40% increase in women buying health insurance in FY24, shows Policybazaar data

The survey, based on responses from over 23,000 respondents, also shows a 43% increase in the number of women purchasing individual coverage

There has been a significant surge in the number of women purchasing health insurance in FY24 compared to the previous year, according to data gathered from a survey conducted by insurance aggregator Policybazaar.com. It seems to signal an increase in health-consciousness and financial independence among women.

The survey, based on responses from over 23,000 respondents, showed that the proportion of women covered by health insurance rose by 40% compared to FY23. Additionally, the number of women purchasing individual coverage showed an increase of 43%.

Increasingly, women are recognising the importance of financial preparedness against eventualities, the survey indicated. This is evident in a substantial rise in women opting for a coverage higher than Rs 25 lacs, and a decline in the proportion of women choosing a sum insured less than 25 lacs, Policybazaar.com told BT.

The survey also highlighted an encouraging trend of health insurance coverage penetration beyond urban areas, with an increase in policyholders from Tier- 2 & 3 cities. This suggests a democratization of healthcare access, providing insurance benefits to women in previously underserved areas.

Particularly, younger women are demonstrating a proactive approach towards health, with a surge in policyholders below the age of 40. However, the proportion of policyholders in the 51-60 and 60+ age groups decreased, necessitating more effective awareness campaigns and products that cater to these age groups.

Meanwhile, coverage for critical illnesses and maternity insurance saw a significant increase as well. The claims data from policyholders flagged women-centric health issues like fibroids, breast and cervical cancer as the top few reasons for claims settlements, again underscoring the need for gender-specific plans.

This shift in health insurance trends among women, with robust growth in independent coverage and emphasis on proactive wellness, shows the rising demand for policies that address women-centric health risks. Health insurance experts hold that it also presents opportunities for the industry to customise offerings and broaden its scope to further empower women in their journey towards improved health and financial security.

“Women are increasingly focussing on their health and financial security. It is reflective in the 40% growth in independent health insurance adoption by women in the past year,” Siddharth Singhal, Business Head at Policybazaar.com, commented.

Singhal emphasised the importance of women-centric health insurance plans and recommended tailored coverage such as critical illness plans for enhancing protection. "Health insurance helps to ease the financial burden, particularly for women who face various health issues, including gender-specific illnesses. It ensures access to advanced medical treatments and ongoing care," Singhal said.