The emerging protection gap
WINDSOR, CT, Sept. 2, 2014 — A LIMRA study on middle-market consumers found that only 46 percent own individual life insurance, revealing a critical gap in protection.
While 60 percent own group life, the coverage often is less than individual policies and is only in place while the person is employed. One in four consumers in the study said they have no life insurance at all. Middle-market consumers also said they were not financially prepared for the death of a family member, with the majority (51 percent) indicating they would need to make a drastic or significant financial change if that occurred.
“Life insurance is the one product that can help families keep a roof over their heads, provide for basic living expenses and allow time to recover and heal from the loss of a loved one,” said Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global. “LIMRA’s research shows that people do not fully understand the risks they take by not having adequate life insurance coverage. ”
As always, advisors play a key role
Advisors play an important role in helping Americans ensure they have the life insurance coverage they need to protect their families. Half of middle-market consumers said they prefer to buy life insurance face-to-face with a financial professional. LIMRA’s study revealed that consumers want an advisor who can educate, listen and develop trust. In addition, 6 in 10 consumers said it is very important that their advisor represent a respected brand.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), an educational initiative developed by the Life Happens organization to remind Americans that it’s important to include life insurance in their financial plans.
“Our research revealed that half of middle market consumers are interested in learning how much life insurance coverage they need,” said Kerzner. “Efforts like Life Insurance Awareness Month can be a catalyst to start that important discussion.”
For this study, the middle market was defined as consumers ages 25-64 with annual household incomes of $35,000 to $99,999.
LIMRA is a strong supporter of LIAM and has published its annual LIMRA’s Facts of Life fact sheet on the importance of life insurance.
You can learn more about Life Insurance Awareness Month at: Lifehappens.org