The last few years have seen the life insurance industry change at a rapid pace. Technology has played the disruptor and keeping pace has become a necessity rather than an option. The digital platform has changed the habits of Indian consumers who now expect ease of transaction, round-the-clock access to superior quality products and services. We have a customer focused regulator who ensures that companies are offering nothing but the best to customers.
This year HDFC Life completes two decades of business. From being the first private life insurer to get license, to being the first bionic insurer, the journey has been an interesting one and it continues. One of the driving forces for us as an organization has been our motto: To be one of the most successful and admired life insurance company – which means that we are one of the most trusted company, the easiest to deal with, offer the best value for money and set the standards in the industry. In short ‘the most obvious choice for all’. Our values of Excellence, People Engagement, Integrity, Customer Centricity and Collaboration have further ensured that we stay true to what we do and do it with a sense of Pride.
According to me, a single word that could define us is ‘innovators’. We have a multi-dimensional approach to innovation. Whether it is products, processes, business model or services– we have innovated at every stage and used technology with the objective of simplification and offering greater convenience.
Products: At HDFC Life we have always emphasised on product design to create need based product propositions that capture the latent customer demand and that also help create a consistent profit delivery mechanism for the organization.
Time and again we have disrupted the the market with our innovative products. We have launched industry first products such as Cancer Care, Click 2 Protect 3 D Plus, Sanchay Plus, Pension Guaranteed Plan and many more which offer customers both protection and the opportunity to plan their future through regular disciplined savings.
Business Model: While most dominant incumbents prepare for disruption via product, process or service innovation, what can turn out to be a challenge is the introduction of a ‘new business model’. A few years back, we saw the impact that digital business models and platforms and ecosystems were making on the world and realized the need to quickly adopt and adapt to the evolving business model. We made investments in digital assets, transformed our model to put the customer at the center, bolstered our traditional distribution with new age models (like digital channels, ecosystem partners and platforms) – all those investments have paid off and more so during the current pandemic.
There are 3 broad levers that we bank on in our new business model:
Ready to Use APIs: To enable a plug and play experience and quick scalability, we have open APIs, which enable us and our partners to mutually integrate into applications customized for the respective partners’ business needs.
LifeNext: A platform that offers instant services across the value chain right from partner hierarchy mapping, payment modules, insurance certificate issuance, lead transfers to end-to-end workflows.
InstaInsure: We offer pre-approved sum assured insurance solutions for pre-defined customer segments through InstaInsure. Using underwriting algorithms and deep integration with partner systems, these offers need minimal underwriting and documents.
Service: Service plays a critical role in the life insurance business. Today, customers expect superior levels of service. Branch visits are passé and the digital platform is gaining significance. At HDFC Life, we have worked towards leveraging digitization to make the customer experience better. Our focus on instant service, service simplification and resolving specific pain points is based on three key offerings:
InstaServ: a smart policy servicing solution to provide instant and frictionless experience over the counter. This has led to reducing the entire servicing journey to just ~6 minutes, virtually eliminating the possibility of any manual error, reduced paper usage by ~75% in policy acquisition and lowered carbon footprints by reducing the dependence on physical branches and the associated travel required by the customers.
LifeEasy: a 3 click claim process which has been an industry first analytics based online claim intimation portal allowing customers to intimate death claims without having to visit the branch. The average time spent on triggering the intimation is less than 5 minutes. The resulting customer experience is a huge step forward in comparison with the traditional means available to the customer.
Customer 360: enables an all-round view of our customers to our sales and service personnel to enable easy interaction with customers.
These are just a few of our various offerings and we only aim to add more to the list.
Claim settlement: We continue to believe that claims settlement is the ultimate service differentiator and strive to retain a high claim settlement ratio. Our endeavour has always been to enable faster settlement of claims and our Claims Settlement Ratio reflects our assurance. We have honoured 99.07%* Individual Claims in FY 2019-20.
*Individual death claim settlement ratio by number of policies as per audited annual statistics for FY 2019-20.
To conclude, I would say that a one-time innovation can provide a company with a lead in a particular business cycle, but innovation as a culture ensures that it becomes a differentiating moat between a leader and the rest. This is the path that HDFC Life has embarked on. Our zest to be the most respected and the most valuable organisation will continue, by focusing on all our stakeholders.