HCM CITY — A year on since the Covid-19 pandemic first began Vietnamese are taking more control of their health and finance, driving greater interest in fitness and well-being along with insurance and retirement planning, as Asia looks to the longer-term impact of the disease, 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, polling 4,000 people across the region who either own insurance or intend to buy it in the next six months, including around 520 in Việt Nam.
Nearly all (95 per cent) of those who worry most about Covid have made an effort on a personal level to improve their overall health, mostly through more regular exercise (58 per cent) and improved diet (54 per cent).
In Việt Nam, all the respondents said they had taken action to help them manage Covid, with 72 per cent saying this included doing more regular exercise. More people in Hà Nội (85 per cent) do more regular exercise than in HCM City (73 per cent).
Almost everyone is self-monitoring health, and Vietnamese pay the most attention to the number of steps walked (44 per cent) among the four emerging markets covered in the survey, against a regional average of 38 per cent.
Three out of five (60 per cent) of Vietnamese also own fitness wearables, well above the regional average of 46 per cent.
A large majority of Vietnamese (79 per cent) also said retirement planning has become more important since Covid-19 started, below the Philippines (90 per cent), Indonesia (88 per cent) and Malaysia (83 per cent) but higher than all the developed markets.
The regional average is 73 per cent.
This high level of interest in retirement ties in with their concerns about personal wealth.
In Việt Nam, more than half (52 per cent) thought their personal wealth would decline as a result of Covid-19. The rate was only higher in Hong Kong (58 per cent) and Singapore (55 per cent).
Aligned with taking better control of health and finance is an interest to buy new insurance.
In Việt Nam, a remarkable nine out of ten (91 per cent) said they intend to buy new insurance in the next six months, higher than anywhere else in the region. The regional average is 71 per cent.
The Vietnamese respondents were most interested in life, hospitalisation, accident and critical illness cover.
Three quarters (75 per cent) of Vietnamese respondents, again more than anywhere else in the region, said they prefer to manage their policies through digital means such as mobile apps, including for claims and payment.
The survey found that 71 per cent of them had spoken to an agent about purchasing insurance, well above the regional average of 64 per cent, with only Hong Kong (77 per cent) and mainland China (76 per cent) scoring higher.
“Vietnamese insurance customers are seeking more digital touchpoints that are safe, simple and convenient,” Sang Lee, CEO of Manulife Vietnam, said.
“While those digital habits are here for the long term, a good many still like to speak to their agents. This underscores the importance of our omnichannel approach, one that fully integrates digital, while maximising our human qualities of empathy, trust and a holistic understanding of our customers’ needs.” — VNS