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Medical services will help increase frequency of the insurance product "use"

The overwhelming majority, 99% of Russians citizens who buy risk life insurance products, in fact, do not use them - fortunately, nothing critical happen to a person during the term of the agreement. Partially, that is the reason this segment in Russia is not growing as rapidly as endowment or investment insurance products, thanks to which the life insurance market in the country has increased by 53% in 2017, the amount of insurance fees exceeded 350 billion rubles.
Medical services will help increase frequency of the insurance product "use"

Author: Orlova Gulnara Rafaelevna, Deputy Operations Director of Sberbank Life Insurance (source:

We are trying to step down from the usual paradigm of risk insurance, which implies getting a payment in the future (and only in case of insurance event) in return for paying the policy now. Filling the insurance product with medical services will increase frequency of the insurance product "use". As a result, the number of people referring to their insurance policies will grow to 30%, which are more than 3 million life insurance customers in Sberbank today.

The second factor to increase attractiveness of risk life insurance products with medical services is the situation with the medical insurance market and the demand for medical services in the country. According to the recent KPMG report, the voluntary medical insurance segment in Russia has reached saturation. Its share in the paid services structure continues to decline, and increase in demand in the corporate segment is not expected. Along with this, the disposable incomes of population are also dropping. The increase in prices for medical services is being ahead inflation lately, therefore (according to BusinessStat forecast), even if Russia comes out of recession, the household income rates will be too low to stimulate demand for private medicine. This will encourage people when buying credit life insurance policies (and every third in our country has a loan) pay close attention to the medical service component.

In other words, by adding medical options to our products, we see, on the one hand, promising outlook for involving citizens in medical services use and regular health monitoring. On the other hand, the availability of these services can become additional motivation for purchasing risky life insurance products.

What services are life insurance providers investing in first?


Doctor nearby

The service of remote medical consultations or telemedicine in Russia is so far used by about 700 thousand people. Our company has already implemented this service in all life insurance programs, which are sold in Sberbank together with loans (with no cost increase). Considering the bank huge network and a high demand for loans and policies of credit life insurance, the number of telemedicine users in the country will grow to 4 million people by the end of 2018, and it will increase by 50-60% by 2020.

When choosing a telemedicine service, first of all, it is necessary to pay attention to such details as a valid medical license by the provider; the ICD list upon which consultations are being conducted; number and qualification of practicing doctors. Another important thing is a convenient user interface with a quick possibility to get a doctor's advice (literally within a few minutes) in any convenient way for the client (phone, video, chat, etc.) and at a convenient time, even at night (when clinics do not work). Usually the telemedicine service works through a mobile application where a client must register, choose a doctor, date and time of consultation and receive an incoming call from the doctor. The cost of treatment ranges from 500 to 3000 rubles. The telemedicine consultation will be free for the client with the life insurance policy.

When using this service, one should bear in mind that remote consultations with a doctor have a number of limitations. There are a number of diseases that make it difficult to diagnose without face-to-face consultation with a specialist. The law says that the initial diagnosis and treatment order are made only with face-to-face doctor’s appointment. Follow-ups may be made remotely.


Body Checkup or Maintenance

Preventive medicine is developed in all western countries. People are not afraid to go to the hospital; they regularly take tests, take care of their cholesterol level and try to eat healthy food. This is encouraged by insurance companies: for example, in Finland, those who regularly undergo medical examination pay 10% less for insurance. In Russia, they often get to the doctor only when the pain is unbearable.

The advantage of check-ups is in possibility to be examined at a convenient time, in one place and for a minimum amount of time. On average, the total checkup takes about 4 hours.  As for the cost, it varies from 6 thousand to several hundred thousand rubles depending on the clinic and the examination program.

As part of insurance products, the check-ups are cheaper by 10-15%, thanks to the special terms that clinics provide when cooperating with legal entities.

Often, some diseases are revealed during check-ups, which people have not even suspected about. So, there was a client who was diagnosed with a kidney disease while undergoing a check-up (when underwriting), and the operation carried out in time allowed him to avoid serious consequences. There was another case with a person who had been suffering pain from cardiac rhythm problem for a long time. He was accurately diagnosed after the check-up.  The problem was quickly removed on the spot with the help of an electrical impulse, and the patient was freed from the heart malfunction. Annually 3-5% of premium segment clients are sent to pre-insurance check-ups. After filling the risk life insurance programs with medical services, this service will be in demand for 30% of the bank's clients.


Double check

In case of a critical diagnosis the service "The second medical opinion" allows to obtain a second medical assessment report and treatment options by sending the results of the survey.

In Europe and the US, thousands of claims against medical workers are filed every year. More than 50% of them are satisfied by the courts, as according to the expert examination the fact of malpractice events are proven. Every 10th patient in the EU countries at least once faces with mistreatment that harms his health and life. According to statistics, up to 30% of diagnoses in Russia are inaccurately made. Therefore, the service of diagnostic verification is potentially very much in demand, especially when it comes to critical illnesses.

In premium products where this service is already available, the number of requests for the second medical opinion on the diagnosis is leading in neurology - 28% of appeals, orthopedics - 20% (second place), oncology – 16% (third place). On average, in 10% of cases the client receives a clarification or a change in the diagnosis, and correction of treatment.

The second medical opinion, in our opinion, is an integral service of life insurance policies, where the insurance cover for the risks of critical diseases and especially oncology diagnosing is included. In the short term, this option will also expand on many company's products.

Photo per website:,

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