Window opens in Australia for closing perception gap

New research by Swiss Re Life & Health in Australia shows Australians have taken more action to manage their personal financial situation since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), but most still do not have a firm plan in place for protection and retirement.

More than half of the 600 respondents to the online survey said they had taken additional actions to better manage their finances since the GFC.

However, when compared with a similar survey conducted in January 2009, there was no real increase in the number of people who agreed they had a plan to ensure they would be financially secure when they stopped working.

Despite Australia’s relatively strong economic performance over the past 18 months as one of the few developed economies to record positive growth since September 2008, the survey revealed that Australians’ confidence still remains fragile with over half of respondents saying they will continue to cut back on spending for the foreseeable future.

The findings, according to Neil Sprackling, Director of L&H Client Markets for Swiss Re in Australia and New Zealand, suggest the Australian insurance market has a significant but potentially fleeting window of opportunity to convert heightened awareness into real action.

“We are seeing more interest from the market in products – particularly protection and retirement income products” says Neil.

“Our message to our clients is that our industry needs to be proactive at this time and to particularly consider how we can attract people using media channels, which the survey shows are the preferred means of accessing information and products.”

The survey of 20-40 year olds across Australia was conducted in February 2010.

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