Strengthening its commitment towards ensuring greater financial protection for the country in the midst of COVID-19, Max Life Insurance Company Ltd. (“Max Life”/ “Company”) unveiled the findings of the COVID-19 edition of its flagship survey ‘Max Life India Protection Quotient- Express’ (“IPQ/IPQ Express”) in association with KANTAR. Titled IPQ Express, the survey reveals dominant consumer sentiment in the times of COVID-19 on the back of how protected digitally savvy urban Indians feel with respect to financial security, savings and investments, medical preparedness, key anxieties, and new acceptance levels in an increasingly digital world.
The digitally savvy, urban respondents of West India revealed a protection quotient of 44 during COVID-19 times, marginally lower than the national average of 45. The region’s protection quotient was also the lowest when compared with other regions; while South and East had a protection quotient of 46, North stood at 45. West India also demonstrated the lowest life insurance ownership of 73%, while South India and North India recorded the highest ownership at 78%, closely followed by the East region that had an ownership of 77%.
Furthermore, West India’s life insurance knowledge index too stood at a lower 63 as opposed to North, South and East India’s knowledge index of 66, 68 and 67 respectively. On the positive side, with 53% respondents feeling attitudinally secure, West India’s financial security level, at par with North India (53%), was higher than East and South India’s security levels of 52% and 48% respectively.
Commenting on the findings of IPQ Express, Aalok Bhan, Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance said: “COVID-19 has created unique circumstances for all of us. The situation has not only affected us mentally and physically, but also brought its own set of financial challenges. Given the uncertainties surrounding COVID-`19, it is important for individuals to recognize the importance of life insurance in securing the financial future of loved ones.
When compared to other regions, West India has the lowest life insurance ownership, term awareness and overall protection levels, reflecting scope for improved financial preparedness. By presenting key findings of ‘India Protection Quotient Express’, the COVID-19 centric edition of our survey at a meaningful juncture, we aim to reinforce the importance of continued coverage in tough times, encouraging the region to embrace comprehensive financial protection.”
COVID-19 has driven 79% digitally savvy West Indians towards proactive financial planning, but not enough in comparison to other regions IPQ Express revealed increase in importance of financial protection in the region. However, as opposed to 79% respondents in West, a higher proportion of respondents in East (81%), North (84%) and South India (86%) believe that the current situation demands one to be more proactive about financial planning.
For West India, increasing number of cases and sustaining COVID-19 treatment costs key causes of anxiety during COVID-19. With increasing cases of COVID-19, concerns about someone in the family falling prey to it was the biggest cause of anxiety for 70% in West India. Sustaining the cost of COVID-19 treatment remained the second highest cause of anxiety for 69% of respondents, followed by financial security of family in the absence of a breadwinner which came a close third at 67%. Further, 66% respondents in West India worried about job security and stability of income during this time.
West India saving more than investing during Covid-19; savings targeted towards treatment and medical emergencies
In wake of COVID-19, IPQ Express brought to light that respondents in West India are diverting more towards savings in comparison to investment. For digitally savvy, urban West Indians, 30% of income was diverted towards savings and 23% went into investments during COVID-19. Basic expenses accounted for 30% of total income.
The survey found that saving objectives too have witnessed a shift. Saving for COVID-19 treatment in case someone in the family gets infected was the topmost savings objectives for 52% respondents in West India. This was followed by saving for critical medical emergencies which was a key priority for 52% respondents. Providing for family in case of loss of job/business was a savings objective for 43% digitally savvy respondents in the West region.
Term ownership highest among all life insurance product categories in West India IPQ Express survey revealed that term insurance ownership in West India was highest across different categories of life insurance products within the region. While 37% digitally savvy, respondents from West India owned term products, 31% owned endowment products and only 16% owned market linked products.
In comparison to other regions however, West India’s term insurance ownership of 37% was second only to East India’s term ownership of 40%. This was followed by North and South where 35% and 34% respondents respectively own term insurance products.