Digital transformation of health insurance sector boosts customer experience
Insurance companies in Saudi Arabia have extensively expanded their electronic services for customers in recent years, thanks largely due to the popularity of smartphones and the COVID-19 pandemic, which confined people to their houses for long periods. Companies launched smart apps to facilitate communication and enable customers to access premium services as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
Digital race in the insurance sector
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of the Saudi insurance market, particularly due to the Kingdom’s strong telecommunications and information technology infrastructure, the availability of 4G and 5G network services, and the widespread usage of smartphones, launching a frantic race among insurance companies to develop its apps to serve millions of customers, meet their needs in the ways they want, and at their convenience.
This competition among insurance companies to win the digital transformation race has resulted in major development of the sector, which is a key pillar of the national economy. This in turn is driving economic and social development, being one of the key pillars for achieving the objectives of Vision 2030, the National Transformation Program and the Quality-of-Life program.
Smart Insurance Apps: Bupa Arabia at the forefront
Bupa Arabia has been at the forefront of Saudi insurance companies that adopted their operations to the evolving technological landscape and has played a leading role in the digital transformation of the insurance sector, which included the development of cutting-edge software solutions and apps.
Al-Shereef Hamideddin, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience Design at Bupa Arabia, said that the company has played a pivotal role in the digital transformation of the Saudi insurance sector, and has established a special department to lead its digitization efforts. This department has been instrumental in designing the company’s strategies, with the aim of improving the delivery of health services to its customers. Bupa Arabia has made significant investments to develop digital solutions, which in turn has contributed to enhancing the customer experience.
“The contribution of Bupa Arabia in advancing the development of the sector, includes the development of our app, which facilitated members to access many services from the comfort of their homes, such as booking appointments in hospitals, selecting clinics and specialties, choosing where to receive medication, receiving medical approvals, as well as booking virtual appointments with specialized doctors in less than a minute. These features, which previously took longer, are now available at the touch of a button,” Hamideddin said, adding that the app processes hundreds of thousands of approvals in an hour.
Hamideddin pointed out that 22 million transactions have so far been carried out through the easy-to-use app, which has a high rating of 4.5 on the App Store. As of now, the digital adoption for reimbursement claims is at 98%, while the demand for digital healthcare services reached 59%.
Growth boosted by digitization
Digital development in the insurance sector has resulted in its significant growth and optimistic forecasts of its performance in the coming period. The sector grew by 8.4 percent during 2021, and the total written premiums reached SR42 billion, according to an annual report of the Saudi Central Bank.
Fitch Ratings also predict growth of the Saudi insurance sector this year, and has increased the number of total insurance premiums in the medium term. This can be attributed to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the government’s efforts to provide comprehensive health insurance to citizens by 2023, a significant increase in temporary insurance for pilgrims and visitors from abroad as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, as well as increased technical developments and regulatory enhancements in the market.