Most Australians don’t have life insurance whereas most Americans and Canadians do
In a stark divide between Australia and the two North American nations surveyed, most Australians do not have life insurance, whereas the majority of Americans and Canadians do. Just over a quarter of Australians (27.9%) have a life insurance policy, compared to 56.8% of Canadians and Americans.
When asked what prompted (or what would prompt) people to get a life insurance policy, the most common response from Australians was “none of the above” (available options included helping loved ones meet financial obligations, financial security in case a serious injury leaving me unable to work, and financial security in case of an unexpected health condition that left me unable to work).
In contrast, the most common option chosen by Americans and Canadians was “helping loved ones meet financial obligations,” which was the second-most-common response from Australians surveyed.
GM of Health, Life and Energy, Anthony Fleming, explains what’s behind the disparity.
“In America and Canada, it’s a lot more common for employers to provide some form of life insurance to employees – separate from social security, with costs typically deducted from pay. This isn’t the case in Australia, and while people may have some type of life insurance through their superannuation (money put away for retirement in a similar fashion to social security), it isn’t front of mind for people in the same way that employer-provided group cover or privately-purchased policies are,” says Fleming.
There may be a greater perceived need for Canadians and Americans to have life insurance when mortality rates are considered. Australia’s mortality rate is 507.2 per 100,000 people,1 compared to 810.0 per 100,000 in Canada2 and 1,027.0 per 100,000 in the USA.3
When asked whether they had a funeral plan in place for their passing, less than half of those surveyed in each country had made preparations, though Australians had the smallest proportion of people who had planned their funeral. Just 16.2% of Australians had a funeral plan, compared to 32.5% of Americans and 24.8% of Canadians.
In contrast to this, Australians were more likely to have a will than US and Canadian respondents, but only by a small percentage as shown in the table below.