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Benefits executives at OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. have an idea for how to improve Americans’ life insurance coverage: Make sure employers know that workers like having access to voluntary life insurance benefits programs.

OneAmerica, the Indianapolis-based parent of American United Life Insurance Company, is using a national press release to make the case that workers value voluntary life benefits more than many employers realize.

OneAmerica is one of the companies supporting Life Happens’ Life Insurance Awareness Month outreach campaign for 2017, which started Friday.

(Related: Life Agents Face Internal Awareness Threat: Marvin Feldman)

In the new press release, which was distributed through PRNewswire.com, OneAmerica contends that there’s a gap in employers’ level of voluntary life benefits value awareness.

Figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 59% of private U.S. employers offer group life insurance benefits. The take-up rate for those benefits is 98%.

In many cases, however, the group life benefits amount to just 100% to 200% of the workers’ annual salary. Many financial planners say family breadwinners’ need benefits equal to at least 700% of their annual earnings.

OneAmerica sponsored a survey of 2,167 employed U.S. adults in March. Just 45% of the participants said they had voluntary life insurance.

The survey team asked the workers without voluntary life insurance why they had none.

Just 14% said they did not see the value in owning more life insurance.

About 9% said they could not afford voluntary life insurance because they had other financial obligations to deal with.

About 45% said they had no voluntary life insurance simply because their employers did not offer voluntary life insurance.

Jim McGovern, senior vice president of employee benefits at OneAmerica, said in a statement about the results that persuading more employers to offer voluntary life would be a good way to improve workers’ financial security. For most middle-income families, “the workplace benefits is the only opportunity they have to purchase life insurance,” McGovern said.

— Read 3 Peeks Through the Voluntary Benefits Curtains on ThinkAdvisor.


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