Digital adoption in personal P&C insurance in south and southeast Asia

India and countries in southeast Asia have been playing catch-up in the digital economy through fast mobile adoption. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour in these markets, with lockdowns pushing shoppers towards e-commerce platforms to access a broad array of goods and services, including insurance.

The digital penetration rate for Property & Casualty (P&C) personal lines in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam is still low, at around 1-2% of the regional total. From this low base, we believe growth will outpace that of traditional insurance channels. Assuming a steady increase in the digital penetration rate to 6%, we project cumulative premiums of digital P&C personal lines in India and southeast Asia could reach USD 7.5 billion by 2025.

To better understand the potential of those six markets, Swiss Re surveyed consumers in the six aforenamed countries to ascertain attitudes to buying personal lines insurance online. The survey tested respondents’ perception for risk across a mix of five traditional and new product domains: home, employment, personal accident, online shopping and gadget insurance. Our survey found that more than 40% of consumers across all six markets would prefer to buy personal insurance online, with consumers in India most keen to embrace e-commerce. Across all markets, resistance towards buying insurance online stems from a lack of an individual or agent to help explain what is perceived to be complicated policy wording and to offer guidance through the claims process.


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