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Adam Jolley

29% of Brits uneasy talking about death


Almost a third of people aren’t comfortable discussing death, leading many to ignore important life insurance cover, new research shows.

woman having uncomfortable conversation

Last year almost 600,000 deaths were recorded in the UK - a not-so-cheery little fact.

But death is the topic that people would most avoid talking about, with 29% of people saying they find it difficult to discuss.

An unwillingness to discuss other taboo dinner party topics such as money, avoided by 9% of Brits, politics (8%) and religion (6%) pale in comparison.

This is according to exclusive research by

'We're in denial about death'

Judi James, body language and communications expert, says: "Our issues around death probably go deeper than sheer fear.

"In many ways death feels almost extinct in modern life.

"As we push back the boundaries of ageing we might also be in denial about death, feeling subconsciously that we have made dying an option rather than a certainty.

"Unlike our predecessors who lived with death as a result of wars and illness, today we see it almost as an uncommon occurrence rather than a natural part of living."

Brits not planning for financial future

James says one of the effects of our unwillingness to confront our eventual demise is that "we invest in our living rather than our dying and don't plan for our financial future."

The research backs this up, suggesting our culture of death denial could be stopping some people from taking out important life cover.

More than half - 59% - of Brits polled by admitted that they don’t have life insurance.

Of these, 64% said they don’t have any other type of financial fallback if the worst were to happen.

Confusion over what 'life insurance' is

The actual term "life insurance" may not be helping things much, with confusion around the subject having been identified in the research.

Nearly one in six - 15% - Brits incorrectly view life insurance as a way of protecting themselves financially in the event of injury, disease and sickness.

In fact life insurance is designed to help your dependants should you die.

Polices cover a range of expenses such as paying off a mortgage, funeral costs or leaving a nest egg for your loved ones.

Life insurance renamed 'end of life' insurance

When asked, 43% of people that took part in our research felt the term life insurance could do with being renamed to accurately reflect what it is.

The top five terms suggested were:

1.) End-of-life insurance – 18%
2.) Family protection insurance – 16%
3.) Death insurance – 15%
4.) Life after death insurance – 13%
5.) Family insurance – 8%

Death still a taboo subject

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at, says: "Death remains a taboo subject for many people.

"However it’s a subject that needs to be addressed and talked about within families.

"The benefit of life insurance is peace of mind for you, and financial protection for your family.

"Knowing your family can support themselves and still have a quality of life after you’ve died is, in many ways, priceless."


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