SBI Life Insurance in association with Nielsen has recently come out with a survey titled ‘Understanding consumer attitude towards Financial Immunity,’ which includes findings around mental health.
Mental illness, also known as mental health disorders, has been ignored and avoided for a long time in India. However, there are significant changes coming in these days, with more people being open about it than they were in the past.
SBI Life Insurance in association with Nielsen has recently come out with a survey titled ‘Understanding consumer attitude towards Financial Immunity,’ which includes findings around mental health. Some of the survey findings suggest that 78 per cent (which is 8 out of 10) Indians strongly feel that stress/anxiety affects mental and physical immunity.
According to the survey, the top 3 financial worries of people include financial security against critical illnesses, family members getting infected by any lifestyle disease or Covid-19, and job or income loss. The survey also states that 76 per cent, which is 7 out of 10) Indians agree that maintaining physical and mental health helps to have better financial immunity.
The survey stated that over 80 per cent of urban Indians are laying special emphasis on building their physical immunity while 76 per cent of them also opine that maintaining physical and mental health helps substantially in having better financial immunity. As a corollary, nearly 8 in 10 respondents feel that heightened stress levels have an adverse effect on their physical and mental well-being.
The survey also revealed that inclination towards insurance, both Life and Health products, for safeguarding one family’s future is higher compared to other financial products.
Additionally, critical illness plans have become more relevant with 75 per cent respondents intending to purchase a critical illness plan. People want to get prepared against unforeseen illnesses, apart from keeping themselves physically immune.
It may be noted that, with a view to making mental healthcare available to all, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had some time back asked insurers to include mental illness in all regular health insurance plans. In June 2020, insurance companies were mandated to cover mental health across all their existing products. With this, insurance companies have been directed to treat mental health illness as a normal disease. Hence, as per the rules, insurers cannot deny coverage to policyholders who have used opioids or anti-depressants in the past.