The Indian insurance industry has witnessed significant progress with both life and non-life insurance growing at a CAGR of 17% and 14% respectively in the past five years, according to a BCG report. The total number of lives covered in this period has doubled from 12 crores to 23 crores.
Although the Indian insurance market is underpenetrated as compared to the global leaders such as the United States. There is a lot of scope for growth and with the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a major change in the perception of Indian consumers regarding the awareness of their health and the requirement of a health insurance policy.
The Demand for the Insurtech Industry
The pandemic paranoia has led to a near 7% increase in the intent to buy insurance globally. Moreover, research by “The World Insurtech Report, 2021” by Capgemini, stated that around 50% of the customers today are willing to consider insurance coverage from a new age player (insurtech startup).
This clearly states that the demand for the insurtech industry is rising globally and India is also witnessing the same trend. Not only from the consumer perspective, but even the investors’ are also betting more in this industry. The insurtech startups in India raised $822 million in 2021 which was 166% higher than the previous year.
Driven by the shift in the mindsets of the people for insurance products after the pandemic, simplified processes by the digital insurance players, low premium insurance offerings and increased investors’ interest, the insurtech industry in India is expected to reach $339 Bn by 2025.
Insights of the Insurtech Industry
Insurtech industry is in the growing phase post-Covid, with the existence of more than 110 insurtech players in the country. All these players are focused on offering not only the common life insurance offerings but also non-life insurance covering health, education, vehicle and other areas.
The focus on health insurance has risen post-pandemic with the rise in the health awareness of the people. Thus, it has been the major focus of most insurtech's as well as healthtech startups.
|Founders||Mayank Banerjee, Matilde Giglio, and Alessandro Davide Lalongo|
|Funding Raised||$5 million|
|Key Investors||Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund (led by Peter Thiel), Lachy Groom, Kunal Shah, and Nikesh Arora|
|User Base||40+ Users on the Waitlist|
Even, a Bengaluru-based healthtech startup, founded in April 2020 by Mayank Banerjee, Matilde Giglio, and Alessandro Davide Lalongo, is a healthcare membership company that partners directly with the top hospitals to provide fully-cashless and quality healthcare accessible to its members.
It is currently operational only in Bengaluru. The company claims that anyone who opts for being its member can avail of unlimited consultations and diagnostics, also a hospitalisation cover of 50 lakhs annually.
It has tied up with major hospital chains such as Fortis and Narayana Health. The company currently has 40K+ applicants on the waitlist and has plans to reach more than 1 lac users in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Covid-19 not just accelerated IPD (In-patient department) but also accelerated the demand for OPD (Out-patient department) including regular doctor consultations and check-ups not requiring hospitalisation of the patient. The OPD market is expected to reach $37.5 billion by FY2024, according to research by Praxis Global Alliance.
Most health insurance companies usually don’t cover OPD expenses and the ones which cover it have immense paperwork and tiresome process, that’s where Even wants to position itself. It wants to bridge the gap and make healthcare easily accessible with its partner network.
Although the company claims to be a subscription-based healthcare service provider, it compares itself with the other health insurance providers. Let us actually compare its offering with other insurance providers and see how better it is than theirs. Let's look at the table below to understand how Even fairs compared to other insurance providers.
Even Vs Other Insurance Providers: Which Is Better?
|Parameters||Even||Other Insurance Companies|
|Starts from Day1||Yes||No|
|Exclusion of Existing Disease||Yes||Yes|
|Initial Waiting Period||0 Days||30 Days|
|Age Limit||0-64 years||5-80 years|
|Minimum Term||3 months||NA|
|Cover||50 Lakh a year||5 Lakhs a year|
Is Even Really Disrupting The Healthcare Insurance Industry?
It is clearly evident from the comparison table that Even is offering sort of similar or even fewer benefits as compared to health insurance at a higher price. Not only this, it excludes a lot of benefits in its membership which are otherwise included in the other health insurance companies such as Maternity care, Home health care, and AYUSH treatment.
When we reached out to the customer care executive of Even, they themselves were not clear about what is included and excluded in the membership and had to reconfirm with other team members.
The major issue with Even is that it currently has a very small partner hospital network of only 21 hospitals so the benefits of the membership can only be availed in those hospitals and although it claims that it can make possible the out of network emergency care (emergency care for members if they are outside Bengaluru), how much of it is actually possible still remains a question.
Although there is immense potential in the insurtech industry and hence, a lot of players are entering the market since public money and health is involved in it, these players will remain under the regulator’s purview. There are chances that a lot of such players may run into conflict with IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Of India) rules.
Even has a clinical establishment licence from Karnataka Government, it has partnered with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance to offer a hospitalisation expense coverage ranging from ₹5 Lacs to up to ₹50 Lacs in its premium (Even Plus) plan which comes under the group policy with the insurer.
Thus, we see that Even and other such health subscription startups buy group health plans from the insurer and onboard retail users and add them later as policy members. Thus, the insurer is underwriting the company and later underwrites the retail customer, but if in case the company faces any issue, the customer may not have anyone to go to for claiming its subscription.
Even though the model of health subscription is aimed to ease the process for the customers and seems intriguing, it is yet to be discovered how these subscription-based healthcare startups such as Even will sustain in the long term given the ambiguity in the regulations and highly unorganised nature of OPD market in the country which may lead to the higher risks of frauds for them.
What is Even?
Even is a healthcare startup that provides cashless and unlimited OPD insurance health cover.
Who are the founders of Even?
Even was founded by Mayank Banerjee, Matilde Giglio, and Alessandro Davide Ialongo.
Which health insurance has the highest hospital network?
Care Health Insurance Limited has the highest hospital network. It has more than 16,500 network hospitals across India.