“We continue to see a difference in the level of concern about the pandemic and the economy based on political leaning,” LIMRA’s Head of Research Alison Salka said in a statement. “Consumers who identify as liberal are much more likely to express higher levels of concern than those who identify as conservative.”
The breakdown over COVID-19:
- Liberals – 77% are extremely or very concerned (vs. 72% in March);
- Conservatives – 44% are extremely or very concerned (vs. 47% in March)
And their views on the U.S. economy are as follows
- Liberals – 60% are extremely or very concerned (vs. 68% in March);
- Conservatives – 44% are extremely or very concerned (vs. 48% in March)
Given this dichotomy, Salka said, policymakers and leaders will be challenged to implement policies that both sides of the political spectrum welcome.
The survey was fielded Oct. 1 and 2 among 3,033 American adults.
Concerns have receded since March, but 55% of survey respondents still said they were very or extremely concerned about the federal government’s ability to manage the crisis, and 54% worried about the coronavirus’s effect on the economy.
Survey participants also expressed concerns, though to a lesser degree, about the health care system’s ability to manage the influx of patients and their local government’s ability to manage the crisis.
More consumers appeared to be feeling the negative effects of the recession in October than in July, according to the survey’s results.
Forty percent of employed respondents said the economic downturn had strongly affected their ability to save for retirement, up from 37% in July. Forty-one percent of workers said the same about their job security, versus 33% in July.
And 28% were worried about maintaining their housing, up two percentage points from three months ago.
“As the country is experiencing the next wave of COVID-19 infections, more people may be recognizing that the pandemic and current economic conditions are going to persist well into 2021,” Salka said. “The financial hardships many families are facing will get harder as the recession continues.”
Importance of Life Insurance
In the October survey, 57% of participants said they felt a heightened need for life insurance. Yet, one in five reported that the recession had made it difficult for them to buy new life insurance, up five points from July.
Moreover, 26% said the recession was making it hard to pay for their existing coverage, seven points higher than in July.
At the same time, 41% of respondents — a record number, according to LIMRA — said they had extreme or quite a bit of confidence in life insurers.
Confidence in financial professionals also hit a new high, LIMRA said, with 33% of consumers saying they had this level of confidence in insurance agents and brokers and 37% in financial advisors.
“Other research we have done throughout the pandemic has shown how much insurers and financial professionals have done to adapt and offer digital solutions to help their customers virtually when they couldn’t meet face-to-face,” Salka said.
“I think these efforts combined with the growing understanding of the value of life insurance have increased consumers’ awareness of our industry and the people who work in it.”