Canadian Underwriter

Are you a stressed-out insurance professional? Join the club.

April 20, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Do you find the daily grind at your brokerage unbearable? You’re definitely not alone.

Two-thirds (66%) of working Canadians report moderate to high levels of stress at their jobs, according to a TD Bank Group survey released Thursday. But those in the insurance industry likely find themselves reaching for a bottle of Advil more often than not – three-quarters (76%) of insurance professionals said they experienced high or moderate levels of stress at their job.

A TD spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter that survey respondents were asked in which sector they currently worked and the level of stress experienced at their jobs (high, moderate, low, no stress or don’t know). Seventy-six per cent of respondents in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, as well as the healthcare and social assistance sectors, reported feeling the pressure: 13% said they were highly stressed and 63% were moderately stressed. Stress levels were a self-identified response and respondents were not probed as to why they were more stressed.

On a positive note, almost all survey respondents said it’s important to “invest in themselves.” But over half (53%) don’t invest in themselves as frequently as they’d like. And while working Canadians want to devote time to themselves, two-thirds (67%) can’t afford to do it as much as they’d like. More than eight in 10 (82%) polled said they would invest in themselves more if they had the financial resources to do so.

So what is considered investing in yourself? For most working Canadians (81%), this means taking a vacation. Millenials, however, are more likely than average to want to start or continue a hobby (54%), further their education (29%) or start a new business or side hustle (17%). Ideally, three quarters of working Canadians (74%) would invest in themselves a minimum of twice per year, and say their top motivators are relaxation (66%), refreshing themselves (62%) and improving their mental health (49%).

“Whichever way you choose to find balance in the daily grind, whether it’s a family vacation or starting a new hobby, investing in yourself doesn’t have to break the bank,” said Jennifer Diplock, associate vice president of personal savings and investing with TD Canada Trust, in a release. “It’s about setting a goal and managing your savings to ensure you have enough to refresh and re-energize yourself. Try setting up a ‘me’ fund and make regular contributions or, if you will receive a tax refund, use it as a starting point to help you achieve your goals.”

The TD Invest in Yourself Survey was a custom survey of 6,021 Canadians aged 18 and older. The results were based on responses from 3,653 working Canadians, including 260 in insurance.

TD offers the following tips to help Canadians invest in themselves:

  • Find your passion: Think about the activities you love doing and schedule time in your calendar to do them weekly or monthly. Don’t know what your passion is? Experiment by trying new classes, joining a new team or rec league, or organizing a group of friends to try new activities.
  • Use your tax refund: If you’re fortunate enough to receive a tax refund this year, like the 54% of Canadians who expect to, why not use it to invest in yourself? Taking a vacation or going back to school can be expensive, but your tax refund can help provide a start.
  • Take a staycation: Plan a vacation closer to home to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but have never gotten around to. For example, book a relaxing afternoon at a local spa, have a leisurely lunch at your favourite restaurant or explore the latest buzzed-about art exhibit. Staying close to home can be a more affordable option.
  • Start a ‘me’ fund: Investing in yourself should be treated like other items you’re saving for, like a car or new computer. Open a Tax-Free Savings Account that can help build savings faster and contribute to it regularly, or set up automatic transfers.

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1 Comment » for Are you a stressed-out insurance professional? Join the club.
  1. Investing in yourself can be simple things like going somewhere nicer for dinner, or whatever else you enjoy. I personally find vacations too few and far between to help.

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