Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Since the middle of 2012, the telephone has clearly held the top spot for purchasing Health Insurance with online steadily closing the gap over the last twelve months (22.9% or 125,000 policies). More than three quarters of policies were purchased through the insurance company directly (branch, website, telephone or other, 76.9%). These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Consumer Single Source Survey of over 50,000 interviews per annum.

A four year analysis of the channels used to purchase Health Insurance reveals that branches have undergone the biggest decrease (from 21.4% in November 2009 to 18% in December 2013).  Purchasing through an intermediary website such as iSelect or online broker has also declined considerably from 5.1% in November 2009 to 3.2% in December 2013.

Methods used to purchase Private Health Insurance in the last 12 months (Switchers and New Entrants)


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), 6 month moving average, Average Sample = 507. Base: Australians 14+ purchasing Private Health Insurance in the last 12 months

Following the proposed and subsequent government reforms to the rebate tier system in 2012, purchasing via telephone grew rapidly and rose to 34.8% in January 2013 after which it has fallen back to 31.7% in December 2013.  Purchasing Health insurance via the Internet fell back to 18.8% in March 2013 by has since increased to 22.9% in December 2013.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although telephone continues to be the most commonly used method to purchase Health Insurance, the popularity of online intermediary websites and convenient purchasing methods available through insurance company websites has led to the re-emerging trend to purchase policies online.”


“Following a year and a half from the complex changes which occurred to the Private health Insurance rebate tier system in 2012, consumers are more comfortable again with purchasing policies online after exploring the vast array of cover types and comparisons available.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
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