Even as the burden of life’s uncertainties and awareness around the need to buy protection covers has grown, majority of Indians continue to be underprepared to deal with them, a study carried out by private life insurer Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance (ABSLI) has found.
A whopping 84% of over 2,000 respondents said they felt life is now extremely uncertain compared to 79% who held the view in 2017 and 75% in 2013, the previous editions of the survey. Proportion of women who shared the view was slightly higher at 85% – compared to 84% in case of men – up from 83% in 2017 and 76% in 2013.
Not surprisingly, securing family’s future (36%) and children’s education (36%) remain top two causes of uncertainties. Yet, less than half of those polled (44%) said they were completely prepared to face uncertainties, though their share has increased, compared to 39% in 2017 and 30% in 2013. Despite the awareness of the need to protect families’ in their absence, only 41% of respondents have purchased a pure protection term cover. Moreover, the cover-to-income ratio is abysmally low at 1.67 times their annual income against the average thumb rule of buying a protection cover that is at least ten times one’s income. This, despite 83% of respondents saying they were aware of the amount needed to protect their families
While securing family’s future and funding children’s education rank right at top in the list of priorities, the proportion has either dipped or remained flat compared to 2017, reflecting the altered priorities mix. For instance, 53% of respondents ranked children’s education as the topmost cause of uncertainty in 2017. Retirement has moved up the hierarchy, with 23% of those polled rating getting a regular income post retirement as a cause of uncertainty, compared to 14% in 2017. Similarly, the proportion of those concerned about maintaining the standard of living post retirement has risen from 10% in 2017 to 23% in 2018.