Banking Frontiers|May 2020
The year 2020 started on a positive note for the insurance industry. Digital disruption and transformation are accelerating customer experience while matching all regulatory challenges all augured well for the sector at large. Adding to it was the end of the financial year, which has traditionally been a good one for the sector resulting in adequate premium collection. With what could have been a dream year for the sector, the onset of COVID-19 and a sudden lockdown is adding pressure not just on insurance but the entire healthcare sector at large.
The impact on insurance specifically has been multifold. Travel restrictions and flight cancellations for example have meant no new travel insurance. Likewise, difficulties in getting medical tests with the lockdown situation are slowing down the growth rate of offline healthcare policies. Lack of access to a networked cashless hospital owing to lockdown or panic buying or frenzy over COVID-19 coverage in their respective policies is making third-party administrators (TPAs) encounter huge inflow of queries.
So, while it is also true that insurance sector is not the only one impacted by the lockdown as it affects the entire economy, insurance with its own set of challenges, including uncertainty over claims in a post-COVIKD-19 situation runs the risk of undoing all the previous good work.
With insurers working from home and polices being sold online, the financial impact is not as much of a challenge as the post lockdown situation. So, has the insurance industry with its focus on digital transformation attained enough resources and expertise to handle sudden inflow of claims? Or will the slow manual processes post lockdown undo the superior Customer Experience (CX) the digital transformation offered?
THE ‘NEED FOR SPEED’
Claims experience is a subject matter of speed. To offer a superior customer experience in the insurance sector requires speed deliverability. Speed is not just limited to claims but for doctors, health workers and insurers as no one likes waiting in a queue. Speed eventually is the most essential element of customer satisfaction.
And speed is what has been impacted owing to the COVID-19 problem and lockdown. G Bharathamma, CEO, Med Save Health Care TPA, shares the importance of pre-emptive preparation: “While we were ready with essential emergency services as a TPA, like cashless and contact center, a proactive approach made us ready for lockdown by the time the Janata curfew was announced.” On claims, however, Bharathamma admits a lack of preparation mainly due to the inflow of physical documentation and lack of digital infrastructure at home for the staff impacted speed.
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE