Australians urged to check insurance cover before Christmas festivities commence

Australians have been urged to check their insurance before spending big and living large at Christmas, after it was revealed only a third have life insurance.

According to research by life insurer TAL, only 37% of Australians said they have some form of life space insurance cover, a term that includes life, disability, income protection, and critical illness/trauma insurance.

While TAL suspects the number is actually slightly higher due to the number of Australians who receive some sort of complementary cover with their superannuation fund, the low number is still concerning given the amount of extra expenditure families undertake over the festive season.

The average family is tipped to splash out $4,154 in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

This high expenditure is coupled with higher rates of personal injury over the Christmas period with more than half a million patients attending NSW emergency departments from October to December 2013.

CEO Jim Minto said Christmas is the best time for families to check their insurance cover to ensure they are not caught out.

“Many families understandably take on debt over the end-of-year holiday season, making it an appropriate time to check on the adequacy of a family’s financial protection levels,” he said.

“People should live life to the full but make sure they also have financial protection in place which not only provides peace of mind but can help meet financial obligations if needed.”

That said, Minto stressed that caution was always important over the holiday season.

“Remember to travel safely over the holiday period and to think of those who depend on you and their needs for protection.”