Help Protect Our Families: The Pandemic’s Effect

Mar 24, 2021

It’s hard to believe it’s been over one year since the COVID-19 crisis changed life as we knew it. While we hope that continued vaccinations will bring better days ahead, our reality remains forever changed.

This is especially true for the families of over 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the virus. These tragic outcomes have highlighted the need for protecting our loved ones financially — especially with life insurance.

New findings from the 2021 LIMRA-Life Happens Insurance Barometer study found that 31 percent of respondents said COVID-19 has made it more likely they will buy life insurance within the next 12 months. And, 36 percent of consumers said they planned to purchase coverage within the next 12 months. This is the highest purchase intent level we have seen since we began this study 11 years ago.

Our research also revealed some notable differences by age group. While younger consumers are least likely to own insurance, they are most likely to be interested in buying it. In fact, Millennials (aged 22 to 40) appear to be most influenced by the crisis with 45 percent saying they are more likely to buy insurance in the next 12 months because of COVID-19. This compares to just 15 percent of Boomers and 31 percent of Gen Xers.

It is important to focus on connecting with these young Americans, as many of them also have financial risk. Over half of Millennials do not own any life insurance coverage even though this group is most likely to have dependents under 18 and the most likely to be impacted by the loss of a wage earner.

Of course, the need for life insurance also spans other generations. Overall, 40 percent of Americans feel they should have more of it, and 59 percent of those without coverage believe they need it.

Yet while interest is high, ownership has not increased along with it. Continuing a downward trend, only 52 percent of Americans currently have coverage, down from 54 percent last year and 63 percent a decade ago. This is why LL Global joined together with ACLI and six other associations and launched the Help Protect Our Families campaign. The goal is to engage and inspire the industry — carriers, distributors, and the over 300,000 life insurance-licensed financial professionals — to help more Americans get the coverage they need to protect their families.

David Levenson

David Levenson is president and CEO for LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, one of the world’s largest associations of life insurance and financial services companies, representing more than 1,200 financial services companies across 71 countries. Prior to joining LL Global, Levenson was a principal at Edward Jones and served on its management committee from 2015-2018. He was responsible for all products distributed through its network of 17,000 advisors in the U.S. and Canada.