Insurance companies are now taking a slew of steps to promote the concept of insurance among the public.
These include awareness campaigns, social media promotions, road-shows and customer meets. The focus here is not brand promotion or advertising, but purely for insurance awareness.
For instance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has carried out an insurance awareness roadshow called ‘Jan Jagruti’ across different rural locations of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat.
Subrat Mohanty, head of marketing, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, said this was a campaign wherein a vehicle equipped with service support materials and representatives goes out to places and a group of artistes perform a street play in the local language.
Mohanty said they would soon take this roadshow to parts of Tripura in the Northeast and Haryana.
In the last one-and-a-half years, the company has conducted customer meets in small towns across different parts of the country.
Mohanty said the event is called Pehle Aap and “our chief executive officer along with sales officers interact directly with select customers and tell them about importance of having adequate life insurance”.
Insurers are also using their mobile applications for creating awareness not only basic policies but also helping prospective policyholders calculate how much cover of insurance do they need for the various life stages.
These tools are integrated in the mobile app, which can then also be used to buy a policy.
Companies with bank partnerships are also utilising the branch networks to educate customers.
Niraj Shah, director marketing, strategy and products, PNB MetLife Insurance, explained they have reached out to schools and colleges to organise sessions on insurance awareness for students.
The programme enables the young generation to understand the basics of money management and thereby incorporating the importance of financial planning.
“We have developed a film and a jingle on the importance of life insurance for rural and semi urban India. We are starting with workshops in Haryana and plan to reach out to thousands of people in over 10 villages and taluks,” he added. Shah said an important point to note is they do not promote their products or services through this programme.
Sanjeev Mantri, executive director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, said they have been conducting insurance familiarisation workshops across the country, including rural markets to help consumers understand and appreciate the need for insurance across health, motor, travel and home segments.
“We have been focusing on specific days, for example, World Heart Day, for health insurance to spread the insurance awareness message and thus make it more relevant for consumers,” he said.
Social media also plays a crucial role in awareness, since smart-phones have made access to internet more convenient and in several rural pockets, introduction to the internet is usually via the phone.
Mukesh Kumar, executive director, HDFC ERGO General Insurance, said on macro level, they leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to reach out to the digital natives who constitute a large part of the younger generation and can be educated regarding the benefits of insurance thereby ensuring that the future generations are well protected.
“The campaigns are also organised at micro level like road shows, seminars etc across villages as well as through village level entrepreneurs under the Common Service Centre (CSC) programme that enables the rural population to appreciate the benefits of the insurance,” he said,
Sasikumar Adidamu, chief technical officer, non-motor, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said the company hosts regular sessions on Google+ which is aimed at demystifying insurance.
“These hangouts aimed at building awareness about insurance and invited healthy discussions directly between the customers/audience and the top management of Bajaj Allianz.
It has held 8 Google+ Hangouts thus far, with the theme of explaining the finer points of various insurance policies and ways to manage them for steady protection,” he said.
Further, he added that the company runs contests and campaigns to educate users about insurance products such as health, travel, home and motor insurance through social media handles like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The company has also made many one-minute films with the objective of increasing insurance awareness.
Insurance penetration, measured as a percentage of premiums to a country’s gross domestic product(GDP), has been on a constant drop in India.
According to the sigma study from global reinsurer Swiss Re, India’s insurance penetration fell to 3.3% in FY15, compared to 3.9% in FY14. This has been the lowest since 2005-06, when the penetration was at 3.14%.
Curated from Insurance firms launch consumer awareness drive