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Business News/ Insurance / International Women's Day: Life insurance shields over 70% of urban Indian women, survey reveals
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International Women's Day: Life insurance shields over 70% of urban Indian women, survey reveals

Max Life's IPQ 6.0 survey shows a rise in women's life insurance ownership to 73%, surpassing men. Financial protection levels for urban Indian women have crossed the 40-point mark, while homemakers show a slight decline. Working women exhibit a higher protection quotient at 47 points.

Life insurance shields over 70% of urban Indian womenPremium
Life insurance shields over 70% of urban Indian women

The latest iteration of Max Life's prominent study, the India Protection Quotient Survey (IPQ), carried out in collaboration with KANTAR, the foremost marketing data and analytics company globally, highlights a significant increase in the ownership of life insurance products among women. The ownership has risen from 59% in IPQ 1.0 to a remarkable 73% in IPQ 6.0. Furthermore, working women have, for the first time, surpassed men in life insurance ownership, with 79% now holding life insurance plans.

According to the survey, financial protection levels among urban Indian women have achieved a milestone by surpassing the 40-point mark for the first time. This marks an increase from 33 to 41 points over the past six years. However, the financial protection levels of homemakers have experienced a slight decline, decreasing from 38 in IPQ 5.0 to 36 in IPQ 6.0, underscoring the importance of enhancing their financial well-being. Conversely, the protection quotient of working women has risen from 43 in IPQ 5.0 to 47 in IPQ 6.0.

Despite a positive shift in life insurance ownership, a considerable gender gap in financial preparedness remains. Men in urban India lead in financial protection with a score of 46 points, surpassing the overall urban India average of 45 points. The disparity in financial protection between men and women in urban India is largely attributed to a significant difference in life insurance awareness levels. Men exhibit a Knowledge Index of 64, while women trail behind at 54 points. According to IPQ 6.0, women's financial security stands at 64%, yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels of 65%, as observed in the IPQ 1.0 study.

Prashant Tripathy, CEO and Managing Director, Max Life said, “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is important to reflect on the financial readiness of women. The insights from the latest IPQ 6.0 survey underscore the remarkable strides women have taken in proactively securing their financial well-being through life insurance investments. However, the survey also sheds light on the enduring gender disparity in financial awareness. This requires intensive actions to empower women to assert control over their financial state. Hence, the collective call to action for the industry is to support the cohort with tailored solutions that help realize the inclusive vision of ‘Insurance for All’."

According to IPQ 6.0, women in urban India exhibit a robust dedication to securing their families from life's uncertainties, steadily narrowing the gap with men. The current life insurance ownership for men stands at 76%, while women are at 73%. The once substantial difference of 9 percentage points observed in IPQ 1.0 (68% for men vs. 59% for women) has now diminished to just 3 percentage points.

The findings below underscore the change in financial readiness between men and women in urban India, as examined by India Protection Quotient 6.0:

Working women surpass urban India’s men in financial protection: Recording a Protection Quotient of 47 points, working women are gradually surpassing men in financial preparedness, where men score 46 points in IPQ 6.0. While men maintain a life insurance ownership rate of 76%, the rising trend in women's ownership, reaching 79%, indicates a shift in gender dynamics regarding financial preparedness and responsibility.

IPQ 6.0 exposes an 11-point discrepancy in financial protection between working women and homemakers: The study's results indicate a worrisome pattern in the financial readiness of urban Indian women who are employed versus those who are homemakers. The gap has expanded from a 5-point difference in financial protection between the two groups in IPQ 5.0 to an 11-point gap in the latest edition. Homemaker women now score 36 points in IPQ 6.0, influenced by a Knowledge Index of 47, while working women command a higher score of 64 points.

Term insurance ownership is spearheaded by working women, effectively narrowing the gender gap in awareness of term plans: According to the IPQ 6.0 survey, 35% of working women in urban India currently possess a term insurance policy, surpassing the ownership rate of 33% among men. Conversely, homemaker women lag with an ownership rate of 18%, indicating the need for focused interventions to enhance financial protection for this underserved group. Notably, half of homemaker women are now aware of term plans. The awareness level is equal for working women and men, both standing at 74% regarding term insurance plans.

Urban Indian women are becoming more confident in the adequacy of their term coverage, as indicated by the IPQ 6.0 findings: The survey shows that 54% of women express confidence in the sufficiency of their term cover, marking a steady increase from 45% in the IPQ 5.0 study. Moreover, the importance attributed to coverage has risen from 59% in IPQ 5.0 to 62% in IPQ 6.0. Notably, only 1% of women are currently uncertain about the amount of corpus they require.

The data from IPQ underscores a notable pattern: working women exhibit greater financial prudence compared to men, consistently earmarking a larger proportion of their income for savings and investments. According to IPQ 6.0, urban India's working women allocate 42% of their income for savings, slightly surpassing men who invest 41% of their income. Despite their diligent saving habits, women also show a slight inclination towards allocating a higher percentage of their income, specifically 16%, for luxury expenses when compared to men.

Attaining financial freedom in retirement emerges as the primary financial concern for working women: A substantial 68% of respondents express anxiety about retirement, underscoring the significance of retirement planning in the minds of women in the workforce. According to the IPQ 6.0 findings, working women exhibit higher concerns about sustaining lifestyle expenses at 66%, surpassing the corresponding figure for men at 63%. Moreover, working women are more apprehensive about income stability and job security than men, and they prioritize saving for their children's education and marriage to a greater extent than their male counterparts.

Working women demonstrate a heightened focus on health and fitness: The findings highlight that a notable 62% of working women actively participate in holistic practices like meditation, yoga, and therapy, surpassing the 59% engagement observed among men. Notably, women take the lead in embracing preventive measures for their health, with a greater likelihood of undergoing regular health check-ups. This proactive approach reflects their commitment to monitoring well-being and identifying potential health issues at an early stage.

 

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Published: 08 Mar 2024, 09:36 AM IST
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