For Immediate Release
February 10, 2021
TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC SEHK: 945
HONG KONG – A year on from the outbreak of COVID-19, Hong Kong residents are taking more control of their finance and health, with more importance placed on retirement planning, as Asia adjusts to the longer-term impact of the pandemic, according to new research from Manulife.
The latest version of the “Manulife Asia Care Survey” takes a closer look into customers’ concerns, priorities and aspirations. The survey polled about 4,000 people across the region who either own insurance or intend to buy it in the next six months, including around 400 from Hong Kong1.
Health and retirement remain key concerns to Hong Kong people amid the pandemic
In the face of COVID-19, Hong Kong people have made efforts on a personal level to improve their overall health. Among Hong Kong respondents, 77% say they have taken action in response to the pandemic, with 42% saying this includes exercising more regularly. About 90% are self-monitoring their health and, among the four developed markets covered in the survey2, Hong Kongers pay most attention to their body weight (62%).
The majority of Hong Kongers (55%) also say that retirement planning has become more important since COVID-19 started. This high level of interest in retirement planning is aligned with concerns about personal wealth. In Hong Kong, 59% say they are concerned that their personal wealth would decline as a result of COVID-19.
“We see Hong Kongers are not just thinking longer term about their physical and financial health, but acting on it as well,” said Damien Green, Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau. “With its health expertise, Manulife can support Hong Kong people with our comprehensive range of tailored products, from the popular Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme plans to critical illness products and the ManulifeMOVE programme, which encourages healthy habits by rewarding customers with premium discounts for being active.”
Greater appetite for insurance in Hong Kong, while consulting agents remains popular
Just as important as taking better control of health and finance is an interest to buy new insurance. In Hong Kong, despite high insurance penetration, more than half (58%) say they intend to buy new insurance in the next six months. The Hong Kong respondents are particularly interested in critical illness cover, health and saving products.
More than a third (37%) of Hong Kong respondents say they prefer to manage their policies through digital means such as mobile apps, including for claims and payment. The survey also shows that 77% of those interested in purchasing insurance in the next six months have already consulted an insurance agent.
“Insurance customers in Hong Kong are tech-savvy, in general, and appreciate the digital experience that’s safe, simple and convenient,” added Mr. Green. “While that digital trend is here to stay and likely to grow, it’s very clear that a good many customers still like to speak to their agents for personalised advice and solutions. This really underscores the importance of our agency force as we strive to fully integrate digital, while tapping those human qualities of empathy, trust and a holistic understanding of our customers’ needs.”
About Manulife Hong Kong
Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, Manulife Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited. As a member of the Manulife group of companies, Manulife Hong Kong offers a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individual and corporate customers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2019, we had more than 35,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 30 million customers. As of September 30, 2020, we had C$1.3 trillion (HK$7.5 trillion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$31.2 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
1 This version of the Manulife Asia Care Survey was conducted via online self-completed questionnaires in eight markets, namely Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. A total of 3,946 people, aged 25 years old or above, was surveyed in November 2020. In Hong Kong, 408 people were surveyed. They included insurance owners and those who did not own insurance but intended to buy it in the next six months.
2 The developed markets referenced in the survey are Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.