Manulife Financial Survey shows Canadians aren’t confident they have enough insurance

WATERLOO, ON, April 15 2009 – According to a recent survey by Manulife Financial, no matter how much life insurance Canadians own, half of us aren’t confident we bought the right amount. In addition, more than half (54 per cent) underestimated the amount of insurance they need. Only 26 per cent knew that 10 times’ your annual income is the recommended benchmark.(1)

This means many Canadian families could face financial hardship if something happens to their primary income earner. This becomes even more relevant in today’s economy, where many Canadians have seen their financial cushion depleted as their investment portfolio declined.

“One reason Canadians aren’t properly insured is because they don’t always know what type to buy or how much coverage they need. There are so many insurance products on the market today it can be confusing, and the whole process of buying insurance can be frustrating and intimidating,” says Paul Smith, Vice-President of Insurance Marketing and Product Development for Manulife Financial.

Manulife recently revised Insure Right – a program designed to help Canadians get the right insurance to protect themselves and their families. The basic principle of Insure Right is that there are five steps to having the right amount of insurance.

“The first step,” says Smith “is to find the right advisor. An independent financial advisor can use Insure Right with you to assess your needs and determine not only what kind of insurance, but how much you need.”

The Insure Right program also includes an interactive video to help consumers understand their need for life insurance, as well as critical illness and disability insurance. Based on the survey, most Canadians are not at all or only somewhat familiar with critical illness and disability insurance.(2)

Another key component of the Insure Right program is an online calculator that answers an important question consumers often ask, “How much coverage is enough for me?” According to Smith, Insure Right helps consumers determine the right type and right amount of coverage at a price they can afford. “It lets them make informed decisions so they can feel confident that their family is properly protected in today’s economy and into the future.”

For more information, visit www.insureright.ca.

1,2: The survey was conducted by Research House National Telephone Omnibus Survey, between December 11 – 18, 2008 with a national random sample of 612 Canadians between 25 – 45 years of age. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.96%, 19 times out of 20.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$405 billion (US$330 billion) as at December 31, 2008.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.