Bima Vistaar is a new affordable insurance product that will offer coverage for life, health, and property. It is expected to be launched soon and will be available through a digital platform. The product will be distributed by women, who will be appointed as “Bima Vahaks.” IRDAI hopes that Bima Vistaar will help to increase insurance penetration in rural India.
Bima Vistaar, a one-of-a-kind affordable insurance product that offers life, health, and property coverage, is expected to be launched soon.
According to a senior official at the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the product is in the final stages of development and has been discussed with the Life and General Insurance Councils and the industry.
This comprehensive, standardized cover was proposed by IRDAI Chairman Debashish Panda as a crucial step in a series of reforms aimed at achieving IRDAI’s vision of providing insurance coverage to everyone by 2047.
The official said that discussions on the pricing of the product in an affordable manner have nearly reached a final stage and that the inclusion of some riders as added features is being worked out. He also said that based on the regulator’s discussions with the industry, the companies are “happy” and bullish on Bima Vistaar.
Bima Vistaar will have simple and easily understandable terms and conditions. It will also take full advantage of digital advancements and is likely to have a provision where claims can be verified digitally and the settled amount can be credited to the beneficiaries’ accounts automatically.
The latest developments in technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), are being used to create a digital platform to reach the last mile in rural and previously uncovered areas to boost insurance penetration.
The rollout of Bima Vistaar will build on the success of the Bank Mitra model, which played a pivotal role in the achievement of the Centre’s financial inclusion program, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
Currently, there are 8.5 lakh Bank Mitras who serve as the crucial link to reaching the last mile of financial services. To further enhance financial inclusion, Bima Vistaar is adopting a women-centric distribution model. Under this approach, women, including members of Self Help Groups, will be appointed as “Bima Vahaks” with a primary focus on reaching underserved rural areas.
IRDAI believes that women Vahaks will be better positioned to convince women members of rural households about the need for affordable social security and take cover through Bima Vistaar.
“Insurance field staff in remote areas need to build trust of the local population, be more patient and persuasive to be able to explain the nuances of the need for risk cover. In this context a women-centric distribution model emerges as an apt model,” the official added.
IRDAI hopes to create awareness and spread of insurance through a trinity of Bima Vistaar, Bima Vahak, and the digital platform Bima Sugam.