Zurich has warned of a "gap in consumer awareness" after a survey for the group revealed more than a third of savers could not say how they would go about defending their money against rising inflation.
Some 37% admitted they did not know how to do so, with the proportion rising as the age range fell - 43% of those aged 18 to 24 being unsure compared with 29% of those aged 65 and above.
The findings followed the news UK inflation reached 2.3% in February and stayed there in March - its highest level since September 2013, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Last November, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research thinktank predicted inflation could soar to 4% during the second half of 2017. This represented a significant rise on its previous forecast of 3% in August.
Zurich - for whom YouGov surveyed more than 4,000 UK adults online in February - warned millions of people would see their savings shrink if they did not know how to achieve sufficient growth to outpace inflation.
Coming some distance behind the 37% who were 'don't-knows, 27% of those surveyed picked investing in property as the best way to beat inflation, followed by a cash ISA (13%) a stocks and shares ISAs (7%), bank and building society accounts (6%), the stockmarket (4%) and pension savings (3%).
'Gap in consumer awareness'
Zurich head of retail platform strategy Alistair Wilson (pictured) said: "Rising inflation is eating away at the nation's savings and the reality is many people don't know how to fend it off.
"A gap in consumer awareness over how they can protect their savings from inflation could mean many people will see their wealth simply drain away."
Pointing to the survey's finding that almost twice as many people thought a cash ISA would offer better protection against inflation than a stocks and shares ISA, Wilson warned the rise in the ISA allowance to £20,000 this tax year could leave still more savings at risk of being eroded by inflation, if left in cash.
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Will report to Pat Shea