The number of individuals owning life insurance has hit a 50-year low, according to a new study.
Only 44% percent of U.S. households have individual life insurance, according to the Trends in Life Insurance Ownership study, which is conducted every six years by LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.
The number of U.S. households with no life insurance coverage at all has grown to 30% of households (35 million), up from 22% in 2004. Among households with children under age 18, 11 million have no coverage.
“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 Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA.”The numbers tell a grim story. Today there are 11 million fewer American households covered by life insurance compared with six years ago.”
More than 40% of Americans say a key reason they have not bought more life insurance is that they have other financial priorities right now, such as paying off debt or saving for retirement, LIMRA found.
But not having life insurance leaves families financially vulnerable, LIMRA notes. Among households with children under age 18, 40% said they would immediately have trouble meeting everyday living expenses if the primary breadwinner died today. Another 30% said they would have trouble keeping up with expenses after several months.