Around 4,357 respondents were surveyed via face-to-face interviews with adequate safety measures across 25 cities comprising of 6 metros, 9 Tier I and 10 Tier II cities, making this one of the most comprehensive financial studies carried out during COVID-19 situation. The survey revealed that the degree to which respondents in Kolkata are aware about life insurance products or the knowledge index moved up by 7 points to 38 during the pandemic. Despite this improvement, Kolkata’s knowledge index still stood lowest on the scale compared to other metro cities. The city’s life insurance ownership levels increased from 86% during the previous survey to 89% during IPQ 3.0, making it the second most insured city across all metros in the country.
Reinforcing its commitment towards ensuring greater financial protection for the country, Max Life Insurance Company has unveiled the findings of the third edition of its flagship survey ‘Max Life India Protection Quotient 3.0 in partnership with KANTAR. As per the survey, Kolkata witnessed a marginal increase of 1 point on the protection quotient scale from 29 (as per previous IPQ survey 2.0) to 30 (as per IPQ 3.0), leading the city to feel financially insecure during COVID-19. Conducted in the most uncertain and challenging times, Max Life IPQ 3.0 assesses the notable shifts in Kolkata’s residents’ attitudes from the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020, through the different phases of COVID-19, until announcement of viable COVID – 19 vaccines in December 2020.
Around 4,357 respondents were surveyed via face-to-face interviews with adequate safety measures across 25 cities comprising of 6 metros, 9 Tier I and 10 Tier II cities, making this one of the most comprehensive financial studies carried out during COVID-19 situation. The survey revealed that the degree to which respondents in Kolkata are aware about life insurance products or the knowledge index moved up by 7 points to 38 during the pandemic. Despite this improvement, Kolkata’s knowledge index still stood lowest on the scale compared to other metro cities. On the other hand, the city’s life insurance ownership levels increased from 86% during the previous survey to 89% during IPQ 3.0, making it the second most insured city across all metros in the country. Mumbai came first with the highest life insurance ownership of 91%, whereas the capital city, Delhi, displayed an ownership level of 81%.
In the backdrop of COVID-19, Kolkata’s security levels also plummeted. Concerns regarding inadequacy of funds in case of critical illness in family, financial security of family in the absence of breadwinner, sustaining lifestyle and expenses with current earnings and financial stability during retirement emerged as top concerns for citizens of Kolkata. Furthermore, the survey revealed that Kolkata continues to be the least aware about term insurance, across all metro cities, with term awareness at 41%. As a result, only 22% of Kolkata respondents own term insurance, ranking the city at par with Mumbai when it comes to term insurance ownership, and at the lowest among all other metros. V. Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director, Max Life, said: “The latest findings of our marquee survey ‘India Protection Quotient 3.0’, present us with valuable insights on urban India including the city of Kolkata, and how it navigated finances over the course of an unprecedented and truly challenging year. While the pandemic has resulted in some positive outcomes when it comes to health, proactive financial planning and preparing for the future, there is a long way to go.”
“We’re certain the findings will be instrumental in enabling Kolkata realize the importance of life insurance in safeguarding the future of loved ones amidst uncertain times and encourage them to embrace comprehensive financial protection in the post Covid-19 era.” The following findings reveal insights that highlight Kolkata’s shift across financial priorities and anxieties, compared from pre Covid-19 times: Kolkata’s financial security levels dip in the backdrop of COVID-19, city feels most insecure about child’s marriage and medical expenses.
In the backdrop of Covid-19, the degree to which citizens of Kolkata feel financially secure and prepared deteriorated. Amidst uncertain times, Kolkata’s security levels remained lowest in comparison to other metro cities and witnessed a steep decline from the earlier 40% to 30% now. The survey further revealed that amidst total or partial job losses and reduced income levels only 34% of respondents in Kolkata had the financial security of a job/business. With escalated medical expenses, a mere 25% felt secure covering medical charges involving high expenditure. Only 36% of citizens felt secure fulfilling their family’s basic needs during COVID-19, while financial insecurity was most felt in providing for their child’s marriage with only 22% of respondents feeling secure on the parameter.
Amidst uncertain times, Kolkata’s average anxiety levels stood at 78% – highest amongst all the metro cities, followed by Delhi (71%), Mumbai (64%) and Bangalore (64%). Hyderabad demonstrated least financially worries and lowest average anxiety level of 49%. The survey revealed that people of Kolkata are most anxious about inadequacy of funds in case of critical illness in family. Sustaining lifestyle expenses with current earnings and financial independence during retirement were other topmost anxieties. With a sense of increasing worries and reducing security, IPQ 3.0 revealed that urban Kolkata is becoming more proactive about financial planning and overall health and fitness. In the backdrop of Covid-19, 95% respondents said that they’re proactive about financial planning and 88% said that they believe in saving more than spending. With the COVID-19 pandemic having medical implications, city’s residents are also prioritizing health and fitness. A notable 96% of respondents said that they actively look for products that will improve immunity and 89% pay attention to health and fitness regime.
Even in the backdrop of the pandemic, Kolkata’s term insurance awareness saw only a marginal increase of 1% compared to IPQ 2.0, as it stood at 41%, making it the least term aware metro city in India. Subsequently, its term insurance ownership of 22% ranked the lowest and is a laggard in comparison to term ownership levels of leading metro cities Delhi at 44% and Chennai at 42%. This indicates that while urban Kolkata is increasingly responsive to the challenges of pandemic and realizes the need for greater financial protection, the awareness and ownership of term insurance is yet to see an uptake.