Digit Insurance is a Fairfax backed insurance company that combines eCommerce and insurance. Vivek Chaturvedi, head-Marketing, outlines how unique the company’s offerings and its approach to customers are:
N. Mohan: Digit Insurance seems to have combined eCommerce and insurance. Can you outline the genesis of the concept and how it is viable in the highly competitive environment in India?
Vivek Chaturvedi: Digit’s mission is to ‘Make Insurance Simple’. And the biggest revolution that eCommerce as an industry has brought to the Indian market is the fact that it has simplified the entire purchase journey for people. Right from a pin to an airplane ticket, everything can be bought online, from anywhere. Similarly, our idea also is to simplify the entire journey for people. Though insurance and simplicity may sound like an oxymoron but that’s what we’re gunning for.
From our policy documents to our terms to our processes, we have made sure that the pain points for customers are reduced. So, if you see our policy documents, you will find that we have used simple to understand English and have created 2-pager summary documents that have everything you definitely need to know about your policy. The intent here is to make the terms so simple that even 15-year-olds get it. From a product point of view, we have created modular products that people can choose from with claim terms that are really beneficial to people in times of need. Even from a claim process point of view, we have made it seamless for people. We have a philosophy of having zero hardcopies, automated processes as far as possible, including self-inspection through the customers’ smartphones that fastens the claims process overall.
Also, we have made sure that people can buy our products from whichever channels convenient to them, whether it is on our website or while they are making a purchase of product through one of the eCommerce portals and they would want to insure the product, or through our 1500 strategic partners (agents & brokers). All of this has made us cross 4 lakh customers today with a premium of Rs2 billion.
How different is Digit Insurance from the traditional players? What makes the company stand apart?
In terms of differentiation, one could obviously point to the way the product is built. Our philosophy on that is to make it as relevant as possible for each customer rather than standardizing a product. Our goal is to increase the relevance of the insurance products and hence the benefits are designed so that customers can experience the claims. We have turned all the perceived benefits into actual ones. For example:
• 75 minutes flight delay cover at Digit vs 6
hours flight delay cover
• Defined fixed benefit for delay or loss of
baggage (as against reimbursement) • IMEI cover for mobile phones • Worldwide cover and no depreciation for jewelry
Our self-inspection process for motor claims helps the customers to empower themselves through advanced cash and fast claims.
Another differentiating factor would be on the processes side. In a way, we are transmitting information or communicating with a customer. Interactions between business partners and us on policy issuance, quotes, documentation and others will be more on a real-time basis and digital, than be paper-focused.
Which are the major products that are on offer?
We are currently providing insurance in 5 verticals - car insurance, 2-wheeler insurance, mobile insurance, travel insurance and insurance for jewelry. We ensure that our plans can fit any wallet size and can be customized according to the most important needs.
Can you explain the efforts that have gone into in making the products simple and for the customers so easy to understand?
We wanted to design processes that work for honest customers and deliver a service we would be proud of. As a part of company’s mission of making insurance simplified, we drafted the insurance features
into a 2-pager summary that encapsulates ‘What is covered’, ’What is not covered’ and important details about the claims process. And to see if we succeeded, we decided to go through a torture test. We tested our summary documents with 15-year-old kids and checked their understanding. This is from the point of view that if the 15-yearolds understand them, adults definitely will. The approach that we took to build the concept of ‘Simplified Insurance’ is:
Setting the right team: To break away from the usual, you need to create a team with the right mix of people ie, people who can bring the power of experience and knowledge from that field and people who can bring in fresh perspectives and can challenge the norms. We believed in having teams that have members from diverse field of expertise. Taking this forward, we hired employees not only from the insurance sector but those with non-insurance background as well such as eCommerce, among others.
Going the paperless way: We wanted to disrupt the insurance industry by going completely digital for which we had to set up systems from the scratch. For us, brainstorming was into technology, network for service providers like garages, phone workshops. Claiming to be a techfirst company does not come that easy, which is why we chose to go 100% on cloud, and we are proud that we are the only BFSI company in India to do so.
Can you speak about the customer base of the company? How unique are your customers?
We have crossed the milestone of 400,000 customers. With a wide array of affordable products on offer, our customers range from a student who buys a mobile insurance to an international traveler who takes up an insurance for adventure sports.
Which is the prime distribution channel agents? Can you give details?
We are making sure that people can buy our products from whatever channel is convenient to them, whether it is on our website or while they are making a purchase for the product they would want to insure on one of the eCommerce portals, or through our 1500 strategic partners.
Do you have any tie-ups with other financial services institutions like banks to sell the products?
No, we do not have such tie-ups.
What is the level of technology induction in the company? Can you give an outline of the technology backbone and how unique it is compared to other insurance companies?
We have a few core beliefs. We are a 100% cloud-based company. We believe in building a completely digital and paperless insurance company.
We believe firmly that claims are not bad and to ensure that customers feel the same way, we have simplified our claims process. We disrupted this process by introducing our pre-inspection app that tells our customers to self-inspect and take pictures for our documentation. We have drastically reduced the inspection time to minutes vs days with this.
We have a lot of automation built in our systems. The bots in the software can go through the huge amount of data we get and turn around the insights at a very fast speed, which helps us advise our customers easily.
Your insurance documents were given to 15-year-old and tested, can you throw some light on that?
When we were designing our products, we were on a mission to make insurance simple. While we could not eliminate some of the basic terms and conditions, we tried removing unnecessary jargons that only lawyers would understand and replaced it with easy wordings.
We also introduced a 2-page summary document that encapsulates ‘What is covered’, ‘What is not covered’ and important details about the claims process. Customers can read them and get everything that they definitely should know and that too in a very comprehensible language.
In order to see how well we succeeded at our attempts, we thought of testing our documents with kids aged 8-15 years to see if they understood our documents. While all age-group kids understood the summary of documents, we scored a 100% with 15-yearolds understanding our documents.
Our next goal is to be understood even by a younger set.
What was the logic behind testing your process documents on a 15-year-old who we understand have almost no knowledge on insurance, their products and offerings?
We knew that insurance contains lots of terms and conditions and words and jargons that only insurance lawyers could understand. Since we were following our vision to make insurance simplified and claims process simpler, we came up with an idea to reduce the insurance document language so simple that even a teenager should be able to understand it. Although we understand that a 15-year-old will not invest in an insurance product, we wanted to test our efforts.
Vivek Chaturvedi explains how the policy document is made simple and can be understood by even 15-year-olds
Prem Watsa, founder, chairman & CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings, with Kamesh Goyal, chairman Digit Insurance