In a first of its kind initiative in the telecom industry, Telenor India announced free life insurance cover for its existing 47.55 million subscribers across its six operating circles. Telenor will offer life insurance for free to all active customers of the company. By spending on regular recharges with a small incremental value, Telenor consumers will get the benefit of an life Insurance cover, which will be a hundred times of the monthly recharge value and up to a maximum of Rs 50,000. This is Telenor’s innovative customer centric scheme to be able to offer greater value. It would help contribute meaningfully to the financial inclusion agenda of the government ensuring financial security for family members.
Currently in India only 3.9% of the population has an insurance cover of any type. The primary reasons for the low penetration are issues like lack of awareness, cumbersome enrollment process, cost of insurance and lack of trust. Lack of distribution network has also restricted insurance products becoming popular and pervasive. Telenor’s insurance scheme has been designed to address all these issues.
Unveiling this industry first initiative, Mr. Vivek Sood, CEO, Telenor India said, “This is an innovative product that will bridge the disparity in access to life insurance among the low and middle-income individuals. With insurance penetration being very low in the country, our scheme has the potential to empower society through financial security. Our deep understanding of mass-market consumers’ behavior, a huge retail network and efforts to create awareness around services beyond basic voice will enable us to remove persistent financial risks faced by our customers. With the life insurance offer, Telenor will create a unique differentiation in financial services just like we have done with our affordable mobile service.”
rwTelenor India has taken a promise to offer additional value, and make its propositions simple and fair for all customers. To ensure more value for money to its mass market customers, Telenor has tied up with partners to offer Insurance which is easy to get and simple to understand. Customers can avail this service by calling customer call center or dial the self-help menu *121# or opt-in for it by approaching any of the 2100 Telenor stores. For every recharge done by the customer, a 100X insurance cover will be provided to him. For customers availing this offer, there is no separate documentation required.
Telenor will work with Shriram Life Insurance and MicroEnsure to take the initiative to the masses. At each customer touch point, trained staff will be available to educate the customers and address their queries. In the unfortunate incident of death of a customer, the claim will be processed by submitting relevant documents like the death certificate, nominee id proof and the SIM card. The settlement will be done within seven days of submission of all relevant documents.
Commenting on the new venture Mr. Manoj Jain, CEO, Shriram Life Insurance said, “This is a win win partnership to extend the benefits of insurance to the socially weaker segment especially in rural areas. The reach of Telenor India and the expertise of MicroEnsure in micro-insurance, together with Shriram Life “ Aam Aadmi” approach will play the role of a catalyst in making available affordable life insurance and mitigate the risks of a common man.”
Richard Leftley, CEO, MicroEnsure said, “Embedded insurance products cast a wider financial net, wide enough to catch the poor but without the limitations of traditional marketing and sales processes. With this venture we look forward to creating a powerful driver of core business for our partners and whilst mitigating risks for millions of consumers in India. With this initiative we hope to set new benchmarks.”
MicroEnsure will help in designing these mass-market insurance products and provide on-going operational support required to make a digital product work. It is the world’s first and largest organisation whose exclusive focus is to address the mass market’s need to mitigate risk. MicroEnsure serves 15 million people in 17 countries around the world with insurance, the majority of whom have never before been insured.
In August this year Telenor Group had got an “in-principle” approval from Reserve Bank of India to the joint application of Dilip Shanghvi Family & Associates (DSA) and IDFC to set up a payment bank in India. With this Telenor will be able to offer mobile banking solutions and extend the benefits of banking to the unbanked. Telenor is preparing to launch mobile banking services soon.