Life Insurance Industry Spearheads ‘Customer Centricity’

The Four-Pronged Regulatory changes in recent years have brought renewed focus on Customer Centricity

August 08, 2013 3:02 IST | India Infoline News Service

The 24-Member Indian Life Insurance industry, the biggest retail financial service providers in India, with around 36 crore in-force policies, the largest in the world, and strikingly conscious of expanding rural footprint (more than 72% branches in rural and semi-urban geography) for inclusive growth, is now Spearheading next big step to make ‘Customer Centricity’ a key focus area.

The Four-Pronged Regulatory changes in recent years have brought renewed focus on Customer Centricity - be it, protection-oriented like making sum assured at a minimum ten multiples, and offering guaranteed surrender value, or transparency-oriented like forming a policy-holder protection committee or making benefit illustration mandatory for all products, or even investment-oriented relaxing investment guidelines for exposure to infrastructure, or need-oriented like measuring product suitability matrix before making any recommendation.

V. Manickam, Secretary General, Life Insurance Council, the industry body of life insurers in India, said: “The Life Insurance industry would reinforce customer centricity at every step, be it creating awareness by improving financial literacy, need-based service & addressing effectively customer grievances etc. As a matter of fact, there has been an improvement in death claims settled by Life Insurers in terms of number of policies as also by amount in the past three most challenging years. The number of claims repudiated too has seen a significant drop. ” 
Customer Grievance Redressal through Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS) has been successful with no of grievances attended rising, and the number of pending grievances steadily declining to below 1%.
The Life Insurance industry also witnessed Spectacular growth in AUMs, with investments that have been targeted towards deployment of funds enabling infrastructure growth in the country. The AUMs of Life Insurers has risen to INR 17,41,175 crore as on March 2013 as compared to Rs 1,94,010 crore in 2000-01 with a phenomenal growth of around 900%.

For the 11th Five Year Plan, Life Insurance sector has provided more than Rs 7,25,000 crore as long-term funds for infrastructure development of the country.

While the Life Insurance industry, which has immense growth potential compared to other countries, has witnessed a stable growth in total revenues over last two years, one of the most challenging period, there’s been a healthy increase in renewal premium to Rs 1,79,831 crore as on March 2013, compared to INR 1,65,240 crore in March 2011. This signifies that increasing number of customers have reposed trust and confidence on the Life Insurance Industry. The in-force policies have also increased to 35.87 crore as on March 2013, compared to 32.54 crore two years ago and registered rapid growth of 350% compared to 1999-2000, when the sector was opened up for private sector participation.
The total benefits paid to customers by Indian Life Insurance industry in most challenging period, has increased to Rs 1,91,336 crore as March 31, 2013 as compared to INR 1,41, 806 crore as on March 2011. In addition, there has been a marked improvement in death claims settled by Life Insurers in terms of number of policies as also by amount and the time taken to settle death claims.
Life Insurance industry, riding on the growth path that has been spurred by product innovation and multiple distribution channels, is now making a concerted effort towards being Customer Centricity in its approach by adopting Internationally accepted six principles –

Increasing overall confidence, Meeting customers’ Needs, Clear Information, Suitable Advise, Product Performance & Post Sales Barriers.

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