Millions of Britons gamble with their families' futures by putting the lottery before life insurance

Article date: 23 August 2010

  • The average household spends more on gambling1 than life insurance.2
  • Only 20 million people3 - have life cover compared to 34 million people who gamble in some form.4

New research from Aviva reveals that only 41%3 of the UK population have life insurance, whilst a staggering 68% of people gamble in some form.4 Life insurance can cost from as little as £5 a month, yet the average household spends £13.80 a month on gambling. This shows more people fancy their chances of having a windfall than needing to have life insurance. This could mean they are playing Russian Roulette with their loved ones’ security, should the worst happen.

These figures are even more disturbing because one in three people die of cancer 5 and one in five people die from heart disease6.  And the odds of dying from a number of bizarre deaths are far more likely than winning the lottery.

  • Odds of winning the lottery - 13,983,816 to 17
  • Odds of being killed by a shark - 3,156,971 to 18
  • Odds of being killed by lightning - 258,326 to 18

Louise Colley, head of protection, at Aviva, said: “People know that protecting themselves and their family is extremely important, but many people wrongly think it’s too expensive and delay sorting life insurance. People gamble in the hope they may win the lottery, but put off life insurance thinking it won’t happen to them when it is one of the unfortunate guarantees in life.

“If people look at the average amount they spend on the lottery and other non-essentials, they could find they can protect their family more easily than they thought. With over 9,0009 customers receiving a payment for a life insurance claim last year from Aviva, this demonstrates the value of life cover.”

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For further information, please contact:

Louise Duffy
Aviva Press Office on 01904 452791 or 07800 690963

1. ONS, Family Spending Report, 2008. Based on £3.20 a week gambling expenditure per household.

2. Based on Aviva Term Assurance £125,000 over 20 years, 40 year old male, premium £12.50 a month.

3. Mintel. Life, Insurance and Protection, November 2008.

4. Gambling Prevalence Survey, 2007.

5. Cancer in the UK, Cancer Research UK, November 2009.

6. British Heart Foundation statistics, 1 in 5 men.

7. Source

8. Source. Datagraphic, David Candless.

9. Aviva, 2009 paid 9311 death claims.                                                       

Notes to Editors

  • Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific
  • Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009
  • We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe
  • Aviva’s life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 9.8%** and a leading position in its key markets of savings, protection and annuities
  • Aviva UK Health is one of the largest providers of income protection, group risk and private medical insurance in the UK covering over 2.8m customers. We also provide occupational health solutions and services to a wide range of industry sectors.
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*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

**Source: ABI data released May 2010

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