Financial security

COVID-19 pandemic prompts greater focus on health and financial security: Swiss Re

A recent survey by the Swiss Re Institute, two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, showed that the pandemic has led to a greater emphasis on health and financial security, which has led to more purchases online insurance and a greater willingness to share personal health data, especially among the younger generation.

This was the third edition of the Swiss Re Institute’s survey and the third year that the company has conducted a survey to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s behaviors. This year’s responses show that COVID-19 has been a catalyst for people in emerging markets to undergo more regular health checkups, with mental health a top concern.

The institute’s survey was conducted among 11,000 consumers worldwide, and the report that followed – “Digital Touchpoints Build Resilience for Physical and Mental Health”, reveals that changing concerns of consumers in health and financial security has led to a new prioritization of the importance of policies, sparking a new shift towards more online insurance purchases.

A particularly interesting finding from the survey showed that globally, 40% of respondents are concerned about the adequacy of their existing level of insurance cover.

At the same time, the survey results highlighted that respondents are also concerned about the adequacy of their current level of insurance coverage. Among respondents aged under 40, 54% said they had researched new or additional policies in the six months prior to the survey.

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Among advanced markets, respondents in Japan (55%) and the UK (49%) expressed the highest level of insecurity.

Insurance searches and purchases were notably highest in China and India, with an average of 40% of respondents purchasing new coverage. Over the past six months, the under 40s in emerging markets have been the most active in exploring new or additional cover and are the fastest growing target group for insurers.

“The sudden shock to health systems and accelerated digital adoption, among other behavioral changes, have had a profound impact on people’s livelihoods. As a result, many consumers continue to express concerns about their health resilience and the quality of their insurance against potential health shocks in the future,” said Jérôme Jean Haegeli, Group Chief Economist. Swiss Re.

Paul Murray, CEO of Reinsurance Asia at Swiss Re, added: “Consumers continue to prioritize their wellbeing two years into the pandemic. The re/insurance industry has an opportunity to help build this resilience in the post-pandemic world.

“The good news is that more and more consumers trust the industry and to get the most out of it, we must collectively respond to their changing preferences by meeting their expectations of us – multiple digital touchpoints, new products for the new normal, and more efficient underwriting.

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