Since the announcement in February 2012 by the Australian government regarding Health Insurance reforms, there has been a noticeable swing back to a preference for purchasing Health Insurance by phone. Up to that date, purchasing online had become the preferred option. These are findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey of over 50,000 interviews annually.
The proportion of consumers who purchased Private Health Insurance online peaked in February 2012 at 33%, which was well ahead of the 26% purchasing over the phone. The latest data for November 2012 shows that purchasing Health insurance online has declined to 19.4% and purchasing over the phone risen to 37.1%.
Method Used to Purchase Private Health Insurance in the last 12 months – Switchers and New Entrants
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), 3 month moving average, average sample size = 290. Base: Australians 14+ Private Health Insurance customers who have switched or taken out a policy for the first time in the last 12 months excluding can’t say.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The majority of all Private Health Insurance policies are purchased via phone or through a branch, with the trend to purchase online showing rapid decline.
“Although the Internet continues to be an efficient means of accessing information, including documents and comparison tools, customers prefer more traditional channels such as the phone or branch for the actual purchase of their policy, particularly when the government makes changes to the system.
“Despite this preference, the growth and popularity of online comparison websites such as iselect have provided consumers with an abundance of information to make informed decisions about which insurer to select and different cover types available.
“The introduction of the proposed reforms to Health Insurance rebate tiers which occurred last year coincided with the declining preference of the online channel and the growing popularity of the phone as a purchasing channel among switchers and new entrants. This indicates that people are more comfortable using the phone when they need to understand the more complex changes.”
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