Unless you’ve had rose-colored glassed surgically installed on your eyeballs, you’ve noticed that the economy is not good. The summer of recovery was pretty much a fizzle and unemployment remains at 9.5%. If you still have a job (lucky, you!) you probably haven’t had a raise in a while. Maybe your company is even cutting perks and benefits. Like lots of us, you’re sweating how you’ll make the house payment and put food on the table. And you may be tempted to start slashing unnecessary expenditures. Maybe you’re asking, if you really need life insurance. You aren’t alone.
According to “Trends in Life Insurance Ownership,” a study just released by Windsor, Connecticut industry research group LIMRA lots of people are cutting life insurance in an effort to pinch pennies and balance budgets. In fact, the study claims, individual ownership of life insurance is at a 50-year nadir. Not since the 1960s have so many U.S. households been willing to fly without a life insurance net. Highlighted statistics from the study revealed:
- Only 44% of U.S. households have individual life insurance policies (no distinction was made between whole life and term life coverage).
- 30% of U.S. household have no life insurance coverage; an uptick of 8% since 2004.
- Perhaps scariest stat is that 11 million households with children under 18 have no life insurance.
There are plenty of reasons why you don’t need life insurance. If you have no heirs or dependents, or no causes you care to endow, you probably can forego life insurance. You can also pass on it, if you don’t own a business or have an debts that will leave somebody you care about encumbered. But if you’ve got kids under 18, your death would leave your surviving spouse or partner trying to survive without your income. Consider this LIMRA study data: 40% of the people surveyed said they would have trouble meeting everyday living expenses if the primary breadwinner died.
If you’ve got dependents or somebody who would suffer financial hardship without you, look for someplace else to cut corners and start shopping for life insurance now. Premium costs will depend primarily on your age, but term life insurance is still pretty cheap if you’re under 50 and even after that, it’s relatively affordable if you shop around.
And that brings me to another astonishing revelation from the LIMRA study. Lots of the people surveyed claimed they didn’t know where to get help to buy life insurance. People! Shopping for term life insurance has never been easier than it is today. You can get competitive quotes for a variety of life insurance products online and never have to open your door to an insurance salesman.