Most Indians still depend on agents to fill up insurance proposal forms: Report
Customers are generally advised to fill up the proposal form themselves so that there is no discrepancy of data. In case of incorrect information being filled in this form, there is a chance of a claim getting rejected if wrong details had been filled.
M SaraswathyMoneycontrol News
A large proportion of Indian customers still depend on insurance agents to fill up their proposal forms for buying a policy. According to a survey by National Council of Applied Economic Research commissioned by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), only around 6 percent of the households are filling the proposals themselves.
The post-launch survey report of IRDAI’s insurance awareness campaigns (2010-15) said that the dependence on the agents for filling up the proposal is very high in the western region where more than 80 percent of the respondents reported relying on agents for filling up the proposals.
At the all-India level, nearly half of the households have taken a life insurance policy on the advice of insurance agents. Another one-third of the households have taken the decision on their own. A significant percentage of households, especially in the western region, are influenced by more than one factor while taking the decision to purchase a policy.
Customers are generally advised to fill up the proposal form themselves so that there is no discrepancy of data. In case of incorrect information being filled in this form, there is a chance of a claim getting rejected. Often, agents fill out the form and only take the customer’s signature at the designated places.
Several insurers like ICICI Prudential Life Insurance have a full-fledged tablet based sale so that customers do not have to fill lengthy forms and the turnaround times are lower.
Insurance agents are the most preferred option as nearly two-thirds of the rural and 70 percent of the urban households prefer the services of licensed agents for buying insurance policies. In fact, in all the four regions, insurance agents constitute the most preferred option for purchase of insurance policies.
The report said that in the case of the uninsured households, nearly 38 percent of the households do not know from where to purchase the policies. The study shows that in 61 percent of the cases, the agents have themselves filled the insurance proposals.
“This could be one of the reasons for the households preferring to purchase policies from agents as they get help in filling the proposal and other paper work,” said the survey report.
The dependence is less in the southern region where 45 percent were getting the proposals filled by the agents. In almost all the four regions, not much rural-urban difference is observed in the dependence on agents for filling up the proposal.
The state-wise tables also reveal a similar pattern in all the states with the exception of Arunachal Pradesh (25 percent) and Tripura (57 percent), where a large percentage of the households are filling up the proposals themselves.