Currently, STAR Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd, is among the very few to offer independent health insurance products. Do you think you have been able to tap the first-mover advantage?
Most definitely. We have made our mark in the health insurance space and our products and services are very well received in the market.
It has been claimed that the Indian health insurance market is estimated to be INR 3,000 crore, but has a potential to grow to INR 15,000 crore in the near-term. How have you planned to maximise your reach and benefits from this enormous potential?
To tap this vast potential we have introduced many innovative products at very competitive premium that cater to all the segments of the society such as:
a)Policy for HIV+ persons b) Senior Citizens Policy c) A long term cash back Policy d)Policy benefiting dependents of NRIs e) Policy for diabetics etc. We also have a large network of over 110 offices supported by a large agency force.
So far there has been no retail focused health insurance player. What is your strategy as regards this market trend?
Our focus is on the retail segment via the agency distribution model. Also unlike many other insurance companies, we have our own claims servicing mechanism, and do not depend on a third party for this crucial activity.
We have a proprietary network of over 3200 hospitals across India to provide cashless facility to our customers. A 24 X 7 toll free call centre is also at the disposal of our customers.
All our claims are handled in-house and we ensure to visit each and every policyholder in the hospital, whenever a claim is reported.
What are your views on the possibility of India developing a National Health Information Exchange? How would it impact the insurance industry?
It would be a welcome move and definitely help health insurance companies in product development and pricing.
How do you foresee the future of health insurance in India? What policy shifts and innovations would you like to see? And what role do you see STAR Health play in it?
It is common knowledge that health insurance is indeed going to be the key revenue driver for insurance companies in the near future. We realized this potential early and are geared to lead from the front in this space.