Report on Insurance Literacy Tracking Survey in Hong Kong 2021
In order to assess and track trends in insurance literacy in Hong Kong, and to identify gaps that can shape the Insurance Authority (“IA”)’s policy development and public education, the IA conducted an Insurance Literacy Tracking Survey, focusing on personal insurance products.
Knowledge and skills
What is insurance literacy?
In this study, insurance literacy is defined as a combination of knowledge and skills, attitude, and behaviour that lead to the making of sound decisions by existing or prospective policyholders.

Key findings
Hong Kong people were moderately literate in insurance
The score for overall insurance literacy was 52%, implying that the respondents were moderately literate about insurance. The scores were 55% for knowledge and skills, 54% for attitude, and 48% for behaviour. These scores indicate that the respondents were moderately literate in knowledge and skills, and attitude, but they were less literate in behaviour.
  • Knowledge and skills: There was a general understanding about policyholders’ rights, insurance principles and product features, but limited knowledge of risk exposure and protection needs.
  • Attitude: The perceived value of insurance was quite high, and the level of trust in the insurance sector was moderate, but insurance purchases were adversely affected by choice overload.
  • Behaviour: Identified behavioural issues included over-reliance on the advice and experience of family or friends, procrastination in dealing with insurance, limited policy comparisons, focus on promotions, and inadequate reading of terms and conditions.

The insurance literacy level differed by life stage
Thematic analysis revealed knowledge gaps along the journey of life and the importance of closing such gaps at a relatively young age. The group with the lowest score was young people, with pre-retirees and retirees faring slightly better. Married persons did best, followed by mature working adults and career starters.
  • Youth: A mere 7% of young respondents who were financially dependent on their families learnt about insurance at school.
  • Career starters: Some 43% of respondents who had just begun to gain financial independence accorded priority to insurance, but much less than that placed on consumption.
  • Mature working adults: Some 81% of respondents who had reached financial independence relied mostly on recommendations from insurance intermediaries.
  • Married persons: Some 55% of respondents who were married and had to support dependents, but had no plan to acquire additional insurance protection, cited financial constraints as the key barrier.
  • Pre-retirees and retirees: Only 36% of respondents who were soon to be or already retired believed that annuities were relevant to them.