Private insurer Bharti AXA General Insurance, on Wednesday, said it has started delivering policies and premium renewal notices to its customers through WhatsApp.

It also plans to soon start selling private car, two-wheeler and travel insurance through the WhatsApp chatbot..

The company claims to be the first among non-life insurers in India to introduce the entire bouquet of service initiatives — such as policy documents, renewal notices and claim intimation — through the WhatsApp chatbot, an intuitive and user-friendly chat structure where customers can raise requests through numeric inputs.

The insurer said it has introduced the WhatsApp chatbot as an instant and additional customer service option, apart from its multiple channels, including a network of branches, robust customer care and contact centre, and dynamic portal.

“We are building innovation into our strategy and performance development to generate higher productivity for all stakeholders, including customers,” said Bharti AXA’s MD and CEO Sanjeev Srinivasan. “Hence, we have taken a step towards servicing customers on an innovative platform — WhatsApp — for their convenience with real-time query resolutions and updates. As WhatsApp has become one of the preferred online communication channels for the majority of the populace, we are using digital touch-points to make policy, service and claims related processes as easier and faster as possible for our customers. It is an ‘instant messaging’ platform to stay connected with the policyholders anytime, anywhere.”

Customers can also use the chatbot to locate the nearest cashless network of garages and hospitals by providing the pin code. Additionally, they can register motor claims and check the claim status. A branch locating facility is also available.

With the WhatsApp chatbot, the total time take for a service request has been reduced from 8-9 minutes of call time to immediate and instant closures, according to Srinivasan.

To initiate WhatsApp support and updates, customers need to give a missed call to the company on its specific number.