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Smokers in India Are Living Without Health Insurance - About 58% of Smokers Are Not Insured


Mumbai, India -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/11/2013 -- Smokers are exposed to the dangerous (even fatal) perils of heavy smoking. Despite being aware of the life taking risks, about 58 per cent smokers in India do not have any form of online medical policy. This has been proved by a recent survey conducted through a private insurance organization.

"A city-wise categorization reveals that the actual proportion of smokers with a Health insurance policy is considerably lesser in Delhi and Bangalore. In Delhi, about 34 per cent smokers are insured for health while in Bangalore, the percentage is only 28 per cent. Here, about 85 per cent of the respondent smokers around the nation have admitted their habit of smoking more than once every day" confirmed Insurance Experts after assessing the survey results.

Insurance Experts have also confirmed that about 59 per cent of smokers are insured whereas 45 per cent in Kolkata are insured for health. The number is much higher as compared to Delhi and Mumbai.

The survey findings have also revealed that health insurance is principally acquired by self (68%) in Delhi. In Mumbai, the percentage is 50%. In Bangalore, about 52% rely on their parents or relatives for the purpose.

The private insurance company conducted the survey ahead of ‘No Tobacco Day’ on May 31. It polled about 914 habitual smokers (those who smoke at least once daily) across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. The financial capital of India, Mumbai received the questioning merit of topping the standard consumption record, with 32 per cent of respondents from Mumbai admitting the fact that they smoked about 7-10 cigarettes daily, on an average.

The study also revealed a shocking fact that about 77 per cent of smokers feel that smoking will not have any adverse effect on their health. The internal analysis assessment by the private insurance company on claims made by consumers in the past two years revealed that 5 per cent of the total cancer claims were directly associated to consumption of tobacco. The most affected age-group for these claims was 46-55 years.

Unfortunately, about 65 per cent of the respondents were unaware of concessional premiums available for non-smokers. Presently, life insurers offer attractive discounts to non-smokers when it comes to selling term insurance plans. The health insurance sector too is taking these parameters seriously and awarding consumers for the same.

About ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd.
ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. is the largest private sector general insurance company in India with a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs. 5,358 crore for the year ended March 31, 2012. The company issued over 76 lakh policies and settled over 44 lakh claims and has a claim disposal ratio of 99% (percentage of claims settled against claims reported) as on March 31, 2012.