Rising health and income concerns drive increased savings in Asia
A new Prudential survey revealed that Asians save a lot of money for health and income-related emergencies.
Prudential's recent survey found a substantial increase in funds set aside for health and income-related emergencies in Asia, caused by factors such as longer life expectancies and aging populations, among others.
Priscilla Ng, Group Chief Customer & Marketing Officer at Prudential plc, said that demographic and economic trends such as longer life expectancies, aging populations, rising healthcare costs, and high interest rates are driving the demand for savings and protection.
"In our survey across five Asian markets, over 60% are saving specifically for future income-related emergencies, showing proactive steps in building financial safety nets," she stated.
Despite these efforts, Ng noted a significant protection gap in Asia, which is expected to widen to $119 trillion by 2030, underscoring the need for more accessible healthcare and financial security.
Ng outlined a multi-faceted approach to address gaps in insurance coverage, including enhancing access to health and financial protection and supporting customers in their health journeys through partnerships with healthcare providers.
She mentioned one notable initiative which is the collaboration with a Thai healthcare provider to cap treatment costs for breast cancer, alleviating financial burdens for customers.
“To ease the financial burden of breast cancer treatment, we have negotiated with this partner to cap the treatment amount, so customers do not have to pay more than the agreed maximum amount,” she said.
Recognizing the changing family structures in Asia, Ng said that Prudential is also adapting its offerings to be more inclusive and accessible, extending coverage to extended family members like grandparents.
She emphasized the importance of resilience-building initiatives, such as financial literacy programs, led by the Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential.
Insights from customer interactions across various markets have highlighted the value placed on trust, human touch, and quality of service. "Customers have diverse needs and expectations based on their life stages and cultural backgrounds. They seek to be heard, understood, and engaged," Ng explained.
She added that Prudential focuses on tailoring customer communications and services to meet these varied preferences, balancing digitization with a personal touch.
“They have different needs and expectations, depending on the life stages and cultures. And they want to be heard, understood, and engaged by us. And we are also focused on the customer journey when we design products and services. We want to deliver a remarkable customer experience,” she said.