New age digital customers drive changes in new age insurance plans

New age digital customers

Internet has become a staple diet of new age millennials whose day doesn’t end without accessing the internet at least once. In fact, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) predicted the number of internet users in India to cross 500 million-mark by June 2018 in their report published in December 2017 (Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/internet-users-in-india-expected-to-reach-500-million-by-june-iamai/articleshow/63000198.cms ). As per Google’s research, India adds about 10 million active internet users every day (Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-is-adding-10-million-active-internet-users-per-month-google-118062700882_1.html ). Given the popularity of internet, insurance companies have redesigned their insurance plans to meet the needs of the new age digital customers. Do you know how insurance plans have changed in recent times? Here’s a lowdown –

Term insurance plans

Term plans are the most popular and most relevant life insurance plans which provide unmatched financial security. Here’s how new age term plans have evolved –

– Companies are offering higher sum assured levels to customers. In fact, in many plans, there is no maximum limit on the sum assured. You can choose any coverage level as per your coverage requirements

– Since life expectancy has increased, term plans are allowing the maximum coverage age to be up to 80 or 85 years

– Online term plans have reduced premiums considerably and are available instantly

– There are inbuilt riders in term plans which have enhanced the benefits payable

– New whole life term plans have been launched covering individuals for up to 100 years of age

Health insurance

Health plans are a must to meet the rising healthcare expenses. In recent times health plans have also undergone major changes some of which include the following –

– There are disease-specific health plans in the market covering specific ailments like dengue, cancer, heart-related ailments, etc.

– Critical illness plans have expanded their scope of coverage by covering more illnesses

– The coverage features in health plans have become innovative and more comprehensive. For instance, there is sum insured restoration feature found commonly in modern health plans which reinstates the sum insured if it is exhausted.

– Health plans are being sold online which makes the plan an instant buy

Unit Linked Insurance plans

ULIPs have also undergone some changes in recent times which include the following –

– The premium allocation charges have reduced considerably. In fact, in some popular online plans, the allocation charge has been reduced to nil. Moreover, policy administration charges, fund management charges and other relevant charges have also been reduced.

– ULIPs provide tax-free returns even after the Union Budget of 2018 imposed Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax on equity earnings exceeding INR 1 lakhs. The returns from ULIPs do not attract LTCG tax. Moreover, any switching done under the plan is also tax-free.

Car insurance

Though car insurance plans are mandatory for car-owners, insurance companies are offering new and improved features to make their plans more attractive. Here is what’s new –

– Technology enabled telematics helps in live tracking of the car to help insurers understand the driving pattern of the car-owner. Good driving records earn premium discounts

– Comprehensive car insurance policies are being offered with inbuilt add-ons the most popular one of which is roadside assistance.

– Even claims are being expedited through photos and videos being uploaded to the insurance company’s systems through Smartphones.

The insurance industry is dynamic and would evolve with the evolution of technology. Though insurance plans have already undergone many changes, more is yet to come. Given the ease with which internet is becoming available to people in all parts of the country, who is to say what new developments would become apparent in insurance plans in the coming years!

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