Social Media Restriction on Insurance Sector – The Odd One Out!

Now-a-days, social media is the best platform that any business organization could use for social interaction. This has stayed the best place to share ideas, videos, and pictures, which ultimately helps a lot in creating awareness and building brand values. As a media, it is hugely different from the traditional print and electronic media. As social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have shown exponential growth in the last years, those have contributed enormously to building brands.

Their approach to creating brand value and business has stayed enormously different in terms of permanency, regularity, usability, and last but not the least ability to reach successfully every customer segment in the market.  This has brought an unprecedented popularity for all the e-commerce sites, resulting in high sales of different products.

Why Insurance sector is the odd one out?

Despite the advance that social media has made in India, insurance sector lags behind in taking the full advantage from it.  Let’s know some of the causes restricting the web aggregators to use social media as a platform to promote insurance products.

Restriction on web aggregator against using social media

The recent draft from Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) has imposed restriction against web aggregators using social media sites as tools for marketing. The insurance regulator has proposed that no web aggregator could create a tie-up with another website for taking up promotional measures.

According to the draft, the web aggregators are not eligible to use other websites along with their own websites.

Secondly, the aggregators also do not have the permission to sell any product other than insurance. Over-all, this has brought a serious handicap on the health of web aggregators, which are making serious efforts to promote insurance through healthier means in the society.

Awareness-the need of the hour

Insurance, as an area of business, has gone through a complete transformation. Earlier this field had only the services from the government organizations, which functioned with missionary zeal to extend insurance coverage to the needy people.

With the entries of various private parties, focus has now shifted to the “service” part by the insurance providers. The role of social media is vital in this as there is need to create vast awareness in the masses about insurance. With the restriction placed on the insurance providers and web aggregators, people do not get right information about the insurance products and the ways those could help them to live safe and secure life.

The need for more interaction

Think of an insurance policy that a buyer purchases from an insurance company. Let’s take in to consideration the post-purchase behavior of the buyer. He only thinks in terms of paying the annual premium amounts after buying the product in insurance, without thinking about the additional benefits. As the social media is absent, the insurance aggregators and providers do not get the chance of interacting with the masses on the platforms, which educate people about the core values of different types of products through intense interactive methods.

This leaves hardly any space for education of buyers of insurance policies for better coverage of things in life and curbing up unethical practices in the insurance sector. As a result, the age old concepts about insurance continue to exist without allowing a little change to come in to existence.

Restriction on lead generation

The insurance regulatory body of India has placed restriction on web aggregators to generate leads through the social media sites. Unaware of the fact that in an over-competitive market like insurance, lead generation could only help in building up successful brands and serve the buyers of insurance products through healthier means.

After all, insurance is the only field that offers benefits to a person during his life and even after his life to his family. It is a wrong notion that generating a lead only necessarily creates a bias in the “buyer” to purchase the product rather it helps in the correct understanding of the needs of the buyers for the right type of insurance coverage. As it is, the need for coverage in insurance varies from person to person and the “lead” creates a perfect case study of the necessity of the buyer. Social media is immensely helpful in understanding the true cases of different individuals and contribute to the study and growth of “insurance management” in India.

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