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How the Pandemic Spotlighted Life Insurance

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What You Need to Know

  • 66% of consumers surveyed told Life Happens that the COVID-19 pandemic has improved their understanding of life insurance.
  • 25% said they have bought life insurance because of the pandemic.
  • 47% said they have put off getting themselves covered.

The pandemic continues transforming the U.S. workforce — case in point are the many workers considering changing employers in the so-called Great Resignation. Across industries, people are opting to pursue new opportunities for a variety of reasons.

With employers looking to competitively attract or retain top talent, a high-quality benefits package may be the answer. More than half of employees say they are at least somewhat likely to accept slightly lower compensation for a more robust benefits package, according to the 2020-2021 Aflac WorkForces Report. As more people join and rejoin the workforce, benefits offerings are a vital piece of the puzzle, especially life insurance.

Life Insurance Up on the Benefits Leaderboard

While sometimes considered a purchase when one is older, life insurance is growing in popularity across generations. Application activity among people under age 44 for the product increased nearly 8% in 2020, according to MIB Group’s Life Index.

COVID-19 has made life insurance conversations more mainstream. In fact, a Life Happens survey indicates that 66% believe COVID-19 has helped them better understand life insurance, and 25% bought this coverage for the first time because of it.

Financial security is at stake at any age, and coverage costs typically increase the older you get. Individuals can lock in a better rate while younger and healthier, so it’s advantageous to buy early and hold onto policies for the long term.

A Benefit for Different Needs

The median life insurance coverage offered at the workplace is either a flat sum of $20,000 or one-year’s salary. However, more than half of U.S. households rely on dual incomes, and losing one income could devastate household finances.

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Review existing life insurance offerings with clients to ensure the proper levels and kinds of financial protection are in place. Expenses to consider include funeral costs, medical bills, paying off debt and loans, and more. Some life insurance benefits are accessible while an insured is alive. For example, a living benefit rider like that offered by Aflac may allow employees to procure a portion of their policy’s death benefit.

Turning Education into Action

Education is necessary in streamlining the employee benefits decision-making process. More than half of consumers admit that they are unsure what life insurance product they need or how much coverage to purchase, and 47% state that they have put off purchasing it altogether. Brokers and agents can counsel clients on developing effective education and communication plans.

For example, brokers can point out how life stages such as college graduation, marriage, parenthood, or retirement can help determine coverage types and amounts employees may consider. Purchasing decisions also may be contingent upon a customer’s existing financial resources as well as their immediate, ongoing and future financial obligations.

A Change Workers Want to See

A strong life insurance option can help address workers’ financial concerns with a relevant offering. At a time when some may be reevaluating their job, health and insurance options, brokers can encourage clients to ensure company benefits are not a reason to look for greener grasses.

(Image: Adobe Stock)


Bob Ruff (Photo: Aflac)Bob Ruff is senior vice president of growth solutions at Aflac’s Aflac U.S. business.