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TD Insurance study finds majority of Canadians would rather avoid insurance decisions

TORONTO, May 6, 2014 /CNW/ - When it comes to thinking about insurance, new research has found that there are a lot of unpleasant tasks Canadians would rather do in place of researching coverage options. A recent survey commissioned by TD Insurance found that 62 per cent of respondents would prefer to shovel snow, spend a Saturday doing laundry, go to the dentist, or even wait in an airport security line rather than think or talk about insurance coverage.

The national survey also explored Canadians' ability to estimate risks and the likelihood of certain events. The findings indicate that as a group, Canadians generally underestimate risks. For example, the survey found that 81 per cent of participants underestimated the likelihood of a home break-in, which is about 1 in 200 according to Statistics Canada. Furthermore, two thirds (67 per cent) of those surveyed reported seeing themselves as more safety conscious than the rest of the population, even though statistically this can't be the case.

"When the probability of risks are not well-known it can be difficult to seek out insurance coverage that offers the right protection," said Craig Richardson, Vice President at TD Insurance. "We encourage customers to talk to their insurance providers to better understand their coverage. We strive to help customers weigh options against risks and factor in the necessary considerations to choose coverage that best reflects their needs."

The survey found that respondents were as likely to overestimate potential risks as they were to underestimate them. Asked to predict the chances of being injured, even slightly, in an auto accident in a typical year, 36 per cent underestimated the likelihood but 30 per cent overestimated. According to Transport Canada statistics the odds are approximately 1 in 130.

"Studies have shown that many people prefer to avoid thinking about negative situations, even if they believe those situations are likely to happen," said Dr. Edwin Weinstein, a Psychologist and President of the Brondesbury Group who advised TD on its research for this initiative. "Shopping for insurance is one of those times in life where you're forced to think about situations you would rather avoid. It's not surprising that people would choose to shovel snow than consider the possibility that unpleasant things can happen."

The results also showed risk assessments differ across gender and age groups. For example, men were more likely than women to identify themselves as above average in safety consciousness and health. Almost three quarters of men (72 per cent) said they were more safety conscious than others, whereas only 62 per cent of women made the same claim. And, at 53 per cent, men were also more likely than women to believe they were healthier than others their age - only 44 per cent of women identified themselves as having above average health. Interestingly seniors over 65 years of age were the group most likely to rate themselves healthier than others their age, with 65 per cent choosing this option.

"It's great to have a positive outlook in life, but it's also important to be prepared," said Richardson. "Our advice is to expect the best, but plan for bumps in the road. For example creditor protection insurance - on a mortgage, car loan or even a credit card - can help ensure one doesn't default on a loan in the case of a life event that makes it difficult to make payments."

About the TD Insurance State of Insurance Report

TD Insurance commissioned Research House (a member of the Environics Group), to conduct an online survey of 1000 Canadians aged 18 and older. Responses were collected from March 18 - 24, 2014. Analyses and interpretation was provided by the Brondesbury Group.

About TD Insurance

TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect customers including credit protection, auto, home, health, life, and travel insurance. With more than 4 million customers, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,150 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet, and telephone. For more information, visit

SOURCE TD Insurance

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