Report Shows Interest In Life Insurance Is At An All-Time High: Here’s Why

Report Shows Interest In Life Insurance Is At An All-Time High: Here’s Why


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A record number of consumers, some 39 percent, said they intend to purchase life insurance coverage within the next year, found the 2023 Insurance Barometer Study. Interest is at an all-time high.

The Insurance Barometer Study is conducted annually by Life Happens, a nonprofit organization that provides education about the insurance industry, and industry-funded research firm Limra. The study tracks the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of adult consumers about insurance in the U.S.

This year’s study also found that the intent to buy life insurance is even higher among Gen Z adults (44 percent) and Millennials (50 percent).

Overall, 52 percent of American adults said they already owned life insurance, and 41 percent of adults—both insured and uninsured—say they don’t have sufficient life insurance coverage. Just 40 percent of Gen Z adults and 48 percent of Millennials say they own life insurance, and nearly half say they either need to get coverage or increase their life insurance protection (49 percent and 47 percent, respectively), representing 53 million adults. For more details, according to a press release.

“Younger generations experienced a life-altering event just as they were starting their careers, getting married and having children,” said Alison Salka, Ph.D., senior vice president, head of Limra research. “The realization of how precarious life can be may have made them more aware of the need to protect their loved ones.”

Due to this high interest, the insurance industry is profitable again. But, The Wall Street Journal reports that many companies will miss out on this new tread as many insurers stopped selling policies when low rates cut into profits.

Allstate, for example, exited the life-insurance business due shareholder concern over low returns.

Many of the big U.S. publicly traded insurers don’t sell life insurance anymore.

“They’ve kind of packed up and gone home; Elvis has left the building,” Colin Devine, a former Wall Street analyst who now runs an industry consulting firm, told The Wall Street Journal. 

Because of the decrease in companies selling insurance to American consumers, fewer people have life insurance. Currently just over half—52 percent—of American adults own life insurance, down from 63 percent in 2011, according to Limra.

The industry is also far from diverse. Very few Black Americans to make it to the top of the life insurance industry. In 2021, Black agents represented just 9.26 percent of all agents and whites represented 66.37 percent, according to the job recruiting platform Zippia.

There are also different types of life insurance. There has been an ongoing debate over which type of life insurance holds more value to the average person–term life insurance or whole life insurance.

Whole life insurance offers permanent death benefit coverage for the life of the insured. Whole life insurance has a cash savings component, which the policy owner can draw or borrow from, according to Investopedia.

Term life insurance, also known as pure life insurance, is a type of death benefit that pays the heirs of the policyholder throughout a specified period of time. Under term life insurance, there is a guarantee of payment of a stated death benefit to the insured’s beneficiaries if the insured person dies during a specified term, Investopedia reported. These policies offer no value other than the guaranteed death benefit and do not feature a savings component.

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