Forgoing Individual Life Insurance is a Risky Move - Don't Do It

Forgoing Individual Life Insurance Is An Unnecessarily Risky Move – Don’t Do It

As more families continue to struggle to pay bills, the number of those choosing to forgo individual life insurance has increased. The Trends in Life Insurance Ownership study by LIMRA reveals that less than half of American households have life insurance.

When paying bills is difficult, it may seem like paying for life insurance isn’t a necessity. But the sad fact is that, if you’re just getting by, you’re among those who need life insurance the most. If something were to happen to the breadwinner in a family, many would have trouble meeting everyday living expenses.

“Clearly, more American families are living on the edge – surviving paycheck to paycheck – and, as our new study suggests, too many without the safety net that life insurance provides,” said LIMRA president and CEO Robert Kerzner. “A majority of families either have no life insurance or not enough, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones.”

While many more families have some form of life insurance than did just six years ago – and a downward trend in life insurance ownership has stabilized – more than 37 million American families are completely uninsured. Overall, 70 percent of Millennials own some life insurance, either individual, group or both, and that’s 10 percentage points higher than it was in 2010. Millennials’ ownership of individual life insurance has jumped 48 percent since 2010. As Millennials have gotten older they’re now beginning to get married, buy homes and have children. It’s those major life changes which have acted as spurs to drive people to shop for life insurance.

Top Reasons For Buying Life Insurance

The top three reasons Millennials own life insurance is to:

– pay for final expenses (funeral, burial, etc.): 49 percent

– replace income: 35 percent

– pay off their mortgage: 22 percent.

This aligns with the general population.

Families who have no life insurance coverage, 73 percent recognize they need life insurance and 62 percent say they would be in immediate financial trouble if a primary wage earner died.

Affordability. More than 7 in 10 American households say a reason they haven’t bought more life insurance is because they have other financial priorities such as paying off debt or saving for retirement. Nearly two-thirds say they cannot afford it. Almost half (45 percent) of all U.S. households say they plan to buy life insurance in the next year – an 80 percent increase from 2010. This was most likely among younger households (under age 45) and married couples with children.

Over half (51 percent) of all households say they would rely on life insurance to help pay bills and to maintain their lifestyle in the event of the primary wage earner’s death. Life insurance tops all other sources of financial assets for households earning under $50,000 annually.

The LIMRA’s Life Insurance Needs Model estimates that 48 percent of households, some 60 million people in total, have an average life insurance coverage gap of $200,000. That amounts to more than $12 trillion in total unmet market need.

Purchasing life insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. People can begin researching prices by going online to review life insurance quotes. A number of factors determine premiums, including age and health status.

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