Rising cost of healthcare services, demand from the micro-insurance segment and post-Covid awareness is pushing sale of health insurance policies in semi-urban and rural markets, according to a report in Times of India.
As per the report, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance has more than doubled its rural policies from 13% in FY20 to 32% through September of the current financial year (FY23). During the same period, the number of lives covered also rose, from 11% to 25%.
“This can be attributed to the right product fitment and robust demand from the micro-insurance segment,” N Ravichandran, senior executive VP & chief technical officer at Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, told Times of India.
Niva Bupa Health Insurance too saw huge growth of 160 per cent in the number of policies since November 2019. The insurer said 7 per cent of its policies are from rural areas. Director & chief actuary Vishwanath said people have realised the importance of access to quality treatment without financial burden. “Also, the rising cost of healthcare services and overall medical inflation in the country have further made health insurance an absolute necessity,” he added.
“The desire to take insurance in the rural sector is increasing since the pandemic,” according to Star Health and Allied Insurance Chairman and CEO V Jagannathan. The rural segment accounts for more than 23% of the standalone health insurer’s policies and lives.
According to Reliance General Insurance CEO Rakesh Jain, the rural population is predominantly covered under the socio-economic schemes of the Centre or state governments. “Hence, the penetration of retail health products is comparatively lower in the rural sector.”