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Singapore Travel Insurance Preferences Shifting Digitally, Finds KoverNow Study

There is a strong demand for travel insurance products across all age groups according to new research from KoverNow, the digital insurance platform. Its research, done with the National University of Singapore, has revealed a preference to use digital channels when selecting and buying policies.

The KoverNow research, looking into the attitudes and behaviours of smartphone users towards the purchasing of insurance products and services, also revealed an inclination toward ‘metered’ policies that can be turned on and off on demand.

Of the 500 Singaporeans surveyed by KoverNow, 64 per cent of all respondents, irrespective of income, said that they had previously bought travel insurance and plan to purchase it in the future. 43.7 per cent travel two to three times a year. Of this group, a huge 91 per cent said that they would buy travel insurance in the future.

Twenty-eight per cent travel more than three times annually, of which 84 per cent currently own, or have previously bought, travel insurance. Only 1.5 per cent have never bought a policy to protect them while travelling.

Stephan Kaiser, CEO at KoverNow
Stephan Kaiser, CEO at KoverNow

Stephan Kaiser, CEO at KoverNow, said: “Singaporeans love to travel, and believe in the importance of insurance to protect themselves and their valuables. The sentiments expressed in the survey can be seen in the attitudes of our own customers, who use the KoverNow app to ensure they purchase both travel cover and dedicated items in one easy transaction.

“We also now clearly see the tip of the iceberg in consumer preferences entering the market through Gen Z customers who won’t even consider non-digital supply channels … which is a clarion call to the entire insurance industry.”

Purchasing preferences

While 53.4 per cent of all respondents have used an online website for purchasing insurance, 11.8 per cent have used a mobile app. A third (33 per cent) said they had previously used a non-digital channel, such as a financial agent, or a broker, as their preferred channel. However, only eight per cent had used a landline phone. Among those who travel two to three times a year, just 5.8 per cent chose a non-digital channel as their preference.

The majority (70 per cent) of the respondents in the survey were between 22 and 40 years old, and 30 per cent were aged between 40 and 60.

When asked for their views on mobile insurance apps, 38.2 per cent of the 56-60 age group – which accounted for 11 per cent of respondents – ranked their level of comfort with mobile applications at two (with one being most comfortable and five being least comfortable). 31.7 per cent of 22-25 year olds said the same, as did 31 per cent of 41-45 year olds. Among the younger age group, 95 per cent were comfortable overall with purchasing insurance using an app.

This finding reflects the results of a 2021 KoverNow survey of Millennials in Singapore which showed that they would be open to using a mobile app to purchase insurance. It is also reflective of the rapid hockey stick adoption rate for apps among Gen Z consumers.

The top five most important factors for Singaporeans when choosing a channel to buy insurance are: personalisation; brand reputation; clearly presented products and services; the provider being available where the customer is; and prompt service. The least important aspect is the removal of human interaction.

Policy preferences

The KoverNow research also asked respondents for their attitudes to policy features. Across all age groups, 79.6 per cent said they thought it was important to have ‘metered’ insurance that could be turned on and off on demand. When asked about the ability to value an item as an additional service, 45.3 per cent said it was very, or quite important. Premium affordability and coverage, however, is the most important priority.

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