By Elton Gomes
Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart on Sunday said it will be entering the insurance segment after securing a corporate agent license. Flipkart said that it would be partnering with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, wherein it will be offering customised insurance solutions to power its mobile phone protection programme for all leading mobile phone brands that are sold on its platform.
What will Flipkart offer under its insurance segment?
Flipkart said that under its insurance programme, it will be offering a cash payout option or a free pick up, service and drop convenience to customers. Users will be able to avail the insurance offering from October 10, which marks the beginning of Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days.
“We will offer customised insurance solutions to power our complete mobile protection programme for all leading mobile brands sold on our platform with Bajaj Allianz,” Flipkart said in a statement.
Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, spoke about how its partnership will help Flipkart. Singhel said, “Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has always been at the forefront in exploring new avenues for our customers and being there for them wherever they are, and this partnership with Flipkart is a step in that direction. We together are starting with the CMP plan, i.e. complete protection plan for mobile phones, in a category that Flipkart leads, adding value for millions of its customers,” IANS reported.
Flipkart’s cash payout option
Elaborating on its cash payout option or free pickup and drop service convenience to customers, Flipkart said that it wants to alleviate consumer concerns. “We want to put this choice in their [customers] hands and give them the chance to soothe their worries by protecting their valued purchase,” Ravi Garikipati, senior vice president and head of fintech at Flipkart, said, the Hindu reported.
Flipkart competes with Paytm, Amazon in India’s insurance industry
Flipkart’s insurance programme comes at a time when its rivals Amazon and Paytm are also eyeing the insurance industry in India. The insurance segment is expected to grow to $280 billion by 2020, as per a joint study conducted by Assocham and research firm APAS.
Amazon India looks to enter the insurance sector by launching its online payments arm Amazon Pay. At a time when the insurance sector is booming in India, Amazon plans to sell life, health, and general insurance.
The next few years could be critical for Amazon with regards to its diversification of business in India. The Jeff Bezos-led company will look to make a mark when Indian companies like Paytm and Flipkart have already launched insurance offerings.
Paytm began selling life insurance policies in February 2018. The two new entities, named Paytm Life Insurance Corporation Ltd and Paytm General Insurance Corporation Ltd, were incorporated on February 21, according to filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Both Paytm entities have a share capital of Rs 1,000,000 each, with Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and One 97 Communications holding majority shares.
Experts see a bright future for the lucrative insurance business in India. Amazon’s entry could shake things up, besides giving customers more options to choose from. The presence of international players could change the way insurance is sold in India. Indian insurance, which was dominated by public players and specialist firms, might soon be disrupted due to the renewed rivalry between Amazon, Paytm, and Flipkart.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius