Baby boomers generally recognize the advantages of having long term care (LTC) insurance but for the most part have not purchased it, New York Life Insurance Company finds.

N.Y. Life’s survey of boomers–those between age 46 and 64–showed 87% believed having LTC insurance helped protect families from having to pay for care, 85% thought it provided peace of mind, 84% said it helped keep retirement savings intact and 70% thought it would help them to leave an inheritance.

Of boomers whose parents had LTC coverage and used it, 72% called it a good value. The benefits of LTC coverage: reducing the family’s financial contribution to care (cited by 84% of those surveyed); lessening the time family members devoted to parental care (77%); increasing the quality of care (76%); and preserving the parents’ nest egg (70%).

Baby boomers whose parents had LTC insurance were more apt than other boomers to think about how they would pay their own LTC bills. Of boomers whose parents had the coverage, 64% stated they were likely to buy the insurance, compared to 37% of boomers whose parents did not have the coverage.

Among those who had dealt directly with a parents’ LTC needs, only 9% said they had individually bought LTC coverage, N.Y. Life found. Ownership of this insurance was higher among those who parents also owned LTC insurance–17%, vs. 7% for those whose parents did not have LTC coverage.

But among all those surveyed, 47% agreed with the statement that LTC insurance “is not worth the cost because you may never use it.”

The survey was conducted on line among over 1,000 Americans ages 46 to 64 by Mathew Greenwald & Associates.

-Trevor Thomas