Despite the advent of technology and tech-led insurance platforms giving a formidable alternative to conventional insurance products, policy holders still find comfort in interacting with human agents when it comes to term and health insurance. These observations were made by PolicyX.com Health & Term Technology Survey 2022.
According to the survey, nearly 65 percent still express discomfort in buying health and term insurance through a website or mobile app without first interacting with a human agent. However, fewer than 30 percent of respondents seemed absolutely comfortable in buying insurance through a portal or an app.
Filing insurance claims
A vast majority of respondents expressed that they won’t be comfortable in filing health or term insurance claim on a website without having to deal via an intermediary or an individual. Nearly 67 percent of participants declined for proceedings without a middle person. At the same time, over 21 percent agreed to be comfortable with the complete digital transaction and 10.9 percent seemed disoriented with their choice.
Naval Goel, Founder & CEO, PolicyX.com rationalises the need to have human interaction in the insurance business. He said, “Insurance is a progressing industry where several new technologies are being adopted to be able to elevate the entire customer experience starting from buying to raising claims to even porting insurance. However, insurance has always been a push product where agents or advisers have played an instrumental role in bridging the gap between the insurance companies and customers.”
When artificial intelligence steps in
When the policy holders are not too comfortable with technology, what could follow when a health or term insurance claim is reviewed completely by artificial intelligence instead of an agent. To this, majority of respondents expressed their explicit aversion. A little over 72 percent of respondents clearly stated that they won’t be comfortable if a health or term insurance claim is reviewed completely by artificial intelligence instead of an agent.
At the same time, nearly 24 percent said that they will be comfortable if health or term insurance claim is reviewed completely by artificial intelligence without human interference.
Privacy concerns over discounts
There is a growing trend of insurers around the world to offer discount to policy holders in exchange for sharing personal details relating to food habits and fitness regime via a tracking system.
In India, more than one-third participants (36.4 percent) claimed to be comfortable with such discounts that came at the expense of sharing personal data whereas nearly 49 percent denied any such tracking.
"The human touch will be essential from customers’ standpoint as it is an important commodity for them. This human intervention is required by them to ensure that they are investing in the right product plan and convenience in the following process,” said Mr Goel.
Similarly, there are now health monitoring gadgets such as fitness bands that collect complete health related data. This data is used by insurance companies to monitor and assess the health of policy holders.
A vast majority i.e., 58 percent of respondents showcased their concerns with sharing such data while nearly 22 percent were comfortable with this.
Although the respondents expressed ‘discomfort’ in switching completely to technology minus agents, it is still unfeasible to accept the significance of technology at every stage from buying a policy to applying for a claim. But that should not — perhaps — come at the expense of availability of human agents.