Life Insurance: Urban Indians grossly underprotected

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on February 20, 2019

Term insurance lacks significant uptake in urban India, finds survey

In what is seen as a reflection of India’s dismal level of protection coverage, a new survey has revealed that just one-third of urban Indians feel protected, though two-thirds own insurance.

The  survey – put out  by Max Life Insurance and Kantar IMRB – has revealed that urban India stands at a protection quotient of 35 in the first-ever India Protection Quotient (IPQ), which measures the degree at which Indians feel protected from future uncertainties on a scale of 0 to 100.

This proprietary tool has been developed for assessing how protected urban India is. It is based on the attitudes, mental preparedness around future uncertainties, awareness, and ownership of life insurance product categories (term, endowment and ULIP).

With a sample size of 4,566 respondents, the survey was administered on respondents of different demographics and age groups (25 to 55 years) across 15 metropolitan and Tier-I cities in India. Decision makers/influencers, with an annual household income of ₹2 lakh or more, were covered.

Prashant Tripathy, Managing Director and CEO, Max Life Insurance, said: “This survey reveals some interesting and startling findings about the state of protection in the country as well as the attitude, behaviour and apprehensions that people have around life insurance.”

Term insurance, despite being the most fundamental and cheapest form of financial protection, still lacks a significant uptake in urban India, he said.

“There is an urgent need for Indians to understand the true value of protecting one’s family from the uncertainties of life. We hope the results of this study act as a wake-up call for consumers and the industry at large and help increase financial protection in the country,” he said.

Tripathy said  the IPQ effort, which is going to be an annual exercise, should not be seen as one intended to drive sales of Max Life Insurance. “The objective is to get a good understanding of the ground level situation and create roadmap to address it.”

The low score of 35 will now be a reference frame for the progress that will be made in addressing the protection gap in the country.


The survey findings reveal  millennials in India are not keen on preparing themselves for tomorrow, but want to priortise on spending on travel and luxury.

Working Women in India are grossly under-protected. They don’t consider themselves as breadwinners, have low IPQ and low life and term insurance ownership, the survey revealed.

Published on February 20, 2019

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