Revolutionizing Insurance Accessibility Initiative Driving Last-Mile Coverage in Rural India


Mr. K V Dipu

Insurance is a contract in which the insurer indemnifies the insured against losses caused by specific contingencies or perils; in other words, it is financial protection. As people will likely encounter danger or unpleasant possibilities, exploring noble risk mitigation tools such as insurance is necessary. 

But how many lives are covered in India? Approximately 514 million people across India were covered under health insurance schemes in 2021, which merely covers 37% of the people in the country. The ratio of lives covered under insurance schemes in developed countries is much higher. One of the primary reasons for this low insurance coverage is the unavailability of in-person last-mile service. There is also a need to spread more awareness and educate prospects regarding the potential benefits of insurance. Further, many prospects are still unwilling to use digital assets throughout the buying journey of insurance products. Thus, new distribution and servicing models that can connect with people at the grassroots level in vernacular languages to increase awareness, outreach and trust can be effective.

Through new initiatives that enables last mile connects with the customer, the insurance industry aims to provide the customers of these regions with a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions encompassing health, motor, property, crops, livestock, and liability, all within arm's reach.

From a servicing and support perspective, such initiatives aim to establish the company's tangible presence in the country's tier two and tier three regions and provide a one-stop solution whereby people can seamlessly fulfil various insurance-related service requirements. The range of services available includes:

  • Policy Issuance and Endorsements
  • Claim Assistance.
  • Walk-in Customer Query Redressal
  • Tele-consultation Services
  • Partner Onboarding and Support
  • Video-based Medical Evaluation

 The primary goal is to bring the entire lifecycle of insurance to the doorstep of rural India, thereby enhancing insurance reach and customer experience. Using technology and digital assets, the company aims to expedite insurance-related services and on-the-spot claim settlement benefits. 

 The initiative also seeks to educate people on the importance of insurance and subsequently create awareness of its benefits. Insurance plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the assets and financial health of an individual, and thus, organising product-specific campaigns will be one of the critical objectives.

 The on-ground presence will also assist in conducting surveys and understanding the customer needs to offer them further insurance solutions that suit their requirements. This wifi-enabled and inverter-backed van will help customers seek expert opinions using tele-consultation facilities. 

 Going further, an ecosystem of services regarding personal health, wellness, vehicle care, best practice advisory for agriculture and rural business, and drone-based assessments will arrive at the customer’s doorstep to impact their lives beyond insurance. 

Thus, in harmony with the IRDAI's vision of achieving 'Insurance for All' by 2047, this initiative will help facilitate upcoming regulatory initiatives such as Bima Vahak and Bima Vistaar, thereby helping increase insurance penetration. With this, we are one crucial step closer to establishing last-mile connectivity, transcending traditional barriers, and reaching underserved areas, intending to nurture stronger community relationships, enhance financial protection, and provide them with the dignity of life.

By Mr. K V Dipu - Senior President  & Head - Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.

To carve out this new landscape for the insurance sector, a transformative initiative, "Sarvatra Bima", that derives its roots from the vision of Insuring India by 2047, was launched by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company (BAGIC) in October 2023. This demonstrates BAGIC's willingness and intention to serve its customers and partners by being present at remote locations. 

Under the "Sarvatra Bima" initiative, an office infra-enabled van capable of conducting branch-level operations will execute this vision. This van, stationed at pre-destined locations, will run daily to make insurance products and associated services available to households in the country.

Initially, the van will traverse the western belt of Maharashtra with Kolhapur as its base location, effectively delivering the entire insurance lifecycle to people across more than 1200 villages. The van will symbolize hope in people's minds during distress, wherein each customer will feel that BAGIC will reach out to them to resolve challenges. The van intends to support fellow citizens, engage them more on their insurance and peripheral needs, and give them a life of dignity as insurance servicing allows one to serve others and influence their lives.