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Zurich Survey: The financial Crisis, Pressure at Work and Worries about the Family Keep Europeans Awake


Zurich, – A survey conducted by Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) in eight* European countries has found that pressure at work/school, the financial crisis and concerns about the family, keep Europeans awake at night. Getting sick or losing a loved one is seen as their biggest risk by most. Car, life and household insurance are considered to be the most important insurance products. All countries agree on one point: partner, family and friends provide most security to Europeans. At the same time, worries about the immediate social environment also deprives many of their sleep.

The representative survey was conducted by GfK in *Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. 4,522 people aged 14 and older were interviewed between September 12 and October 5, 2012.

Pressure, crisis, worries and noise cause sleepless nights

For the Swiss (42%), Germans (40%), Austrians (32%) and Russians (44%) pressure at work or at school are the most frequently mentioned reasons for sleepless nights. In Portugal (50%) and Spain (64%), the financial and euro crisis and in the UK (45%) financial problems rank first. The latter is also among the top three in Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Russia. For the Italians (42%) concerns about their family and children are most likely to keep them from sleeping. Problems with the immediate social environment rank as a top three concern in all other countries. Interestingly, the sleep of almost every third in the UK, Russia and Switzerland is affected by noisy neighbors and every fifth in those countries said their snoring partner was the problem.

Illness and loss of loved ones biggest risks

In all eight countries, people consider illness and the loss of a loved one to be their biggest risks. The Swiss are as afraid of an accident as of becoming dependent on nursing care. Also in Germany, Austria, Italy and Russia, the fear of being dependent on nursing care is classified as a high risk. The Britons and Portuguese, however, are more afraid of losing their job, while the Spaniards consider the risk of death or poverty as significant.

Car, life and household insurance

The most important insurance product for Portuguese (76%), Spaniards (70%), Italians (66%) and Russians (62%) is life insurance, according to the survey. The Swiss and Germans on the other hand put most emphasis on liability insurance. Car insurance ranks in the top three in seven of the eight countries. Also household and accident insurance are among the top mentions. In Russia, along with life insurance, the protection of children ranks first.

Health, financial security, peace and a secure job

Europeans are in agreement on one point: if they could insure steady health for themselves and their families, they would do so. In addition, financial security ranks among the top three mentions in all countries. The German-speaking countries would further insure peace, if it was possible, while in the Mediterranean countries and in Russia, a job guarantee is valued higher. And, to one in two Britons happiness is so important that they would want to insure it.

Partner, family, friends and work as a safe haven

The social environment (partner, family, friends) provide the greatest sense of security to Europeans. In seven out of eight countries, the employer and the workplace are very high in the rankings. The Italians, however, rather draw their security from insurance and pensions. One in five Swiss also sees the political system as a safe haven, very much contrary to Portugal, Spain and the UK where the outcome is at the other end of the scale. In Germany it is religion, in Italy and the UK the police and in Portugal and Spain the doctors provide a sense of security.

Note to Editors:
The detailed survey results are available under the following link:

For each country a video with the country-specific results of the survey are available to watch or to download in the local language at:
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Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurance provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East as well as other markets. It offers a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services for individuals, small businesses, mid-sized and large companies as well as multinational corporations. Zurich employs about 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries. The Group, formerly known as Zurich Financial Services Group, is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt program which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at


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