Coronavirus and unemployment fears fuel interest in life insurance

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, Britons have been giving more thought to life insurance

The author(s)

  • Jamie Talmage Market Strategy & Understanding
  • Flora Vieites Divisional Director, FRS
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New research from Ipsos MORI’s Financial Research Survey reveals that since the coronavirus outbreak Britons have increasingly been thinking about life insurance.

Although six in ten (60%) Britons currently say they don’t have life insurance, more are actively considering taking it out. One it 10 of those without life insurance now say they are considering it, compared to only 4% before the coronavirus outbreak.

Increased interest in taking out life insurance has occurred across all age groups with consideration levels highest amongst those aged between 25-44 and perhaps unsurprisingly greater among those with children.

Buying life insurance 

The way Britons purchase life insurance is also changing. More customers are now buying cover directly themselves from providers rather than through advisors. Almost six in ten customers (59%) now arrange direct compared with 54% 12 months ago. 

The role played by special offers, discounts and advisor recommendation in the purchase decision has also reduced. Only 21% of customers now say that special offers and discounts are an influencing factor in the purchase decision, down from 31% 12 months ago. Similarly, advisor recommendation has fallen, whereas, the role played by policy features and the reputation and image of the policy provider has gained in importance.

Jamie Talmage, Associate Director at Ipsos MORI, said:

Coronavirus appears to have increased general interest in life insurance amongst people who don’t currently have cover, with heighted concerns about unemployment in particular stimulating interest in protecting against income loss. 
The disruption to advisers’ ability to do business during the initial stages of the coronavirus outbreak may also have contributed to the upturn in direct arrangement.

These are the findings from the Financial Research Survey (FRS)

Financial Research Survey (FRS) 

  • The FRS is a large continuous survey covering product holding, acquisition and usage behaviour across consumer banking and insurance products within Great Britain. Interviews are conducted online, face to face and telephone and weighted to reflect the overall profile of the adult population.
  • Representative sample of 13,685 interviews were conducted between May-July 2020 among adults aged 18+, 13,377 interviews were conducted between Jan-Mar 2020 among adults aged 18+ and 14,657 interviews were conducted between May-July 2019 among adults aged 18+.
     

The author(s)

  • Jamie Talmage Market Strategy & Understanding
  • Flora Vieites Divisional Director, FRS

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