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Australians 'complacent' about insurance

6 July 2011 - 3:05pm

Overconfidence in government benefits programs has led to complacency when it comes to insurance protection in Australia, according to a new study.

MetLife's inaugural report on international employee benefit trends indicated that with more Australians living longer than ever before - for example, the proportion of citizens over the age of 65 will increase to more than 25 per cent in the next 40 years - the country's healthcare system will be faced with greater pressures.

However, with reliance on government benefits programs - such as employer-sponsored superannuation contributions - many Australians are not taking their insurance or retirement needs into their own hands. In fact, only 40 per cent of the employees surveyed in Australia for the international study claimed to have appropriate health insurance cover in place.

This, MetLife suggested, could represent a unique opportunity for employers who are looking to create loyalty incentives to improve staff retention.

Employers who act to expand their benefits offerings and establish education programs to help workers understand the value of their benefits "have a unique opportunity to distinguish themselves from their competitors", MetLife asserted.

Corporate health insurance policies are frequently offered by some of Australia's top employers, along with a range of other benefits. Some companies allow their staff to take additional time off for volunteer work, while others allow employees to take a day off on their birthday.