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Online insurance encouraged to contain COVID-19

31 Mar 2020

Following the directives to promote online services to minimise physical contact to fight the menace of COVID-19, insurance companies operating in Oman have taken measures to promote the usage of e-services.

Almost all companies have initiated process to reduce manual contacts, some of them even have provided phone numbers and links related to various products offered by them.

Some have launched mobile applications through which products and services could be accessed. Besides this brokerage houses are also making elaborate arrangements in which a person can renew or buy insurance without visiting their offices. After the transaction is done, the insurance policies can be mailed to the customers with digital signatures.

“We already had a system in place where any client can log in and access our services including renewal and purchase of insurance policies,” said V V Raghavan, chief operating officer at New India Oman Insurance Company.

He said they have been encouraging consumers to utilise e-services but the response had been slow. However, in the recent past trend has picked up.

Last week, Central Market Authority (CMA) issued a circular asking insurance companies, brokers and agents to take a number of precautionary measures as part of the instructions of the Supreme Committee tasked with handling the developments resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.

In the circular, CMA called on companies to adopt e-services in rendering insurance services and avoid direct transactions requiring visits to the offices of the companies.

Later, ROP also asked motorists to renew insurance cover on time whereas mulkiya or car registration renewal can be done later.
“Our 60 per cent business is renewal of motor insurance. So they can call at our number and we will facilitate the renewal and purchase of policies on phone itself,” said an executive with an insurance firm (who did not wish to be named).

Motor insurance account for a significant chunk of insurance business in the country, and as per law, it must be renewed every year.
As per the information available at market regulator CMA website, currently there are 20 insurance companies operating in the country, ten of them are national companies and ten others are operating as branches of overseas companies.

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