Chennai: Digit Insurance, one of India’s fastest-growing private general insurers released an internal study on the trends in demand for health insurance on the back of a rising number of Covid-19 cases. The data revealed a 98% rise in demand for retail health covers. The study compared Digit’s data for health products between 1st November and 31st December 2021 with the same period in 2020.
The increase in demand was seen across all retail health insurance products like Digit Health Care Plus, Digit Arogya Sanjeevani and Digit Corona Kavach. Further, the number of lives covered under group health policies saw a nearly three-fold rise. This indicates that more corporates bought health covers to ensure the well-being of their employees. Under the insurer’s group health portfolio, the number of lives covered surged by over 170%, from 1,52,000 lives in November-December 2020 to 4,15,000 lives in November-December 2021.
While demand for health covers has gone up, the average sum insured across products dropped by 17%. This indicates that more people are buying health insurance but with a lower sum insured. Further, the demand for health insurance in big cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi increased by 104.4% in 2021 led by Bengaluru, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. The demand for health cover from small cities such as Nashik, Rajkot and Vadodara increased by 95% in 2021. A large share of the demand came from Gurugram, Thane and Vadodara. Big cities include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune. Others were classified as small cities for the purpose of this study.
Vivek Chaturvedi, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Direct Sales, Digit Insurance said, “Ever since the onset of the pandemic, more people are realizing the need for adequate financial cushion and are actively seeking health covers. There are two trends that stand out. First is the overall increase in demand for health covers and second is the sharp rise in the number of lives covered under our group health products. The pandemic has definitely made more individuals and employers realize the impact of the skyrocketing medical expenses, in turn encouraging them to buy health covers. We believe the overall demand would settle on a higher trend even though it could flatline once the current wave is brought under control.”