Financial worry leads Asia-Pacific consumers to become more price sensitive towards insurance

Asia-Pacific consumers become more price sensitive towards insurance

Financial worry leads Asia-Pacific consumers to become more price sensitive towards insurance

Insurance News

By Duffie Osental

Financial anxiety has led consumers across the Asia Pacific region to become more price sensitive with their insurance purchases, according to a recent survey from Swiss Re.

The reinsurer surveyed 7,000 insurance customers across 12 markets in Asia Pacific – including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea – and found that 80% of respondents indicate price as the most important decision factor in purchasing an insurance policy.

And according to Swiss Re, this is because consumers are increasingly concerned about their finances – with one in four respondents saying they feel “anxious and overwhelmed” about the stability of their financial future.

“It is evident that despite the commencement of vaccine rollouts across the region, the level of financial anxiety remains high, consistent with what we heard when we first conducted this survey at the height of the pandemic,” said Russell Higginbotham, chief executive officer, reinsurance at Swiss Re Asia. “COVID-19 has exposed shortfalls in consumers' insurance protection, where increasing health concerns have translated into strong health insurance premium growth in several markets such as Thailand, Singapore, and China.” 

Lockdowns and social distancing measures from the pandemic have also led to significantly higher acceptance of digital interactions with insurers, especially in emerging Asia.

The survey revealed that, in the past six months, 39% of the total insurance policy purchases in the Asia Pacific region were completed using insurers' online platforms or through an app.

In the near-term, Swiss Re said that it expects digital insurance purchases to continue to see an uptick in APAC, with 50% of respondents interested in purchasing through an insurer's website or app in the future.

“Heightened risk concerns around mental wellbeing and growing interest in non-traditional distribution channels have given rise to more innovative product offerings across the APAC region,” Swiss Re said in a statement. “The reinsurance industry is in a unique position to extend its offerings and help individuals and families to strengthen their resilience now, to ensure they are prepared for the future.”

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