Too many people think of buying life insurance as something boring that they ought to do, a top financial advisor said Wednesday.
The first step toward persuading the uninsured to get covered is “the overcoming of the so-called ‘grudge purchase’ syndrome that public has around life insurance,” Kobus Kleyn tweeted, during a Twitter chat organized by Life Happens. “The public must perceive life insurance as an ‘investment’ into their families.”
- Links to the tweets in the #liam20chats chat are available here.
- An article about the Brooke Shields strategy is available here.
Life Happens has been organizing Life Insurance Awareness Month campaigns every September since 2004. This year’s campaign started Tuesday.
Brooke Shields, an actor known for appearing in films like “Blue Lagoon,” and TV shows like “Suddenly Susan,” is returning as the campaign spokesperson, and working to deliver the message, “The time for life insurance is now.”
COVID-19 is appearing for the first time as a message-enhancing crisis: Life Happens reports that, when it conducted a survey of 2,000 Americans ages 18 and older in late May and early June, 66% of the participants said the pandemic has increased their understanding of the value life insurance.
About 25% of the survey participants said they had purchased life insurance for the first time because of the pandemic.
Susan Neely, president of the American Council of Life Insurers, wrote in a blog about the latest awareness month campaign that “now more than ever, the value of life insurance for American families cannot be overstated.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating, leading to more than 182,000 deaths in the United States,” Neely wrote. “The emotional pain from an unexpected death is immeasurable. And for families without life insurance, a loved one’s death can bring severe financial hardship. Life insurance provides indispensable financial support to families when they need it most.”
But industry surveys suggest that Americans’ level of protection against premature death is decreasing: Life Happens and LIMRA found when they conducted the 2020 Insurance Barometer Study survey that only 54% of U.S. adults have life insurance.
A Broad Outreach Effort
Many insurers have been trying to support the latest awareness month campaign by timing the release of survey results to coincide with the campaign.
CNO Financial Group, for example, says a survey of its own customers that it conducted in April showed that demand for direct-to-consumer life insurance had increased meaningfully, and that consumers were hungry for consistency and stability in life insurance.
Insurance distributors and retail agencies are also participating, by posting content and art supplied by Life Happens, and by posting new content of their own.
Insure.com, for example, has compiled a new collection of articles about topics such as “Types of Life Insurance: What’s Best for You?” and “Is Life Insurance Taxable?”
Life Happens has produced a library of new videos, graphics, and compliance-friendly social media posts to support the campaign.