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We want to make life insurance accessible to Bharat using three pronged AI-based approach: Sandeep Kushwaha, Head-Data Analytics, Aegon Life Insurance

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A majority of Indians do not have access to life insurance. Many of them have the need, but do not have the documentation required by life insurance firms. Aegon Life Insurance is trying to tackle this issue through a three pronged approach backed by AI. Sandeep Kushwaha, Head – Decision Science & Data Analytics, Aegon Life Insurance, shares with Express Computer on how his firm is trying to make insurance more accessible to a majority of Indians

Some edited excerpts:

Please explain how AI  is being used at your enterprise?

We have adopted a ‘Pure Digital 2.0’ strategy at Aegon Life, entirely AI-driven, with a vision of financially securing every Indian household.

Penetration of life insurance in India is one of the lowest in the world. One of the main reasons for this is, the industry has always focused on the salaried folks – the small proportion of Indians who can produce documents to prove either income or living standards. Life insurance has been largely inaccessible to the majority of Indians, that is Bharat.

Our aim is to make life insurance accessible to Bharat – the aspirational class of self-employed Indians, who have the need for insurance but do not have the documents that are required by the insurance companies.

We have a 3-pronged approach backed by AI:

1.  Bite sized products that are designed for Bharat, distributed through digital platforms that Bharat customers trust and visit frequently

2. Harnessing alternative data sources to assess the customer’s eligibility. Hence zero documentation, zero pdf upload

3.  Algorithmic underwriting through a super-easy DIY purchase journey and on-the-spot STP issuance

This paradigm represents a complete shift in the way insurance is designed, distributed, and underwritten. In order to achieve this, we have developed a TechStack that has many industry-first features: An Event-Driven Micro-Services Architecture, Native API Centric Design and Headless, Decoupled CMS

All these give us radically improved scalability and allow us to achieve zero downtime.

How can AI translate into cost savings or increase in revenues for your business?

 As mentioned, our digital underwriting capabilities, Zero-doc DIY purchase journey, and techstack with native API design have helped us change the way insurance is sold and serviced.

Not only that, our in-house AI-driven digital underwriting solution helps with:

• Fraud identification and real time underwriting decisioning based on 360* customer evaluation

• Simplified journey, higher conversion rate – 100% Digital (no pdf uploads required from customers), short proposal form

• Near-real- time issuance of policies

We at Aegon Life have spent the last three years dedicatedly focusing on developing the technology, AI, and customer experience design required to make this a reality. We believe this will disrupt the life insurance industry and make insurance truly democratic and accessible to the larger masses.

What challenges remain to be confronted here?

 As our goal is to make insurance accessible to each household in India and instantly issue policies without asking for any documents or medical tests from a customer, it is very challenging to predict human longevity to offer the right life insurance product in real time. With our strong capabilities in AI, we have made good progress on this front, but we still have a long way to go to extend our real-time issuance capabilities using AI to all customers across India.

What impact do regulator policies (From IRDAI) have on your tech strategy?

The regulatory policies are helping in making room for more innovations. The policies are aimed at increasing awareness and insurance penetration in the country. For example, the “Use and File” system, will augment greater responsiveness to consumer needs. Use and File helps digital insurers like us to swiftly meet consumer demands. Earlier, one could only come up with three to four products a year, but now, with the new system, insurers have an opportunity to be more agile and respond faster to consumer needs.

Any future plans in the offing?

We consider data as the brain, and digital is the means by which we can reach the customer. Going digital can rope in more distributors who are not necessarily selling insurance right now. The plan is to partner with ecosystem partners in the fintech and insurtech space to provide insurance to untapped segments.

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