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Younger generation more inclined to purchase life insurance

Oliver Wyman Hong Kong reveals growing consumer focus on health and critical illness coverage, with younger demographics showing increased concern.

Strong demand for insurance is in store for Hong Kong insurers as mainland Chinese consumers become more inclined to purchase life insurance today than they were three years ago, according to a recent survey by Oliver Wyman Hong Kong.

Louisa Li, Partner at Oliver Wyman’s Insurance practice in Hong Kong, emphasised the growing concern for health and critical illness coverage since the pandemic.

"Our research indicates that 60% of respondents are now more focused on health and critical illness risks," Li explained. She noted that this trend is particularly pronounced among younger individuals, who are increasingly concerned about insufficient medical resources and the risk of critical illnesses.

To cater to these evolving needs, Li suggested insurers should focus on three key aspects: comprehensive coverage, access to a wide medical network, and provisions for multiple claims. "These features are crucial in designing health and critical illness coverage that resonates with today’s consumers," she stated.

Li also underscored the importance of ancillary health services, which includes preventive and wellness programs, as well as support through treatment and recovery. "Engaging customers throughout the patient journey improves health outcomes and addresses the needs of health and wellness-minded individuals," she added.

Addressing the demands of younger customers, Li believes that the insurance sector must reimagine its products to cater to a generation seeking flexibility, personalization, and value for money. 

"Simplification and customization of insurance products are key," Li suggested. She envisions a modular approach, where consumers can select and adjust coverage and services as their needs evolve, much like customising an airline experience.

This approach, according to Li, is facilitated by the sophistication of modern consumers, advancements in AI and technology, and overcoming traditional system limitations. “Customers know what they want, and technology now enables us to offer personalised, tailored recommendations and services,” she asserted.

When it comes to capturing the attention and trust of potential buyers, Li highlighted the importance of brand reputation, especially for mainland Chinese buyers choosing a Hong Kong insurer. 

“Moving from a transactional to an emotionally connected brand relationship is essential,” she advised. Insurers should focus on delivering authentic, personalised experiences, building customer communities, and forming extended partnerships.

Moreover, Li noted a shift in the reliance on agents or relationship managers for insurance purchases. “While the human element remains crucial, there’s a growing need for sales forces to professionalise their advisory services,” she explains. Data and customer analytics can support this, providing advisors with the tools to offer tailored financial advice.

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