The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted sharing of data in the insurance ecosystem and there is a need to have a central repository, say industry players.
One of the important fallouts of the pandemic is the ability to share the data. If you have to say one thing that we definitely need is a centralised repository. We need a lot more data sharing, IndiaFirst Life Insurance managing director and CEO R M Vishakha said during a virtual panel discussion organised by ETBFSI.com.
At present, there is no centralised know your customer (KYC) system in the country; and between insurance companies if somebody wants to take a second policy, a fresh KYC has to be done, she said.
Even hospitals don't have a common repository, and there is also no common repository or documentation of claims that can be taken from anywhere, Vishakha said.
Can we do it at an insurance company level alone? No. I think it has to be done at an overall environment level, she added.
IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Managing Director and CEO Anamika Roy Rashtrawar said she expects some progress in building up the database and utilising it soon in the sector.
Vishakha said even before the pandemic, the industry had digitised its processes and it helped companies during the lockdown when movements were restricted.
After the learnings we have had from these last four months, one thing that will continue is to build an operation resilience based on higher or an escalated level of digitisation where the systems have to be much more seamless than what it was earlier, Rashtrawar said.
She doesn't see premiums in the general insurance industry going up in the short term.
Increasing prices is difficult. With this price, people are not purchasing and if we increase we will not get any more customers, she added.
Going ahead, Rashtrawar said, the general insurance industry may come out with long-term products that could be specific to a disease or situation.
Edelweiss General Insurance CEO and ED Shanai Ghosh said, during the past few months, one shift the non-life insurance industry has seen is towards health products.
Earlier motor used to dominate, but now health is becoming a dominant segment for us, she said.
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