How technology has helped evolve the insurance landscape in India

The Indian Insuretech segment has developed rapidly in recent years and will grow exponentially in the coming years. Technology can play a key role in addressing the challenges faced by the insurance industry in India today. In this exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Vishal Shah, Head of Data Science, Go Digit General Insurance, discusses how technology has been instrumental in helping Digit Insurance stay ahead of the Indian insurance market.

How has technology helped you reduce overall insurance processing time?

Technology and digital analytics are at the heart of our business and are one of our key differentiators. This has helped us to become one of the leading full-stack digital property insurance companies in a short period of time. We use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the automated processing of applications and claims. Technology has enabled us to streamline a large portion of our onboarding, underwriting, service and claims processes, which has helped us deliver a quality customer experience.

We have developed technical solutions with AI-powered analytics that have helped us to streamline the entire value chain and increase efficiency. All routine tasks such as policy design, underwriting, pricing and policy issuance, service and claims management are driven by the microsystems we have developed in-house and they help us automate many processes for our partners and clients. Our turnaround times are a testament to our technical prowess. For example, in FY2022, our turnaround times were approximately 42 minutes for cashless health insurance preauthorization and approximately seven hours for billing health claims. Our claims processing times were approximately 13 days for passenger and 16 days for two-wheeler insurance, including repair time but excluding theft claims, from the date of claim reporting.

Which technologies have helped Digi Insurance to stay ahead in the Indian insurance market?

As a relatively young general insurance company, we have used a number of technical solutions to stay ahead of the curve. We have developed our digital infrastructure from the beginning. The integrated technology stack is a key factor in our strategy and business model. We use technology in every aspect of our business – such as underwriting and pricing, distribution, claims processing and customer service. Our platform forms the backbone for our APIs, applications, portals and websites that enable our customers and channel partners to easily connect with us.

As of March 31, 2022, we were able to process 85.8% of the motor vehicle comprehensive insurance surveys digitally through the use of microsystems. To date we have built over 470 bots for our various functions and partners to automate repetitive tasks.

We have also developed modular APIs that allow us to exchange data between our systems and each third-party website and portal we work with in a tailored way, allowing us to reduce human intervention.

The short processing time has also helped us to improve the customer experience and control the cost of claims settlement. Let me give you some examples. Our application-based First Notification of Loss (FNOL) process allows customers to take a photo with their smartphone, which is further sent to the loss adjuster for assessment of an estimate, which is less costly than an on-site inspection. In fiscal 2022, the average time from FNOL to Vehicle Repair Order (VRO) using our application-based FNOL process was approximately 8 hours, which was 3.1x faster than claims not submitted through this system.

For health claims, we used image recognition technology that converts scanned hospital documents into digital records and automatically fills in the information. This allows us to prevent claims from being submitted twice.

What technology trends do you see for the Indian insurtech segment?

In recent years, technology has completely transformed the way industry works and the insurance sector is no exception. Insurtechs are now using technology to solve some of the key challenges that have plagued the sector for many years. Be it the policy buying experience, the complexity of the products, or the lengthy claims process, technology enables a seamless customer experience that was much needed in the industry.

Four key trends are expected to transform the industry in the coming years. These include artificial intelligence, automation, cloud computing and telematics. Many insurers today use AI to provide a streamlined approach that is fast and accurate. It also helps insurers summarize claims documents faster. We anticipate that AI will play a bigger role in the renewal space in the future. The renewal prediction algorithm is also used to predict the number of customers likely to renew their policy. This helps insurers focus on interacting with customers who are less likely to renew. In the years to come, this will help improve renewal rates and, in turn, reduce customer abandonment.

In addition, we see how intelligent process automation in insurance has proven to be the perfect solution to many of the challenges faced by insurers. The huge reliance on manual labor has decreased, resulting in faster claim processing times, lower costs and an improved customer experience. Cloud computing will also become more important for insurers. For insurtechs, this has already strengthened the foundation by providing a valuable delivery model. Cloud computing provides scalability and storage-related capabilities, helping insurers streamline operations.

What are Digit Insurance’s key initiatives to educate and simplify the concept of insurance for Indians?

We started our journey to change the way non-life insurance products are understood and experienced by consumers and distributors in India. We believe that by simplifying insurance, we can build trust and build meaningful relationships with our customers and distributors. We are redesigning insurance products and processes by offering relevant, transparent and customizable products, creating simple, clear-language documentation for most of our products without technical jargon, and developing straightforward, paperless processes powered by our technology. Our goal is to make insurance products so simple that even a 15-year-old can understand them.

At Digit, we are changing insurance products and processes by one, providing relevant, easy-to-understand products and additional coverage options that customers can choose for themselves to customize their insurance plans. Second, the production of simple documentation in clear, ‘jargon-free’ English, accompanied for most of our products by summaries that get to the point of the coverage. Third, the development of hassle-free, paperless processes supported by internally developed technology to offer our customers and merchants an efficient processing experience.

Additionally, to improve the customer experience, we have deployed front-end technology that our customers are familiar with to make it easier for them to submit and check claim status. Our common goal of simplifying insurance and making all insurance processes, including claims, more transparent is a key differentiator. It promotes a transparent and trusting relationship between us and our customers.


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