Aniruddha has been working for 20 years with various organisations across hospitality and health insurance. A 2010 alumni of ISB, he started his career with ITC in Calcutta in 2002 as a management trainee. Post his MBA, he joined Max Bupa as part of the team that helped start operations. After 2 years, he joined CignaTTK as part of the earliest set of employees and, along with Dhiraj, made functional and strategic contributions toward early product testing and design, digital distribution and marketing, channel operations etc. Aniruddha’s eight year stint at CignaTTK played a major role in formulating the early ideas around Kenko Health and getting a deep understanding of Insurance Operations and Tech.
Accept it or not, technology has changed the face of the insurance industry. Getting best quotes, customised to your needs, is a matter of a few simple clicks. Archaic companies are being forced to evolve to match their millennial consumers. No industry can afford to stand still in the age of digitalisation – including a traditional one like insurance. The phrase ‘insurtech’ itself reflects a sector that is in the middle of rampant transformation, evolving through technology in its established world.
The Tech Juggernaut
The focus of the Indian insurtech space is to allow consumers to switch from bloated insurance premiums to tiny subscription plans. These plans are accessible and easy to understand. At low prices, one gets a range of services, from medicines and diagnostic check-ups to treatments.
Digital insurance offerings and a rapidly diversified approach are dictating the pace at which the insurtech industry changes. In a space cluttered with disconnected innovations, everyone is looking for solutions that will actually last and are worth investing in in the long run. 2022 could be the year that identifies scalable technology capable of constantly evolving to match changing demands.
Here are some technological innovations expected to take place over the year and how they could impact this mid-transformation industry.
Automation with Core System Modernisation
Over the past few years, insurance companies have focused primarily on accessibility, with intensive investments in digitising distribution, policy issuance, and digital customer communication. In 2022, we expect these efforts to expand, with insurtech firms moving towards targeting other parts of the insurance value chain, such as risk management, claim settlement, administrative systems, and evaluations.
Organisations are now identifying and assessing partners to start venturing into workflow automation, robotic process automation, and AI automation. As a whole, automation is certain to bring numerous advantages to the core functions carried out by firms today. With a reduction in human intervention, there is an expectation of faster processing of claims, better request analysis systems, increased usage of data in decision-making processes, and standardisation of core systems, thus bringing transparency to an industry notorious for claim settlement.
At the end of the day, the customer is the biggest benefactor from these changes in core systems. Automating the insurance value chain comprehensively will address frauds and reduce expenses, ensuring that premiums are lower for individuals as they enjoy quicker and more transparent underwriting and claim processes.
Data-Driven Innovation at Your Doorstep
The entire insurance industry is based on a large-scale level understanding of risk and the manners in which it can be managed. In the age of insurtech companies, data availability will facilitate structural changes in this understanding. In such a data-dependent industry, comprehensive analysis and data-driven insights will allow for more accurate assessments of risks and the replacement of misguided assumptions with real-world inputs.
The seeping in of technology in all aspects of our lives has meant that an unprecedented amount of data is being generated on a daily basis. The abundant availability of smartphones and laptops, some of the lowest internet prices in the world, and a constant increase in the computing power of small devices have ensured that insurtech companies now have access to data they never had before. The increasing presence of health-monitoring applications and smartwatches will only add to these inputs. These insights can be used to create insurance products that are better customised to individual habits, patterns, and decisions. The days of premiums being decided simply by your age, gender, and smoking habits are long gone.
To make the most of this data-driven innovation, insurance companies are now moving beyond underwriters and risk managers to invest in data science engineers. Furthermore, the health insurance industry in India will benefit from data standards such as ‘Electronic Health Record Standards for India’ and ‘National Digital Health Mission’.
Artificial Intelligence for a Better Customer Experience
As there is greater adoption of artificial intelligence in India, both in the systems we are a part of as well as our personal spaces, AI will soon be a standard fixture in everyone’s lives. Therefore, consumers are seeking experiences more personalised to their needs, especially when it comes to insurance in the health sector. Decades-old ‘packages’ are being ignored for curated, state-of-the-art offerings that meet the demands of the modern customer.
AI allows insurers to create unique experiences, improving the experiences of consumers today. Its ability to leverage significant amounts of data based on an individual’s behaviour and habits is sure to grow over time. Gradually, the data being created from numerous industries, such as healthcare and automotive, will be assimilated through open-source data standards and protocols. This will provide even more intelligent insights for contextual products, embedded insurance, and automated claim processing, allowing for better customer servicing and smoother processes.
Predictive Analytics: Getting a Glimpse of the Future
Predictive analytics has been used in numerous ways by insurers to collect a range of data and better understand and predict human behaviour. However, 2022 promises new ways to improve the accuracy of data generated and their usage.
Over the year, insurtech companies are expected to improve the utilisation of predictive analytics for pricing and risk selection, better identify customers at risk of cancellation, and assess outlier claims. There is also an immense opportunity to address fraudulent use of insurance services, anticipate trends, and triage customer claims. With better analytics, there is an expectation of increased revenues and accuracy for several insurance providers.
Currently, predictive analysis focuses on long-established systems and ensuring that they can be more accurate in nature. However, down the road, we can expect a more proactive use of this technology to identify new revenue sources.