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Aviva: Half of UK Staff Want to Emigrate, Quarter Fear Worse Benefits When They Do

Posted on Apr 27, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa ()  | Tags: Aviva

A new study conducted by Great Britain's second largest insurer, Aviva PLC, reveals interesting developments on the changing attitudes of British workers when considering possible emigration from the UK. The study, facilitated by market researchers OnePoll, surveyed 1,000 British employees nationwide aged 18 to 45 from 31 March to 5 April 2011, and found that over half (54%) of respondents would now contemplate leaving the United Kingdom and moving abroad. While short respites outside of the UK have become more common, Aviva was surprised by the number of people contemplating better long-term prospects outside the country. Almost half (46%) of the respondents would consider a permanent move abroad compared to only 39 percent of those surveyed last year. One in five polled (21%) indicated however, that they would remain more cautious and only be prepared to move overseas for between one to three years. The unconvincing forecast for the British economy has been the primary factor in the growth of these figures. Aviva's survey discovered that 89 percent of respondents believed that the UK job market has been in perpetual decline for the last 3 years. More than half (54%) further admitted that government cuts have had a negative impact on their standard of living. Many of those surveyed claimed that the current culture of austerity and cost-cutting initiatives in Britain were now playing a key role in driving them to consider a move abroad. More traditional reasons for emigration from Britain were also represented in the report. Almost half (45%) of respondents indicated that they were motivated to move abroad in pursuit of a better year-round climate. A further third of those polled (31%) believed that a move overseas could offer a healthier, less demanding and more varied lifestyle, with a better balance of work and family time available. Aviva's research showed that the same five countries first identified in the company's 2010 study remained the principal re-location destinations of choice: Australia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and the US. Other countries mentioned as popular destinations included: France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UAE. Addressing the UK study, Teresa Rogers, business lead for international private medical insurance at Aviva, said: "When times are tough, it might seem natural to set one's sights on moving abroad. But our survey shows that there are certainly pros and cons to moving and people need to plan carefully if they are considering making their dream a reality." Indeed, the research highlighted that a quarter (25%) of British respondents worried that they might have worse benefits if they moved out of the country. More than a third (37%) acknowledged that they may have fewer state-funded privileges in their new foreign location. Mrs. Rogers further highlighted that uncertainty regarding quality of medical service in a new country remained a chief going concern for expatriates. "Health is clearly a primary concern for people and whether you're thinking of moving abroad for a short time or on a more permanent basis you need to take care to ensure you and your family are always properly protected," she added. Healthcare has been an increasing concern for Britons when considering a move abroad. Almost half (46%) of those polled believe the UK has superior health benefits to other countries worldwide. Over a third of respondents claimed the National Health Service (NHS) would be one of the British institutions they would miss the most if they left. This is an increase on last year's results which indicated only a quarter (25%) felt the same way about the NHS. Speaking for Aviva, Mrs. Rogers understood British concerns with regard to foreign healthcare services: "Healthcare provision varies greatly around the world and even routine medical care can prove costly in countries that don't offer a similar service to the NHS." Anxiety about medical services overseas, prompted six in ten (59%) responders to declare that they would factor heath insurance into their travel planning. In contrast, 38 percent of those polled, claimed they would not arrange any sort of health insurance prior to moving. Mrs. Rogers summarized Aviva's assessment of these figures: "Although it's very encouraging that over half of the people we spoke to would consider taking out international health insurance, over a third (39%) would sort their health insurance out only once they've arrived," she said, adding, "this could leave them in a difficult position should the worst happen." To better meet the needs of their expanding base of globally mobile clients, Aviva has been upgrading its international private medical insurance products. These upgrades range from structural adjustments in the application and claims handling processes to minor changes in global group coverage policies. Aviva has also been very proactive in expanding its operations to attract more potential clients worldwide. The company has established a presence in many of the increasingly lucrative Asian insurance markets through joint ventures with locally based insurance companies in order to capitalize on the rising demand for insurance products and services in the region. In Asia, Aviva currently operates out of China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Hong Kong, and recently agreed to acquire a 60 percentage stake in Asuransi Winterthur Life of Indonesia. Although Aviva has announced its intentions to pull out of its joint venture with First Financial in Taiwan, pending regulatory approval, the company remains otherwise committed to concentrating on both the Indian and Chinese key markets in the Asia-Pacific region and it's well established client base in Western Europe and North America. Insurance Company Mentioned Aviva AVIVA Europe's fourth largest insurance company, with more than 300 years of experience in the global insurance industry, Aviva is committed to the safety and satisfaction of its customers. They sell a broad range of insurance products including motor and property insurance, protection and health insurance, business insurance, life insurance and pensions.
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