Ramakrishnan Chandrasekaran

In A Despair Market IRDAI Inspires

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is committed to enable insurance for all by 2047, whereby every citizen would have appropriate life, health and property covers, and every enterprise would be supported by appropriate insurance solutions. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Chairman Debasish Panda said, on February 21, that India is moving towards personalized and instant insurance, highlighting the use of modern technologies including ChatGPT, web 3.0 and public blockchain to build such offerings. This underscores the prospects for the innovations of insurtech startups. 

Very recently, IRDAI has decided to hold an open house for insurtech and fintech on 15th of every month at the Head Office of IRDAI in Hyderabad from 11am to 1pm. The basic purpose of this open house is to bring more innovative ideas to the table for the development and achieving higher penetration in the insurance sector. The open house is expected to provide effective and seamless solutions and ideas in respect of various insurance related activities. At the end of the day, the aim is to provide innovative products and improved services to the policyholders. All the insurtech and fintech entities are asked to make use of this initiative and bring in not only innovative solutions, but also solutions which are pragmatic in helping to provide improved seamless insurance services to the policyholders. The power of a group is much better and faster that the power of individuals.  

IRDAI has also come up with an ‘All-in-one’ insurance policy that will cover all kinds of insurance under one roof. The Regulator is working on a plan to introduce ‘Bima Vistar’ an affordable, all-in-one product that will cover health, life, property, accident through a single policy. The plan is also to link with National Health Registries so that claims can be settled within hours or a day maximum. 

There is no second opinion to the fact that we are living in digital age. So also, the fact that India is leading in digital revolution cannot also be challenged. I am sure that when we say digital age, we mean technology enabled solutions. Presently, the technology enabled solutions lead in the area of product distribution. What took months and days has become seconds. Policy issuance is happening instantly. Every insurer handles a large volume of data. Technology enables us to convert data to productivity. However, the digital readiness of the market is still a moot question. To increase penetration, we need to address the insurance awareness and needs of the rural population. I personally feel that the digital transformation to address the rural population is pretty low. 

IRDAI has done its best to give concessions to the insurance companies by allocating 5% over and above the limit of Expenses of Management the companies can incur towards creating customer awareness and spend on digitalization. Companies need to see how far digital transformation helps in improving customer value and competitive differentiation amongst peers. The digital transformation should drive the companies to identify how and where they should grow, based on the company’s overall strategy. Even if a company chooses to adopt a conservative approach, customer service becomes a primary focused area, which cannot be met without digitalization. 

Will digitalization eliminate jobs? Many apprehend that AI driven ChatGPT will replace many existing jobs. My personal opinion is that any technological innovation cannot obliterate the human value.