Families suffer when women fail to count their contribution

29 November, 2007

Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurers, today urged Australian women to protect their family’s most important asset – themselves.

Many women either underestimate what it would cost to replace their contribution, or simply fail to recognise the importance of their contribution to their household income, according to Meredith Barnes, National Manager Business Development for Allianz Australia Life Insurance.

“Our research indicates that up to 41 per cent of women with dependents1 have no life insurance at all. And figures from IFSA show that many people have superannuation death cover only, which represents only 20 per cent of average life insurance needs.2

“Although none of us like to think about accidents or death, it is frightening to realise that almost 2.5 million families are open to the risk of financial hardship if either parent died,3” Ms Barnes said.

“With adequate life insurance in place, a family can maintain its lifestyle – home, cars, school fees and the like – even if one of the main income earners was unable to work. No one wants their children to experience the double shock of the loss of a parent and then a significant decrease in their standard of living.

“However, Allianz research indicates that women can be put off by a perception that gaining adequate coverage is costly, complex and time consuming.

“In fact, life protection can be very affordable. For example a 34 year old woman4 could get $500,000 worth of combined Life Insurance and Permanently Unable to Work Cover for $35.15 per month through Allianz.

“In terms of complexity and time, a woman can gain coverage with Allianz over the phone, or on-line in a few minutes, without the need for medical tests,” she said.

Ms Barnes also warns that women who don’t earn a full time income outside the home should seriously consider financial protection against serious illness or death.

“Women often don’t think about the financial impact that a serious illness or death could have on their family, even if they aren’t earning a full or part time income.

“But research shows that women do the equivalent of about $70,000 worth of unpaid work around the home5 each year.

“A housekeeper or nanny may need to be employed to replace the primary care giver, should something happen to them. Lack of funds to employ household help can have a serious impact on household income or might even threaten the job of the working partner.

“Regardless of the form a woman’s contribution takes – part or full-time paid work, unpaid household work or most often both – women should review their levels of life insurance to ensure the wellbeing of their family would be protected in a time of great need,” Ms Barnes said.

Notes to Editors

Allianz Australia

Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*
Awarded Five Stars by CANNEX for best value car insurance nationally**

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and more recently, a life insurer.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2006, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.

*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards
**A national five star rating is the highest rating awarded to national car insurance providers by CANNEX, September 2007

Media enquiries:

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia Insurance
Ph. 0416 088 414
Carden Calder
BlueChip Communication
Ph. 9018 8600 OR 0403 333 904

Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited (ABN 27 076 033 782) AFSL 296559 is the issuer of the Allianz Life Plan. We do not provide advice about the policy based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation and needs. To decide if it is right for you please read the PDS.

1 Source: Newspoll Market Research conducted for Allianz, August 2007. Based on women aged 25-49 with children under 18 years in the household
2 Source: Investment and Financial Services Association Cost of Underinsurance Project – Analysis of Life Insurance Needs, conducted by Rice Walker Actuaries, May 2005
3 Source: IFSA Media Release, Securing Australians’ Financial Wellbeing, Release on IFSA’s Life Insurance Headland Statement, July 2007.
4 Based on 34 year old female, non-smoker, with an office based occupation.
5 Source: ABS study ‘Time spent on unpaid household work’, 2001.