The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is actively pursuing reforms in the insurance sector to enhance its adaptability and responsiveness, according to its chairperson Debasish Panda.

"We are currently at a juncture marked by personalised offerings and shifting consumer preferences. To meet these changes, we are exploring flexible, do-it-yourself insurance products, leveraging advisory technologies and digital assistants," Panda says in his address at the Global Fintech Fest 2023.

"We anticipate a future where insurers can efficiently manage large and diverse data sources, harnessing quantum computing to revolutionize risk assessment and decision-making, thereby significantly improving the insurance lifecycle," he adds.

While discussing new technological developments lined up for the insurtech sector, Panda says, "AI algorithms combined with machine learning models and predictive analysis will be leveraged to make underwriting an essential process in the insurance industry."

"Process automation will help increase the speed of traditional process that required manual intervention. Further, conversational AI will be harnessed in the Insurance industry throughout the value chain and will help customers by assisting them during various stages of insurance procurement to claim process," says Panda.

According to Panda, IRDAI is working with companies in the health insurance sector to ensure 100% cashless settlements for medical expense claims. "The councils — industry bodies Life Insurance Council and General Insurance Council — are playing a very prominent and active role for enabling common empanelment and interoperability with hospitals. This will make claim processing of health insurance seamless and frictionless for the policyholders," he says.

Underlining his vision for the future of the sector, Panda says, "It is safe to say that smart contracts, parametric triggers and decentralised insurance would be the future."

"Simple, fast, automated and efficient – that is where we want to reach. Accessibility, availability, awareness, choiceness, healthy competition all led by technology is the way forward," he adds.

While developing countries are still drawing cheques, India has already harnessed the power of 'Direct Benefits Transfer', says Panda.

Last month, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said Jio Financial Services (JFS) will soon foray into the insurance segment. "JFS will enter the insurance segment to offer simple, yet smart, Life, General, and Health insurance products through a seamless digital interface, potentially partnering with global players. It will use predictive data analytics to co-create contextual products with partners and cater to customer requirements in a truly unique way," he said at the conglomerate's 46th annual general meeting.

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