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Few Americans Think They Own Annuities

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Life Happens and LIMRA have published survey results highlighting a serious financial services market analysis problem: American survey takers appear to be hazy about what financial services products they own — and more reliable comparison numbers are hard to find.

(Related: 7 Consumer Coverage Gaps You Could Fill Today)

The groups focused attention on survey takers’ awareness gap in a batch of data from their 2019 Insurance Barometer Study, which was based on an online survey of about 2,000 U.S. adult consumers who are financial decision makers in their households.

The survey team asked the participants about their ownership of various types of financial services products.

Here’s what the survey team found participants thought they owned:

  • Life Insurance: 57%.
  • Disability Insurance: 20%.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI): 15%.
  • Annuities: 12%.

One difficulty with interpreting the data is that the survey team did not say in the survey results summary available to the public how, or if, they defined the product types for the survey takers. Some survey participants, for example, might have been referring to life insurance policies or annuity contracts with long-term care benefits options when they answered the question about LTCI ownership.

But the ownership rates reported for disability insurance and annuities appear to be low, and the ownership rate reported for LTCI appears to be high.

Disability Insurance

The Council for Disability Awareness has reported that about 49% of U.S. workers get some kind of employer-paid disability insurance from their employers.


Gallup reported in 2017 that 26% of all investors have annuities of some type. Gallup classified people as investors if they had investments of $10,000 or more.

FINRA reported in 2016 that 33% of the people who participated in an investor survey said they owned annuities. FINRA did not say what percentage of the total population could be classified as investors.


The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance has estimated that about 7 million Americans, or about 3% of financial decisionmakers, might have stand-alone LTCI coverage.

Market penetration figures for LTC hybrid coverage was not immediately available.


A summary of the Life Happens-LIMRA 2019 Insurance Barometer Study is available here.

— Read Americans Haven’t Thought Much About Life Insurance: Surveyon ThinkAdvisor.

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