Bajaj Allianz to offer value-added services

Bajaj Allianz plans to launch value-added services for its health portfolio in order to extend benefits for purposes beyond hospitalisation. The insurer mulls introducing health cards, which may help customers avail discounts for health checkups and in gyms.

With respect to health insurance, India is one of the most under-penetrated markets so far. Close to 100 per cent claims ratio is forcing insurer’s health portfolio in red. Providing the right product for the right segment at the right price is the only way to sustain in the business, according to Tapan Singhel, MD and CEO of Bajaj Allianz.

“In the era of portability, service will be the clear winner in the battle to win customer loyalty. Customer engagement through health camps and value-added services will become a trend. We are also trying to take that route,” he added.

“The company is experimenting with the concept right now and is in the process of issuing healthcare cards for the same. The idea is to extend health insurance to all measures taken to keep one healthy. Unlike in the present, health benefits should not cater to only people that are hospitalised,” Singhel said.

Historically, up till 2009, the average sum insured offered by health insurers was Rs 15,000, which gradually increased to Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. At present, health insurers record an average sum insured of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, which is expected to rise in the years to come. Moreover, you should consider your life stage in terms of dependants and income. Ideally, one should increase their sum insured by 15 per cent to 20 per cent every year. Hence, increasing health insurance costs has become a deterrent for general public to buy these policies. They tend to ignore health insurance because the benefits are reaped only when hospitalised, which is not an everyday event.

The insurer is looking at different pricing schemes for various age bands based on their health history. It is also planning to launch a specific women’s product that may be priced at least 15 per cent less than that of the corresponding men’s insurance policy. Both policies would be filed with the regulator and once they get cleared, they may be launched over the next seven months, Singhel said.

Health insurance takes up about 12 per cent of Bajaj Allianz’s total portfolio. It earned close to Rs 500 crore in premium income last year. The company expects at least 25 per cent growth this year and is optimistic about reaching 35 per cent, Singhel said.

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