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January 15, 2019
Insurance is rapidly evolving and hence there is constant endeavour from IRDAI and insurance companies to upgrade the products, processes and technology.
Some of such trends expected in 2019 are as below:
Digitised insurance policies – IRDAI may make it mandatory for insurers to offer insurance policies only in a digital format. Currently, the number of digital insurance policies is very low.
Mental health insurance products – The Mental Healthcare Act took effect in July 2018, making insurance for those with mental ailments mandatory by law. However, due to a lack of clarity on the product structure, insurers have stayed away from offering the products. This year insurers could bring out products with a series of inclusions and exclusions.
Sandbox – Another change is that IRDAI will allow companies to test products in a particular area, or among a set of policyholders, before they are made available in the market. IRDAI chairman Subhash Khuntia said that if the products tested in the sandbox are successful, such products can be filed for approval. Thus, insurers may begin testing products within a close group of customers to get their views and to ascertain the commercial viability of the products.
New capital rules – IRDAI is expected to release a detailed timeline on how risk-based capital will be implemented and the processes to be followed by insurers in pricing each risk. Under this system, insurers will have to maintain capital depending on the type of business that they write.
Technology-Linked Products – This year is expected to see more technology-linked products introduced in the Indian insurance sector. Among the expected trends this year is the use of wearables in insurance. An IRDAI committee has recommended that insurance companies make use of activity data monitored by fitness trackers in pricing their products. Insurance companies may soon require the customer to have a fitness tracker to capture their health status in an accurate manner.