Carbon Neutral in Insurance is a subject where volumes can be written since it is a Programme that is yet to emerge in the Industry. Insurance, as an industry is conservative with plenty of regulatory and statutory controls, this would logically mean that progress on an area like “Transformational Thinking “and related Reengineering, will be gradual.

With the current arrival of InsureTech start-ups and higher Capital Budgets of large Insurance organisations, there are emerging signs that the Industry has now embarked on a journey of disruptive change leveraged by Technology. Indian Government and IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory Development and Authority) as well, are working on Policy changes to ensure that there are adequate catalysts to drive significant transformational changes within Strategic areas of the Industry including the use of Technology Solutions.

While the change will be gradual, the focus will be on how deep technology can penetrate in all the key elements of the Insurance Process and overall, in the Policy Life Cycle Management.

We need to reach a Stage where Policy Issuance and Management of it is driven through a “SMART CARD Programme“. This Card should be adequate to self-create a policy in a Policy Kiosk and manage all the claims as well. It would mean that all the data points, that assist in underwriting a policy to the final issuance of policies and concluding with Claims Management, is seamlessly managed through a Smart Card Programme.

While there will be huge amount of work to be accomplished to digitize all the data for a “Data Hub“ the first steps of the process could begin with some silos within the Insurance Life cycle Management making progress based on architecture of digital records.

A medium term to futuristic vision could be a good perspective, two areas for a start that needs excessive focus includes, Power and Paper .. !!

Consumption of Power and Paper are two areas amongst others that hugely impact the amount of carbon, Insurance Industry generates every day. As of today, there are largely manual processes driving the Life Cycle of Policy Management, for all the large Insurance organisations.

To manage these processes, the number of human resources, amount of physical space consumed, and the volume of processes are in such huge numbers that amount of Power consumed, Infrastructure and Business Processes optimization required is very high.

Hence there needs to be broad road map on how the first steps in being Carbon Neutral can be addressed by focussing on potential areas that could provide some quick wins . Power Consumption Management and Manual Process Rationalisation are two areas which could present itself to be worked upon in the short to medium term.

Some broad pointers for the development of a road map across the two Elements:

  • An Enhanced level of Focus on Service Excellence, thereby eliminating the need for; Reprocessing, Audits and Corrections.
  • Being compliant to Service Level Agreements committed to the Customers and Stake Holders. There should be a strategy that a process is neither completed faster or slower but consistently being in range and bound within the upper and lower performance levels.
  • Controlling Slack in the Operating Environment by optimal utilization of; Human Resources, Knowledge, and Skills along with Technology.
  • Defining and Managing the flow of work on an end-to-end basis with high levels of efficiency and consistency, whilst ensuring the flow of work is logical and enabling Service Excellence.

Considering the long tenured work that is involved in “Sustainability“, all initiatives in this space are more of a Programme and not a Project. Hence an efficient Governance Model is required as a wraparound to accomplish critical milestones and script a huge success story.

The Leadership team as sponsors would be required to support the Management layer and ensure active engagement of the entire organisation to accomplish required levels of Transformation and related Reengineering of the Eco System. An additional area as a part of the Transformation journey is also about engaging Customers, to implement an “End-to-End“ process life cycle models.

Communications For Awareness, Actions as Catalysts and Transparency in Progress

To accomplish the Charter of being Carbon Neutral within the Insurance Industry / Insurance Organisations, there is a need for a series of awareness sessions to be conducted. Additionally, all the Industry associations should actively participate in this journey and begin highlighting the benefits of it in all possible forums.

Government or IRDAI, nominated Groups could focus on developing a full plan on the subject of, organisations and industry being “Net Zero“ compliant. Perhaps some incentives or corporate tax adjustment could provide further impetus to the Programme.

Within the organisations, development of internal communities to focus on different areas of the Programme could ensure an inclusive approach and active engagement of everyone. And of course, adequate updates to ensure that progress of various initiatives is, always highlighted.

Journey of being Carbon Neutral in the Insurance Industry is perhaps being thought about, we hope it accelerates in the coming months and years … A long journey but an exciting one !!

Let’s Go Green, it is not only pleasing to the eyes and ears, it will also enable future generations to lead a Healthy and Fulfilling Life ….!!