“Everyone is out there reassessing how much liquidity they have. Do they have enough safety nets for their kids — do they have enough savings if they were to go to the hospital?,” says Rohan Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of Toffee Insurance in India. Health concerns and other risks from COVID-19 are causing consumers to reassess whether their current safety nets are adequate. Insurance has switched from being a “push product to a pull product,” and people across income levels are “going out and proactively looking for products.” In episode six of VentureKast: Rebuild, Rohan talks about how the pandemic is changing consumer perceptions of insurance and why fintechs are uniquely positioned to meet the increased demand with truly affordable, flexible, and high-quality offerings. Toffee leverages a digital infrastructure, including payments and claims management, to offer simple health, home, and income insurance to the 500 million Indians who have historically been overlooked by traditional insurers. This agile and enterprising fintech is expanding insurance access in India. “Something that has taken 10 years for people to solve, has been solved in three months,” says Rohan.
Toffee’s new monthly subscription model expands access to affordable insurance with a payment schedule that complements the income cycles of low-income customers, providing the security that “if [consumers] were to contract COVID-19 they would have some sort of coverage which doesn’t empty their banks.” While the vast majority of traditional insurers who rely on outdated products and legacy delivery methods are ill-equipped to adapt to the needs of consumers in a COVID-19 world, Toffee — which “started all digital from day one” — can bring products to market at a rapid pace. Rohan adds that the “mass behavioral change” in perception of insurance in India “has a huge impact which continues to stay.” With empathy, Rohan reminds us that despite the strain caused by the pandemic, COVID-19 has encouraged insurers to serve previously ignored populations.