The Christchurch earthquakes have made more people think about taking out income protection insurance, according to a new survey.

The survey, by AC Nielson, says that 1 in 4 New Zealanders are more likely to take out income protection cover now than they were before the Christchurch earthquakes took place.

Of the 700 New Zealanders surveyed, 25% said they are now more likely to take out insurance to protect their income following the earthquakes. The biggest change has been in the likelihood of under 25 year olds to take out cover (35%).

Asteron Life, which commissioned the survey, says this is a very positive sign for the country and the insurance industry as younger people historically have a very low rate of participation in insurance. The survey overall shows a significant opportunity to increase the country’s level of insurance. However, there are still real concerns that the majority of New Zealanders currently do not own any form of life or income protection cover.

Asteron executive manager of claims and underwriting Nadine Tereora says Kiwis have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards self-insurance. “We are more likely to insure our physical assets such as house and car than ourselves, putting us and our family’s financial security at significant risk in the event of a crisis.”

“I don’t think people realise that in the case of an illness driven crisis like cancer for example, many medical treatments and drugs are not subsidised by the Government scheme in New Zealand. In the case of an event-driven crisis like Christchurch many of those severely affected from the trauma of the earthquakes have lost their jobs, sometimes months or years after the first event. This demonstrates that the experience you have following a crisis can be defined by your level of self-insurance cover.”

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By Paul Swarbrick


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