Max Bupa Health Insurance witnessed a robust growth in its retail business in June quarter and expects 30-35 per cent rise in overall business in 2020-21, a top company official said. Due to coronavirus, people are concerned about their health and medical expenses related to its treatment, the official said.
People have realised that it is important to have a health insurance for unforeseen health-related situations like they are in today, Krishnan Ramachandran, MD & CEO of Max Bupa Health Insurance said in an interaction.
He said a crisis such as COVID-19 affects businesses across sectors, but it especially puts a spotlight on insurers who can expect to be inundated with general inquiries and claims across multiple different lines, whether that be for health, life or non-life cover.
In June quarter of 2020-21, Max Bupa registered a strong 40 per cent retail growth, which was driven by a significant increase in purchase of indemnity plans during the current times and due to the fact that Max Bupa is able to sell and serve the customers end-to-end digitally.
"We have a strong expansion plan in Tier II and III markets, and we aim to increase our footprint to over 100 cities by this fiscal year. We are expecting an annual growth of 30-35 per cent this year," Ramachandran said.
As the pressure on health services rises, the insurer is likely to see an increase in tele-health services demand wherein consultancy to patients can be given via phone or through video services.
This could have constructive long-term effects, helping healthcare reach more remote and less affluent populations including the under or uninsured, said the official.
Max Bupa is joint venture between True North and Bupa group.
Ramachandran said the partnership with the foreign player has helped the company a great deal to position itself as an innovative leader in its field while setting new benchmarks in customer experience.
At Max Bupa, the Family First plan and lifelong renewal are results of this partnership.
"Max Bupa has always been a beneficiary of Bupa's global expertise in areas such as under-writing health risks and product innovation. In these unprecedented times, Bupa's expertise in handling COVID-19 related claims has been a great learning for us.
"Our 30-minute cashless claim pre-authorisation process has been a result of our learning from Bupa," said the official.
Citing a recent survey done by the company, Ramachandran said 57 per cent of the people surveyed believed that there is a need for comprehensive covers to be adequately prepared against unforeseen medical emergencies.
It also revealed that there is a demand for short-term COVID-19 specific covers, which is garnering favourable traction among millennials as 43 per cent of the buyers are in the age group of 18-30, he added.
He said the company has been selling nearly 200-300 policies per day of the newly launched IRDAI-mandated 'Corona Kavach' plan which came to market in early July.
According to the Max Bupa survey, growing medical expenses are driving people in metros and non-metros alike to buy health insurance.
Metros and Tier II markets have shown similar concerns related to growing healthcare expenses.
This has led to heightened awareness about the need for health insurance and people from cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, have enquired about health insurance coverage for COVID-19 treatment, the survey pointed out.