Like many other twenty-somethings in India, Beverly Coutinho kept postponing buying a life insurance policy, until a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths made her confront her own mortality.
“I saw people my own age dying, which prompted me to get life insurance immediately,” says Coutinho, a 24-year-old senior executive at a public relations agency in Mumbai.
“I wouldn’t want my family to be in situation where they have to scramble for funds if something happens to me.”
The official count puts the number of deaths due to at 380,000, the third highest after the United States and Brazil, though experts say India’s numbers are grossly underestimated due to the low levels of testing for the virus and more people have probably died in India than anywhere else in the world.
When a devastating second wave of the pandemic peaked in India during April and May, the numbers of people aged between 25 and 35 buying term insurance was 30% higher than in the previous three months combined, said PolicyBazaar, India’s largest online insurance aggregator.
Term insurance purchases via online insurance aggregator InsuranceDekho’s website rose 70% in May compared with March.
Insurers did not reveal how many plans they sold citing business confidentiality, but many said it was in the “high thousands”.