The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a boost in online insurance purchases, as consumers grow increasingly concerned with their health and financial security, Swiss Re’s global consumer survey revealed.
“The sudden shock to healthcare systems and accelerated digital adoption, among other behavioral changes, has had a profound impact on people's livelihoods,” said Jérôme Jean Haegeli, group chief economist at Swiss Re. “As a result of this, many consumers continue to express concern regarding their health resilience and how well they are insured for potential health shocks in the future.”
Swiss Re found increasing physical and mental health awareness among 11,000 respondents worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed consumers to seek out more regular health checks, with 46% of respondents in emerging markets saying that they plan to attend check-ups more frequently. Meanwhile, one third of respondents in advanced markets said that their mental health has deteriorated in the past year.
Additionally, 40% of respondents expressed concerns regarding the adequacy of their existing insurance coverage. Among those aged 40 and below, 54% said they’ve done research on new or additional policies in the six months prior to taking the survey.
In taking on insurance, consumers also showed a preference for digital solutions. Online insurance has gained particular traction among the younger generation, with respondents saying that they prefer the affordability and convenience of online processing, as well as the flexibility to customize coverage plans.
This preference for digital solutions extends to a greater willingness to share personal health data through online platforms, as one in three of respondents globally expressed their interest in using health and wellness apps.
“Consumers continue to prioritize their wellbeing two years into the pandemic,” said Paul Murray, CEO Reinsurance Asia at Swiss Re. “The re/insurance industry has an opportunity to help strengthen this resilience in the post-pandemic world. The good news is that more and more consumers are putting their faith in the industry and to make the most of this, 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.”