ICICI Lombard GIC carried out a survey across India to understand changes in consumer behaviour with regard to Health Insurance post the Covid crisis. They interviewed a total of 330 persons, out of which 266 had existing Health Insurance plans, and 64 did not.
In the East region, specifically Kolkata, the survey revealed that little has changed in consumer buying patterns for Health insurance post COVID-19. Just 9% of customers bought a new policy in the last 6 months, whereas 68% had existing Health Insurance policies bought over a year ago. Agents remain the primary source for buying Health Insurance, with 57% of participants purchasing through them, followed by website purchases at 24%. It was also revealed that more than half of the participants depend on the advice of friends, family and colleagues when choosing a brand of Health Insurance.
The Motivation to Buy:
89% of respondents who bought a Health Insurance policy in this region were motivated to do so by potential expenses in case of an emergency. Change in lifestyle and the need to secure one’s health was the second key factor, with 53% listing this as their motivation. Interestingly, 54% of consumers in the age group of 31-35 years listed tax benefits as the primary reason for buying Health Insurance. In light of the current crisis, 76% of policy owners wish to increase the sum assured on their policies.
For non-owners, financial constraints and employee insurance were the main reasons for not purchasing personal Health Insurance. However, 70% of the surveyed people with employee insurance feel it is no longer enough and intend to buy personal policies in the future.
Renewal and Claims:
On the renewal and claims front, customers were satisfied with their current providers’ renewal processes before COVID-19. We saw that 86% have renewed their policies, of which 39% renewed their policies online. 33% of policy owners have made claims in the past, and 23% of them did it cashless.
As the pandemic lingers on, the survey showed that most owners are taking basic precautions such as wearing a mask, sanitizing hands and consuming home remedies and supplements to boost immunity. As normalcy resumed, it was noticed that owners of Health Insurance policies were taking more precautions than non-owners. Younger age groups were also found to be adhering to precautionary protocols more than older age groups. However, this maybe largely due to older people choosing to stay at home more than younger people.