Asia takes more control of health and retirement amid Covid-19 - Manulife survey

| 09 Feb 2021

A year on from Covid-19 first entering the public consciousness, people across Asia are taking more control of their health and retirement planning, as they look to the pandemic's longer term impact on their personal wealth and lifestyle habits, according to the latest "Manulife Asia Care Survey" which takes a deep dive look into customers' concerns, priorities and aspirations amid the pandemic.

Nearly all of the respondents (95%) across Asia who worry most about Covid-19 have taken personal actions to improve their overall health, mainly through more regular exercise and improved diet, particularly in the emerging markets.

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Additionally, no matter their views on Covid-19, almost all respondents (92%) are tracking a series of health and fitness measures, including body weight, sleep quality, blood pressure, heartbeat and steps.

Almost three out of four respondents (73%) say retirement planning has become more important since Covid-19 started. This high level of interest is aligned with concerns about personal wealth. Across all markets, 42% are worried about their personal wealth in the wake of Covid-19, with respondents in Hong Kong and Singapore the most concerned.

Stronger demand for insurance protection as digital trends accelerate

Aligned with taking better control of health and finance, interest in buying new insurance across Asia has risen from 62% to 71% since the last survey.

Respondents were most interested in life, health and critical illness products. Over half (52%) say they prefer to manage their policies through digital means like mobile apps, including for claims and payment, while insurance agents are still in high demand, with 64% of the respondents saying they have spoken with agents about their insurance intentions.


Anil Wadhwani, CEO and President of Manulife Asia, said, “Health and retirement have clearly become more important for our customers since the onset of Covid-19.

“What this survey shows is that, amid uncertainty, people are finding ways to take more control of their health and financial planning agendas, including through the adoption of digital. In many ways, the pandemic has fast-tracked digitisation, and those digital habits are here to stay. We are responding to these trends with simpler, customer-centric insurance and wealth solutions, new digital tools for customers and agents, and behaviour-linked programmes like ManulifeMOVE, which can all help make every day better in meaningful ways for our customers.”

The survey, which was conducted in November 2020, polled some 4,000 people, across eight markets in Asia, covering mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

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