Even as Indian life insurers have recorded improvement in Indian assured lives’ mortality rates across age-groups and genders, the 13-20 years age bracket has bucked this trend. Mortality rates have risen by nearly 5% as per Indian Assured Lives Mortality table 12-14 published by the Institute of Actuaries in India (IAI). “There has been an improvement in mortality rates across most of the ages except for teens and very old ages,” says Subhrajit Mukhopadhyay, Chief and Appointed Actuary, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.
The last comparable table pertains to the 2006-08 period. Life insurance actuaries attribute this rise primarily to accidents that youngsters are susceptible to at this stage in their lives. “The higher mortality rates are an outcome of the rise in road accidents – the quality of infrastructure has improved over the years, offering greater scope to people, particularly youngsters, to drive at high speed on highways. Given that youngsters tend to ride two-wheelers, the risk of accidents is higher in their case,” said Sunil Sharma, Chief Actuary, Kotak Life Insurance and President, IAI.
Not surprisingly, therefore, even in the younger age-band, teenagers seem more prone to accidents. “This age group is susceptible to higher mortality, especially in the ages of 15-18 years,” said Anilkumar Singh, Appointed Actuary, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance. While Indian insurers are seeing this trend in the country now, it tallies with the experience of insurers globally. “Globally, insurers tend to record higher mortality rates for teenaged population,” said Sharma.
According to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways statistics, India witnesses 1.5 lakh road accident fatalities every year and nearly half of these victims fall in the 18-35 years age bracket.