There’s been much hand-wringing over the historically low levels of life insurance ownership. Yet there are some bright spots in the individual life insurance market.

One among them: middle class African-Americans. According to the industry group LIMRA, about 6 in 10 middle-market African-American adults own life insurance. That compares to just 46 percent of all adults ages 25-64 in the middle market, or those with household incomes between $35,000 and $100,000.

Related: Asian-Americans: an essential life insurance marketing demographic

The ownership gap between blacks and the general population is mirrored in the two group’s views on life insurance. Fully 70 percent of middle-market African-Americans, LIMRA notes, “strongly agree” that people need life insurance to guard against the risk of financial loss. This contrasts with about 50 percent of the general population.

LIMRA’s findings, it turns out, are not outliers. A new survey from MassMutual Financial Group reveals that nearly half (49 percent) of African-Americans desire to “leave a positive life legacy” for heirs.

“Black families are very concerned with making sure their families will be taken care of financially in the event of their death,” says MassMutual African American Market Director Evan Taylor in a press statement.  ”Without end-of-life planning, children and family members may be faced with unnecessary difficulties.”

More than one-third (34 percent) of African-Americans who say they have documented important financial information named a spouse or significant other, and 16 percent selected a brother or sister, as a trusted contact that has access to their important financial information in the event of an emergency.

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Fully 70 percent of middle-market African-Americans, LIMRA notes, “strongly agree” that people need life insurance to guard against the risk of financial loss. (Photo: iStock)

Fully 70 percent of middle-market African-Americans, LIMRA notes, “strongly agree” that people need life insurance to guard against the risk of financial loss. (Photo: iStock)

The MassMutual also offers the following tips to help advisors plan for clients’ financial future:

    • Capture critical financial information about what loved ones need to know in the event of the death of primary breadwinner.

    • Annually review and update information about policy beneficiaries.

    • Draft a will detailing how clients’ property should be managed after their passing.

    • Calculate the client’s Social Security benefits in the immediate years preceding retirement. In a separate survey MassMutual sponsored in 2015, nearly half (46 percent) of African-American respondents failed a true/false quiz when asked basic questions about Social Security retirement benefits.

MassMutual conducted its “Lasting legacy survey” using an Ipsos Omnibus online poll in August 2016 among 2,500 Americans, including 500 Latinos, 500 African-Americans and 500 LGBT people, their ages varying between 45 and 60.

 

Related: 

A holistic approach to reaching African-American consumers

How to sell insurance to women

One year after landmark court case, financial picture for LGBT people is mixed

4 things you should probably be doing to reach Latinos

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