Covid-19 has made a lot of people think about life; what matters to them, their health – and the health of their loved ones. So it’s interesting to read about this study by Belgian insurer AG;
According to a study by Egérie commissioned by AG, 26% of Belgian families think of death more often than before the pandemic. Two people in three say they are afraid of losing a loved one because of the virus. Preparing, taking precautions can make all the difference. Time to make people aware of this. The study also shows that it is necessary to raise awareness of the theme of death and its potential impact on those who are left behind. That’s why AG is launching a awareness campaign with the slogan ‘We need to talk’.
Since the corona crisis, the theme of death has occurred in 6 out of 10 Belgian families
The Egérie survey commissioned by AG was carried out in two phases, the first in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic and the second in July of this year. This showed that the perception of death has changed in recent months. The theme was introduced in many families, as nearly 6 people in 10 were confronted with the coronavirus from close or far. According to the research, there was no real taboo on death in 2019, but Belgian families were not eager to talk to their loved ones about it or to take their precautions. After all, their priorities were different.
But since the corona crisis, more than 1 in 4 Belgians say they think of death more often … “Through Covid-19, the theme of death, directly or indirectly, has entered many living rooms. This does not mean that we know how to deal with it, but that we take into account that it can happen. So there is a lot of work to be done to inform people about this. Everyone needs an explanation of what a death can mean financially for those who are left behind, and what solutions exist for it,”says Joëlle Liberman, co-director of Egérie.
Only 1 Belgian in 10 has life insurance
The study also revealed an astonishing paradox: 85% of people think it is important to protect their partner and/or children, 60% think they have a clear picture of the impact of a death, but only 22% expect a death to have a negative impact on their standard of living.
“In our view, this is even an underestimate, which is probably due to a lack of information on or interest in the subject, or other short-term concerns. That’s why we see it as our job as an insurer to raise awareness,”says Stefan Junqué, Head of Marketing Life at AG.
He adds: “People protect their home, take out omnium insurance for their car, insure their liability to third parties, … But insuring the financial consequences of their own deaths for their loved ones is not yet a reflex in the Belgian, because this kind of insurance only comes in 5th place. Currently, 1 Belgian in 10 has life insurance, while almost 4 in 10 are convinced of its usefulness and necessity. They are aware that their own deaths will have a significant impact on the daily reality and purchasing power of their lovedones.”
“We need to talk!”
According to the research, less than 1 Belgian in 3 talk openly with their partner, parents or children about the financial consequences of his death. And as has already been said, there are even fewer who take action. But since Covid-19, we have seen – especially in the age group of the over-45s – that twice as many respondents talk about it with their children. “Talking about it is clearly the first step towards awareness and the need to act,”adds Stefan Junqué.
That’s why AG is launching a digital campaign ‘We need to talk!’ this month. The first objective is to make the theme negotiable within Belgian families. The message is clear. AG wants to be a catalyst, raise awareness in order to make this sensitive but important topic negotiable. “Some will have to break a taboo, others will have to think deeply about it. The goal is the same: to talk about it,”says Stefan Junqué. “By talking about it and learning more about it, there is a growing awareness of the consequences. In a second phase, we are taking the action together with our distribution partners: brokers, bank agents, … They have a close relationship with their customers and know their situation. Essential elements to address a delicate theme like this. ” (1)
Little knowledge, a lot of confusion
The main reason why few people take out life insurance is a lack of knowledge about the product. The results of the study speak for themselves. According to Joëlle Liberman of Egérie, most people see no added value in a death insurance because they don’t understand its benefits or simply don’t know the insurance.
“Today, one Belgian in two does not know what a life insurance policy is, and only one person in four is able to explain what it is. Moreover, almost one Belgian in three has the wrong image of it. They confuse a life insurance with a funeral insurance (which only serves to pay for the funeral, nvdr). Still others confuse them with a balance of debt insurance (which intervenes only in the event of death for the repayment of a home loan, nvdr).” Surprising, but encouraging: the youngest respondents were best informed.