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Poles' fears. Loss of health and income but there is something else

Lęki Polaków. Utrata zdrowia i dochodu ale jest coś jeszcze

According to the study, we are most often concerned about our health. Nearly 70% of respondents are afraid of serious health problems. This is followed by loss of income (67%). We are afraid of data theft on the Internet (66%), accident (63%), death (61%), permanent disability (59%) and hospitalization (58%), and 56% of us are afraid of losing our job. More than half of the respondents (54%) are also afraid of depression.
– The greatest concern concerns our health, which also translates into anxiety about our financial situation. The loss of the ability to work, as well as difficult access to free health care and medical expenses – do not fill Poles with optimism, says Ewa Mach, director of the Marketing and Product Department at BNP Paribas Cardif in Poland.

Our next worries are closely related to external conditions – armed conflicts, price increases and high inflation. Being in a state of anxiety and uncertainty, but also the fast pace of life, in turn, lead to a number of mental health problems, hence, for example, the fear of developing depression – comments Ewa Mach.

63% of women and 48% of men are worried about losing their job, and 62% of women and 47% of men are worried about depression. Young people are more afraid of mental health problems: 61% of respondents aged 18-24 and 61% aged 35-44, while among people over 55 years of age – 40%.

Social problems and their economic consequences

A high percentage of Poles (higher than in Europe) believe that unexpected life events such as the death of a loved one (63% of responses) and loss of job (59%) would not allow them to maintain their current standard of living. Additionally, loss of income is perceived by more than half of Poles (54%) as a very recent risk, which is a much higher result than in other European countries.

This year, for the first time, the survey included questions about the international situation and conflicts in the world, which 78% of surveyed Poles are worried about. Also for the first time, pollsters asked about fear of data theft on the Internet. As many as 66% of Poles are aware of the threats related to cybersecurity, and this is the most frequently mentioned concern after a serious illness and loss of a source of income. Interestingly, compared to respondents in other European countries, we are less afraid of climate change (59% vs. 72%). The oldest respondents are more aware of the consequences of global warming: 65% of people over 55 years of age. vs. 52% aged 25-34.

More than half of the respondents would like to be better protected in the event of a serious illness, and 40% in the event of inability to work or loss of work. The need for safety in the event of depression has increased by as much as 7 percentage points (from 18% in 2021 to 25% currently). Every fourth respondent would like to be better protected in the event of theft of their data on the Internet and car theft.
– The results of our study also show that Poles do not feel safe, and in the event of difficult events, they will have problems maintaining their standard of living. We recognize the need for better protection against unexpected events in life, which is signaled by Poles, says Ewa Mach.

There is a growing tendency for Poles to take out a mortgage and loans to buy a car, start a business, spend holidays and finance their children's education.

Poles are less worried about rising interest rates than other Europeans (57% vs. 62%), but they are more stressed about the risk of not being able to repay loans. Knowledge of insurance products that protect borrowers is not common. 34% of respondents had never heard of such security. Nearly half of them heard about this option but did not use it.

Information about the study: The “Protect & Project Oneself” study initiated by BNP Paribas Cardif was conducted between January 19 and February 13, 2024 in 21 countries, on three continents (Europe, South America and Asia) with the help of a research panel of the research company Ipsos. 21,000 respondents took part, including 1,000 people from Poland. The quota sample reflected the structure of the population in terms of: gender, age, place of residence and decision-making regarding financial products and services in the household.

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