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Survey : Australian mothers and life insurance

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A survey has found that Australian mothers prefer not to face the reality of getting life insurance. Even though 83 per cent say their untimely death would place a huge financial burden on their family, more than 62 per cent do not have life insurance.

And as many as one in four would prefer the nappies and one in five the discomfort of the doctor and dentist’s chair than addressing the issue, according to the survey by Lonergan research.

85 per cent of the 1032 women aged between 30 and 44 surveyed were frustrated with the industry, with costs, time and a lack of understanding of the benefits the main concerns.

With two thirds of the surveyed mums in charge of household administration, this leaves a lot of families uninsured.

Dee Madigan, panellist on ABC TV’s The Gruen Transfer and creative director of Madigan Communications, said for mums the “what happens if I die” question is “almost too awful to deal with”.

“Insurance is really tricky to sell because you’re basically selling a product people will hopefully never need,” Ms Madigan said.

“We know from lots of research that if you show something truly tragic, rather than motivating people to act, it has the opposite effect – people shut down and don’t respond. That’s why even life insurance tends to be dealt with in a reasonably light-hearted way.”

Anecdotal responses to ad campaigns on the internet show the difficulties the insurance industry has getting it right.

“Most of the ads seem to focus on ‘what if the husband dies’,” says Ms Madigan, which may explain why they struggle to attract female customers.

If it’s not women comparing the cost of insurance to gossip mags over a drinks break at the tennis club, it’s a middle aged woman rapping in her bakery.

Canberra mother-of-three Pirra Jaide is typical of who the industry is trying to reach but says while she has health, car, and home and contents insurance she does not life insurance.

Ms Jaide says the ads were “really annoying” and failed to convince her because they did not adequately represent her. Even though I’m in my mid-thirties, most of the women in these ads come across as being older and you don’t identity with them,” she said.

“No one likes to think about their own death. So [life insurance] doesn’t really register on the radar. When you’re young you don’t really think death is something that is going to happen to you. The protection of your health and your family’s health is a little more immediate and ongoing.”

Amanda Connors, marketing director for Priceline, which has just launched a new insurance product aimed at women with families, says: “So far the insurance industry hasn’t been able to find a way to really reach mums.”

“Mums, more than anyone, know how important it is to safeguard their families – they do it every day, but they don’t want to have to trawl through masses of paperwork and jargon when it comes to insurance.”

Source : News.com.au