Money & Banking

‘Urgent need to fast-track insurance penetration’

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2021

Only 3% of the population are covered under life insurance

The fear of the pandemic may have accelerated purchase of health insurance and life cover among the public, but India still has miles to go in increasing overall insurance penetration and building awareness of its benefits, according to the CEOs of private life insurers and intermediaries.

On the occasion of the National Insurance Awareness Day (June 28), most of them felt that there is a need to fast-track insurance penetration, given that only 3 per cent of the population are covered under life insurance. One may have to take a leaf out of India’s vaccination drive and get insurance penetration levels up on a mission mode, they added.

Naveen Tahilyani, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata AIA Life Insurance, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need for life insurance more emphatically than ever before. With a premium to GDP ratio of less than 3 per cent, clearly there is an urgent need to fast-track insurance penetration in the country.

“This National Insurance Day, let us, as an industry, pledge to bring more of the country’s population under life insurance protection cover and secure the future of their families and loved ones.”

‘Land of savers’

Prashant Tripathy, MD& CEO, Max Life Insurance, told BusinessLine that despite a gradual increase in insurance penetration in the country over the last couple of years, India predominantly remains the land of savers over land of protectors. “Consumers need to be educated on the role life insurance plays in the long-term financial protection and aspects like the right sum assured that can affect the accomplishment of life goals of their loved ones in their absence. By offering a range of innovative and flexible products combined with the digital first approach in all our processes, our focus is steadfastly aligned with customer expectations. We believe the digital approach will help enhance penetration, deliver on superior customer experience and harness the trust of the customer,” he said.

‘Grave economic crisis’

Mahesh Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance, said that the pandemic has infected more than three crore lives and witnessed the death of close to four lakh people, thus plunging the nation into a state of health and economic crisis.

“It has also caused huge financial stress to victims and survivors. This calamity has shown the need for financial protection more than ever before. We, as a nation, must commit ourselves to protect our people by increasing both penetration and density of term and health insurance,” he said. Sarbvir Singh, CEO, Policybazaar.com, said: “During unprecedented times like these, it is important to understand our customer’s outlook towards insurance products and serve them with the right solutions specific to their needs.

“A well-insured nation is always better equipped to deal with economic uncertainties. The pandemic has definitely accelerated awareness around insurance and the quest to buy the right insurance plans.”

Parag Raja, MD & CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, said that the current environment and its impact on economy has not only made people conscious about their security in terms of health, life and future, but also made them aware of the risks of not having a life cover.

“Therefore, we will further enhance our digital model to provide seamless customer service, along with a robust claims management system that ensures customer satisfaction especially in such dire situations,” he said.

Published on June 28, 2021

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