What Americans Need

Aug 23, 2022

The last two-and-a-half years have strained many Americans’ financial wellbeing. During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions lost their jobs and countless more experienced job insecurity. More recently, consumers have been hammered by 40-year high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates.

It’s no wonder then that LIMRA’s latest Consumer Sentiment Survey shows 54% of middle-income consumers say they are very or extremely concerned about the economy, and three quarters say they are very concerned that inflation will impact their quality of life.

The survey data also revealed a key distinction: middle-income Americans with life insurance feel considerably more financially secure than the uninsured. Indeed, 59% of middle-income individuals with life insurance feel financially secure compared to just 43% of uninsured middle-income individuals.

People with life insurance can rest assured that their families will be taken care of financially should tragedy strike. Their confidence is underscored by the life insurance industry’s legacy of being there for American families when they need help the most. For more than 175 years through every pandemic, war and economic downturn America’s life insurers have been keeping their promises to American families.

The COVID-19 pandemic vividly reaffirmed the value and importance of life insurance to Americans. In 2020 – the most recent statistics available – life insurers paid $90 billion to beneficiaries of policyholders who died; a 15.4% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, sales of new policies during the first six months of 2021 increased 8%, the highest policy sales growth recorded since 1983.

Still, not enough Americans have life insurance coverage. In fact, only 52 percent of middle-income Americans own life insurance.

More clearly needs to be done. That’s why ACLI, LIMRA and LOMA, and several other life insurance organizations banded together for the Help Protect Our Families initiative with the goal of inspiring and engaging the industry to help more Americans get the coverage they need to protect their families.

One key will be education. The primary reason middle-income consumers give for not having coverage is cost. But 63% overestimate the price of coverage. We need to increase knowledge and erase common misconceptions that are deterring some middle-income consumers from purchasing the coverage they need.

On August 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET, I’ll be discussing these issues on LinkedIn Live with LIMRA CEO David Levenson and the head of LIMRA research Alison Salka. Learn more and register here: Help Protect Our Families LinkedIn Live Event.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 94 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.