Money & Banking

Indians second most active in seeking insurance in APAC during Covid

K R Srivats New Delhi | Updated on June 19, 2020

Nearly one-third of consumers in India are feeling overwhelmed/anxious about their financial future in the current Covid-19 times, according to a new consumer survey from global reinsurer, Swiss Re.

This is the second-highest among the APAC markets surveyed. Also, Indian consumers are the second most active in APAC in seeking insurance during Covid-19, driven by financial and mental health concerns, the survey showed. About 1,000 respondents in Mumbai and Bengaluru participated in the survey.

To make up for this financial strain, many Indian consumers were happy to sacrifice home / motor insurance (28 per cent), while a quarter would cut life insurance premiums (25 per cent) to help ease the burden. These were some of the highest figures in the region.

“Indian consumers are among the most active and engaged when it comes to insurance, trailing only China when it comes to researching new policies and satisfaction levels, proving the potential and importance of insurance in this growing market,” said Amitabha Ray, Head of P&C client markets for India, Swiss Re.

When it came to health issues brought on by Covid-19 , social disruption was the biggest concern (71 per cent), followed by physical fitness (67 per cent) and the inability to care for others (66 per cent). While it was last on the list, mental health issues resulting from isolation and loneliness was the highest for 64 per cent of Indian respondents. More than half of the consumers (61 per cent) had been contacted by their insurer, with 65 per cent intending to purchase insurance as a result. A huge majority (68 per cent) felt that insurance helped to ease their stress and provide financial support during this time, and 78 per cent said that their claims experience matched.

Ray said that along with being proactive, Indian consumers’ trust in insurers paying out on valid claims is high, with 61 per cent agreeing with this statement, and almost all (95 per cent) felt that insurers are being just as proactive or more so than similar providers during this time.

“The figures support this, with insurers in India reaching out to a large portion of respondents (61 per cent), mostly via email and text, and when they are contacted a large number (65 per cent) intend to buy insurance as a result. Again, these results are the second highest in APAC,” Ray added.

Value-added features

Unlike other surveyed markets, Indian consumers said the flexibility to mix and match coverage was the most important feature when choosing an insurer, followed by the ability to process online. When asked about value-added features, respondents said having priority access to products such as face masks and medication would be most appealing, followed by healthcare services such as virtual GP sessions. This survey was conducted in the APAC economies of Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese megacities of Beijing and Shanghai in April.

Published on June 19, 2020

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