76% of New Zealanders rethinking their financial risk in wake of catastrophic weather events

2 min read
April 3, 2023

Early data from the Financial Services Council’s (FSC) 2023 Financial Resilience Index research shows New Zealanders’ attitudes to managing risk are changing, with levels of insurance up from 2022 and recent weather events prompting many people to think more about their financial situations.

Just over three quarters (76%) of respondents to the FSC survey say the recent weather events have prompted them to think about how they protect themselves and their families.

Although 32% of those respondents stopped there, others have been taking real steps to either start a conversation or relook at their finances as a result. 16% state they are actively reviewing their financial situation, and 29% have spoken about their financial situation with their family.

FSC Chief Executive Officer, Richard Klipin, says, “Pandemics, cost of living crises and cyclones are – sometimes quite literally – the rainy days that prompts us to think about how we protect ourselves when things go wrong.

“The upside is that now more of us are thinking and having conversations about how we manage risk, which is vital in this time of economic uncertainty.”

This rethinking risk has also translated into increasing reported levels of insurance since 2022:

  • 39% report having life insurance (up 1%)
  • 37% report having health insurance (up 5%)
  • 22% report having trauma and critical illness (up 4%)
  • 20% report having income protection insurance (up 9%)
  • 17% report having total and permanent disability (up 3%)

“These rises are likely a reflection of the instability of the past few years, with the world experiencing several ‘black swan’ events in the form of COVID-19 and a global economic slowdown creating tough times for many people and businesses.

“If there’s a silver lining to the past few years, it’s that these events are starting more conversations in households and encouraging New Zealanders to take steps to manage their financial wellbeing,” says Klipin.

“This is important as Life and health Insurance  sector pay outs remained high across 2022. Life insurers paid out $1.06 billion in claims, while health insurers paid out  $1.41 billion in claims.**. Claims support Kiwis in their times of real need and stress” said Klipin.

“While the Financial Resilience Index’s early finds are encouraging, we still have a long way to go. Our work as an industry doesn’t stop until we’ve significantly lifted the financial confidence and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.”

The full Financial Services Council’s 2023 Financial Resilience Index research report with deeper insights across the financial services industry will be released on Wednesday 3 May 2023.

 *The FSC survey does not include general insurance.

** Life insurance data comes from the FSC’s December 2022 life insurance industry data. Health insurance data comes from the FSC’s December 2022 Health Insurance Spotlight and is comprised from data representing six of New Zealand’s eight health insurance providers.


For all media enquiries, please contact:

Richard Klipin
Chief Executive Officer
Financial Services Council of New Zealand 021 0233 5414 or richard.klipin@fsc.org.nz

About the research

The Financial Resilience Index is an annual tracking survey that the FSC has carried out since March 2020. It monitors relevant trends in addition to tracking five key indicators: financial confidence, financial literacy, financial preparedness, job security and wellbeing.

The research was conducted via an online survey developed and hosted by CoreData. 2023 data was collected between 7 March and 13 March 2023. A total of 2,030 valid complete responses were collected in March 2023. All samples are representative of the New Zealand consumer population in terms of age, gender and income based on the latest Stats NZ data. The data collected forms the basis of this report.