Bad news is good news for Canadian brokers

It's funny, but perhaps no laughing matter, with new research identifying a host of unpleasant tasks your clients would rather do than research coverage options.

Risk Management News


When it comes to thinking about coverage, new research from TD Insurance is suggesting there are many unpleasant tasks Canadians would rather do in place of researching those options -- a reality likely to benefit brokers.

A recent survey commissioned by TD Insurance found that 62 per cent of respondents would prefer to shovel snow, spend a Saturday doing laundry, go to the dentist, or even wait in an airport security line rather than think or talk about insurance coverage.

The national survey also explored Canadians' ability to estimate risks and the likelihood of certain events.

The findings indicate that as a group, Canadians generally underestimate risks -- a phenomenon brokers have long worked to overcome.

For example, the survey found that 81 per cent of participants underestimated the likelihood of a home break-in, which is about 1 in 200 according to Statistics Canada. Furthermore, two thirds (67 per cent) of those surveyed reported seeing themselves as more safety conscious than the rest of the population, even though statistically this can't be the case.

"When the probability of risks are not well-known it can be difficult to seek out insurance coverage that offers the right protection," said Craig Richardson, vice president at TD Insurance. "We encourage customers to talk to their insurance providers to better understand their coverage."

The survey found that respondents were as likely to overestimate potential risks as they were to underestimate them. Asked to predict the chances of being injured, even slightly, in an auto accident in a typical year, 36 per cent underestimated the likelihood but 30 per cent overestimated. According to Transport Canada statistics the odds are approximately 1 in 130.

"Studies have shown that many people prefer to avoid thinking about negative situations, even if they believe those situations are likely to happen," said Dr. Edwin Weinstein, a Psychologist and President of the Brondesbury Group who advised TD on its research for this initiative. "Shopping for insurance is one of those times in life where you're forced to think about situations you would rather avoid. It's not surprising that people would choose to shovel snow than consider the possibility that unpleasant things can happen."

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