The impact of the pandemic is clearly visible in the health insurance sector. The reduced availability of medical appointments and problems with access to the national health service have increased Poles’ interest in critical illness insurance.
The pandemic has significantly affected the availability of visits to general practitoners and specialists. The report „Poles one year after the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic” indicates that as many as 30 percent of people then gave up in-person doctor’s appointments or specialist examinations due to the fear of infection.
The time of isolation also had a deep impact on the health of even those not infected with the virus. Increased nervousness (especially in women – 58.7 percent), weight-gain (40.8 per cent) and the deterioration of overall physical health (51.5 percent). The impact of these seemingly insignificant changes can already be seen, for example, in the increase in cases of cancer. The National Cancer Registry indicates more than 171 000 new cancer cases per year and 100 000 deaths from the disease.
Payouts during illness
Insurance market experts emphasise the value of life insurance policies. The above is due to the fact that modern treatment methods and their fast implementation, together with counselling, can decide the fate of the afflicted. It is worth quoting the words of one of CUK Insurance’s experts at this point: „Life insurance is not only protection in the event of death. It is first and foremost support at the time of unforeseen events and their consequences. The policy allows for a two-pronged assistance in such cases – both by paying out additional money and by organising and covering the costs of treatment or rehabilitation.”
The pandemic has fostered awareness of life insurance policies. According to data from the Polish Insurance Association, at the end of 2021, more than 3.8 million Poles had purchased health insurance policies. This represents an increase of 17 percent on an annual basis. An important motive for purchasing insurance is the desire to avoid costs that could burden loved ones. Another noticeable tendency is that health insurance policies are supplemented by medical packages allowing the use of private health care. Experts also cite data on the age of customers: „The predominant age group is primarily those aged 35-44. They represent a group of around 27 percent of life insurance policyholders over the last six months”.
A life insurance policy not only „for life”
The insured person can count on the organisation of the required medical treatment, consultations with specialists, examinations, coverage of treatment and rehabilitation costs. As a last resort, the policy also pays out in the event of the insured person’s death. Such arrangements benefit both the patient and his or her loved ones. This applies even to people who are not in a formal relationship, because: „In the case of people in informal relationships, the indication in the insurance contract of the beneficiary, i.e. the person entitled to receive the payout after the death of the insured, is the same as the fact that all the funds will go to him or her. Life insurance policies are not part of the inheritance or inheritance tax”.