The UK is a nation in denial with the majority believing they're unlikely to suffer serious illness, unemployment or financial problems during their lifetime, research suggests.
Figures from AXA's latest international Protection Scope survey found more than half of those UK adults questioned (58%) think the are unlikely to suffer serious illness. A total of 71% believe they are unlikely to face unemployment while 76% thinking it's unlikely they will suffer serious financial strife.
AXA says the results of the study may help explain why a relatively low number of UK adults – 40% - have a health insurance policy.
The research also suggests the French feel they are most likely to suffer a serious illness (64%) or a serious car accident (69%), perhaps contributing to the high number of adults with health insurance. A total of 91% of those French adults surveyed had taken out health insurance.
AXA says, as a nation, Brits’ blasé approach to personal risk is reflected in their lack of financial and insurance planning, with just 38% of UK adults saying they felt very well insured against life risks.
It says many Brits instead rely on their family to help out financially when times get tough - 74% believe they can rely on financial support from family and relatives during a serious life risk which could explain why so many are not taking action to protect themselves and their families.
In Germany 89% believe that they can rely on financial support from relatives in times of need, whereas in Japan only 47% believe they would find themselves in that position.
Iain Mallon, head of protection at AXA, says: “It is particularly surprising to see how many people think relatively common life risks, such as unemployment, are unlikely to impact on their life, particularly at a time when the global economy is under pressure and we are facing wide-spread predictions of house-price falls.
“Despite the fact that many UK adults think life risks are unlikely to happen to them personally, the reality is that they can happen to anyone, and it's better to prepare for everything that life could throw our way.
“Families are vital for support, but to rely solely on them for financial help is not always the best option. We strongly recommend people seek advice from an independent financial adviser to ensure they have the financial protection they need.”
The research was conducted among a sample of 4009 adults aged 25 – 65 across a sample of 11 countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
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