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What to Expect from the Insurance Sector in 2023? The innovation in products has moved solutions from being a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalized one. Pay-as-you-go insurance allows you to switch your car insurance on or off as needed

By Yashish Dahiya

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Insurance in India has come a long way over the past decade and a half. Traditionally, financial emergencies in India would be cushioned by the safety net of the joint family system. However, as that cul-tural structure happend it was not immediately replaced by a fitting alternative. The prowess of insurance was grossly underestimated.

But over the years the perception towards insurance has changed and technology has developed a growing bond with insurance. This amity has been welcomed by increas-ingly mature and empowering regulation by the IRDAI. In the past two years, the industry is witnessing some very prom-ising changes, paving the way for some intriguing trends that we can all look forward to in 2023.

Here is an overview:

Increased customer centricity

Traditionally, our industry used to focus more on what the seller had to offer than what the customer's individ-ual needs were. Gradually, we have shifted from dis-tribution-centric models to customer-centric ones. The innovation in products has moved solutions from being a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalized one. Lead-ing examples of the same are Pay-As-You-Go car insurance which allows you to switch your car insurance on or off as needed. Health Insurance has become more inclusive, encompassing covers around mental health, OPD costs, new-age treatments as well as relaxation of waiting period on pre-existing diseases. This trend is going to continue.

Improved user perception

For a long time, insurance has been seen as a mere tax-saving tool. The importance of protection before investment has simply not been talked about enough. Moreover, the procedural issues related to claim settlement and paperwork in the traditional process used to be persistent deterrents. Over time, the influx of transparency and technology in the industry has helped insurance evolve as a respon-sible way of life in customers' minds. Innovations like speech recognition, virtual assistance, fraud detection, one-stop policy comparison, and 24X7 claim support within 30 minutes have been game-changing. This year is also expected to see new beginnings of innovations.

More collaboration between insurtech and traditional insurers

The industry is at the cov-eted stage where the best of the new and the old come together to create a seam-less path for growth. It's the partnership between insurers and insurtech that has helped bring out empathy-rich and customer-centric products. Since the introduction of technology into the field, fraudulent activities have gone down by a stupendous 90% as per statistics. Instant policy issuance, single-click assistance, and at-will tracka-bility are prized results of this growing friendship. This will grow deeper and stronger in the New Year.

Enhanced reach across rural India

As long as insurance remains accessible only within metro cities in the country, the dream of a financially secure India will remain inaccessible. The real power of insurtech lies in helping create more touchpoints for potential customers who live in rural or semi-urban areas, which makes for almost 65% of India's total population. In 2022, the insurance industry has seen an impressive change on this front as Insurtech has combined technological expertise along with the 'feet on street' model and won over users from underpenetrated or often even remote areas. Ow-ing to the increased awareness and higher trust in insurance products in the post-Covid world, this trend is set to see an improvement in 2023.

Yashish Dahiya

Co-founder & Group CEO, Policybazaar.com

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