Australians are helping to support those without adequate life, income protection and TPD insurance resulting in an online crowdfunding boom, according to new research from Integrity Life.
Integrity’s research found that 35 percent of respondents said they have donated following the death, illness or accident of someone they may or may not know.
The nationwide poll of 1,000 people also found that 24 percent of respondents have made a donation to a family to help with medical and living costs after a serious accident or illness.
Integrity Life MD, Chris Powell, says, “Crowdfunding has helped so many deserving people at difficult times. That said, we only hear about a very small number of campaigns that do well, and mostly because of the publicity surrounding truly heartbreaking scenarios. However, there are many more people who raise a very small amount.”
Powell added: “GoFundMe and crowd fundraising websites are not a contingency plan, nor are they a substitute for adequate insurance. They have an important role to play as a last resort for those who are genuinely in need.”
“GoFundMe and crowd fundraising websites are not a contingency plan, nor are they a substitute for adequate insurance.”
The research showed that fewer than four in ten Australians (38 percent) felt that they had enough life insurance to meet costs of a funeral and ongoing living costs if the primary earner passed away, or medical treatment or other costs if the primary earner suffered a permanent disability or illness rendering them unable to work.
“Our research indicates that there are almost 11.5 million Australian adults who know they do not have enough life insurance in place to help them if the primary earner in their household lost the ability to support their family or worse still, their life,” said Powell.
“I expect the real figure would be even higher as people generally underestimate the financial impact of such a devastating event and the long-term effect on their life.”
An analysis of data by Integrity Life found that GoFundMe’s campaigns raise an average of $4,578 AUD for those needing assistance after the death of a loved one. This includes campaigns asking for assistance with funeral expenses as well as meeting ongoing living costs. Medical emergency campaigns appear twice as often, but raise the same amount on average ($4,578).
“With underinsurance so endemic across life, TPD and income protection categories, GoFundMe and other crowd fundraising platforms have become both a first stop and a last resort,” Powell explained.
“Unfortunately, most people don’t think they will ever need to call on life insurance but without it they’re forced to rely on the kindness and generosity of others and have their most private moments publicised. Sadly, even then the success of the campaign depends on someone’s ability to tell their story and share with their network.”