Significant opportunity for insurers to engage 2.6 million interested Australians without health coverage, new report reveals


Irene Guiamatsia

Key points

  • Ready health insurance market: This untapped market has an average age of 39 years, with 45% aged between 18-34, and an average income of $78,000.
  • Onboarding opportunities: The overall application process is streamlined but consumers demand better information sharing and digital enhancements for improved ease and connectivity. 
  • Claims efficiency: Online portals are the dominant method for processing claims with chat services offering the quickest resolutions but is underutilised (3%), highlighting opportunity to better promote.

Leading financial services research firm Investment Trends has published the 2024 Consumer Insurance Needs Report, focusing on health insurance. This comprehensive report provides key insights into the health insurance landscape in Australia, revealing significant trends, opportunities and consumer preferences.

The latest report shows that 2.6 million Australians currently without coverage are interested in obtaining it. This ready market, predominantly aged 18-34 with an average income of $78,000 represents a significant opportunity for insurers to expand their customer base. This group is found to have clear information needs when selecting their insurer with policy pros and cons (49%), discounts (48%), and the impact of government policies (41%) being the top consideration drivers.

“2.6 million Australians interested in obtaining private health cover, in addition to the 10.3 million that already do so, is a substantial opportunity,” said Irene Guiamatsia, Head of Research at Investment Trends. “Providers that can comprehensively address these information needs are well positioned to seize it.”

The report also highlights that, in the whole, consumers find the process of applying for health insurance to be reasonably streamlined. Tracking the application status (51% ease) and filling out application forms (44% ease) are relatively straightforward, however the provision of supporting documentation (only 5% ease) appears to be a significant pain point.

Health insurance makes up the largest volume of claims (84%) made by consumers last year. The majority of these claims are made through their insurer’s online portal (56%) or on premises at the medical facility or clinic providing treatment (34%). Claims made through the online chat service (only 3%) have the quickest outcomes, but the channel is severely underutilised, highlighting an opportunity to better promote.

“The experience of health insurance policyholders illustrates a strong correlation between speed of claims processing and client satisfaction. While health insurance users are more satisfied in all areas compared to GI or Life insurance users, they still want more – improved information sharing, more digital interaction, additional benefits, and a broader care provider network. Prioritising these enhancements is crucial to retaining existing clients and securing the next wave of health insurance policy holders,” concluded Guiamatsia.

Research Methodology

The Investment Trends 2024 Consumer Insurance – Health Insurance Report provides a detailed analysis of the Consumer General Insurance industry, examining the sentiment, attitudes and needs of Australian consumers. Based on a quantitative online survey of Australian consumers conducted by Investment Trends from December 2023 to January 2024. Total number of responses after data cleaning and validation: n=5,385. 

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