How Does Bima Sugam Simplify Insurance Purchase And Claim Settlement Process For Seniors?
Irdai has initiated the Bima Sugam project in 2022 to bring all insurance products and services under one platform.
Debashish Panda, chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), has urged the insurance companies to join its flagship Bima Sugam initiative, which seeks to bring all insurers under one platform for the ease of customers. In his recent meeting with the CEOs of the insurance companies, Panda urged them to join the platform by August 1.
IRDAI is also mulling a health claims exchange to expand, simplify, and speed up the claim process. The Bima Sugam initiative, introduced in 2022, will provide services like selling insurance products and making insurance claims for various companies under one roof.
The platform will benefit the companies in two ways: first, the insurance and intermediary firms can use its data, and second, they can list their insurance products on the platform.
For customers, the purchase and claim process of insurance policies will get simplified. It will especially benefit senior citizens who may have age-related limitations in coordinating with different people for claims.
So, how will Bima Sugam help senior citizens?
All Insurance Products In One Place: The platform will provide details of all insurance products of companies in one place. IRDAI has been pushing the insurance companies to join the platform and take it to the public. IRDAI now wants this platform to be up by August.
The portal will list all kinds of insurance policies, including life, health, and general insurance, such as motor insurance, etc., for buying policies.
Jagjeet Siddhu, chief distribution officer, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Ltd., says, “Insurance products will be far more democratized, leading to better pricing and competition among insurers, which will ultimately benefit consumers, including senior citizens as they will have more choices. It will allow all policy management in a single platform, bringing convenience to senior citizens in managing their policies, be it life, or health in a single Bima Sugam account, including claims.”
Transparency: The platform will provide policyholder data to various intermediaries, such as hospitals, which will save time in verifying patients’ details. It will also help in tracking the claim status. Both the insurer and the insured can access the data in one place, making the process transparent and remove the chances of any procedural delay.
Faster Claim Settlement: The platform will ensure customer convenience and faster claim settlement process, which will especially help senior citizens who may have movement issues. For instance, the platform will ensure a hassle-free experience in tracking and settling claims.
The unified platform fast settlement of the claim process as it will have all the relevant insurance details of the policyholders. It will also make the insurance space competitive and transparent.
Monetary Benefits: Says T.M. Shyamsunder, COO of Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co Ltd., says, “There could be monetary benefits as the dependence on intermediaries, such as agents and distributors, will be reduced. This means lower costs, including no distributor commissions, resulting in more affordable insurance policies for the common man.
Says Siddhu, “For insurers, it can bring down physical distribution costs. For consumers, it will provide better services and more offerings, which can ultimately lead to better value and pricing.”
Furthermore, Bima Sugam will ensure affordable insurance, digital storage of insurance policies, convenience of prioritised queuing, transparent and quick digitized claim processing and policy servicing, security and privacy of information, ease of use, instant acknowledgement for premium paid and issuance of policy document, etc. However, adds Siddu, it’s important to note that senior citizens should be comfortable with using digital platforms to fully take advantage of Bima Sugam.”
“Bima Sugam also proposes an option to log on to regulator-approved platforms to purchase policies without sharing contact details with aggregator portals,” adds Shyamsunder.
IRDAI also reportedly wants to quickly start the health exchange platform. It is reportedly in talks with the chief executives of the general insurance companies.
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