Max Life Insurance Company Ltd. (“Max Life”/ “Company”) today unveiled key findings pertinent to urban Indian women’s financial protection basis the third edition of its flagship survey ‘Max Life India Protection Quotient 3.0 (“IPQ 3.0”)’ in partnership with KANTAR. Despite Covid-19 increasing financial vulnerabilities of individuals and communities, the survey revealed that urban Indian working women emerged more financially resilient than men in the backdrop of the pandemic.
Both awareness and ownership of life and term insurance increased amongst working women over the last year. While working women’s knowledge index (degree to which they’re aware about life insurance products) stood at 55 in comparison to 57 for working men, it improved by an impressive 11 points in comparison to last year (as per IPQ 2.0). Strikingly, working women’s term insurance awareness was also at a higher 64% as compared to working men who displayed lesser term awareness at 62%.
A combination of increased awareness and ownership registered an increase in their overall protection quotient which stood at 39 for working women now, a significant improvement from 34 as per IPQ 2.0 survey, and almost at par with the protection quotient for working men which stood at 40. It is also worth noting that while a lesser 69% working women owned life insurance as opposed to 73% working men, the former was found to be more attitudinally secure during Covid-19; 59% working women compared to 57% working men were found to be financially secure.
Commenting on the findings, Aalok Bhan, Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Max Life Insurance said, “In a welcome change, the recent survey reflected a superior uptake in women’s life insurance ownership and awareness, marking progress in a tough year. For the first time, working women have displayed higher awareness of term insurance than working men, and were comparatively more perceptive of the ability of their term insurance cover to ensure complete financial protection. In a day and age where women are increasingly becoming the financial decision makers, it is heartening to observe this trend. We’re certain the findings of our survey will be beneficial to help women become more aware, and embrace comprehensive financial protection in the long term.”
The following findings reveal detailed insights across financial priorities and anxieties of working women in urban India:
Fear of infection, untimely death of breadwinner, job security among working women’s topmost anxieties in wake of Covid-19: The survey revealed that amidst total or partial job losses, reduced income levels and medical expenses, urban Indian working women’s anxiety levels stood at 61% in the backdrop of Covid-19. While this is higher by 8% in comparison to working women’s anxiety levels last year (as per IPQ 2.0), it is at par with the anxiety levels of working men at 61%. Anxieties pertaining to ‘someone in the family getting Covid-19 infection’ was topmost for working women. ‘Financial security of family in case untimely death of breadwinner’ and ‘job security/stability of income’ were the other key anxieties.
Urban Indian working women prioritize savings and investments; save most for old age security and children’s future: IPQ 3.0 brought to light that working women are prioritizing savings and investments over discretionary spending. Savings and investments jointly constituted 52% of income for working women. This was followed by basic expenses which made up 39% of total income and luxury expenses that made up 9%. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, working women’s savings objectives also transitioned. While 56% saved for old age security, 64% saved for kid’s education. 39% working women as saved for untimely death of breadwinner and 40% saved for medical emergencies.
Pandemic compelled urban Indian working women to be more proactive about financial planning; life insurance purchase intention higher than urban working men: With a sense of increasing worries and reducing security, IPQ 3.0 saw urban Indian working women becoming more proactive about financial planning. An impressive 69% of working women said they are proactive about financial planning now; at par with 70% working men who said they’re financially proactive. Consequently, working women’s life insurance purchase intention of 31% was considerably higher in comparison to working men, who displayed a lower purchase intention of 26%.
Perception of term insurance as protection plan is relatively strong among urban working women:It was also found that perception of term insurance as a protection plan was relatively stronger among working women. While 72% working women were aware that term insurance ensure family’s future is protected in case of untimely death of breadwinner, a lesser 69% working men were aware of it.
Urban working women’s term insurance awareness highest; term ownership improves but lags in comparison to urban working men:Working women registered the highest term awareness of 64% across all comparative cohorts, higher than working men whose term awareness stood at 62%. Despite this, working women’s term uptake remained low in comparison to working men. While working men demonstrated highest term ownership at 31%, a lesser 27% working women were term insurance owners. The same indicates that while urban Indian working women are waking up to the challenges of pandemic, term conversion is yet to see an uptake.
61% women term insurance owners in urban India feel term plan life cover is insufficient; increasingly prioritize sum assured/life cover as key purchase parameter: On the back of improved term awareness, 61% of women owning term insurance in urban India feel that their term plan cover is insufficient to safeguard the future of their family. In comparison to this, a lesser 58% male term owners think that their term insurance cover is insufficient indicating that the former is more cognizant about financial coverage during crisis situations. The survey also revealed increasing importance of life cover or sum assured, as 67% of women term insurance owners now consider it to be an important product parameter when buying Term insurance, in comparison to 59% earlier as per IPQ 2.0.
Urban working women prioritize health and fitness, inclined towards using health app: With pandemic having medical implications, IPQ 3.0 revealed that working women are increasingly prioritizing health and fitness. A notable 74% working women as opposed to 72% working men said they actively look for products that will improve immunity. While 73% working women said they pay attention to health and fitness regime only a lesser 71% working men did. Despite this, the consideration of health app was at par for both cohorts. 58% working women and working men said they’d be interested in using an app that enables discounts on premiums in response to positive health and wellness patterns.
Critical illness rider adoption sees more uptake among urban women than men term buyers: On the back of heightened medical emergencies, the survey revealed marginally more uptake of critical illness rider among women term insurance buyers. 27% women term plan owners, as opposed to 26% male term owners purchased critical illness rider with their term insurance.