India has low insurance penetration levels and faces huge insurance protection gap across all segments. Recently, IRDAI Indian regulator has taken various measures to increase penetration of insurance within the country.
Product innovation is also a new avenue for the insurers in order to bridge the penetration gap within the country. An effective product innovation is tied to a deep understanding of customers’ emotional and practical needs and wants, paired with the ability to quickly get those products to customers. Traditionally insurers have focussed on analysis of risks instead of customer needs and preferences and have not considered product development as a core competency.
SafeTree, a Gurgaon based insurtech, works closely with insurance companies to develop products which are as per the customer requirements. “Our approach focuses on discovering customer needs first, then responding with propositions,” said Vikas Anand, CEO of SafeTree, “Our teams are divided as per industry so that we can understand the problems and dynamics of each industry and accordingly develop suitable products for each requirement.”
Mr Vikas shared that SafeTree has developed a new insurance proposition for Oocyte donors for the first time in the country. India has been one of the world’s largest IVF markets over the past two decades due to the exponential growth of fertility clinics. As per new regulatory guidelines before beginning the simulation procedure on donors, IVF clinics are required to give a health insurance policy for oocyte donors. But there is no insurance player in the industry who has coverage for Oocyte donors.
SafeTree’s team began exploring ways to build a product with an insurance company that could change the nomenclature of this particular problem concern in insurance policy. Considering this was a normal exclusion and a component of the IVF clinic, the team conducted days of research along with the most well-known insurance companies in the market, and a viable product was designed in-house.
After two months of arduous labor and numerous meetings with insurance companies’ underwriting teams, a reputable insurance company accepted the product design and the proposal to cover oocyte donors from the start for a respectable sum insured offering.
This actually was a great breakthrough. SafeTree is in the process of developing more such products that would help customers who are looking for customized insurance policies based on their needs.
He also informed that post Covid many private schools had seen exodus of students due to financial challenges faced by the parents. Hence, they devised their unique ‘Education Unlimited‘ insurance proposition which ensures continuity of education of the student in a private education institution irrespective of financial challenges faced by the parents due to health, death, job loss of earning parents. Similarly, SafeTree is working on a comprehensive insurance solution for rural farmers.
Mr Anand believes product innovation will further enhance the trust of customers in Insurance products and hopefully bridge the protection gaps in the country.