August 30, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Although half of households feel they need more life insurance, ownership of individual life insurance has hit a 50-year low, according to a new LIMRA study.
The Trends in Life Insurance Ownership study, conducted every six years by LIMRA, found 24% of households with children under age 18 want to speak with a financial professional about their life insurance needs; and a quarter of all households plan to buy life insurance in the next year. A similar percentage of middle-market households admit they don't know how to obtain or reach their financial goals, including buying life insurance.
According to LIMRA's study, one of the biggest obstacles is lack of information. A press release said almost eight in 10 U.S. households currently do not have a personal life insurance agent or broker to turn to and most of them say they never did.
The study found life insurance beat out all other sources of financial assets or income that Americans expect to use to help pay bills and to maintain their lifestyle in the event of the primary wage-earner's death. Only 44% of U.S. households have individual life insurance, and 30% (35 million) have no life insurance coverage. Among households with children under age 18, 11 million have no coverage.
Most individual life insurance policies are sold by insurance agents and the survey indicates many Americans want to keep buying in this manner. Sixty percent of Baby Boomer households prefer to buy life insurance face-to-face. Younger generations say they also are interested in gathering information about life insurance online and at their place of work.
"September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, the one time each year when the insurance industry comes together to remind Americans of the need to include life insurance in their financial plans. Hopefully, these findings will help us get people's attention and serve as a wake-up call that now is the time to take action,” said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation, in the announcement. More information is at http://www.limra.com/LIAM/?Lang=EN&Region=NA.