The turn of the decade would forever be marked by our resilient fight with an invisibleadversary. COVID-19 engulfed more than 3 million lives worldwide and impacted livelihoodsacross the world. Despite all the hardships arising due to the pandemic the collectiveresponse triggered by the indomitable human spirit will go down in history as a testamentof our endurance.
Global economic damage due to COVID-19 is estimated in the range of $ 5.8trillion to $ 8.8 trillion by the Asian Development Bank. Much like in other parts of theworld India too faced economic challenges but it has stabilised gradually. Given thelessons learnt from the first wave of COVID-19 we are now better prepared to deal with itand various projections suggest that the economy is back on the growth path.
CovId-19 and our resPonse
Life insurance serves as a critical component in any prosperous society. When thelockdown was first declared upholding the highest standards of being a responsibleemployer was vital. We therefore successfully transitioned all our employees to thework from home' model safely without causing any disruption to processes.Further we also introduced various measures such as tele-consultation with Companydoctors addition of home care packages in the mediclaim policy COVID-19 treatment leaveand mental health counselling for employees and their families to help them during thishour of need.
Our early investments in technology helped us to be resilient and adjust to the newways of working and contactless services. The various collaboration tools and the digitalplatform helped distributors and sales personnel transition to selling and meetingcustomers virtually from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Leveraging the power of technology we provided our customers with a superiorhassle-free experience across the policy life-cycle from onboarding to servicing claims.Our full-service digital platform ensured uninterrupted service delivery to customersincluding the crucial aspect of claims.
20 YEARS OF PROTECTING PEOPLE'S LIVES
The year 2020 also marked the 20th anniversary of the Company's operations. Despiteseveral challenges we remained highly focused on the needs of our customers by virtue ofour investments in innovative products digital processes and a multi-channeldistribution strategy. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuedsupport as we complete two decades of our momentous journey.
In the last two decades the Company introduced many industry-first initiatives withthe objective of simplifying processes that have gone on to set new benchmarks andrevolutionised the way life insurance is sold in India. Our approach has been one ofproviding convenience to customers while simultaneously increasing organisationalefficiencies. Tele-medical which today has become a buzzword in the industry was firstintroduced by us eight years ago. Similarly the Company introduced home medicals forcustomers who could not travel to local medical clinics. We also introduced the"Claim for Sure" service initiative where eligible claims are settled in one dayafter receiving all documents.
Leveraging our technology strengths we were the first to integrate Aadhaar and PANservices in our operations use instant Optical Character Recognition and developed thecustomer profiler. Recently we also deployed an AI-based conversational Chatbot forrenewal premium reminder calling.
ADVANCING FINANCIAL INCLUSION' THROUGH ACCESS TO LIFE INSURANCE
As behavioural changes induced by the pandemic make their impact felt over time thereis a strong need for financial inclusion as a major step towards inclusive growth andoverall economic development. With the increasing share of working population coupled withgreater financial awareness and affluence there will be an increased demand for protectionand long-term savings. Financial inclusion and financial literacy increases the ability ofthe disadvantaged to make informed judgments and take effective decisions. At ICICIPrudential Life Insurance we are serving the protection and long-term saving needs of ourcustomers with sensitivity. We believe life insurance has a larger societal and economicrole to play in ensuring that families have financial security while providing long-termfunding for the economic development of the country.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The pandemic has revealed the protection gap and vulnerability of families in thecountry. According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India lifeinsurance density in India has gone up from $ 9.1 in 2001 to $ 55 in 2018. Howeverdespite the growth our insurance density is just about a sixth of that of China.Similarly according to a leading reinsurer India's protection gap stands at $ 16.5trillion. The landscape painted by these data points reveal the enormous opportunitywaiting to be explored.
We at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance realise the importance of executing businessobjectives within the framework of stakeholder capitalism. We were therefore delighted tobe featured as the only life insurance company in the Top 30 of India's most sustainablecompanies by BW Businessworld in FY2020.
In the last 20 years through our various Corporate Social Responsibility initiativesthe Company has touched over 1.8 million lives with a total contribution of more than Rs1.92 billion. In our fight against COVID-19 the Company contributed Rs 100 million to thePM CARES Fund. In addition employees made a total contribution of Rs 26.50 million fromtheir payroll towards this cause.
AT ICICI PRUDENTIAL LIFE INSURANCE wE ARE SERVING THE PROTECTION AND LONG-TERM SAVINGNEEDS OF OUR CUSTOMERS wITH SENSITIVITY. wE BELIEVE LIFE INSURANCE HAS A LARGER SOCIETALAND ECONOMIC ROLE TO PLAY IN ENSURING THAT FAMILIES HAVE FINANCIAL SECURITY wHILEPROVIDING LONG-TERM FUNDING FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.
At ICICI Prudential Life Insurance we maintain a steadfast focus oncustomer-centricity and keep ourselves abreast with our customers' evolving life goals. Wehave been continually investing in digital technologies to improve service quality andmake operations leaner and cost-optimal. We aim to keep the customers' best interests inmind understand their needs and analyse drivers of their purchase decisions. In line witha dynamic and constantly changing landscape we are redefining our work processes andspeed of innovation.
Today we are a truly customer-led Company and have established a platform from whichto evolve and grow. With an ear-to-the-ground we are constantly aiming to better servethe ever-changing needs of our customers. As we scale up for the future we will continueto bring in new platforms and technology to capture new growth opportunities.
Once again we are extremely proud of having completed 20 years of delivering on ourpromises and earning the trust of our customers. Being in the business of protectingagainst risks we hope to be the custodians of our shareholders' trust to learnto build to thrive and to advance on this journey collectively.
Our performance over these two decades puts us in an excellent position to pursue ourcustomer-focused strategy and deliver value to all our stakeholders. On behalf of theBoard I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to our journey inserving millions of customers. Together we continue to impact and improve lives.
As always I am grateful to my Board my colleagues customers shareholders and otherstakeholders for their support.
m. s. ramaChandran