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Genworth Financial Survey Identifies Needs Gap in Life Insurance Coverage

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A new study indicates that there is a significant gap between the amount of life insurance most Americans own and what they actually need. 

The report, published by Genworth Financial, Richmond, Va., finds that college-educated insured adults have 2.5 times the amount of life insurance coverage of adults who do not graduate high school or who only have a high school diploma.

For adults with a high school diploma or less, 60% don’t have any life insurance, while only 44% of college educated adults have gone without, the study found.

“Closing this coverage gap and bringing consumers to the table is one of our highest priorities,” says Janet Deskins, Genworth’s senior vice president for life insurance products. Deskins adds that life insurers are educating buyers about the importance of periodic checks to ensure adequate coverage.

“For what it costs to buy about three cups of coffee a month, a person could add enough additional coverage to meet their current needs,” she says. 

She adds that young singles, who may not be predisposed to buy life insurance, would be wise to seriously consider locking in today’s low prices and purchase coverage now. Deskins notes also that life insurance is as affordable as it’s ever been and that prices may not be this low again. 

“As an industry,” Deskins says, “our challenge is to persuade people from all parts of American society to view life insurance as a strategic financial asset—a tool to help families achieve their financial goals and protect what is most important to them.  Without coverage, a single event can defer and ultimately deny a family’s dreams of a secure financial future.”

She notes also that financial literacy empowers people to make informed and responsible choices.