From the initial use of internet on desktops in the 1980s and 1990s to using handheld devices with 24*7 internet connection, we have certainly come a long way. Digital innovation is the talk of the hour and people are innovating even as you read this article. The insurance industry has been around for over a century and there are more reasons than one to adopt digital innovation in their day-to-day operations.
Traditionally, if you wanted to buy a two-wheeler insurance policy, you would have to get in touch with an insurance broker who would get quotes from different insurance companies based on your needs. Next, you would have to filter out the options provided by the broker and choose one. You can imagine the amount of time all this would take. With insurance companies offering insurance policies online, and web aggregators allowing you to do a comparative study, buying and maintaining insurance has become easier than ever.
Two-wheelers are a highly preferred mode of transport in India. They take up less parking space and provide an easier form of commute when compared with cars. The Indian government, under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has made it compulsory for all two-wheeler owners to get their vehicle insured. If any bike rider is caught without an insurance policy, he/she will be fined heavily and will have to go through a lot of legal hassle.
Shift from offline to online platforms
Insurance policies offered online are typically cheaper than policies offered offline. Since the insurance company saves on the costs incurred on paperwork as well as the payments made to the insurance agents, it shares the savings made with the customers. Also, the time spent on buying insurance also decreases when the purchase is made online. Individuals who shied away from buying policies offline due to the lengthy application processes can now buy or renew their policies by following a couple of simple steps.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has introduced a new service called the e-Vahan Bhima which allows insurance policyholders to store digital copies of the two-wheeler insurance policy. The traffic authorities can use the QR code on the policy to access all the information about the policyholder from the insurer’s database. This service has been rolled out in Telangana in 2016. This does away with the need to carry a physical copy of the insurance policy at all times.
Digitisation in the two-wheeler insurance sector
Digitisation, as established so far, has a positive impact on the two-wheeler insurance sector. It has helped improve and quicken different processes involved in insurance. Take a look at the breakdown of the effect of digitisation on four different aspects of two-wheeler insurance:
Research: Websites of insurance companies and web aggregators make it easy to compare different insurance options. This only takes up a few minutes of your time. An insurance broker, on the other hand, may take a few days to get back to you with quotes. Also, there is a good chance that the broker might have tie-ups with some companies, and he/she may provide biased suggestions. The online medium gives you a fair picture of the options available for your two-wheeler.
Purchase: Offline purchase of a two-wheeler insurance policy involves a lot of paperwork. You will have to get an application form, copies of your identity/age/residence proof documents, documents related to your two-wheeler and so on. Also, in case an inspection is required, an insurance agent would do a thorough inspection of the bike and provide results, after which the policy would be issued.
The online method takes only a few minutes and you can easily upload soft copies of your documents. The verification is done within a few minutes and the policy will be issued immediately as long as no inspection is required. In case an inspection is required, a time slot is assigned for the vehicle inspection.
Renewal: Renewal is much easier with the online process. You need not visit a branch or contact your agent and go through the hassle of submitting documents all over again. For the online process, all you have to do is visit the insurance company’s website, provide the policy number and other details requested. You will be provided with renewal details after which you can make an online payment. The renewed insurance policy will be sent to your e-mail in just a few minutes.
Claims: The claims process of insurance is the most important aspect. Insurance companies will have to function efficiently when it comes to claims. Digitisation has made it simple for two-wheeler insurance policyholders to raise a claim. You can raise a claim by providing the details of the incident on the insurer’s website. Once the claim is raised, an assessor will take a look at the damage caused to the vehicle and decide the amount that can be claimed.
The two-wheeler insurance sector is slowly adopting more and more digital methods to provide a hassle-free experience. In the years to come, the insurance process is surely going to be much easier than it is today already.