Published On: Sun, Dec 11th, 2016

Insurers eye more biz after govt’s push for online sales

Mumbai, Dec 11: Insurance companies, which have seen digital sales constitute only a miniscule portion of overall income, expect a jump in online sales following government incentives for promoting new modes of  payment after demonetisation.

Private sector players also feel that they will have to explore if they need to come up with some common products for online and offline so as to provide identical products cheaper when sold online.

Following the November 8-9 demonetisation, the government over the weekend asked public sector insurers to provide discounts of up to 10 per cent on the premium amount for general insurance policies and 8 per cent in new life policies of Life Insurance Corporation sold online.

LIC sells only two policies online now — a term-policy ‘E-Term’ and a single-premium policy Jeevan Akshay.

A senior Corporation official told PTI that “even though we are yet to receive details from the government, we still believe that the move will give a push to digital sales of our two policies.”

LIC could sell only 8,000 plans through its customer portal, out of the total of 2.6 crore policies sold by it last financial year, he said.

Life insurers need the regulator Irdai’s approval to sell online and therefore most of the products are not compatible for digital sales. So the government move will allow them to have a common product that can be sold  both offline and online.

However, private sector life players, despite their technology adoption, have not developed any product that can be sold through both the modes.

Private sector player SBI Life said even though it has similar products, it does not have any identical products now.

“We don’t have any such common products that can be sold online now but will be exploring this option now,” SBI Life chief executive Arijit Basu said.