Young adults, add-on policies drive growth for Star Health

Premiums from younger age group have risen 40-50%: Roy

Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd. has seen growth in premium collection — driven by young adults and customers signing up for add-ons to their health insurance policies.

Speaking to The Hindu, Anand Roy, managing director, Star Health said, “We are seeing an surge in demand for health insurance amid the pandemic.”

“While the health insurance sector as a whole has grown 8% in April-May-June 2020 from a year earlier, Star Health has seen a 34% jump to ₹1,600 crore worth of premium in the period,” he said.

Millennials signing up

Citing the medical challenges that individuals face given the spread of COVID-19, he said, “People in the 25-40 age group, primarily millennials, who have typically not taken health insurance seriously so far, are signing up. Most of the higher growth is coming from young folks. Premiums from the younger age group have grown 40-50%.”

“New health premium growth for Star Health for the quarter ended June 2020 was 29% compared with (–16%) in the immediately previous quarter, which was largely due to the lockdown in March 2020,” he said.

On the growth in add-on policies, he said, “We are also seeing a massive jump in add-ons or what we call top-up plans – 100% increase in premium from add-ons in April-May-June over last year. Most are existing customers who opt for add-ons when they feel their existing cover is not adequate.”

Premiums for Star’s health insurance offerings to senior citizens have kept pace with earlier trends. “We see no significant jump for senior citizen policies driven by the pandemic. We are seeing 15-20% growth month-on-month and that is steady state.”

He added, “There is a [sense of] false protection that many corporate employees feel – their company plans cover them so they have no individual plans; in the unfortunate event of job loss, they and the entire family are left without cover.”

Asked if the rampant salary cuts and job losses across sectors are resulting in a default in renewals, he said, “We haven’t seen those yet. We are aware this may be true after the pandemic is over. That may be a challenge.”

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