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Every tenth person in German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland is planning to change their health insurer in 2019


Half a year before expiry of the general notice period for basic insurance, LINK Institut surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 people from German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland with regard to their plans and intentions to change. According to the results of this study, 3 per cent of all respondents in 2019 have already implemented a change of health insurance for their basic insurance, and another 7 per cent are still planning to do so in 2019. In conclusion, 10 per cent could therefore be classified as ready to switch in 2019.

Young people are particularly open to switching

The proportion of those prepared to change is particularly high among people aged 18 to 29 years. Around one fifth of them are prepared to switch – 14 per cent would like to make a change, and another 5 per cent have already done so in the first half of the year. By contrast, intention to change is just 1 per cent overall among 60 to 79-year-olds. “Health insurance companies have to compete intensively for digital natives, and also take into account the special requirements of this age group”, says Stefan Reiser, head of market research at LINK Institut, who managed the study.

Premiums as well as products and services are the main reasons for switching

When asked about their reasons for switching, a “lower priced alternative range” was clearly at the top. Given that there was the option of multiple mentions, almost three-quarters of those willing to change over indicate this as a deciding factor. Dissatisfaction with the reimbursement system as well as with customer service follow in second and third place. That good service and proximity to the customer pay off for providers is also apparent from the barriers to change: asked about the reasons that argue against switching, 54 per cent of loyal health insurance company customers mention the good service of their current health insurer. The reasons for not changing that are ranked just behind this are: the potential for cost savings being too low or the fact that the current health insurer offers cheap premiums, as well as too much administrative effort being involved. “To succeed in the competition for young adults, you have to provide attractive offers”, adds Stefan Reiser.

Comparison portals as a no. 1 source of information

This is also proven by questions about the information channels used prior to switching: online comparison portals now play a part here. 64 per cent of those willing to switch have already used or plan to use relevant websites as part of their decision-making process. Friends and acquaintances (33 per cent), health insurance company websites (32 per cent), as well as independent insurance advisers (20 per cent) follow some way behind this. Stefan Reiser summaries the results: “To be able to benefit in the long-term from the segment of those open to change, the whole online presence of a health insurance company must be consistent and convincing across their own website, comparison portals, assessment pages and social media. Our study shows: a company with an image of expertise will win customers here and will also be able to retain them over time”.

You can request the study presentation free of charge at info[at]link.ch.