Ola—one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies, integrates transportation for customers and driver-partners on a mobile technology platform ensuring convenient and quick services. It thrives on digital innovation and has always endeavoured to delight its customers with services that add value to their journey. To advance these aims, Ola needed an insurance product for its passengers to protect them from eventualities (such as accidents, loss of baggage) beyond their control, for the duration of their ride.
Addressing the Ask
Step 1: Research
After understanding the requirement, we started with the research. Social media scouring and consumer surveys indicated that there were many prevalent problems among cab users. The common ones included:
- Drivers being reckless and unheeding to requests
- People missing appointments & flights due to driver’s negligence
- Worry about thefts & burglaries when travelling out of station
- Concerns of baggage loss, injuries etc.
Step 2: Laying the foundation
The research indicated that cab riders needed an insurance cover, but a regular product would not address their concerns. The insurance product needed to be as simple as booking an Ola ride and therefore we set some product principles before crafting it.
An insurance without relevant coverages is like a soldier without a shield, therefore it was imperative to create a product that would be pertinent to the needs of the consumers.
Insurance products generally involve convoluted clauses that confuse customers, and make claim-filing impossible. We decided to eliminate these surplus stipulations and create a product that’s easy to understand and file a claim against.
Effortless filing of a claim
Registering a claim successfully can be extremely excruciating in the world of insurance, so, we were determined to create a simple and speedy journey from claim initiation to document submission.
Great user-experience on app
An interface with effortless navigation was identified as a crucial part of this product. So, to further simplify a user’s journey, we decided to design an interface with elements that would be easy to access, understand, and facilitate desired actions.
A robust, error-free and never-let-you-down system was adjudged to be the backbone of this product.
Challenges before launch
We had no price yardstick for this completely novel product.
The industry-first product had no role model to look up to. We had to craft it sans references.
Its creation required a robust tech structure that could support and issue millions of policies every day.
The flawless integration of two entirely different technology stacks posed as another great challenge towards the beginning.
To abide by Product Principle No. 5 we needed a remarkably high up time, and achieving it seemed like an uphill task since exceptionally large volumes were anticipated.
To stick to product principle no. 3, we needed to minimise operation time, which in turn required automated claim processes that could support high volumes.
Step 3: Overcoming the challenges
Pricing had to strike plenty of right chords, and our underwriting team ensured it did just that. An accessible premium of Re. 1 was set for passengers availing city rides, and it entailed a cover that included major risks and more.
Since a similar product was unavailable and there was a dearth of data to assist the formulation of this unique proposition, we referred to annual accident covers and extrapolated the information culled from Ola statistics like annual deaths, accidents and injuries recorded during trips. The missed flight cover added more data to the set, and we had to consider the time of cab arrival, weather conditions, traffic jam frequencies and other factors to create this insurance.
The tech team stepped up to the challenge and created a sturdy and scalable architecture that could support the issuance of millions of policies every day. While setting up the tech we focussed on optimising our code and algorithms to make sure that the API gives very low response time. The low response time was required to decrease the booking time for customer.
Although aligning the tech of two different entities was a mammoth of a task, teams from both organisations worked in tandem to ensure its flawless execution. We co-ordinated with Ola’s product, tech, QA and business teams regularly to sync the processes and identify critical problems beforehand. Close coordination was crucial to measure the metrics and ensure there were no hiccups in integration of APIs.
We had to maintain an exemplary uptime which meant every request had to be processed in less than 30 milliseconds. The architecture was designed to fulfil this need. This was imperative as the increase in booking time would have resulted in customer drop-off. Achieving a low response time helped us improve the customer journey.
The establishment of a sturdy tech foundation resulted in the achievement of this gargantuan goal. An automated and streamlined claims process which could be initiated from the Ola app and where proofs could be uploaded digitally, meant minimum operational effort was put to use.
Filing a claim on the Ola app
Filing on Web
Filing a claim on acko.com
Claim filing takes less than a minute
|Attachment||Policies issued||Claim settlement time||Uptime|
|High||250 million+||48-72 business hours||99.99%|
- 200 million rides insured and counting
- 20 million unique users insured
- 3 minutes to register claims
- 99 percent API success rate
The team that made it happen