The pandemic triggered a great reset of Australians’ life priorities, says Bernard Salt, one of Australia’s leading social commentators. Speaking in a MetLife Australia Value of Life Insurance webinar, Bernard calls this reset a ‘control alt delete’ moment. For many, it’s manifesting in the search for security and driving the market for life insurance.

The pandemic caused us to reassess where we are in life

Bernard Salt: “It’s almost like the pandemic is giving us an excuse to sit down for two years and reassess what’s important to us in life. People are talking about ‘the great resignation’, which is one way this ‘control alt delete’ moment is manifesting.

“We’re rethinking how we want to live, where we want to work, the relationships we want and how we protect our family going forward.

All of that plays directly into the market for life insurance.”

Australians’ wealth is rising compared to the rest of the world

Bernard Salt: “Every April, the International Monetary Fund releases its global ranking of economies. It measures the economic output, the gross domestic product in US dollars, of every country on Earth.

“In 2020, those rankings were impacted significantly by the pandemic and Australia is rising. Australia, with barely 25 or 26 million people, currently ranks as the 13th largest economic force on the planet. Twelve months ago, we were number 14. We’re not too far behind number 12, Brazil, which has six times the population as Australia, and has had a shocking pandemic.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if in April 2022 the International Monetary Fund announces we are the 12th largest economic force on the planet. There’s no country ranked above Australia that has a lesser population – we’re really rich per capita.”

Australians are spending time and money ‘cocooning’

Bernard Salt: “What I think people are doing is taking money they would’ve otherwise spent in Bali and they’re buying home appliances, furniture and technology. They might be doing a bit of a renovation as well or even changing where they live.

“We’re nesting, we’re cocooning, we’re creating assets for our most valuable asset – our family. So we’re investing in it, and then we want to insure it. And then we will want to insure the income stream that funds all that.”

Australians are investing in their families’ quality of life

Bernard Salt: “What do Australians do with our wealth and prosperity? We certainly invest in physical assets like housing. We are also investing in superannuation, which is about our quality of life in retirement.

“Importantly, we’re investing in our families’ quality of life should anything happen to us. There is a natural trend at play as we age and go through different stages in the lifecycle. We think about different things as we partner up and have kids, our grandparents pass away and then our parents pass away.

“When this happens, we start to think about bigger-picture issues, like our own mortality. Therefore, we’re more inclined to see quality of life as an asset that needs to be protected for the people we love – and that is what life insurance is for.”

Learn more about Australia’s ‘control alt delete moment’ and the value of life insurance: MetLife Australia’s “Value of Life Insurance” report.