With a mortality protection gap of $16.5 trillion in 2019,families in India, in the Asia Pacific region, are most vulnerable to financially cope with the loss of their breadwinners, according new Swiss Re Report.

The mortality protection in India is 83 per cent of Indian GDP, said the study "Closing Asia’s Mortality Protection Gap" prepared by the Swiss Re Instituteand released on Tuesday..

Swiss Re has suggested that Indian life insurers should provide comprehensive rather than pure life products, bundle life cover with other small premium riders, such as accident, medical reimbursement and long-term care, simplify product design for better consumer understanding, sell or distribute simple bundled products through digital channel and use agent for more complex and expensive policies with savings element.

“We estimate the Asia-Pacific mortality protection gap at $ 83 trillion in 2019, of which five emerging economies account for the lion's share (USD 61 trillion).China has the highest overall mortality protection gap with its size of population, but by household, families in India are most vulnerable to financially cope with the loss of their breadwinners.

Closing this gap represents a huge opportunity for the life insurers in APAC region

“We estimate the additional annual premium potential at $292 billion per year,’’ said Swiss Re.

Tapping it,however, is not a given: the survey found that consumers often do not choose to buy life cover due to various reasons. The task for insurers is to better understand consumer mindsets and unmet needs to differentiate the values that life insurance policies offer, said the report.

Swiss Re Institute conducted the most comprehensive Asia-Pacific-wide study on consumer behaviours and attitudes towards mortality protection to date, covering more than 14 000 consumers across 10 main economies  in the region.

To estimate the mortality protection gap, Swiss Re Institute has  combined survey results and macroeconomic data to measure the lack of financial resources households have to maintain living standards should the main breadwinner(s) of a family pass away.

The loss of a household's breadwinner(s) is not only emotionally devastating but can create a long-lasting financial shortfall for the surviving members, said the report..