The survey indicates that 35 percent of respondents buy life insurance to replace income lost when an insured dies. (Among married couples, the proportion is 38 percent). This compares with smaller percentages of respondents who buy life insurance to pay for:
- Funeral/probate expenses (28 percent);
- Pay off mortgage debt (18 percent);
- Leave an inheritance (11 percent);
- Pay for expenses like college tuition, healthcare or emergencies (4 percent);
- Secure an income or estate tax advantage (3 percent); and
- Contribute to a charity/non-profit institution at death (1 percent).
When asked what they would be willing to give up for life insurance with living benefits, a plurality of those polled (36 percent) say they would not be willing to give up anything. Fewer respondents say they would be prepared to forgo:
- Eating out (25 percent);
- Driving a more expensive car (12 percent);
- Their morning cup of coffee (12 percent);
- Their next cell phone upgrade (8 percent);
- Their next planned vacation (5 percent); and
- Their annual bonus at work (2 percent).
When presented with examples of additional benefits available through some life insurance policies, “access to money if I become chronically ill” is the most popular option, with 62 percent of respondents noting it as the most valuable benefit. Half of all respondents say “access to available money to supplement retirement income” is most valuable, followed by those who choose “access to money to help fund college education” (22 percent) as their top selection.