Selling insurance is largely seen as an offline activity in India even today. However, with the growing reach of the Internet and mobile phones, more and more companies are starting to see the value of using the Internet to acquire new customers and improve the experience of the existing user base.
One such example is that of Bajaj Allianz General Life Insurance. The company has been offering Internet-based solutions for almost two years now, and has been treating it as a focus area for the last 12 months and aims to grow its user base by 100 per cent every year. While they won’t share the total number of users, they revealed that the company had seen a month on month growth of 30 per cent in the last one year.
Akshay Mehrotra, Head - Marketing and Corporate Communication, Bajaj Allianz, said, “We are deeply committed to the online side of our business, and it has been particularly successful for us in some of the more transactional models, such as motor insurance, where there is a lot of comparison shopping that people need to do. It adds a lot of convenience and puts a lot of information into the buyers’ hands, helping them to make the best decisions quickly and easily.”
The company was also the first ULIP seller online, Mehrotra informed, and aside from these two, the other two lines that are most successful online are health and travel insurance, where, he said, “The customer is not looking for a lifelong commitment. They want the best rates and best deals, and the net allows them to quickly get the information that they want.”
The company has also used the Internet as a support and service line. There is a dynamic helpline, which allows co-browsing of the website and dynamic chats for visitors to the website, all of which has been made possible by creating a complete new vertical within the company for the digital platform. Mehrotra said, “We are taking our online business very seriously, because while it might not be very big right now, it can only continue to grow, and an example of that is our mobile app for tax savings. We released that across all the different mobile platforms, and in just two weeks saw 30,000 downloads. It might take two more years to become a large part of our business, but the indications are clear, and so we are investing in the future.”
“The Internet cuts down our transaction costs and automates all the routine parts of the process that waste time. Not only that, but it also helps to reach people with consistency in all parts of the country. In fact, the biggest policy we have sold online, which reached into lakhs, was sold in a small town near Bangalore. We didn’t even know at the time if credit cards would allow such a huge transaction, so yes, we were pleasantly surprised, and this is how things can only continue to go,” he concluded.