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ING U.S. Study: Lack of Coverage, Lack of Communication

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Many couples avoid discussing their life insurance situation. Forty-five percent of respondents to a new study said that they “rarely or never talked with their spouse” about how one spouse’s passing would impact the family’s finances. 

ING U.S.’s most recent study, Insurance Revealed, found that uninsured men would not broach the topic, with 65 percent of them and 55 percent of uninsured women saying they rarely discuss it.

The study comes out amongst a barrage of other studies released for Life Insurance Awareness Month by major insurers that all seem to have the same unsettling thesis: Americans are woefully either uninsured or underinsured. Of course this makes for a huge number of potential sales.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said that they were aware of the need for life insurance and that they found it to be a valuable tool for estate or financial planning. Fifty-one percent said that the current economic environment creates even more of a need for life insurance however, that same economic environment has forced them to devote all of their finances into more immediate needs such as paying the mortgage or paying down debt; unfortunately, were the breadwinner to pass away during this process with no life insurance, the living spouse would be even further embattled financially.

Many families do not even know how much life insurance they would need to have in place to continue their standard of living were the main breadwinner to pass; 61 percent of families had never calculated their life insurance needs.

Regarding the appropriate amount of coverage, the study found that 44 percent of Americans were not confident that the amount of coverage that they had in place would be sufficient.

The study emphasized the important role that the workplace plays in obtaining coverage. Close of half of the respondents said that their employer was the primary place that they looked to obtain coverage. Employees with no access to life insurance in the workplace were seven times more likely to have no coverage at all.

Purchasing life insurance face-to-face with a financial professional gave respondents a strong sense of confidence.