Do your clients have enough life insurance? Of course, as their agent or financial advisor, you do your best to look out for your clients’ best interest, but recent information shows that there are certain groups of Americans who are not only underinsured, but also stand to lose the most in the case of an unexpected death. When a study from Genworth took a look at life insurance gaps among Americans, it identified four major consumer groups that may be in need of additional – or any – life insurance planning: unmarried parents, women, large families and those with certain common health conditions.
“Consumers often believe life insurance costs nearly three times its actual price, and this is a major contributor to the large coverage gap we’re seeing in these four groups,” said Brian Bulakites, vice president and national sales manager for life insurance at Genworth. “We’re working to close these gaps by educating consumers on the importance of a good insurance policy. By addressing these needs now, we’re able to help our customers help provide the financial resources to their loved ones that will be lost upon their death.”
Here is why those four groups are in need of greater life insurance protection and some reasons they may be under-protected now:
According to the research by Genworth, nearly 60 percent of unmarried mothers and almost 70 percent of unmarried fathers are without life insurance, compared to their married counterparts at 43 and 34 percent, respectively. Even among respondents with steady incomes, unmarried parents lacked appropriate life insurance coverage. According to the study, 60 percent of unmarried fathers who made between $50,000 and $250,000 didn’t have any life insurance coverage, whereas just over 25 percent of married fathers earning similar salaries reported not having insurance. However, the gap was slightly smaller when it came to mothers earning the same amount. The study found that 46 percent of unmarried mothers lacked life insurance, versus 37 percent of married mothers.
There is some obvious cause for concern when it comes to a lack of life insurance for unmarried parents. If the unmarried parent is the sole provider for his or her children, an unexpected death would be devastating. For this reason, you should be sure to explain the benefits of taking out a life insurance policy to your unmarried clients and note the serious consequences of going uninsured.
For parents of large families – especially those with low incomes – money is often stretched thin. Many see life insurance as a luxury that can be skipped in favor of funneling money toward what are viewed as immediate necessities. Of course, keeping a roof over their families heads and food on the table are essential, but it’s important for these families to consider the effect of losing either one parent’s income or the care that a stay-at-home parent provides. Would the family be able to stay in their home without that money coming in or if they had to pay for child care? If the answer is no, they need to seriously consider a life insurance policy. Even for high net worth individuals, the prospect sending multiple children through college may be too much with the loss of an income may be unattainable.
Across the board, women tend to be underinsured, especially when compared to their male counterparts. According to the Genworth study, the gap between married mothers and married fathers who lack life insurance is about 9 percentage points. Those married mothers who do have insurance tend to have significantly less than married fathers to the tune of nearly $50,000. Even high net worth women aren’t keeping up with men when it comes to life insurance policies. According to research from LIMRA, women with $100,000 or more in annual income are less likely to have life insurance than men earning similar amounts.
Whether they are the sole financial provider of their family, contributing to a dual income household or staying at home to raise kids, women need to understand the value they contribute to their family and the hole they would leave behind in the event of an unexpected death.
Those with common health problems
While the rates for life insurance may be higher for those with a preexisting condition, there’s a good reason for it. These people are at a higher risk of dying unexpectedly and, therefore, need to be sure they properly protect their families. It’s also important that those with common health problems are not precluded from getting coverage. For example, of those with high cholesterol, just over a third said they were uninsured. However, when it comes to those with asthma, fewer than half have life insurance.
As a life insurance agent, you should be sure your clients understand the importance of protecting their family should anything happen to them – whether it’s due to a preexisting condition or unexpected accident – and how having a solid life insurance plan can protect themselves and those they love.