The insurance industry is extending the age range of life products and including cover for more diseases and for mental illness, to cater to the needs of the ageing population in mainland China and Hong Kong, according to a senior executive at global reinsurer Swiss Re.
Mr Robert Burr, the Managing Director and head of life and health reinsurance client markets in Asia, told the South China Morning Post in a recent interview that many Hong Kong insurance companies would start offering policies that cover the whole life of a policyholder, instead of the current practice of only covering them until the age of 100.
“Medical policies could also expand to cover more commonly seen diseases for the elderly such as heart attacks or strokes or mental illness,” he said. While some traditional medical policies do not cover mental illness, he said the trend has been changing since in ageing populations people may be physically stable but have mental disorders when they grow older.
“We are going to see it change so that more medical policies would cover mental illnesses. Insurance companies would also provide more products to meet changes in technology in medical diagnosis and in drugs for customers to choose what they think is best for their old-age medical cover,” he said.
He also said with longer life spans, it would be a trend that people would need to start saving for retirement earlier or risk not having sufficient protection after retirement.