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Mahindra’s insurance arm set to foray into online broking

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Mumbai: Mahindra Finance is set to enter the business of online insurance broking giving digital services to the customers of its insurance brokerage subsidiary, Mahindra Insurance Brokers, through a soon-to-be launched portal called PayBima.

The move comes at a time when the demand for insurance products pertaining especially to health and life is at a high due to increased urgency among individuals and businesses to get themselves covered against medical and business risks, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to a senior company executive, the new portal would play a role in the transformation of Mahindra’s insurance broking services to a “phygital” model, which would leverage its feet-on-the-street agents at more than 400 locations in the country, with the digital aggregation and settlement services.

“Insurance is not about selling policies as much as it is about honoring the claims,” Jaideep Devare, MD at Mahindra Insurance Brokers told ET in an exclusive interview.

“The online settlement of claims will be a critical part of our operations on the portal. Through our partnership with leading public and private insurers, we would also give our customers the options to compare and buy different policies, while the portal will also provide advanced assistance in registering and settling claims,” he said.

The move to launch the portal would put it in direct competition against leading digital aggregators and brokers such as Policybazaar, Coverfox, Paytm and the traditional players in the insurance and reinsurance market, such as Marsh and Anand Rathi.

The insurance broker, setup in 2004, is rural focused, with concentration in motor and tractor-based insurance products through a cross-sell model with Mahindra’s vehicle dealerships across India.

The company is now actively building its health, life, two-wheeler, and four-wheeler portfolios. It is also aiming to expand its reach among the urban customers through the new digital portal, said Devare.

“We would make use of all the advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, sentiment and voice analysis, and machine learning to offer our fleet of products and services on the PayBima portal,” said Devare.

The insurance broker, an 80% subsidiary of Mahindra Financial Services, has serviced 3.5 lakh claims and processed premiums worth Rs 2,500 crore in FY20, the company said.

It has now set an ambitious target of adding one million new customers in the next three years on the new platform, which will go live this month.

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