Aegon Religare banks on support services to push insurance sales

With a view to make insurance selling a feel-good experience, Aegon Religare Insurance Co has started asking its agents to understand the nitty-gritties of helping customers apply for Aadhaar, PAN card, Passport, name change of electricity connection user and other simple activities. Knowing these processes help agents engage with prospective customers in a far stronger way than the usual cold calling and home visits, says Amit Kumar Roy, chief distribution officer of the company.

The company, which gets 25 per cent of its customers from online space, is aiming to garner more sales through differentiated products and selling approach.

"We have regular meetings. This is where agents are told to learn these processes so that they can engage with customers from a helpful friend point of view. It’s not just about selling insurance. Many informed people are still unaware of how to apply for such ids. The fact is insurance agents are not greeted by customers, at least not the first time. This kind of helpful behavior changes the way people perceive an agent," Roy said at an interaction here.

Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company Limited (ARLI) launched its pan-India operations in July, 2008 following a multi-channel distribution strategy. It launched the country's first online only term insurance policy way back in October 2009.

"We have to realise that online is how customers are interacting with products at first. They may not be buying or doing transactions but digital is becoming the way to do business. The offline channel or agency force will not go away as well. They will co-exist. We have 6000 agents of which about 1200 are active. We have to enable the agents to do business the digital way. We have made an app that allows agents to show benefit illustration, premium payment and amount to customers. They don't need to carry documents and papers always," said Roy.

The company is hopeful of tasting success from its recently launched protection plans- iIncome plan, iSpouse and iCancer. iIncome is a non-linked, non-participating term assurance plan designed to protect the household’s income stream for a fixed term in the event of the unfortunate demise of the insured. iSpouse is a joint life term assurance plan for working couples and iCancer is designed for insurance protection against all stages of cancer.

"These three products are available for sales only online. Studies show branch visits are preferred at lower income levels, while door step sales and online purchase dominate at higher levels; telecalling is not preferred across any income group," the official said.


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