Selling insurance polices through the e-commerce model will benefit consumers and companies alike as it would offer real-time connect and unleash digital touch points to bring in more transparency, say experts.
Last month, regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) proposed norms for selling and servicing insurance products through e-commerce to increase insurance penetration in the country in a cost-effective manner.
The Insurance Self-Network Platform will undertake insurance e-commerce activities in India such as selling and servicing of insurance products, Irdai had said earlier.
According to Nilesh Parmar, COO, Edelweiss Tokio Life, allowing agents and intermediaries to set up an Insurance Self-Network Platform (ISNP) is an extremely progressive measure proposed by the regulator.
This will lead to benefits of significant convenience, expanded reach, real-time connect, advanced digital analytics and improved cost efficiencies to be available to the entire ecosystem of participants in the insurance distribution space, Parmar said.
Future Generali Chief Operating Officer Easwara Narayanan said a parallel existence and conduct of business in the online space is a contextual requirement and the order of the day for any business, going forward.
That the insurers can go ahead with marketing the products which have already been approved by the regulator will quicken the implementation, Narayanan said.
He is of the view that mandatory e-KYC and e-Insurance Account for online business are welcome moves and will go a long way in putting insurance business on a strong technical and commercial foundation.
Irdai’s proposed norms for selling and servicing of insurance policies through the e-commerce platform is a welcome move for under-penetrated insurance space in the country, said M Ravichandran, President-Insurance of Tata AIG General Insurance.
Insurers can benefit by creating a large network of digital touch points, building more transparency and reach for distribution, he added.
This also means that insurance companies will have to be ready to undertake multiple integrations in a short span of time.
Parmar added that the move will ensure Indian customers reap the benefits of growing Internet connectivity.
It will lead to greater access to information, product range and better pricing for consumers, he said.
Insurers will be able to reach out to and effectively communicate with a much larger set of digitally-enabled potential customers by tying up with these e-commerce players, Parmar added.