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The underlying drivers of household purchase behaviour of life insurance

Muhammad Mehedi Masud (Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia)
Md Rajibul Ahsan (Counsellor (Commercial) Bangladesh High Commission, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia)
Noor Azina Ismail (Department of Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia)
Md Sohel Rana (Department of Business Policy and Strategy, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 7 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021




Life insurance remains an essential part of financial and social security. The insurance penetration rate is high in the developed countries but very low in developing countries such as Malaysia, with only 4.8% penetration and extremely low underwritings. Therefore, this study aims to scrutinize the underlying determinants of a household purchase behaviour of life insurance.


The data generated from the administration of survey questionnaires to 325 households were analysed, using structural equation modelling to obtain the research purposes.


The analysis reveals that the knowledge of life insurance, attitudes towards life insurance, subjective norms (SN), trust and risk perception, affect the tendency of a household to purchase life insurance. The results of this study also highlight that households’ purchase-propensity influences the purchase behaviour of life insurance. Concurrently, the intention to purchase has mediating effects on explanatory variables and purchase behaviour.


This paper established awareness, SN, perceived behavioural control, trust and risk perception as the key determinants promoting positive attitudes towards purchasing life insurance. The findings of this study can be successfully applied to different stakeholders in a similar context. This study suggests that the managers of life insurance companies should adjust their policy guidelines in accordance with the positive relationship between the constructs and consumers’ intention to purchase life insurance.



The authors would like to acknowledge the Ungku Aziz Centre for Development Studies, (UADS), University of Malaya, for funding of this work (PD001-2017).


Masud, M.M., Ahsan, M.R., Ismail, N.A. and Rana, M.S. (2021), "The underlying drivers of household purchase behaviour of life insurance", Society and Business Review, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 442-458.



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