“World Health Day” is celebrated on April 07 every year. It’s a day when you can’t afford to ignore health issues or deny the importance of getting health insurance early in life. The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked the desire to include health insurance in investment portfolios.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance recently released a report highlighting women’s awareness and purchasing habits towards general insurance. The report titled “Insurance Awareness Among Women in India” assesses attitudes towards insurance by providing a distinct perspective on insurance by including both female general insurance policyholders. Furthermore, the report also highlights the misconceptions surrounding insurance that can prevent women from getting insurance in India.
Unlike most other investment options that people research or try to glean more information about, health insurance remains relatively less discussed due to ignorance or zero understanding of how hospitalization and subsequent medical treatment may reduce savings.
The survey was conducted among 779 female respondents, aged between 21 and 55, from across India in metros and tier 1 cities. The details measure the current state of general insurance knowledge among women on various aspects such as general awareness, health insurance providers, suitability of women-centered health insurance plans, decision-making ability and involvement when purchasing a general insurance.
Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said: “As the data shows, only a small percentage of women in India consider general insurance a priority. This highlights the need for greater awareness and education on general insurance among women in India. The survey conducted by ICICI Lombard highlights the need for more gender-sensitive insurance policies that meet the unique needs of women. We are committed to providing women with insurance solutions tailored to their needs. Our goal is to create awareness, holistically educate women about insurance, and create a seamless and intelligent customer experience that maximizes value for the consumer.
Key findings from the study include:
Preference for general insurance products, including health insurance, was found among married people with children over single or married people without children.
More than half of women (54%) aged 41-55 think age is a major reason for buying. About 61% of respondents think 25-34 is the right age to invest in a health insurance policy, with working women more likely to pay for their own insurance policies.
The survey data also highlights common barriers that women intending to purchase health insurance face when enrolling in these plans, with the main barrier being the purchase process/paperwork. A full understanding of health insurance still does not exist, with many future policyholders struggling to decide which policy would be best for them in the long term.
This explains why the decision surrounding the purchase of health insurance is not an independent process with only 58 percent of women responding affirmatively to having purchased insurance without any advice from their peers and relatives.
Rupinderjit Singh, Vice President – Retail Health, Acko General Insurance says, “Factors that prevent the majority of individuals in Tier II and III cities from purchasing health insurance plans primarily revolve around –
Awareness: Most people have limited access to health insurance information. There is a serious lack of know-how among potential customers that prevents them from choosing the right health insurance plans.
Affordability: Pricing in Tier II and III cities has lower healthcare costs. However, offering pricing benefits by insurers can help make products more lucrative for consumers to adopt. Monthly pricing can create a differentiator.
Trust: Traditionally, there is a lack of trust between insurers and customers. This can be addressed by simplifying terms and conditions and coverages by providing zero day withdrawal products with no co-pays or deductibles. Technology can create transparency and make it easier for customers to take up health insurance and, in fact, drive penetration. »
Consumer perspectives on health insurance have changed significantly in recent years, thanks to recurrent bouts of the epidemic that continue to affect people in this country. The death of millions of people due to their inability to afford much-needed treatment only serves as a reminder of the need for health insurance early in life. The concept of “World Health Day” should not be relegated to a single day, but should be observed throughout life to address universal health concerns.
85% of respondents would consider cutting back on some luxury items so they can spend more on health insurance