What's the value of life insurance in hard times?

What’s the value of life insurance during hard times?

life insurance securityBy Prudential

Feeling insecure about the future, Americans have a growing interest in financial products that offer guarantees, including life insurance. According to a report released by Prudential Financial, Inc.,“Life Insurance – A Guarantee in Uncertain Times,” 70 percent of those surveyed believe products with guarantees are worth the cost.

In fact, 94 percent of those who own a life insurance policy value the guarantee it provides, according to Gail Van Dalen, vice president of Individual Life Insurance, at The Prudential Insurance Company of America. In addition, Van Dalen says the study shows 72 percent indicate the economic downturn has “reinforced and deepened concerns about providing for loved ones.”

“Knowing their family will be protected provides peace of mind in an economy that has left many people feeling uncertain about their investments and financial future,” said Van Dalen.

Additional findings show that consumers value life insurance policy enhancements that go beyond the security of the death benefit protection. Early access to policy benefits in the event of terminal illness ranks at the top of the list, with 61 percent expressing interest in this feature to pay for medical bills. Other guarantees that generate interest include:

-The ability to waive the premium if a policy holder becomes disabled (58 percent).

-Waiver of premium for up to one year upon the loss of a job (55 percent).

-An increased death benefit should the insured die in an unforeseen accident (54 percent).

Van Dalen says financial stability (90 percent) and reputation (82 percent) are important factors people consider when selecting a life insurance company in the current environment.

Consumers should consult with a tax adviser regarding how these types of benefits may affect their situation. Riders and benefits may vary by state.