Insurance now falls in the category of essential goods and services and has made its way to dinner table conversations in many homes. Such is the time. The COVID-19 pandemic with its uncertainty has changed the way insurance was perceived earlier. We have become more aware of the need for staying protected against all odds and risks. Planning for life’s contingencies, not-risking that extra cash we have saved for rainy days is the top agenda for every family-loving individual.

But, this holds true for only a few. Even though COVID-19 has emerged as the biggest disruptor, many millions still lack basic insurance coverages such as life or health. The consumer trust in the insurance industry and its intermediaries still runs low. We are, even now, an underinsured nation and if this scene is to change, India’s insurance sector will need to unlock the huge cohort of the unserved and underserved consumer pool.

Insurance is an integral part of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is incomplete without the protection that insurance provides against death, disability and health exigencies. India, as a country, has very low insurance penetration – a situation which hasn’t changed for years. If we are being positive about it then this provides a huge room for future growth in the industry in line with the medium-term economic growth projections of the country and the large base of low-income and non-insured citizens.

A vast majority of Indian families have no or limited access to buy an insurance policy. Almost all insurers and intermediaries focus on the middle and higher-income segments. To guard their cost of acquisition they maintain such a high lowest premium size that it becomes exorbitant for a majority of Indian families.

Think about this: A migrant, daily wager who earns as low as INR 300 a day, would be more concerned with sending money back home after taking care of his basic needs. He will not want to get involved in the jargonistic insurance paradigm for reasons as simple as:

  1. It’s too much of a task.
  2. He has failed to relate to its importance.
  3. It’s an additional cost.

Insurance is all about protecting the economic wellbeing of individuals and families and those living by the day require its protection the most. It is a sad irony that those who desperately and immediately need insurance cover are the most underserved in terms of availability of insurance policies. They need to be assisted to buy insurance.

Insurance needs to percolate from urban Bharat and get into rural Bharat, only then financial inclusion will be complete in its true sense. InsureNearby is doing everything possible to change the situation on the ground. It’s our aim and aspiration to “Insure India”. To serve the unserved and underserved is our motto. We will bring in an era of true financial inclusion.

How are we doing this? With the help of those who have never sold insurance. They will now sell insurance to those who have never previously purchased insurance. With our fast-growing network of POS-certified individuals, we will ensure that each Indian is financially protected, thereby, making a big impact on the overall insurance penetration in our country. We have made insurance so simple that even a housewife living in the remotest part of the country can avail it at her neighbourhood kirana store.

With our partner insurers, we have structured and designed insurance products which provide wholesome and adequate protection to families against death, disability and health exigencies. In addition, we are on a crusade to provide coverage to every uninsured two-wheeler in our country. Given that India runs on two-wheelers and a low-income family invests almost too much in it, this was a much-needed step.

InsureNearby, powered by Nearby Insurance Broking Services, is offering insurance products that influence the lives of our customers with the assurance of insurance. Our simple insurance products are pre-underwritten and delivered instantly through our mobile app and web services. We are providing assisted insurance sales and services to our clients in a fast and reliable manner. Our products are affordable, attractive and designed for the low-income segment. These new products at lower premiums will bridge the trust-gap and can change the country’s perception of insurance.

We recognise that, as on date, insurance is sold, rather than brought. But, with the use of cutting-edge technology and proper product packaging, we would endeavour to commoditise insurance sales and make it easy for our targeted customers to buy. Given the strength of the network already created, we expect a large number of insurance policies to be purchased, through us. Our model of distribution is POSP where all our eligible retailers on certification will help their customers buy Life, General and Health insurance products at their doorstep.

We are committed to our insurance partners on a long-term basis. Our partnership is all-round covering sales, servicing and claims. We work closely with insurers to map consumer journey and control any fraudulent claims so that the genuine ones get settled quickly and the overall claims’ experience is good.

We dream of an inclusive Bharat where every individual is within the safety net of insurance. And, slowly and steadily, we are building this ecosystem where the basic needs, in future, will translate to Roti, Kapda, Makaan and Insurance. And, only then we will be a truly insured nation.

Murali Iyer – CEO and Principal Officer, InsureNearby