Max Bupa

Ashish Mehrotra

Managing Director & CEO

Anika Agarwal

SVP & Head-Marketing Digital & Direct Sales

Anurag Gupta

SVP & Head - Agency Channel

Aseem Gupta

SVP & Head - Portfolio Management & Affinity Channels

AV Ramanan

SVP – Actuarial

Partha Banerjee

Director & Head – Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs

Rahul Ahuja

Chief Financial Officer

Tarun Katyal

Director & Chief Human Resources Officer

Vikas Gujral

Chief Operating Officer

Max Bupa celebrates its top performers in sales at the coveted ‘League of the Extraordinary’ event with MD & CEO Ashish Mehrotra

 

Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd. (MBHI), a Max India subsidiary came into being in 2010 through the formalisation of a 51:49 joint venture between Max India Limited, a specialist in the life insurance and healthcare sectors, and Bupa, UK’S 70-year-old healthcare giant with presence across 190 countries.

Max Bupa was the third standalone health insurance company to be launched in India at a time when the health insurance penetration in India was abysmally low. Over the years, Max Bupa, besides establishing itself as one of the most trusted names in its chosen segment, has helped make a contribution towards propelling the growth of the health insurance sector through customer education programmes and proactive outreach across social media platforms.

What sets Max Bupa apart from other health insurers in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) segment is its laser-sharp focus on driving ‘customer-centric’ profitable growth. Our purpose of helping our customers lead healthier, more successful lives, unifies us as an organisation and forms an integral part of our DNA. Our constant endeavour is to put our customers at the forefront of everything we do – be it our product design, our service promise, our claims philosophy or our brand promise. We continue to delight our customers everyday at each touch point and are deeply committed to helping them lead healthier, more successful lives. This has helped us build a loyal base of 2.5 million customers, persistent best-in-class rates and a strong market reputation.

  • Max Bupa has designed innovative, customer-centric health insurance offerings, in line with its customers’ evolving health needs and across life stages. We have pioneered several customer-centric features such as any age enrollment and lifelong renewability in the industry, which later became a part of the regulatory framework.
  • Service excellence is embedded in Max Bupa’s DNA and we provide a hassle-free experience at each customer touch point, be it the point of sale, claim, service or renewal. We were the first ones to own the moment of truth by introducing the 30-minute cashless claims promise. At Max Bupa, we are committed to paying genuine claims. Our entire claims philosophy has been built keeping in mind the criticality of the moment in the lives of our customers.
  • We continue to lay deep emphasis on customer-centric innovations. Last year, we introduced the AnyTimeHealth machine, a completely automated, technology-based model that offers an instant awareness-to-purchase journey. We also introduced ‘Point of Care’, which is in line with our ‘customer-first’ agenda.

The following are some of our key differentiators:

1. Customer-centric product offerings

Over the last nine years, Max Bupa has built a rich legacy of providing customer-centric, digitally enabled new-age offerings, which are designed to meet customers’ health and wellness needs across various life stages. Our portfolio consists of indemnity and fixed benefit plans. Our bouquet of offering include the following:

  • Heartbeat, Max Bupa’ flagship product, is one of the most compelling products in the industry and is synonymous with the introduction of several industry-first features such as any-age enrolment and lifelong renewability, both of which later became a part of the regulatory framework. The latest version of Heartbeat offers unique benefits such as international cashless treatment for critical illnesses and medical evacuation facility globally, flexibility in sum assured up to ` 1 crore, lower waiting periods on pre-existing diseases and coverage for up to 19 relationships under a single policy. Other benefits include maternity benefits and coverage for new borns, lifelong coverage for day-care procedures and tapering co-pay benefit for senior citizens.
  • Over the years, Health Companion, our second indemnity offering with a wide spectrum of customer-centric features, has become popular and is among the most recommended health plans by industry experts. Its distinguishing features include no-claim bonus, refill benefit and cover for alternative treatments such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
  • Health Assurance is our fixed benefit plan that offers a lump sum amount to customers in case they are detected with a critical illness or in case of an unforeseen personal accident. The product offers a triple advantage; it covers up to 20 critical illnesses, provides personal accident cover up to ` 5 crore and comes with a hospital cash benefit.
  • GoActive, the latest entrant in our indemnity product portfolio, is a digitally enabled new-age product from Max Bupa that caters to the ‘daily health needs’ of Indians. It is a holistic health insurance plan that has been designed to give customers 360-degree coverage for their daily health needs including inpatient hospitalisation and on-the-go access to OPD, diagnostics, personalised health coaching, second medical opinion, behavioural counseling and much more. In a short span of time, GoActive is one of the first few offerings in the market that enables customers to access a digitally enabled ecosystem for all their health needs.
  • Health Recharge is a super top-up plan that fulfills the needs of those who are inadequately insured and need a financial buffer during a medical emergency. It comes in sum insured range of ` 2 lakhs to ` 25 lakhs, with a deductible value between ` 1 lakh to ` 10 lakhs.

Max Bupa’s latest offering GoActive is a digitally enabled comprehensive health plan that helps consumers fulfill their everyday health & wellness needs

 

2. Service as a key differentiator

One of the most important aspects that sets Max Bupa apart from other insurers is its laser-sharp focus on service excellence. It is our continuous effort to provide the best services to our customers Some of our differentiators are:

  • Max Bupa has created a service proposition in the health insurance industry through cashless claims pre-authorisation within 30 minutes, which is the real moment of truth for any health insurance company. Over 80% of our cashless claims pre-authorisation is done within 30 minutes.
  • Max Bupa has leveraged the latest tools to provide a seamless experience to our customers during the entire customer journey. Our self-service apps for our agents and partners – InstaInsure and SARAL – help customers enroll and issue policies faster, thereby creating customer delight at the point of sale.
  • Max Bupa has a robust and hassle-free Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that helps in faster claims processing for our customers, agents and partners.

3. Legacy of introducing customer-centric ‘industry-first’ offerings

Over the years, Max Bupa has created a strong market reputation of introducing many ‘industry firsts’, ranging from its innovative product offerings to its service experience. Besides GoActive, our recent innovations include AnyTimeHealth (ATH) and Point of Care (POC) desks at leading hospitals, which help customers navigate with ease through the otherwise complex and tiring hospitalisation procedures and protocols. Max Bupa plans to expand POC desks to more network providers in FY2020 to deliver a more personalised experience to its customers.

Max Bupa offers both individual and family health insurance plans and has a robust network of over 4,500 leading healthcare providers and 31,000+ agent partners in India. The Company offers high-quality services through a dedicated team of over 2,300 people spread over 42 offices across 30 cities in the country.

With a compelling customer-centric product proposition, coupled with a strong market reputation and deep thrust on innovation, Max Bupa has carved a niche for itself in the health insurance sector.

Industry Overview

In India, the health insurance sector continues to grow exponentially – it is the most rapidly growing segment in the BFSI sector, with Gross Written Premium (GWP) increasing to ` 50,891 crore in FY2019. On account of the low percentage of the Indian population having any form of health insurance coverage, the sector presents a huge opportunity of growth and thus continues to attract new players, the most recent being Reliance Health Insurance, which started its operations in FY2018.The rise in lifestyle and chronic diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes and Cardiovascular ailments over the past few years is contributing towards the necessity to be aware of health insurance. According to industry experts, the health insurance market is likely to continue the same growth trajectory for the next 3-5 years.

Max Bupa continues to cater to the Business to Customer (B2C) health insurance sector. Its GWP in FY2019 grew by 26%, higher than the industry’s B2C segment growth of 16%. The health insurance industry continues to be dominated by four public sector companies, which together constitute 49% market share. In addition, there are 25 private general insurance players and seven standalone health insurers. While new players enter, there have also been signs of consolidation, with prominent players looking at selling their majority stake.

Operations – Highlights

Max Bupa has further fortified its footprint across the length and breadth of India with a growing base of ~2.5 million customers, serviced via its diverse distribution channels, including a network of 31,000+ agents spread across the country, a telesales team and deep partnerships with leading web aggregators such as Policybazaar. The Company also has strong enduring distribution partnerships with Indian and international banks such as HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, Standard Chartered Bank, Federal Bank, Deutsche Bank, South Indian Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Sarv UP Gramin Bank, Bajaj Finserv and Rattan India, which provide it access to millions of customers across India.

Max Bupa offers both indemnity and fixed benefit categories of products serving retail, affinity/bank groups and government-sponsored health insurance programmes. Our indemnity product offerings, including our flagship product Heartbeat, Health Companion and the recently launched GoActive plan, continue to be well received in the market and contribute to steady sales growth. The fixed benefit product Health Assurance comes with varied features including higher sum insured options, up to 3 years of policy tenure and flexible combinations between the three different sub products – AccidentCare, CritiCare and HospiCash. Health Recharge, which was launched last fiscal, a Super Top-up plan, is one of the most competitively priced policies under this category and has played a pivotal role in further enhancing our overall customer base, while giving us an opportunity to upsell to our existing customers.

We also launched a number of customised offerings for our group customer segments, including a 5-year group critical illness policy and a 2-year group health secure cover. We will continue to innovate and expand our retail portfolio in FY2020 to provide our customers with a wider choice of products and services.

Max Bupa continues to heavily invest in technologically enabled solutions to provide exemplary service and seamless processes to all its customers. A robust CRM system, the Agent self-service app, the Instant policy issuance app and the customer self-service app are some of the technologically enabled services that are a part of our offerings. We are investing in new-age technology such as chatbots and artificial intelligence to further enhance and automate customer experience.

In line with the goal of making Max Bupa a truly customer-centric organisation, the ‘Max Bupa HERO Program’ was introduced in FY2018. It was designed to embed service excellence in the organisational matrix and coach each employee to collectively achieve significant business outcomes. Keeping this objective in mind, we encouraged our employees to demonstrate the four core characteristics of a Max Bupa HERO - Helpful, Empathetic, Responsive and Ownership – in their day-to-day business.

Top 100 leaders of Max Bupa at the company’s annual All India Business Meet 2018

 

Awards and accolades won in FY2019

  • Awarded ‘Digital Innovator of the Year 2018-19’ by India Insurance Awards for pioneering industry-first digital innovations such as GoActive and ATH
  • Felicitated with the Economic Times Brand Equity Award in ‘Best Consumer Health & Fitness Campaign 2018-19’ for GoActive
  • Ranked among ‘Hottest 50 brands’ by Paul writer alongside renowned consumer brands

Key performance indicators for FY2019

  1. GWP increased by 26% to ` 947 crore in FY2019 from ` 754.5 crore in FY2018.
  2. Provider network increased to more than 4,500, spanning over ~500 cities in India.
  3. Max Bupa emerged as the fifth-largest B2C player among private insurers with an estimated market share of 6.3% in the private B2C segment (as on March 2019).

Max Bupa continued to strengthen its brand equity in FY2019

  • Over the last nine years, we have deeply invested in building a brand that is true to its purpose of helping customers lead healthier, more successful lives. Moving away from the popular perception of health insurance being a mere low-involvement tax-saving transactional instrument, we have differentiated ourselves by being a brand that is able to drive meaningful conversations with customers regarding what matters to them the most i.e., their health.
  • This has helped us create a strong brand connect and has resonated in all our brand campaigns to date, including our most recent GoActive campaign, which showcases health insurance as a wellness product that helps customers stay healthy and out of the hospital vis a vis a product used only at the time of hospitalisation.
  • We have been recognised among the most trusted and well-known health insurance players in India by multiple consumer surveys, including the coveted Superbrands, for three consecutive years – 2016, 2017 and 2018. Superbrands is one of the most renowned and oldest global accolades that recognises top brands across various sectors by conducting a countrywide consumer survey on brand perception and recall. We were recently conferred with the Economic Times Best Brands Award 2018-19.
  • Max Bupa has strengthened its brand equity in the market with its annual flagship event – ‘Walk for Health’ – which has been running successfully for the last six years and has encouraged many to take up walking for a healthier future. Max Bupa was the first brand in India to take up the cause of walking and advocate its benefits to people across age groups on a national scale. Our ‘Walk for Health’ is a testament to our commitment towards keeping India’s healthy.

Max Bupa’s CSR campaign with Cuddles Foundation - ‘Donate Your Weight’ helps cancer-afflicted children lead healthier lives

 

FY2019 Marketing Highlights

  • Max Bupa secured one of the highest brand awareness scores among Standalone Health Insurers (SAHIs)
  • In order to maintain a consistent brand presence, we invested in an ‘Always On’ brand strategy during the last fiscal wherein we were present through the year on various digital platforms and radio channels. This was particularly beneficial in building our brand presence in new markets, including Tier 2 and 3 markets that we entered last year.
  • Max Bupa had the highest PR Share of Voice i.e., maximum number of news impressions (in print, digital and electronic media) compared to competitors in the fiscal (evaluated by a third-party media monitoring agency called IMPACT)

Changes in Key Financial Rations

The Underwriting Balance Ratio for the year is (12.8)% compared to (4.8)% in the previous year. The Operating Profit Ratio for the year is (7.7)% compared to 0.4% in the previous year. The variance in the Underwriting Balance Ratio and Operating Profit Ratio is attributed towards a one-time revision in the methodology for calculation of Unearned Premium Reserve (UPR) from 1/365 to 50% of Net Written Premium from September 2016 onwards. This had a one-time impact on Net Earned Premium during FY2018 due to movement in UPR. The Net Earnings Ratio for the year is (6.6)% compared to 3.9% in the previous year. Return on Net Worth for the year is (18.4)% compared to 8.9% in the previous year due to change in the UPR methodology.

Strategy

At Max Bupa, our aim is to achieve ‘customer-centric profitable growth’ and to become the most trusted health insurer in the country. This can only be achieved by strengthening our trust equity among our customers and people, delivering value to all stakeholders and remaining at the helm of innovation and digitisation at each customer touch point.

The Company is building a gamut of service offerings to become the preferred health and wellness partner of customers across segments. We are deeply focussed on creating seamless customer-centric products that can be distributed through our diverse base of partners across the country. Additionally, our exemplary customer service is a key differentiator and continues to help the Company foster long-term relationships with its customers.

Our endeavour is to become a digital-first health insurer through integration of technology with our existing processes. We have a long-term focus on fortifying its digital offerings to improve customer experiences through digital processes, platforms and tools. We are also investing in building a digitally enabled ecosystem, high-class analytical capabilities and automating underwriting and claims and further improving our operational efficiencies. We are also developing partnerships with health-tech and insure-tech companies.

In order to deliver value to all stakeholders, Max Bupa continues to focus on profitable urban segments. However, to build regional relevance, we are expanding to new geographies in Tier 2 cities. Aligned to this goal, we are strengthening our direct tie-ups with over 4,500 hospitals across 500 cities. We support our customers through our in-house team of dedicated professionals, including doctors and clinical experts.

Max Bupa will continue to invest in the overall growth and development of its employees through its ‘People-First’ agenda, including the preparation of a forward-looking roadmap, so that it can build itself as an employer of choice and a great place to work.

Regulatory Environment

FY2019 was an interesting year for the Indian insurance industry. It saw the addition of new categories of insurance intermediaries, diversity in the products on offer and evolving business processes. From a regulatory perspective, the year continued to overhaul the existing insurance regulatory framework with new regulations being introduced and existing guidance being amended and updated.

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued ‘Modified Guidelines on Standards and Benchmarks’ for hospitals in the provider network and directed all insurance companies and Third-party Administrators (TPAs) to ensure that all the existing network providers register with the Registry of Hospitals in the Network of Insurers (ROHINI) maintained by the Insurance Information Bureau (IIB). They are also required to obtain either pre-entry level certificate or higher level of certificate issued by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), or state-level certificate or higher level of certificate under National Quality Standards (NQAS) issued by the National Health Systems Resources Center (NHSRC). This would help the insurers have arrangement with quality hospitals, which will, in turn, benefit customers.
  • Regulator issued a communication regarding the automation of BAP General Insurance Product Module to include the generation of an automatic Unique Identification Number upon insurers filing information in Form A and uploading documents made accessible with effect from August 1, 2018. This helped in reducing the effort and time involved in the manual filings.
  • In reference to the Mental Health Act, 2017, the Regulator had directed all insurance companies to comply with the provisions of the Act, thus ensuring mental illness is covered under medical insurance policy, proposal forms are drafted accordingly and underwriting manuals are put in place with effect from August 16, 2018.
  • Regulator also directed all insurance companies to comply with the provision of Human Immuno Deficiency Virus and Acquired lmmune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017. The Act clearly directs that no person is to be discriminated against the protected person on any ground unless supported by actuarial studies for denial or unfair treatment.
  • IRDAI also advised the insurers to immediately inform the concerned policyholder on his mobile number by an automatic SMS on the receipt of premium under a policy. This will help the customer know the premium amount and when the policy is issued based on the confirmation.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Amendment Rules, 2019 were released. Changes were made to Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005. While the previous requirements for KYC documents continue, for companies, partnership firms, trusts and unincorporated bodies, an addition was made to acceptable documents; Board resolution authorising the authorised signatories, PAN / Form 60 and a photograph of the authorised signatory of the above entities are required.
  • The Supreme Court of India, in its order in The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (II) West Bengal vs. Vivekananda Vidyamandir & Ors, on February 28, 2019, has held that special allowances will be included within the ambit of the term ‘basic salary’ for the purpose of calculation of the contribution to the employee’s provident fund. This is a big change across corporates and requires detailed evaluation to implement.
  • Insurers have been advised not to mandatorily seek Aadhaar and PAN/Form 60 from the proposer/ policyholder as part of KYC. This provides a relaxation on mandatory documents. The Regulator has also directed that the insurers will under no circumstance do the authentication using either the e-KYC facility or the Yes/No authentication facility of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Max Bupa emerged as the fifth-largest B2C player among private insurers with an estimated market share of 6.3% in the private B2C segment.

Outlook and Risks

Indian health insurance continues to remain a fundamentally attractive industry with growth projections of ~16% over the next 3-5 years. The industry is witnessing the entry of multiple new players in the SAHI space, thus increasing the options of products and providers available to customers. The industry is also going through consolidation (of older players), with prominent players looking at selling their majority stake. With a growth of 16% over last year, the industry is still favouring the B2C segment as witnessed over the last few years and is expected to continue this trend. Max Bupa, now the fifth-largest B2C player in the private insurance industry, plans to continue building on its expertise in the retail segment and add more families through its innovative product and service proposition. With established processes, a stable sales team and growing reputation, Max Bupa will continue to capitalise on its market differentiation with its customer-centric orientation and build long-term customer relationships.

Max Bupa’s overall approach to managing risk is based on the ‘three lines of defence’ model with a clear segregation of roles and responsibilities for all the lines. Business Managers are part of the first line of defensc and have the responsibility to evaluate their risk environment and set up appropriate controls to mitigate such risks or avoid them. The Risk Management Function, along with the Compliance Function, Fraud & Risk Control Unit and Chief Information Security Officer, forms the second line of defence. The Internal Audit Function guided by the Audit Committee is the third line of defence and provides an independent assurance to the Board. The Statutory Auditors and regulatory oversight aided by the Appointed Actuary and Panel Actuary in his/her fiduciary capacity is also construed to provide an additional line of defence.

Max Bupa has an operationally independent Risk Management Function in place, headed by a Chief Risk Officer. The function is responsible for the supervision of all risk management activities in the Company, including developing the risk appetite, maintaining an aggregated risk view across the Company and monitoring the residual risks to ensure that they remain within tolerance levels. It also reviews the appropriateness and adequacy of the risk management strategy and develops recommendations to the Risk Committee as necessary. The Risk Management Function also ensures that through various management submissions, the Board is adequately informed on key emerging risk-related issues and if necessary, provides supplementary advice to the Board through the Risk Committee. All important risk-related matters are discussed, reviewed and monitored by this Committee on a periodic basis.

Risk management activities are supervised on behalf of the Board by the Risk Committee, whose responsibilities conform to those prescribed by the IRDAI.

'People-first' Philosophy

At Max Bupa, we believe that people are our biggest organisational assets and hence, it is our continuous endeavour to create a ‘People-First’ culture through employee-friendly policies and practices. Our Purpose and Vision are reinforced through various initiatives that keep people at the heart of everything we do. All interventions to engage our employees are driven by the management and extended leadership team.

We are committed towards embedding the organisational values in all our people processes such as recruitment, performance management, talent development initiatives, career progression, rewards & recognition, etc. Our aim is to build a high-performance culture driven by pure meritocracy. Hence, we have taken significant steps towards streamlining all processes and policies related to employee performance through a robust performance management exercise that includes regular feedback from managers and subsequent action to be taken by both the employee and the manager.

We also encourage a holistic personal development plan for our people to develop into dynamic professionals. Our business rests on six Core Values - Caring, Respectful, Ethical, Accountable, Trustworthy and Enabling (CREATE). This value system is a key step towards realising our long-term vision of becoming the most admired health insurance company in India.

The deployment of multiple communication tools to effectively engage and communicate with the employees helps propagate an open and two-way communication between the leadership team and the people within Max Bupa. Several key initiatives such as CEO town halls, CEO Red Carpet, function-wise town halls, Company newsletter, employee engagement survey, employee engagement & health-wellness initiatives, etc. serve as a platform to cascade key organisational information and connect with the employees. To analyse and understand the effectiveness of these tools, periodic reviews are held during the year.

This involves assessment of Key Result Areas (KRAs) of each team and the feedback provided in the employee engagement survey.

Last fiscal, we strengthened our employees’ learning and development journey by introducing more streamlined and effective learning platforms to keep them engaged and help them upgrade their skills to build long-standing careers with us.

In FY2019, one of the most important metrics – Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Score – witnessed a significant increase and participation rate compared to the previous year. The enhanced score and the participation rate are testimony to our commitment to keep our ‘people first’ in everything that we do at Max Bupa.

Max Bupa has distribution partnerships with Indian and international banks such as HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, Standard Chartered Bank, Federal Bank, Deutsche Bank, South Indian Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Sarv UP Gramin Bank, Bajaj Finserv and Rattan India, which provide it access to millions of customers across India.