Maximum number of claims received by private sector general insurer SBI General Insurance from hand hygiene-related diseases were made by those in 21-30 years age group last fiscal.
People in this age-group accounted for 29 per cent of the total claims received for diseases like typhoid, paratyphoid, and gastroenteritis, a company statement said.
The company had conducted a study on claims data relating to these diseases on the occasion of Global Handwashing Day, which falls on October 15.
According to the study, one of the reasons for spread of these diseases is not maintaining hygiene, especially having contaminated hands that can set off feco-oral diseases.
Simple behavioural changes such as hand-washing with soap actually reduced the childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases by almost 25 and 50 per cent, respectively, it said.
More claims were made by males (57 per cent) for these diseases than females (43 per cent). Around 73 per cent of total claims were received by non-metro cities.
"There is a significant difference between the claims made by non-Metro cities as compared to Metro cities. This is an alarming situation for all of us and we need to create awareness for hygiene in smaller towns and cities," said SBI General Insurance senior vice president - claims Mick Miller.
"Often people don't realise the importance of hygiene, as basic as washing hands which could prevent a lot of infectious diseases. Having an adequate health insurance policy could also provide financial assistance arising out of medical emergencies which otherwise will burn a hole in the pocket," he added.
Infective hepatitis contributed to 4.7 per cent of the total claims received by the company. Highest number of claims
were reported from Maharashtra (19 per cent) and Gujarat (18 per cent) followed by Uttar Pradesh (12 per cent).