As public sector insurers pow-wowed with hospitals, private sector players made hay. Most of them continued with cashless claims and gained steadily, at least in terms of customer perception.
ICICI Lombard was rated the best in the area of customer satisfaction by the HT-Mars survey. “We did not discontinue with cashless hospitalisation at any point,” said Sanjay Datta, head, customer service, ICICI Lombard.
The company’s premium from health insurance in 2010-11 was Rs 1,000 crore, an increase of about 20% over the previous fiscal.
According to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the private sector general insurance players are estimated to garner health insurance premium of Rs 30,000 crore within 2015, almost thrice the current premium.
The same report also suggested that though the health portfolio was growing at a phenomenal rate, PSU insurers were losing their market share to private sector companies.
Despite growth in the volume of business PSUs continued to incur losses. And the losses incurred had much to do with the lack of monitoring in group mediclaim policies.
What especially seems to have tipped the scales in favour of ICICI Lombard is the speed of settlement — seven days in all.
Says Datta, “We settle claims within a defined period of time and besides, we keep the customer informed about the status of the claim settlement process and naturally our customers want to stay with us.”