Barometer Shows Greater Interest In Buying Life Insurance
One in three consumers surveyed said COVID-19 prompted them to consider buying life insurance in the next 12 months.
That was one of the significant findings in the 11th annual Insurance Barometer survey, conducted by LIMRA and Life Happens. The annual survey looks at the consumer mindset around topics relevant to the life insurance industry. This year’s survey focuses on consumer behaviors and attitudes, and was revealed during Monday’s session of LIMRA’s virtual Life Insurance Conference.
One of the big takeaways from this year’s barometer is that 31% of our respondents said they are likely to buy life insurance in the next year and were interested in buying because of the pandemic, said Stephen Wood, LIMRA senior analyst.
“That’s a pretty striking number,” he said. “We know through our research that people don’t like talking about their own mortality. The pandemic has forced many people to do that, and that creates more of a need for life insurance. In fact, 42% of those we surveyed said they tested positive for COVID-19.”
The pandemic has impacted Americans’ financial concerns, the barometer study revealed. Respondents were asked what concerns increased as a result of COVID-19. Wood said that although respondents continue to be concerned about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, two of this year’s top concerns were “paying my monthly bills” and “being able to save money for an emergency fund.”
How do these concerns impact future life insurance sales? “I can’t really say, except for the fact that for many consumers, the Number One priority is not going to be life insurance – it’s paying for their month-to-month stuff right now,” Wood said.
This year’s barometer also focused on the Black American consumer.
Black respondents were more likely than their white counterparts to say they are likely to buy life insurance in the next year, with 38% of Black consumers saying they were likely to buy compared with 31% of white consumers. This finding goes hand in hand with the survey revealing that 56% of Black Americans own some kind of life insurance, compared with 52% of the general population.
“One of the main reasons that Black Americans say they have life insurance is to cover final expenses -funeral and burial costs - which is great, right? They understand what life insurance can do,” said Maggie Leyes, chief creative officer at Life Happens. “But there’s room for education here. Life insurance is not just burial insurance; there's much more to it, including the living benefits. So I think a real positive that has come out of that data is that there's a clear opportunity to educate the general population, and specifically Black Americans about the benefits of life insurance ownership beyond just final expense.”
Another opportunity the survey revealed is that is that 30% of Black respondents said they are currently looking for a financial professional.
“That's encouraging because it says that Black Americans value the advice and they're actively looking looking, which is a positive indicator for our industry,” Leyes said.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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