Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Facebook-BCG report reveals how the insurance sector leveraged digital influence to increase penetration post COVID-19

The sudden acceleration of digital technologies by consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically transforming how we live, work and communicate with each other. This report sheds light on the insurance sector, dissects industry trends to analyse how insurance businesses should leverage the power of digital to cater to the changing needs of their customers

Published: Aug 3, 2020 09:47:10 AM IST
Updated: Aug 4, 2020 08:17:55 PM IST

Facebook-BCG report reveals how the insurance sector leveraged digital influence to increase penetration post COVID-19
Insurance is a sector that people seem to consider increasingly important in their lives. While spending sentiment is translating differently across categories, increased focus on financial protection and health wellness are clearly driving a positive sentiment for this sector.

While the industry had already made big strides towards digitisation, it’s safe to assume that the pandemic has played the role of a catalyst in driving awareness towards insurance in a very short span of time.

COVID-19 has significantly accelerated the opportunities of digital engagement and digitised delivery for the insurance industry. Therefore, insurance companies must come up with multi-pronged strategies across possible scenarios as trust in brand will play a key role in decision making amidst the growing uncertainty.

Social media is playing a key role in the online strategies for insurance companies in the post covid world. Right from discovery of brand and products, to enabling a virtual conversation on messenger or chat to final purchase - there's a full funnel of solution being exploited by marketers to connect with consumers in social distancing.

While an increased risk awareness and a perception of safe investment are driving a positive sentiment in this sector, marketers must leverage the increased digital influence to reach out to this affluent audience online and identify opportunities for sales to drive business resurgence.

Facebook-BCG calls out some key consumer trends that have significant implications for the insurance industry

-    Digital acceleration in the insurance sector: 40-45% of urban consumers expected to be digitally influenced post COVID v/s 30-35% pre-COVID.

-    Consumers increasing online spends: 45% of urban consumers are planning to increase spending on health insurance in the next 6 months.

-    Consumers will expect purchase journeys to be fulfilled seamlessly in a digital manner: Right from discovery, form filling, verification, payment to policy issuance, consumers will have a higher need for virtually assisted sales and after-sales support.

Gaurav Khurana, Vertical Head - FinServ & Travel, Facebook India said, “With consumers spending most of their time online, insurance companies can look at reaching out to their consumers through digital platforms which can sequentially deliver personalised messages helping brands drive better consideration. Additionally, digital through its ability to target at a hyper-local level will be able to aid insurers in helping agents generate leads in their specific areas of operation.”

Pranay Mehrotra, Managing Director & Senior Partner, BCG India said, “Consumers are keen on spending more on insurance. Driven by risk awareness, there is a strong inclination to buy more term insurance along with high cover health insurance. Trust factor needs to be stressed upon through product proposition and customer experience, that is going to separate one insurer from another in terms of purchase and retention.”

Facebook & BCG recommends these opportunities for insurance companies to win consumers in the new normal and the role digital can play

  1. Educate consumers on insurance features by leveraging digital platforms to ensure the reach of E-products and illustration in vernacular languages.  

  2. Empowering agents using data and analytics to increase productivity via hyper-localised customer leads. 

  3. Win online with changing consumer needs by activating digital sales across aggregator platforms and partnering with e-commerce platforms and digital wallets.

  4. Replicate in-person experience to ensure an end to end virtual support to complete a purchase.

  5. Strengthen brand loyalty via strong after-sales support with human assistance for claims and renewals via digital channels like insurer app, conversational platforms.
Vishy Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director, Max Life Insurance Company said, “We had to reinvent our onboarding and customer acquisition model from a conversational approach to a digital selling approach. We have observed that mindful shopping and brand trust have become the key drivers of consumer spending across categories and adapting to the evolving consumer behaviour is imperative.”

To know more, read the full report here:

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.