The effect of past health events on intentions to purchase insurance: Evidence from 11 countries
We investigate whether past negative health experiences are positively associated with intentions to purchase insurance to mitigate the risks of income losses due to illnesses and disabilities. Using an original survey based upon representative samples of working individuals in 11 countries, we show that agents who have personally experienced a negative health event in the past are 25% more likely to state the intention to purchase income protection insurance than those who have not had such an experience. Moreover, personally knowing someone who suffered from ill health increases intentions by 40%. Insurance ownership increases by 23% due to personal experience and by 31% because of vicarious experience.