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Givealittle no competition for insurance

Fundraising sites are more likely to serve as a reminder of the importance of insurance than to take its place, local industry commentators say.

Wednesday, May 29th 2019, 6:00AM

Internationally, there have been reported concerns that people might think of sites such as GoFundMe as a backstop in the case of disaster, rather than taking out insurance policies.

It has been reported that the site is being used to raise US$650 million a year to cover healthcare costs.

In New Zealand, Givealittle is often used by those who do not have cover and want to raise money for non-Pharmac treatments or other emergencies.

But insurance commentators said it was unlikely to be seen as a viable alternative.

Adviser Jon-Pal Hale said the amounts raised were not large enough to make a meaningful difference.

"There is the occasional story that generates a large response, but the majority are run-of-the-mill everyday issues that people ignore but can cover with insurance."

Russell Hutchinson, of Chatswood Consulting, agreed.

"I think [the sites] are more likely to remind people that sorting out insurance in the first place is preferable."

Partners Life managing director Naomi Ballantyne also said they served as a reminder of the need for a plan b.

She said the stories on Givealittle showed things would happen whether insurance was in place or not - but when people did have insurance, they did not have to turn to fundraising.

Hale said it was a mindset, not fundraising opportunities, that kept New Zealanders underinsured.

"Our fundamental optimism gets us out of bed in the morning, ignoring that life is finite and issues can happen to anyone. It is more the case of an attitude of it happening to someone else than the issue of pages like Givealittle."

Tags: Insurance Advisers Jon-Paul Hale Life insurance Naomi Ballantyne Russell Hutchinson

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