Two fifths of consumers 'changed mind' about insurance due to Covid

20 21 GC Sall

More than half of Gen Zs have ‘fast-tracked’ attitudes towards life and health risk, according to survey

Younger people most influenced by Covid-19

ReMark's seventh annual Global Consumer Study (GCS) into life and health insurance has found that younger people — or Generation Z — are the age group most influenced by Covid-19 and its associated health and mortality risk.

Carried out in May 2020 with more than 10,000 people across 18 countries, the survey found that this age group (born between 1996 and 2015) expressed the strongest views, with 51% saying their attitudes had changed towards the value of insurance in light of the pandemic compared to 22% of Baby Boomers.

A growing risk awareness

Overall the study found around 40% of consumers had changed their minds about insurance as a result of Covid-19. Countries classed as growth markets were also found to be influenced most by the crisis, with 82% of people in India changing their attitudes towards insurance compared to 13% of Germans, for example. According to CEO, Na Jia, the pandemic has accelerated recent trends, triggering a "fast-track introduction" to risk for younger generations, giving them a level of consciousness that "normally takes a lifetime to acquire," she said.

"With mortality tables dominating social media feeds, the so-called ‘digital natives' are suddenly becoming more risk aware and are reconsidering the value of protection much earlier than their more experienced counterparts," Ms. Jia said. "There has also been a re-evaluation of risk in growth markets such as China, India and Mexico where 60% of respondents said they had changed their view on insurance as a direct result of the pandemic."

Social media is popular; but not for insurance advice

The GCS study also found a 74% increase globally in a single year in respondents saying they preferred to use contactless payments, online and through apps, and the penetration rate of insurance was found to be higher in line with high levels of smartphone use — China (86%), India (84%) and South Korea (82%) — compared to Ireland (57%), UK (46%) and Australia (45%). 

The research also revealed that the most avid users of social media, Gen Z and millennials, are happy to sign up to health insurance online, but only 5% would trust social media to provide them with advice.

Different responses to different experiences

Na Jia added: "When we commissioned the GCS the terms coronavirus, Covid-19 and pandemic were virtually unknown. As the research was taking place, we were all getting used to the realities of lockdown and social distancing, and the findings highlight the differences in response to the virus depending on how old you are and where you live. 

"One fact is clear, products like life insurance have become more desirable with 40.6% of consumers changing their minds about insurance as a result of Covid-19. And more and more buyers of life and health insurance are buying it online. This may have been as a result of lockdown, stopping face-to face meetings, but this year 42.3% of consumers preferred digital channels, compared to 24.3% in 2019, which is a significant change. It is also interesting that young audiences appear to be much more discerning where they get advice and information from, which is very good news as we go through these difficult times."