Awareness of health insurance among Indians is around 70%, but there remains poor understanding of what goes into health insurance, according to a survey commissioned by IRDAI.
The study, conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), shows that fewer than 50% understood the benefits of health insurance. In addition, awareness of key health insurance clauses was poor: fewer than 17% of urban households knew about pre-existing diseases being excluded and under 12% were aware that the insurance had exclusions.
The survey covered 30,200 households across the country. Considerable thought went into making sure that the sample represented the country and that the results could be benchmarked to a similar survey done in 2010.
The results also show that awareness and understanding of life insurance has improved significantly over the years. Over 83% of urban households are aware of life insurance. Over 75% of insured urban people said that life insurance is meant to compensate for loss of life. This proportion was about 51% five years ago.
The number of people who believe that life insurance compensated for damage or rebuilding assets has decreased. Life insurance is now increasingly seen as a savings and protection tool, wrote Mr Kapil Mehta, a co-founder of the insurance broker SecureNow, in the Mint publication.
General insurance continues to be under-penetrated. Customers are not satisfied with their general insurance. Over half the sample cited high premium and cumbersome processes as issues. Homes are generally the most expensive asset of any household. Yet the awareness of home insurance is less than 40% of urban households.