Australian consumers are taking a more active interest in their insurance and superannuation, as the impact of COVID-19 on personal finances continues to be felt.

We’ve undertaken new research that shows one in four Australians (28%) have undertaken some form of activity with regard to life insurance since the outbreak of COVID-19, and this number increases to 40% for people aged 18-34. This activity has primarily consisted of researching insurance online and speaking to family and friends about it.

Consumers are also actively thinking about their superannuation, with two-thirds (66%) of people still wanting to hear from their fund about their investments and what they can do to protect their super. More than half (52%) are also keen to receive information regarding life insurance inside their super. This is good news for the industry, as consumer engagement has been a barrier to ensuring people have the right products to meet their needs.

James Carey, Head of Group Insurance at MetLife Australia said the spike in interest in super and insurance was understandable, given the ongoing financial stress being felt by many Australians during COVID-19.

“Our research found that half of Australians claim COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their personal finances. Although the number of people reporting a ‘very negative’ impact has eased since March, there is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to job security and financial wellbeing, particularly amongst younger Australians.

“Financial providers, including superfunds and advisers, have a key role to play in helping consumers navigate this uncertainty. Consumers are continuing to look to their financial providers to guide them, particularly on topics like super investment performance and early access to their super balance,” Mr Carey said.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, super funds and MetLife have experienced a marked increase in enquiries for life and income protection insurance, reflecting the concerns of many during this uncertain time.

“While it’s encouraging to see so many Australians, particularly those in the younger age bracket, take active steps to secure their financial situation, the increase in enquiries we’ve experienced over the past few months suggests many consumer don’t fully understand what is and isn’t covered by different insurance products,” Mr Carey said.

“For example, income protection will cover you if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury but doesn’t protect against redundancy – which is what many consumers have been worried about since the COVID-19 lockdown began. There is an important opportunity right now for financial providers to educate consumers to ensure they have the right protection for their situation,” Mr Carey added.

Based on research in March and May 2020, MetLife has developed a guide to provide relevant and up to date insights to employers about the the transition and needs of their workforce over the coming months. Contact your Relationship Manager for more information about the research. 

Read the second phase of the COVID-19 Research today.