imSure Conducted Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) and Insurance Purchase Behavioral Research

Over 80% of The Public Misunderstood The "Tax Deduction up to HK$8,000 Per Person Annually" Rule
Online Insurance Comparison Platform Aids Consumers to Make a Wise Choice
2019-05-27 17:59 2623

HONG KONG, May 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) was launched in early April this year. imSure, an online insurance comparison platform, has recently commissioned the Consumer Search Group to engage approximately 1,000 Hong Kong residents aged between 18 and 64 to undertake online questionnaires, in order to gauge public awareness of VHIS, as well as to understand consumers' previous experiences and habits while purchasing insurance products. During the press conference, Kelvin Luk, Co-founder of imSure, and Wing Ko, Head of Products, announced the results of the survey. Fred Ngan, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Bowtie, Hong Kong's first virtual insurance company, was also invited by imSure to share his comments on the latest trends of insurtech.

imSure announced the results of "Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) and Insurance Purchase Behavioral Research". From left to right: Wing Ko, Head of Products of imSure; Kelvin Luk, Co-Founder of imSure; Fred Ngan, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bowtie.
imSure announced the results of "Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) and Insurance Purchase Behavioral Research". From left to right: Wing Ko, Head of Products of imSure; Kelvin Luk, Co-Founder of imSure; Fred Ngan, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bowtie.

81% had misconceptions on VHIS Tax Deduction Actual Amount
73% misunderstood VHIS covers Known Pre-existing Conditions

The survey results indicated that 95% of the respondents are aware of VHIS. However, the familiarity of the details concerned is relatively low - only 64% of the respondents claimed to have detailed knowledge of VHIS. 60% have considered purchasing VHIS in the next 12 months, within which 48% of them considers tax reductions attractive. Nevertheless, 81% of the respondents have a misunderstanding of the tax deductions available up to HK$8,000 per person annually. But in fact, the actual deduction amount is based upon their tax rate, which may only range from few hundreds to more than one thousand dollars per person.

Whilst the plan covers unknown pre-existing conditions at the time of purchasing insurance, the study revealed that 73% of the respondents have the misconceptions that VHIS covers pre-existing diseases that are already known at the time of purchase. "The VHIS scheme is still in its initial stages. Although the government has set the basic requirements of the standard plan, the survey results reflected that the public may not fully comprehend the features and details of the plan. Therefore, consumers who are planning to purchase or transfer their insurance plans should ensure they have a thorough understanding and compare different plans of various providers, thereby making the right purchase decision," Wing Ko, Head of Products at imSure, said.

78% considered comparison of insurance products paramount
Vital to identify options from reputable sources

The difference between public's expectations and the reality may affect their purchase decisions and choices of VHIS. The survey showed that 78% of the respondents consider comparison of insurance products essential. "A significant number of those surveyed - 68% of the respondents - will compare travel products such as air tickets and hotels online before purchasing. This also applies to insurance products, which account for 62% of the respondents. However, insurance products involve professional knowledge and advice, as well as actuarial analysis, which the general public may not be familiar with. It is recommended to seek professional advice before buying insurance plans." Ko added, "Traditionally, consumers can engage insurance agents for professional information. Nowadays, it is also popular to use emerging online comparison platforms such us imSure. By utilizing search engine, users can easily compare features of different insurance products, thereby assisting them to make the right choice."

Insurtech streamlined procedures to assist consumers making wise purchasing decisions

The survey also indicated 49% and 47% of the respondents prefer to buy insurance via insurance agent and online one-stop platforms respectively. 64% of them intended to purchase insurance through online one-stop platforms in the next 12 months. Kelvin Luk, Co-founder of imSure, explained, "With the development of insurtech, consumers can enjoy a more comprehensive and convenient insurance purchasing experience. Members of the industry can utilize such efficient platform to simplify insurance comparison and buying experience for their customers, as well as to increase transparency of product information, thereby matching the consumers' independent lifestyles and needs nowadays."

As a pioneer of virtual insurance in Hong Kong, Fred Ngan, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Bowtie, aims to transform the industry. "The three benefits most valued by consumers interested in online medical insurance, according to the study - are ease of purchase (68%), competitive premiums (49%) and convenient claim processes (41%). Everything can be done online - from initial application to online underwriting, to making a claim. By harnessing the latest technology and reducing operating costs through efficiencies, Bowtie is able to offer the same protection at a lower premium. Knowing that customer care is just as important for virtual insurance, Bowtie has customer services and medical concierge teams to provide professional help when our customers need us. If it is inconvenient for customers to submit claims due to illness, their friends and family can also submit claims on their behalf using our online platform.

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Source: imSure
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