Evolution of Health insurance – A COVID-19 Perspective (West Zone)
To understand changes in consumer behaviour with regard to Health Insurance post the COVID crisis, ICICI Lombard carried out a survey across the four corners of India, that is, north, south, east and west. They interviewed a total of 558 persons in west region , out of which 446 had existing Health Insurance plans, and 112 did not.
In the West region, the survey revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in demand for Health insurance. 15% of customers bought a new policy in the last 6 months, and 26% bought policies in the last 1 year. Only 58% of participants had existing Health Insurance policies bought over a year ago. Though agents remain the primary source to buy Health insurance, the survey revealed that, post COVID-19, customers have become more self-reliant, with 27% purchasing through websites.
The Motivation to Buy:
87% of respondents in the west region cited potential expenses in case of an emergency as the primary reason for buying Health Insurance. For respondents in the age group of 31-35 years, tax benefits were the chief motivation to purchase Health Insurance. The survey revealed that more than half of the participants depend on the advice of friends, family and colleagues when choosing a brand of Health Insurance.
For non-owners, financial constraints and employee insurance were the main reasons for not purchasing personal Health Insurance. However, 81% 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 84% have renewed their policies, and 43% have stated an excellent experience. 44% of policy owners have made claims in the past, and 29% of them did it cashless.
Pandemic Effect: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, with only 39% of non-owners wearing masks in public. 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 often than younger people.