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How to make buying insurance as simple as ordering gadgets online for millennials

Insurance companies must find ways to ensure that medical bills are settled quickly using technology

August 13, 2021 / 10:37 AM IST

Millennials buy almost everything online these days, more so after the COVID-19 pandemic set it. E-commerce sites such as AJIO, Amazon and Flipkart have made it easy for us all kinds of stuff with a few clicks. A friend of mine recently ordered eight mobile phone covers. Actually, he needed only one, but chose to keep two. Then, he returned the remaining six. A delivery boy picked-up the returned products. The next day, he got the full refund for the rejected covers. The online seller took care of everything.

Now, how about buying an insurance policy online? First you have to figure out which policies have the least waiting periods. Then you need to figure out which policy has fewer exclusions. After doing all this, you can safely proceed to buy a policy that suits you the best.

When it comes to making a claim, there several documents to be submitted and multiple queries to be answered. This can become frustrating for the insured. Unfortunately, the typical millennial does not have the time. And so, she postpones the purchase.

What can insurance companies do to reach out to our millennials? Here are my four suggestions

Simple insurance products help


Why did many insurance companies discontinue Corona-Kavach? The demand for this policy was high. It was a simple product to understand. COVID-related medical expenses get covered in the policy, after an initial waiting period of 15 days.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies thought that the sale of comprehensive health insurance policies may go down. However, Corona Kavach appealed to the millennial. The young do not necessarily want to pay a higher premium for a general health insurance policy, which includes diseases and ailments that might seem improbable today. That is why such policies don’t appeal to many millennials at a young age.

In fact, we need to introduce more products like the Corona Kavach – for instance, a vector-borne illnesses coverage. Think of a buying a sachet of a cold drink concreate instead of an entire bottle. Once the millennial likes what she gets, she can later migrate to a comprehensive plan.

Not just hospital bills, but after care

Most insurance policies reimburse your hospital bills. However, policyholders have several immediate health problems to solve. Consider several chronic health conditions that are highly prevalent: computer eye syndrome, orthopaedic concerns such as lower back pain or sore thumb, and mental health issues, especially stress and depression.

It is estimated that every third patient visiting an ophthalmologist between the age of 20 and 45 is for computer eye syndrome. Tight hamstring is directly associated with the sedentary lifestyle that comes with desk jobs. Mental health is increasingly becoming mainstream and less of a taboo. Standard health insurance keeps consultations outside the policy purview because they are of Out-Patient department (OPD) in nature. This is an excellent engagement opportunity missed. If one can empathize with the actual need of the policyholder, they will have higher trust with the provider to do their need analysis and solve even larger problems for them.

How to make the claims process simple

Today, many of us use UPI, digital credit cards, and wallets to make payments in a matter of seconds. However, waiting for 30 to 60 days for reimbursement of insurance dues feels like an eternity. Cashless claims was a great innovation that happened several years ago. But we need to do more. Insurance companies must find ways to ensure that the bills are settled quickly and use technology – and perhaps trust their customers a bit more – to enable speedy processes.

Make insurance affordable

Many of us avoid spending extra money for buying a health insurance policy because our office provides a group cover.

Insurance companies must promote top-up health covers. The deductible could be equal to the employer’s sum assured. The entry-level price for a top-up is substantially lower than traditional mediclaim. It also directly solves the issue of under-insurance, as the employer coverage ranges between Rs 2-5 lakh, and is generally inadequate. While a number of top-up plans are available, more customization options needs to be offered to enable uptake. Some of these could be the ability to convert the plan into a grounds-up, full cover at a later date, a larger family definition, and flexible payment options.
Abhishek Bondia Is Principal Officer and Managing Director,
first published: Aug 13, 2021 10:30 am
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