Around 80 per cent of working Indians have experienced income loss and over 90 per cent of them are bracing themselves to bear more hardship in the future, said a study by Generali on consumer sentiments during the COVID-19 crisis. Also, self-employed professionals estimate that they may lose half of their income over the next few months.
Generali, a global insurance and asset management company recently conducted the study in 22 countries. In India, Generali has a JV partnership with the Future Group. The study in India was done through Epiphany - a global market research firm.
"Overall the findings show that there is a feeling of fear and anxiety as people are worried about the uncertainty of life as they knew it. "Many are apprehensive about being able to protect their families and are worried about the economic losses likely to occur at every level going ahead," it said in a release.
As per the study, 80 per cent of working Indians have experienced income loss and 92 per cent of them are bracing themselves to undergo further economic losses in the future. "Half the Indian working population now works from home. They expect this to continue for the next few months. Most of them put in the same number of hours as they did at their workplace," it said.
Further, 95 per cent or almost all Indians surveyed expect some form of relief in the case of income loss. "53 per cent of those who have experienced losses expect help from the government. 60 per cent are planning to dig into their savings and investments, while 39 per cent expect help from family members," Generali said in the release.
Significantly, 40 per cent of Indians expect their employers to step in with some form of relief. As per the study, 30 per cent of the Indian respondents - who are adults living in large cities, perceive the COVID-19 threat as a severe national challenge. Further 30 per cent feel that the crisis will worsen in the coming months.
Four out of 10 Indians worry about the impact of the pandemic on physical, mental, social and financial health. Urban families are mainly concerned about the impact on their physical health, it added. On expectations from the insurance industry, the study found that customers facing extreme income losses expect their insurers to provide flexibility in payment schedules.
Thirty-eight per cent people had contacted their insurance company proactively to get financial support or relief during this critical moment.