Hong Kongers’ income protection inadequate – Zurich

Half of workforce does not have sufficient savings to cover long-term income loss

Hong Kongers’ income protection inadequate – Zurich

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Hong Kongers are extremely vulnerable to loss of income caused by a tragedy, according to a report by Zurich.

A study of 11 markets worldwide, titled “Embracing the income protection gaps challenge: options and solutions,” revealed that Hong Kongers feel they are most vulnerable to income loss, with only 25% saying that they are not at risk of income loss, compared to the 38% average for all markets.

More than half (54%) of Hong Kong’s workforce said that they have experienced income loss due to illness or disability. While around 50% also shared that they do not have sufficient savings to cover expenses in case of income loss lasting longer than six months.

“The study highlights a serious issue with income protection gaps in Hong Kong,” Eric Hui, CEO of Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong) said. “Income protection is not a pleasant topic, and it's complex, so people often need a trigger to motivate them to act. We hope the report will stimulate debate, and help more people in Hong Kong prioritize income protection, seek professional advice, and formulate a long-term plan.”

The report suggested that the government, employers, insurers, intermediaries, and individuals should all work together to close income protection gaps among earners in Hong Kong.

Insurers were encouraged to develop accessible insurance products to introduce via employers, with additional features available for individuals seeking additional protection.

Meanwhile, insurance agents, brokers, banks, employee benefits consultants, and others were reminded that they have important roles that go beyond just linking supply and demand. Intermediaries must also advise and educate customers, both employees and individuals, and help insurers become more informed with market and customer sentiments.

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