Pandemic affects mental and physical well-being, resulting in safer online, according to Swiss Re global consumer survey

  • More than half (60%) of respondents in emerging markets are increasingly concerned about their health as a result of the pandemic. almost 20 percentage points higher than in advanced markets
  • In advanced markets, a third of the population surveyed reported a deterioration in their mental health in the previous year
  • Globally, 40% of respondents are concerned about the adequacy of their current level of insurance coverage
  • Among those under 40, 54% have researched new or additional policies in the six months prior to the survey

Zurich, June 1, 2022 ? Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, a Swiss Re Institute survey of 11,000 consumers around the world shows that the pandemic has led to an increased focus on health and financial security. This has resulted in more online insurance shopping and a greater willingness to share personal health data, especially among the younger generation.

“The sudden shock to healthcare systems and accelerated digital adoption, among other behavioral changes, has had a profound impact on people’s livelihoods. As a result, many consumers continue to raise concerns about the resilience of their health. and how well they are insured for potential future health shocks,” said Jérôme Jean Haegeli, chief economist at Swiss Re group.

This is the third edition of the Swiss Re Institute survey and an extension of the 2021 and 2020 Asia-Pacific-focused studies.1. The subsequent report Digital touchpoints increase physical and mental health resiliencereveals that changes in consumer health concerns and financial security have led to a new prioritization of the importance of policies, triggering a further shift towards more insurance shopping online.

“Consumers continue to prioritize their well-being two years into the pandemic. The reinsurance industry has an opportunity to help strengthen this resilience in the post-pandemic world,” said Paul Murray, CEO Reinsurance Asia at Swiss Re. 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 a more efficient subscription”.

Digital touchpoints for health and insurance management have gained traction, especially among younger cohorts. In advanced markets, respondents looking to buy insurance pay a lot of attention to the affordability and convenience of online processing, while in emerging markets, the priority is on price, online processing, and the flexibility to mix and match plans. of coverage.

Changing consumer attitudes toward health care
This year’s report shows that while the pandemic has shifted consumer behavior in emerging markets toward preventive care and disease prevention, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for more regular health checks in all the world.

The results reveal that 46% of respondents in emerging markets plan to attend medical check-ups more frequently, compared to 16% in advanced markets. This is particularly true for India and China, with the US experiencing the largest impact on controls (21%), while Japan had the least impact (7%).

Respondents also expressed increasing concern about the adequacy of their current level of insurance coverage. Of those surveyed and under the age of 40, 54% reported having researched new or additional policies in the six months prior to the survey.

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, those under 40 in emerging markets have been the most active in exploring new or additional coverage and are the fastest growing target group for insurers.

Mental health also remains a priority, with results showing that a third of the surveyed population in advanced markets reported a deterioration in their mental health status in the past 12 months. This was most prominent in the UK (28%) and Australia (26%), while in Germany (26%), sentiment around overall health declined the most.

Increased health awareness, digital acceptance
This year’s report reveals a growing popularity of using digital channels for health management. The rise of telehealth and virtual health care continues to grow in use in advanced markets.

One in three global respondents also expressed an interest in using health and wellness apps, particularly within the 18-39 age category, to help them build mental toughness. Respondents continue to prioritize their mental health, sleep management, and nutritional habits.

This year’s results demonstrate again that the ongoing global pandemic is an opportunity for insurers to bridge the protection gap in life and health insurance. With a better understanding of consumer perceptions of overall health and financial security, attitudes toward digital applications, and the factors that influence insurance purchase decisions, reinsurers can work with governments and consumers to strengthen physical and mental well-being.

Download the report here.

1 The 2022 markets surveyed include the US, UK, France, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mainland China

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