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A technology-oriented approach is powering Tata AIG towards leadership status says Neelesh Garg, in his Leadership Series EDGE webinar

Published on June 20, 2019

In FY19, Tata AIG General Insurance’s (TAGIC) business volume was more than double the FY17 levels, propelling it three places up to the number two position among private sector general insurance companies. Neelesh Garg, MD & CEO of the company shared the story of this amazing transformation with the participants of Leadership Series EDGE Webinar on June 19, 2019.

Some insights from the session were:

A process-oriented approach

The cornerstone of this transformation was an emphasis on process automation by using digital technology. An automated environment leads to lesser risk of frauds, a higher level of customer service, and cost efficiencies. Accordingly, systems and processes were constructed to minimise human involvement, thereby reducing errors, and increasing the speed of transactions.

An example is a successful conversion to digital cover notes from manual ones in motor car insurance. Channel partners now issue cover notes through e-connect, an end-to-end portal, recognised in the industry as one of the most channel-friendly ones in the motor insurance domain. The shift to e-connect is primarily responsible for the 35 per cent jump in motor insurance premiums between FY17 to FY19.
The agent eco-system has also migrated to an automated process. A close-loop portal has been built to fulfil requirements of the agents, including providing information on policy status, training, renewals, etc. TAGIC is now planning to launch a first-of-its-kind initiative through which the entire process, right from recruitment to training, will be handled through the portal with minimal human intervention.

This digital outreach was extended to the employees too - virtual offices were created at partner locations from where they could service their customers, thereby expanding their reach. Employees working in the Small & Medium Enterprises sector benefited immensely from a front-end portal. They can now provide a quotation to prospective customers in three minutes. This award-winning initiative was also used for other segments in the commercial line, including property insurance, marine insurance, etc.

Collateral benefits

The stress on technology has also augmented TAGIC’s profitability. A remarkable instance in point is the two-wheeler insurance business where margins are thin. TAGIC tied-up with Indian Oil Corporation Limited for real-time issuance of policies at their petrol pumps. Agents at kiosks generate instant quotes and after on-the-spot inspections and digital payments, issue policies immediately, thereby reducing sourcing costs.

Claiming the benefits

The most significant gains of the technology-intensive process were seen in the claim settlement mechanism. A programmed chat-bot now provides information to customers about various queries regarding the claim process. A claims management system, which has recently gone live, gives the customers real-time updates about the claim. The transparent system has reduced the customers’ anxiety levels. Drones are now being deployed for surveys at inaccessible locations like flood-affected zones. As a result of these initiatives, claim handling costs have decreased by 36 percent, with a reduction in the customer grievance count as a percentage of in-force policies.

The accent on technology necessitated an elevation of the system capabilities. From an upload speed of 800 policies per day, TAGIC is now successfully handling more than 1000 policies per hour per node — a massive jump! In FY17, TAGIC embarked on an ambitious mission to become the largest private sector general insurance company by FY2025. It has begun well on its journey to fulfil its mission.

The Leadership Series EDGE Webinar ended with an interesting Q&A session wherein the participants asked many questions to Mr Garg.

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