Life Insurance Coverage Inadequate for Many: Survey

October 7, 2002 ( - A third of Americans 18 years old or older have no life insurance or, if they do, a third have coverage that's less than their annual income, a new industry survey found.

More than three quarters of those with life insurance protection that’s less than their annual income thought that was adequate, according to the Metlife survey.

Only 64% of full-time employees with dependents have any type of life insurance protection.   Of those that do have coverage, 58% revealed that the amount of coverage is less than three times their household income.  

The majority of those with this minimal coverage also believed the amount of coverage was adequate, according to the survey.

Employees need to consider whether three years or less of household income will be enough to provide for a child’s education and pay monthly expenses such as a mortgage, rent, car loan, or childcare over a long period, especially if they have not adequately saved for these expenses, Metlife said.

The MetLife survey consisted of 1,013 telephone interviews of consumers ages 18 and older between August 16-18, 2002.