Mumbai: Dr Subhash C Khuntia, Chairman, IRDAI has underlined the need for insurance companies to focus on more simple products that are both innovative and transparent in nature. He also urged the companies to focus on long-term measures post COVID to increase customer base.

Dr Khuntia said, “We now need to focus on converting adversities into long term results to transform the industry and get sustained value in the future.” He also urged the companies to come out with innovative processes and increase the use of digital platforms to engage with customers. “Connectedness with the customers is very important as it helps in building trust,” he added.

Emphasizing on the use of innovation and technology, Dr Khuntia said IRDAI had introduced the Regulatory Sandbox and the first phase received good response. “The second window is opening from 15th September and I invite Fintech companies, along with insurance companies to participate for innovative products and processes. We will be happy if more emphasis is given on dealing with the current and post pandemic solutions,” he said.

In order to build trust among the customers, Dr Khuntia said that insurance companies should focus on faster claim settlements, streamlining of grievance redressal mechanism. “Communicating frequently with the public also will help in building a better rapport with the customers. In difficult times, insurance companies have to come to the rescue of the policy holders. Our operations are anti-cyclical in nature,” he noted.

He further expressed hope that the Indian insurance industry has the resilience to fight the pandemic. “We will come out with a positive growth very soon. Till up to July, only life insurance has remained negative but general insurance and health insurance have recorded better growth,” he added.

Dr Khuntia said that there is a need for insurance companies to include standard products into their product list to enhance the insurance penetration in the country. He added that IRDAI introduced two standard products Corona Kawach and Corona Rakshak, during the pandemic. “These standard products are designed after consultation with each stakeholder. I urge the industry to cooperate. The advantages include easier customer choice, less dispute at settlement time that will benefit the companies too,” he said.

Mr M R Kumar, Chairman, LIC said, “We as an industry learnt deeper lessons and came up with long term strategy and solutions. The focus should not be on firefighting but creating a robust risk management structure.” He added that we need to unlearn and look at the future in a more creative manner. There is a need to review the efficacy of the current processes and their re-engineering as per the evolving demands.

He further emphasized to focus on IDEAS- Investment opportunity, Distribution of insurance products, Economics and efficiencies, Administration of business & focus on technology and Solvency and soundness of the industry.