Advice matters
Insurance trends in the age of Covid-19

Since its arrival on the world stage, the Covid-19 pandemic has been highlighting gaps in financial resilience and insurance protection. So, it’s not a coincidence that more and more people, here in New Zealand and around the globe, are reassessing their priorities.

In June 2021, the Swiss Re Institute explored changing consumers’ views of insurance in the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand – and here are some interesting findings, according to our SHARE advisers.

Priority to personal health and financial security

These unprecedented times have been a stark reminder of the importance of taking care of our wellbeing. And with this pandemic being both a public health crisis and an economic one, it’s not surprising that people are turning to personal insurance to ease both health and financial stress.

More than a year on from the outset of the pandemic, the survey found that almost two-thirds of respondents were still concerned about their personal health due to the virus. And nearly half (48 per cent) felt that they needed more health insurance as a result. Also, 41 per cent of respondents planned to take out more income protection, and 40 per cent wanted more critical illness insurance (also known as trauma cover). Life insurance came fourth on the priority list, with 34 per cent looking for additional cover.

A general feeling of ‘underinsurance’

It was comforting to read that, across the APAC region, most people surveyed had health insurance (62 per cent) and life insurance (56 per cent). But unfortunately, many of those who had cover, also had a feeling of being underinsured.

Less than a quarter (23 per cent) felt mostly secure, and 45 per cent were just slightly secure, or not secure at all. While these stats are not NZ-only, it’s a good reminder of the importance of regular insurance reviews.

If you have a feeling that you might be underinsured, or simply would like to confirm that you have an appropriate level of protection in place, get in touch today. Our SHARE advisers can help you identify and plug any gaps that you might have.

Consumers take proactive steps

According to the Swiss Re’s report, consumers are not just reassessing their priorities, but also acting on them.

Driven by increasing health awareness and financial concerns, more people took an interest in insurance and secured cover in 2021. Plus, many respondents added that, because of the pandemic, they would look more closely at the fine print of their policies.

This is something that our SHARE advisers wholeheartedly recommend: when it comes to personal insurance, knowing (and understanding) the small print is crucial. It contains key details about what’s covered and what’s not, and any conditions or limits that might be attached to the policy.

That said, we also understand that insurance policies don’t make for riveting reading, so if you have any questions about your cover, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can explain what it all means for you.

A more holistic view of health

Lastly, Covid-19 has prompted people to take a more holistic view of health as being both physical and mental wellbeing.

According to the survey, choosing healthier food, doing more exercise, and forming better sleep habits were some of the lifestyle changes that people made in the past year and half. What’s more, data shows that the pandemic has improved awareness and openness around mental health.

“In all APAC markets except Indonesia, mental wellbeing was cited as the main concern, suggesting that prolonged periods of social distancing and isolation have disrupted normal human interactions to a degree possibly previously overlooked,” the Swiss Re’s report reads. “Not getting enough sleep and exposure to harmful substances in the environment, not least the Covid-19 virus, were the next two main concerns.”

We are here to help

Are you exploring your insurance options for the first time? Or maybe, it’s been a while since you last reviewed your cover, and you’d like to reassess your needs? Our SHARE advisers are here to answer any questions you might have. Click here to find an adviser near you.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.