News10 Oct 2017

Australia:Life insurance to be embedded in school curriculum

| 10 Oct 2017

Life insurance is set to join the school curriculum, in the latest move in efforts to help bridge Australia's vast underinsurance gap.

There's already a focus on educating students about general insurance products like car insurance, but life insurance needs more focus, according to finders.com.au citing ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell.

"We've trained, I think, more than 20,000 teachers so far over the last few years. So it's something that we're taking very seriously and putting a lot of effort into. But there is a way to go," he said.

Describing the efforts, Kell said the objective is to embed financial literacy elements into existing classes, like maths and science, rather than set it up as a separate subject.

Life insurance's first appearance as a potential classroom subject will probably be on the ASIC MoneySmart website in early 2018, among the other materials assembled for teachers.

"Young people are particularly at risk in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing consumer society as they are already making significant consumer and financial decisions." mentions ASIC teaching materials. Other key points which ASIC makes are:

"Students are growing up in a fast-paced consumer society where money is increasingly invisible and digitalised."

"There is a growing range of choice and complexity in consumer and financial products."

"There is increasing use of online and digital environments for shopping and making financial transactions."

"Individuals carry a greater level of responsibility for the decisions they make in these contexts."

All of these might be especially true of life insurance. Premiums are typically paid automatically - electronically, it can be an exceptionally complicated financial product and more life insurance buyers are moving to online channels and direct purchases, to cut out the cost of brokers.

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