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Life Health > Life Insurance

Insurance trends to watch

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Too many Americans are woefully short of proper life insurance coverage, according to groups like LIMRA and the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. The reasons for this lack of coverage are manifold, and financial advisors are struggling to get consumers to understand the need for a product that protects those left behind, not the person purchasing the coverage.

The LIFE Foundation put together its outlook for 2008, locating four trends that it hopes will encourage more Americans to purchase the life insurance coverage they need:

  1. Premiums continue to decrease: Life insurance is more affordable than ever, due to people living longer and companies competing for premium dollars. “About three-fourths of Americans think life insurance is too expensive to fit into their family budget,” says David Woods, LIFE’s president, “but the reality is that that’s no longer the case.”
  2. Term life still product of choice, with whole life close behind: People are looking for something that doesn’t fluctuate with the whims of the stock market, and term and whole life products provide that. Term life sales were up 8 percent from 2006 to 2007.
  3. Combination products offer more options: The LIFE Foundation says industry experts agree that combination products will gain in popularity among consumers and carriers. Permanent products with long term care features are one example. Annuities with LTC features are gaining popularity, too. As combination products gain in number, consumers are going to need the help of advisors to choose the proper policy with the best features.
  4. Underwriting changes make insurance easier to get: Advancements in medicine have made it possible for people to live long lives with conditions that formerly shortened life spans. As a result, more people are able to gain coverage. Consumers with various forms of cancer, heart disease and even diabetes can qualify for life insurance coverage.

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