Women make up less than a third of insured Indians
10 Mar, 2014 04:04 PM
While an increasing number of women have been seeking life and health insurance cover in the last few years, they make up for less than a third of all insured Indians.

"Women account for around 30% of lives insured by us,'' an official with the public sector giant, Life Insurance Corporation of India, said. "Many of our leading agents are women, but few women in India take financial decisions at home,'' the official added.

Max Life Insurance, a private firm, said it had a 74:26 split between men and women policyholders.

A survey by A C Nielsen on the Indian insurance sector in 2013 showed that less than one in five single working women, excluding those divorced and widowed, took their investment decisions.

The story is not different in the medical insurance sector. "Women purchasers contributed around 14% of our health insurance portfolio in 2012-13,'' ICICI Lombard's Sanjay Datta said.

But insurance companies see a silver lining in the last trend emerging in the last few years. Anisha Motwani, director of Max Life Insurance, said, "Women today are not just influencers (with regards to buying insurance policies) but are becoming decision-makers.'' She said 45% life insurance purchase decisions by working women and one-third by housewives had been taken in their sole capacity. "The incidence of working women investing in life insurance has increased from 53% in 2010 to 59% in 2013. This is significant as the overall penetration increased only from 63% in 2010 to 66% in 2013,'' Motwani added.

Datta said there has been a steady increase in medical insurance claims by women in the last few years. "While claims related to women have increased by 5% in 2012 compared to 2011, the same increased by 35% in 2013, compared to 2012,'' Datta said.

He said availability of delivery claims had increased woman policyholders in the health sector.

The LIC official said more working women were buying a life cover. "Even if it's only a 1% rise, in absolute numbers there are many women who are buying women-targeted products,'' he said.
Source : The Times of India

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