New independent research commissioned by life, health and wellbeing insurer AIA New Zealand highlights some of the reasons why New Zealand ranks near the bottom of OECD countries when it comes to insurance protection.
The research reveals more than a third of Kiwis don’t want to think about the idea of dying and haven’t considered the financial impact it would have on their family.
Two thirds of those surveyed said that they’d never had a conversation with family about life insurance when they were growing up and one third said that they don’t understand the benefits of life insurance. More than half have never tackled the topic of what would happen to their finances if they were unable to work due to death, serious illness, or injury.
Nick Stanhope, AIA New Zealand Chief Executive, says New Zealanders need to become more comfortable with planning for their future and with having conversations about financial protection.
“Our research shows that New Zealanders generally don’t like to think or talk about these difficult but necessary topics. When it comes to protecting our finances and wellbeing our lack of financial planning is leaving us behind most other OECD countries.”
“At AIA, we want to make it easier for New Zealanders to have a conversation about why life insurance is important. It’s why we’re encouraging all new eligible policy holders to Share the Love.”
AIA’s Share the Love is a first-of-its-kind initiative in New Zealand where new policy holders are encouraged to gift a free six-month $50,000 policy to a loved one.
“We’re thrilled with this initiative and we hope it results in more New Zealanders understanding the benefits of financial protection,” says Stanhope.
The research also revealed one in three said they would be prompted to take out a life insurance policy only when they themselves, or someone close to them, had a health scare and that close to half of all respondents believe our public health system and accident insurance scheme mean it’s less important for Kiwis to have life insurance cover.
“The research shows that not all of us understand that the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides support only in the case of accidents and not for illnesses.”
“It’s well known that in New Zealand we have very high household debt levels and that this leaves us particularly vulnerable. For New Zealanders to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, it’s important we improve our understanding of financial matters, that we sit down and talk to a financial adviser, and that we take steps to protect our assets and our ability to look after our loved ones should the worst happen,” Stanhope concludes.
Commissioned by AIA, the research was conducted by Pure Profile surveying a representative sample of 1000 New Zealanders.