Kiwis aware of life insurance but take up slow

Only 8% of New Zealanders who did not have a life insurance policy had considered purchasing life insurance over the last two years, according to the Financial Services Council of New Zealand.

The council’s latest life insurance report found consumers who sought face-to-face advice were more confident that they had the right policy and were supported.

The Financial Services Council’s chief executive, Richard Klipin, said: “This reinforces the importance of the adviser relationship and getting good advice when making decisions on insurance.

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“Building education and awareness of life insurance and the claims process will be critical to ensuring that people take a more informed approach to deciding on life insurance cover. As an industry we’re completely up for that challenge,” he said.

Klipin said despite the high rate of life insurance awareness the 8% figure was concerning as bad and traumatic events happened to everyone’s lives at some stage and protection was vital.

“The New Zealand life insurance industry pays out around NZ$4 million ($3.7 million) a day or $1.47 billion per year in claims supporting Kiwis when they most need it,” he said.

The report also found that people who had gone through a claims process were much more positive about life insurance than those who had not.

“This is really encouraging because it indicates that perceptions on how insurance companies act is not the same as reality,” Klipin said.

“The research does reinforce though that there’s still work to be done to improve Kiwis understanding of and confidence in the life insurance industry.”

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