Analytics, FINANCE

Insurance from the fear of death

Russian insurance company INTOUCH has polled 6,000 people in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discover that the majority of residents of the country’s two largest cities are ready to pay up to 1,500 rubles a month for insurance covering critical illnesses. These primarily include different types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, etc.), and various ailments and traumas that require organ transplants.

“Personal frying pan is not covered by your insurance!” © Drawing by Yuri Aratovsky

The poll showed that 51% of respondents are worried by the perceived increase in clinical illnesses: 71% of respondents related that at least one of their friends and family has had to deal with some kind of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Almost a third of respondents would like to know more about prevention and treatment of such illnesses. At the same time, just 7% of those polled have given thought to regular physical exercise and healthier lifestyle. Thirteen percent of respondents had absolutely no worries about the deadly diseases.

When asked whether they would insure themselves against such deadly diseases, under condition that such insurance would be bearable for their family or personal budget and could be paid in monthly installments, not everyone was ready to sign up. The opinions were divided almost equally: 44% said they would buy such insurance, 44% said that they wouldn’t, and 12% of the respondents couldn’t give a decisive answer.

According to INTOUCH, 21% of respondents are ready to pay up to 500 rubles a month for the insurance policy against critical illnesses; 34% of those polled can spend between 700 and 1,500 a month; 22% would pay 1,500-3,000 rubles, and 12% are ready for monthly payments of up to 5,000 rybles. For 11% of Moscow and St. Petersburg residents money is not an issue when it comes to their health.

The majority of the respondents, 46%, believe that Russian medical centers provide effective treatment, 34% hold the opposite opinion, while 19% couldn’t choose the best place for treatment. The number of those who can afford treatment in clinics abroad does not exceed 13%. In case of the critical illness, the Russians would most prefer to get treatment in Israel and Germany.

“The interest in such insurance options on the nascent market means that the population’s financial literacy is growing and demonstrates that the clients are ready to take personal responsibility for their own health and the health of their relatives,” says Pavel Butenko, the company’s Director of Marketing, Direct Sales and Innovations.

Experts note that in Russia the medical insurance serves as the method of protection from the medical errors and delays in treatment. In 2015, according to the Moscow government’s Department of Public Health, 9.4% of all diagnoses were mistaken. This is why the critical illness insurance sold in Russia usually includes the “second opinion” option that allows the clients to receive their diagnosis from European medical specialists. The insurance also covers the lack of quotas for expensive treatments, and in some cases even transportation and treatment in the clinics abroad, most often in Israel, Europe and South Korea.

The dynamic growth of this segment of the insurance market began in Russia after 2014. Today, such insurance is offered by approximately 20 companies, which include such market players as VTB Insurance, Metlife, Sberbank, Maks, Rosgosstrakh-Life, Intouch, RESO, Ingosstrakh, and others. The majority of companies sell insurance policies (including online sales) on the basis of clients’ health statements. The average annual insurance fee ranges from 10,000 to 40,000 rubles, while insurance coverage ranges from 1.5 mln to 20 mln rubles. The results of last year demonstrate that the sales of such insurance policies have grown by 50-150% across the industry.


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