Wednesday, March 8, 2023

In a first, working women overtake men in Life Insurance ownership: Max Life’s India Protection Quotient 5.0 survey

Key Findings of the Survey

Urban Indian women’s financial protection levels rise steadily over the last five years; improvement seen in all aspects of financial planning and readiness
Urban India’s working women are financially more prudent than men 
Awareness and uptake of term insurance amongst women homemakers highest in 5 years

March 7, 2023, New Delhi: The fifth edition of Max Life’s flagship survey, the India Protection Quotient survey (IPQ)* conducted in partnership with KANTAR, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company, has revealed that the financial protection levels amongst women in urban India have steadily risen over the last five years, from 33 in IPQ 1.0 to 40 in IPQ 5.0. 

Additionally, in a positive development, working women across urban India demonstrate a strong willingness to safeguard their families from life’s uncertainties against waning pandemic scenarios. For the first time in five years, this cohort has surpassed men - 77% of working women own life insurance, against 74% of men.
The survey also reveals the state of financial preparedness and the shift in the approach of women homemakers toward financial planning. In comparison to the previous editions, this segment has made giant strides across all financial protection metrics. The protection quotient of women homemakers now stands at 38 – driven by an 11-point rise in Knowledge Index, up from 38 in IPQ 1.0 to 49 in IPQ 5.0. Additionally, there is a 10%-point increase in life insurance ownership of women homemakers from 58% in IPQ 1.0 to 68% in IPQ 5.0.

Prashant Tripathy, MD and CEO, Max Life said, “The findings of this edition related to the financial preparedness of Indian women are truly encouraging. It reflects the strides society is making in gender equity through financial inclusion. The milestone of working women surpassing men in life insurance ownership for the first time in five years is an important one depicting a bright future ahead. As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, we must continue our efforts towards deepening financial awareness and equality in the society with women playing an important role in securing their loved ones.”

As per the study, urban India’s women have also shown steady progress in financial protection levels in the last five years. Post-pandemic, women in urban India feel increasingly secure about their finances as their security levels bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, from 57% in IPQ 3.0 to 62% in IPQ 5.0 survey. Similarly, in life insurance ownership, this cohort has shown remarkable progress – up from 67% in IPQ 3.0 to 71% in IPQ 5.0. 

The following findings reveal the state of financial protection of women and provide insights that highlight women’s shifting financial priorities and anxieties.

Closing the Gap: IPQ 5.0 finds women in urban India making strides in life insurance ownership, financial awareness still lags
Women move closer to men with only a 3%-point difference in life insurance ownership as their uptake improves to 71%, as compared to men who are at 74%. Pre-pandemic, the life insurance adoption rates were as low as 59% in IPQ 1.0 among women highlighting a positive shift towards financial planning and protection over the past years. Conversely, the flat trend showcased in the women’s Knowledge Index – up only 1 point from IPQ 3.0 to 51 – indicates scope for improvement and targeted measures for enhancing awareness of life insurance products among the women cohort.

Women homemakers enhance their protection stance with a big jump in protection quotient
Women homemakers have logged 38 points on the Protection Quotient scale as the financial protection levels see an impressive 4-point jump since the previous edition of the IPQ study. Similarly, the awareness levels have risen from 44 in IPQ 3.0 to 49 in IPQ 5.0 – paving the way for a positive ownership outlook. The heightened awareness reflects an increased uptake of life insurance products, with 68% of homemakers choosing to own life insurance products, in comparison to 65% in IPQ 3.0.

Working women outdo men in financial prudence: Save 45% of their income
Working women allocate 45% of their income towards saving and investments vs. 43% of men. Women also spend lesser on basic and luxury expenses, assigning 40% towards their basic expenditures – 3% less than men. Similarly, this cohort allocates 14% of their income towards luxury spending, which is 1% less than men's allocation, suggesting that women are more mindful of their spending and prioritize savings over wants.

Urban India’s women see a shift in priorities and preferences: Saving for kids’ milestones emerges as top savings objective as COVID-related worries take a backseat
With normalcy returning, the savings priorities have shifted for both genders as COVID-related concerns wane. According to IPQ 5.0, more women (66%) prioritize saving for their children’s education. Similarly, women have a greater saving propensity for children’s marriage with 49%, whereas men lag in the same investment with 39%, showcasing stark savings patterns. 

A post-pandemic shift in perception: Urban Indian women show reduced concerns about term plan sufficiency; Importance of ‘Sum Assured’ goes down
Against a receding pandemic, urban Indian women exhibit a change in attitude towards life cover. Conducted during the pandemic, IPQ 3.0 revealed that 61% of women found their term cover inadequate to protect their families against life contingencies. However, in IPQ 5.0, this figure sees a massive drop, with only 48% of women respondents expressing concern about term cover insufficiency. Ironically, fewer women factor in the value of ‘Sum Assured’ while purchasing term plans (67% in IPQ 3.0 vs. 59% in IPQ 5.0), indicating a big comprehension gap in selecting an appropriate sum assured to protect loved ones.

In a first, working women overtake men in ownership of term plans; Homemakers cross the 50% mark in awareness of term plans
Post-pandemic, women in urban India have made significant progress in upping their awareness and ownership of term plans. In the latest survey, working women have been taking more steps to reduce the gender disparity in term insurance ownership, with 33% now owning term plans, surpassing men by 2%. Also, for the first time, more than half (54%) of the women homemakers surveyed have asserted their awareness of term insurance products, reiterating the increasing financial awareness of this cohort.

About India Protection Quotient 
Instituted in 2019, India Protection Quotient is an annual survey by Max Life in association with Kantar aimed to understand the pulse of the Indian consumers in the financial protection space. Launched with the sub-objective to increase uptake of term insurance, as the most fundamental and economical form of life insurance, the survey aims to reveal the state of urban Indians with regards to current financial security levels, changing savings & investment patterns, key anxieties & triggers of financial protection in a contemporary world. India Protection Quotient the degree to which Indians feel protected from future uncertainties, on a scale of 0 to 100, is a proprietary tool developed in partnership with Kantar. It is based on the attitudes, mental preparedness around future uncertainties, awareness, and ownership of life insurance product categories (term, endowment and Unit Linked plans). 

About Max Life Insurance (
Max Life Insurance Company Limited is a Joint Venture between Max Financial Services Limited and Axis Bank Limited. Max Financial Services Ltd. is a part of the Max Group. Max Life offers comprehensive protection and long-term savings life insurance solutions, through its multi-channel distribution including agency and third-party distribution partners.

Max Life has built its operations over two decades through a need-based sales process, a customer-centric approach to engagement and service delivery and trained human capital. As per public disclosures and annual audited financials for FY2021-22, Max Life has achieved a gross written premium of INR 22,414 crore. 
For more information, please visit the Company’s website at 

* Wherever 5th anniversary is mentioned, means 5th anniversary edition of India Protection Quotient. 

The study is conducted in top 25 Urban metro, Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities; hence, its findings are representative of metro, Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities of Urban India only. 
• Metro – Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai 
• Tier 1 – Ludhiana, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Vizag, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Pune 
• Tier 2 – Dehradun, Moradabad, Guwahati, Bokaro, Kolhapur, Jamnagar, Raipur, Ujjain, Hubli-Dharwad, Tiruchirappalli 
• IPQ 5.0 Express vs IPQ 3.0 Express data comparison is amongst 25 markets only [6 metros, 9 Tier 1 and 10 Tier 2] 
• The minimum sample to conclude any findings of the study is 270 with an error margin of +-5.964%. 

About Kantar 
Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks and our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth. To know more, visit

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