MUMBAI: One in every five consumers surveyed in Mumbai and Bengaluru is feeling anxious and barely coping when it comes to finances as a result of COVID-19, a report claimed. Nearly 64 per cent of consumers surveyed are concerned about their mental health, a Swiss Re COVID-19 Consumer Survey showed.
The findings are based on a survey of 1,000 residents in Mumbai and Bangalore by the Swiss Re Group, a global reinsurer. The survey was conducted by global market research company Ipsos in the last week of May 2020.
A similar survey was conducted in the APAC economies of Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Chinese megacities of Beijing and Shanghai in April.
According to Swiss Re’s Head of P&C client markets (India), Amitabha Ray, “We have tried to take a mix of people from Mumbai and Bengaluru precisely because we wanted the sample to be a representation of as many people as possible from different parts of the country, working in these two cities. To that extent, I think it should be okay to say employed people in general behave across the country with the same sort of sentiments.”
The survey showed that to make up for the financial strain, many Indian consumers were happy to sacrifice home / motor insurance (28 per cent) while a quarter would cut life insurance premiums (25 per cent) to help ease the burden.
When it came to health issues brought on by COVID-19, social disruption was the biggest concern (71 per cent), followed by physical fitness (67 per cent) and the inability to care for others (66 per cent).
While it was last on the list, mental health issues resulting from isolation and loneliness were the highest of any other market – for 64 per cent of Indian respondents, it showed.
“Indian consumers are among the most active and engaged when it comes to insurance, trailing only China when it comes to researching new policies and satisfaction levels, proving the potential and importance of insurance in this growing market,” Ray said.
More than any other surveyed market, a higher number of Indian consumers noticed additional benefits after researching policies recently, with 63 per cent saying they discovered new features such as COVID-19 testing and unlimited hospital cover, it showed.
“Along with being proactive, Indian consumers’ trust in insurers paying out on valid claims is high, with 61 per cent agreeing with this statement and almost all (95 per cent) felt that insurers are being just as proactive or more so than similar providers during this time,” Ray said.