Priorities out of whack as Kiwis putting shopping ahead of family

11 May 2016

New research findings reveal that New Zealanders under the age of 40 have their priorities out of whack because most say their biggest fear is being unable to provide for their families, but half would take a $1,000 gift card over a year’s worth of life and income protection insurance.

Free life and income protection did, however, beat out chocolate in the priority stakes.

A recent AMP survey1 of more than 600 Kiwis aged between 18 and 39 ahead of the launch of AMP Essentials2 - New Zealand’s first combined life, trauma and temporary disablement insurance product, linked with the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme – reveals that our biggest fear when it comes to loss of income for a third of respondents is not being able to provide for family (34%).

This was followed by those who did not like the idea of relying on someone else (28%).


"Half of respondents would rather have flights and accommodation for a mystery break (55%) or $1,000 gift card from their favourite store (54%) instead of a year’s worth of life and income protection insurance." - Therese Singleton

Is saying family most important only lip service?

Asked what is most important to them, half of respondents indicated that their partner and dependents are most important (52%). This was followed by their health (47%) and their lifestyle (36%).

Therese Singleton, AMP’s General Manager of Insurance and Investments, said that in the case of choosing one or the other option, half of respondents would rather have flights and accommodation for a mystery break (55%) or $1,000 gift card from their favourite store (54%) instead of a year’s worth of life and income protection insurance.

“So much for family and partners first. At least chocolate and sports didn’t do so well because the majority of respondents opted for the year’s worth of free insurance instead of all the chocolate they could eat (15%) or tickets to see their favourite sports team playing in the grand final (16%).

“This could suggest a thousand different things, like the fact that we’re comparing relative dollar values of the various offers and going for the best bargain, but mostly it’s a worrying indicator that we really don’t value our families as much as we say we do, and we’re more comfortable with accepting hand-outs than we should be — either way we’re effectively choosing to sell our families down the river,” she said.

Therese said that while the phrase ‘sell our families down the river’ may sound harsh, it is a sad reality that New Zealanders who choose not to make sure their families are taken care of (if something happens to them or if they are unable to earn a living for more than six months), were risking consigning their loved ones to a lot more hardship than is necessary.

Evidence Kiwi priorities are out of whack

Other indicators that Kiwi’s priorities are out of whack, at least between what we say and actually decide to do, include:

  • Three-quarters of respondents spend between $1 and $99.99 per month on car insurance (75%).
  • 61 per cent are spending between $1 and $99.99 per month on TV and household insurance.

Almost two thirds of Kiwis spend nothing on health insurance.

“What this says is that - with the exception of chocolate and sports tickets – we put our stuff, our holidays and shopping ahead of making sure our families are provided for if something were to happen that results in death, disability or the inability to earn an income for six months or more,” Therese said.

AMP Essentials launches to plug the gap

AMP recently launched AMP Essentials to help make basic life, trauma and temporary disablement cover accessible to Kiwis. It is only available to people who are also members of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme.


1606 participants completed the AMP Essentials survey. Margin of error+/-4% at the 95% confidence of interval (considered an acceptable margin of error).
2AMP Essentials is available to existing AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members only (members as at 21 March 2016. The offer is only available from Monday, 11 April for 60 days).

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