Wall Street Italia | March 2023

Italians love life more than any other inhabitant of planet Earth: Italy holds 75% of the world’s artistic heritage and is the fourth OCSE country for longevity, with an average life expectancy of 85 years.

Italians, or better, most Italians suffer from the Peter Pan syndrome: they live an everlasting youth and refuse to grow up, take responsibilities or make decisions.

Italians dislike risk, yet they do not insure or take precautions against the more frequent and unavoidable accidents concerning health, life, and loss of self-sufficiency.

In Italy, €15 billion are spent every year: of them, €9 billion in caregivers and €5 million in nursing homes.

Only 20% of Italians have considered the issue of inheritance or protecting assets for their heirs, as compared to a European average of 50%.

Moreover, only 5% of them have taken care of the issue in a practical manner and only 2% have received a proposal from a financial professional, be them a financial advisor, a banker, an insurance agent, or a notary.

In terms of insurance coverage, Italy is the least virtuous country: 80% of Italian families own a home (28% of them also own other properties) and only 25% of them are insured against explosions, fires, or floods.

Data pertaining to insurance against accidents offer an even bleaker picture: only 14% of Italians are adequately protected against injuries, 13% have taken out life insurance, 11% hold a liability insurance (which costs a few dozen euros) and 4% have taken out a medical expenses insurance.

Considering that the insurance market is notoriously driven by the supply, insurance companies and their agents should take some time to think and self-analyze.

In fact, among the disincentives to subscribing insurance policies is a lack of trust felt by one third of Italians together with the certainty that, in case of accident, the company would go to great lengths to avoid or only partially settle a claim (34%).

Then, the lack of proactivity of the supply, which appears more inclined to sell products (74%) rather than focusing on the life plan of an individual and their family (12%).

It is common knowledge that a house is built from the ground up. And it should be equally clear that a good financial advisor should assess the insurance coverage of their clients before suggesting an investment. 

Considering that people keep liquid assets in case of emergency, fighting risk through insurance would free resources to be invested and allow investors to avoid liquidating assets prematurely.

If not now, when? And who, if not financial advisors?

Nicola Ronchetti