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Hungarians Need More Self-care, Allianz Survey Reveals

Analysis

From left: Tamás Bencsik and Levente Vámos of Allianz Hungária Zrt., Dr. Kitti Almási, clinical psychologist, and Péter Gergely, of BiztosDöntés.hu

Hungarians are among the least prepared for retirement and healthcare costs in the region, according to a recent survey by Allianz Hungária. The study also showed that Hungarians are less aware of the risks and challenges they may face in their old age, such as inflation and longevity.

Looking to explore the topic of self-care and the results from its survey in a more interactive way, Allianz Hungária hosted a roundtable discussion with experts on May 10 at Déryné Bistro, a well-known café and bakery on the Buda side of the city.

The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere at the bistro, a local favorite since 1914, greeted the participants, who included journalists and bloggers interested in self-care and financial literacy

The roundtable featured four speakers: Levente Vámos, head of sales, and Tamás Bencsik, head of personal insurance, both from Allianz Hungária Zrt., Péter Gergely, the founder of and a financial expert at BiztosDöntés.hu, and Dr. Kitti Almási, a clinical psychologist.

The speakers shared their insights and experiences on self-care, such as savings, investing, budgeting, health, and wellness. They also answered questions from the audience and engaged in a lively dialogue.

The event was part of Allianz Hungária’s “Start Making Cents” (Az öngondoskodó) program, which aims to raise awareness and knowledge about self-care and financial literacy. The campaign also features online videos and podcasts that provide helpful tips and insights on self-care topics.

The Allianz Hungária survey was conducted across 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and revealed that Hungarians have low savings, investments, and insurance coverage for their future needs.

According to the survey, only 28% of Hungarians have some form of pension savings, compared to 54% in Poland and 67% in Romania. Moreover, only 17% of Hungarians have health insurance, while the regional average is 34%.

Lacking Knowledge

The survey also showed that Hungarians are less aware of the risks and challenges they may face in their old age, such as inflation, longevity, and healthcare costs. Only 38% of Hungarians said they have a clear idea of how much money they will need for retirement, while 52% said they do not know how to calculate it.

The survey also found that Hungarians have low confidence in state-run systems in this field. Only 19% of Hungarians said they trust the public pension system, while 31% trust the public healthcare system. Those figures are well below the regional averages of 37% and 45%, respectively.

The survey results indicate that Hungarians need to take more responsibility for their own well-being and financial security, according to Allianz Hungária.

The insurance company said that self-care is not only about physical and mental health but also about financial planning and protection. It added that financial literacy and education are essential for making informed decisions and achieving financial goals.

Allianz Hungária also highlighted the role of insurance products and services in providing customers with peace of mind and stability. The company said it offers a wide range of solutions for different life situations and needs, such as life, health, pension, home, and auto insurance.

The company added that it supports various initiatives and programs to improve Hungarians’ financial literacy and self-care. For example, it sponsors the Money Week program, which educates students on financial topics. It also organizes workshops and webinars for its customers and partners dealing with self-care.

Vámos, head of sales at Allianz Hungária, stressed: “We believe that self-care is one of the most important values in life. We want to help our customers achieve their goals and dreams by providing them with comprehensive solutions and professional advice.”

Expectation and Reality Gap

Bencsik, the head of personal insurance, added, “We see a huge gap between the expectations and reality of our customers regarding their future well-being. We want to close this gap by raising awareness and offering products and services that meet their needs.”

To that end, the “Start Making Cents” campaign features online videos and podcasts that provide tips and insights on self-care-related topics, such as saving, investing, budgeting, health and wellness.

It also invites customers to share their stories and experiences on how they practice self-care and what motivates them. The best stories will be rewarded with prizes such as vouchers, books and gadgets. Lastly, the campaign aims to inspire and empower customers to take charge of their future happiness. As the slogan says: “Self-care is not selfish. It’s smart.”

Gergely of BiztosDöntés.hu noted: “Self-care is not only about taking care of ourselves physically and mentally but also about taking care of our finances. We must learn to save money, invest wisely and protect ourselves from unforeseen events.”

Almási observed that “Self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity. It is a way of respecting ourselves and our needs. It is also a way of coping with stress and challenges in life.”

Despite the low levels of self-care among Hungarians, Allianz Hungária expects positive trends in the future.

According to the firm, it has seen increased demand for its products and services related to self-care in recent years. For example, it has sold more than 100,000 life insurance policies since 2018. Its health insurance portfolio has also grown, especially among young customers.

The company expects the COVID-19 pandemic to have a lasting impact on the attitudes and behaviors of Hungarians toward self-care. Allianz Hungária said that the pandemic had highlighted the importance of health protection and financial resilience. The firm says it hopes that more Hungarians will realize the benefits of self-care and take action to improve their well-being and financial security.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of May 19, 2023.

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