Insurance
Bajaj Allianz Jiyo Fit – a naïve approach to reduce claims ratio

The scheme involves cross selling health, wellness, beauty and financial products under the garb of preventive healthcare

Jiyo Fit is a new product launched by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Yes Bank and Visa. Under this, the policyholder can spend on partner gyms like VLCC, Talwalkars and Gold Gym to earn points; reward points on purchase of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables at high-street retailers; more points on regular medical check-ups and discounts on diagnostic tests at partner clinics; as well as discounts at partner chemists. There is also an option to purchase Visa debit card from Yes Bank at Rs150 per annum and open a zero balance savings account with Yes Bank.

Bajaj Allianz, which has made its name for quality service, will start the Jiyo Fit wellness initiative in 15 towns in India in the first phase.

The big idea is preventive healthcare, says Hemant Kaul, CEO, Bajaj Allianz. The plan is to help reduce the claims ratio through helping policyholders adopt a healthy lifestyle and incentivise them to maintain healthy practices and stay fit. A high claims ratio is killing the health insurance business. Almost all insurers are losing in trying to provide health cover. But the reasons for the high claims ratio lie elsewhere-fraudulent claims, exorbitant hospital costs, medicine costs, lack of proper loading of group insurance. This is bleeding insurers and in turn affecting individual policyholder benefits and premiums.

But what if a policyholder visits a local gym and buys fresh fruits and vegetables from the local subzi mandi with cash, or uses a regular debit card for purchases of health products at high-street retailers? That may keep you healthy and may do as much for preventive healthcare, but it will not earn you points under the Jiyo Fit plan. One will have to go to the marquee gyms and health food retailers under the plan. In that case isn't this a cross-marketing of health, wellness and financial products? A Bajaj Allianz source told Moneylife that the company would not earn commissions from any of the partners. The sole benefit for Bajaj Allianz is a reduction of the claims ratio that would improve profitability.

The sources said that a company survey indicated that women were keen on redeeming points/discounts at beauty clinics and spas. Bajaj Allianz has extended the 'innovative' initiative to accede to the wishes of women policyholder. But the link between beauty clinics and spas and preventive healthcare looks rather stretched.

Indeed, a key component of the 'innovative' preventive healthcare initiative could be the zero-balance savings account from Yes Bank and debit card from Visa. As Uttam Nayak, country manager-South Asia, Visa, puts it, "We have been after Yes Bank for a tie-up for long time and now we are working with them, thanks to the innovative approach from Bajaj Allianz." What has Visa and Yes Bank got to do with Jiyo Fit? Well, some 97% of the personal consumption expense (PCE) is in cash. "The target is to have PCE with 16% electronic usage…soiled cash notes can be unhealthy for individuals," said Nayak.

Do others have similar offerings? New India Assurance gives a discount on the premium if a policyholder shows he has a gym membership. It's a more direct approach, but it does not crosscheck if a policyholder visits the gym regularly. Apollo Munich has a wellness approach with Healthline. Just ring them and quote a customer ID to reach experts and avail their help in primary consultation, health-related counselling, individual referrals, health information, nutrition and diet. The services on the Healthline are available at no extra cost to customers.
 
Under the Bajaj Allianz initiative, policyholders will earn points for every visit to the gym. It is an optional offer and is not bundled. We are sure more insurance companies will join the bandwagon in the days ahead to propagate the wellness initiative. Of course, its success will depend on simplicity, the quality of health education and the relevance of the services offered.

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COMMENTS

SAMAR

7 years ago

Improving health risk by preventive module is a welcome step.But profilgacy in underwriting of group health schemes has been the undoing of the insurers in the post detariffied regime. Hopefully, the market is changing, as seen by the irda data on 09-10 results.

SAMIR

7 years ago

INDIAN R NOT FOOL Mr. Bajaj!

samar mahapatra

7 years ago

Preventive care is ok, but would be more relevant for Corporate Groups.As per CAG report , hundreds of Companies are undercharged by PSU insurers for group schemes as they cross sell property insurance with Mediclaim as low cost bonus offer.Eventually they lost out money.

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