scorecardAgile, digital, truly differentiated — what sets Max Life Insurance apart from the other players in the space
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Agile, digital, truly differentiated — what sets Max Life Insurance apart from the other players in the space

Agile, digital, truly differentiated — what sets Max Life Insurance apart from the other players in the space
Business4 min read
As the COVID-19 outbreak induced a health emergency across the globe, it also imposed business continuity risks for many industries. Especially for businesses that have traditionally worked on the face-to-face interface with the customers, the pandemic brought a series of challenges.

In India, many companies rose to the challenge and seamlessly maneuvered through the crisis, and built in new capabilities and strengths. One such story is that of Max Life Insurance. The Indian insurance major looked at the looming health risk with a growth mind-set and drove a cultural transformation within the organisation and built systems and products that are even more customer-centric and meaningful.

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak led to a nationwide lockdown and a momentary standstill in economic activity, the firm’s sales were heavily impacted. Even as the chances to turn around looked like a herculean task, Max Life Insurance focused on setting the wheels in motion to reinvent the insurance business model in a post-pandemic and digital world.

The digital mind-set
The first thing that the firm focused on is ensuring the ‘ease’ of doing business for a customer from an end-to-end interface point of view.

“The most important aspect of enabling this transition was to imbibe a digital mind-set within the organisation. Hence, right from hire to retire all our human resources management systems were moved to digital. Our classroom centric training for agents was impeccably conducted digitally. Our sales training and management processes were also digitally tracked. Moving the entire recruitment and onboarding of agent advisors was a major win, as we recruit close to 35,000 agent advisors in a year. We ensured that the whole ecosystem is up and running in four weeks,” says V Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director, Max Life Insurance.

Owing to the health scare amidst a global pandemic, a lot of customers’ insurance needs and preferences changed. With an impending health risk amid unprecedented volatility in markets and slowdown across economies, the firm focused on protecting innovations with term plans. Historically, for a 40- year term plan, a customer would have to pay a 50% premium upfront. However, given the volatile environment, the firm decided to create a feature wherein the customer gets an option to pay the regular premium or unlimited premium and can choose to take away the entire amount at the age of 65 or continue at will till the age of 80.

So the return of premium or the option to continue on the special exit value became an innovation feature. Moreover, keeping in with the post-Covid world’s realities, the firm also came up with the feature of ‘premium holidays’ to ease the burden on the customers. It also enhanced the number of critical illnesses covered under its riders from 30 to 64.

“Pure term plans and our retirement focus, which helps cover the risks for a long-life, have actually doubled during the post-COVID time. It’s a muscle that we would like to retain because that's where we are very differentiated from banking products and mutual fund products,” asserts V Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director, Max Life Insurance.

Engaging with the prospects
Max Life digitally enabled agent advisors to reach and engage with prospective customers better. An app called ‘I am The Difference’ was developed to help agent advisors have access to digital tools and marketing literature at any given time. The company also built microsites for its agents, with video snippets that helped a prospect familiarise themselves with the agent.

With the creation of new products and features, there was a need to educate the sales team too. Hence an app called, M Buddy was built to enable learning and certifications for agents. The company has recorded close to 10,000 to 12,000 certifications completed so far.

The next focus was to improve servicing systems for new customers. With the new digital muscle built-in, the company focused on improving its issuance rate. Currently, 1/3rd of the new policy issuances are completed within 30 minutes. Moreover, the medical check-up, a prerequisite in the issuance process, was moved to a visit-to-home model, enabling a seamless experience for the new customers. The company also came up with a ‘Buy now pay later' option. So a new prospective lead could apply for insurance without having to pay anything upfront.

Today, nearly 12.5% of India’s population buys insurance online. Max Life has a market share of one in three, so one out of three policies purchased by customers online or via web aggregators is from Max life. So all our engagement and digitally-enabled ecosystem have helped us create a strong recall with our distributors and our customers.

The cumulative effort to drive a growth mind-set in times of volatility and nimbleness to create an ecosystem that supports the company’s growth aspirations helped Max Life Insurance turnaround the business efficiently. Max Life Insurance remains among the frontrunners in claims settlement with a 99.35% claims paid ratio, which is a testament to the integrity and trust it has built amongst the customers.

The firm outstandingly used the momentary lull to change its back-end and transform it into a new-age cloud native underwriting issuance system. The customer portal was completely rejigged and today 1/3rdof the company’s IT infra is on cloud platform. Thus, creating an end-to-end digitally enabled working platform that benefits the employees, distributors and customers.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article in partnership with Max Life Insurance