KUALA LUMPUR – An Impact of Pandemic on Protection survey commissioned by Zurich Malaysia found that the pandemic has led to increased awareness of the need to have insurance protection, as observed by 84% of the respondents in Malaysia. This increased awareness however did not translate into action as 38% of Malaysians still do not have any personal protection.
Affordability is the main reason for not having protection. Of the 1,201 respondents, 62% said that the pandemic has affected their ability to afford insurance or takaful. Worryingly, about 23% or almost one in every four Malaysians cannot afford personal protection.
The lack of understanding and information as well as negative perception about the insurance industry are also cited as some of the reasons for not having an insurance or takaful plan.
The survey was conducted in late September 2021 among Malaysians from all states, with the majority of the respondents in the 18 to 34 age group (64%) – the prime years to start planning for protection for a brighter future.
Key findings of Zurich Malaysia Impact of Pandemic on Protection survey include:
1. 84% said the pandemic has made them more aware of the need to have insurance or takaful.
2. Almost three quarters of Malaysians (72%) are willing to set aside up to RM200 a month for protection, if they can afford it. Together with the increased awareness, this result is encouraging as it shows Malaysians want to take action to safeguard their future.
3. The pandemic has affected the affordability for protection (62%).
4. More than a third of Malaysians (38%) still do not have any personal protection. Despite being more aware of the importance of protection, there is still a considerable number of people without their own personal protection plan. Of this, 60% cannot afford protection (or 23% of the total survey base of 1,201).
5. Lack of understanding about insurance and takaful is still prevalent in the Malaysian industry. In recent times, there has been concerted effort to make protection more accessible via digital tools and simpler plans. However, 29% of respondents who do not have insurance or takaful protection attributed it to not having enough information.
6. Malaysians rely on their employers to provide protection for them. There are Malaysians who do not own any personal protection because their employer already provides some form of protection for them (12% of those who do not have personal protection). This is a potential cause for concern as their protection is not carried over in the event they lose or switch jobs.
7. The primary reason Malaysians chose to get personal protection is for their retirement or own use in the future. Of the 62% who have insurance or takaful protection, 62% of the responses were for financial planning purposes and 54% were to provide for their family.