets, but vastness of Indian demography may prove to be a huge advantage for online insurance sales,” said Anisha Motwani, director and chief marketing officer of Max New York Life Insurance.
In developed countries like UK and the Netherlands, online insurance sales contribute only around 8-12 per cent, while these sales is less than 1 per cent at present in India.
As per industry experts, online platform has the potential to grow at around 30-40 per cent for next few years. Also, people prefer to buy those products online that do not involve a lot of calculation.
“We were the first ones to launch online term insurance in 2009, after which, the market has evolved a lot. Similarly, there is a huge potential for other online insurance plans as long as they are targeted towards the right customer segment and are kept uncomplicated. We are at present waiting for approval of a health benefit plan which would be on online platform,” said Yateesh Srivastava, chief marketing officer of Aegon Religare Life Insurance.
Traditionally, policyholders rely on known agents to advise them on insurance needs that have changed in recent years with the advent of brokers, corporate agents and bancassurance. “We are very optimistic about the online distribution system. In order to take online distribution to next level and make customers more comfortable, we have also integrated online video conference capability,” said P Nandagopal, MD and CEO of IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company.