RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and a series of new studies from Lincoln Financial Group show that while more than 90 percent of people agree that life insurance helps provide financial security, 43 percent feel they know little or nothing about it.
“It’s good to see that nearly all consumers recognize the importance of life insurance, but unfortunately, many are missing a deeper understanding of what it can do for them,” said Mike Burns, senior vice president of Life Solutions at Lincoln Financial Group. “There’s a wide variety of coverage types available in the market today, including some that include ‘living benefits’ that can help people address many different financial goals and challenges over the course of one’s life. Life insurance can be a key component of a comprehensive financial plan, and by taking the time to understand all of the options and various policy features, consumers can ensure they are getting the most out of their coverage.”
Life Insurance May be More than Meets the Eye
Lincoln Financial’s research finds that 57 percent of adults own some form of life insurance, and 39 percent of employed Americans cite life insurance as the most important non-medical insurance benefit in influencing their decision to join a company. The most common drivers for purchasing life insurance include covering funeral expenses (45 percent), helping a spouse pay bills (30 percent), and replacing income after death (29 percent).
Although known primarily for death benefits, many types of life insurance policies also offer ‘living benefits’ that can address various financial concerns while policy owners are alive. Not surprisingly, research finds that many are unaware of these possibilities. Just 31 percent of consumers say they know that life insurance can help with medical and long-term care expenses, only 21 percent are aware that retirement income is a potential use for life insurance, and only 14 percent realize it can help with college funding.
Making Informed Decisions
“There are a variety of resources available to help consumers make informed decisions on life insurance coverage, starting in the workplace,” said Dick Mucci, president of Lincoln Financial’s Group Benefits business. “It’s crucial to leverage the resources typically offered through work, such as benefits fairs or meetings with enrollment counselors. And it’s important to remember that these should not be ‘one and done’ conversations. Life insurance needs often change, and as such, we should be regularly evaluating and managing our policies to ensure they are keeping pace with what’s happening in our lives. For example, the benefits open enrollment period at work, or a life-milestone such as the birth of a child, are good times to reexamine needs.”
For those who are considering purchasing a life insurance policy or already own one, Lincoln Financial offers the following four tips:
- Define and prioritize your short-term and long-term financial goals. You can get started with an online tool, such as Lincoln Financial’s quick and simple Financial Goals Questionnaire.
- Learn about the different types of life insurance available through your employer or through a financial advisor, and determine the type(s) best suited to help you achieve your specific financial goals.
- Decide how much coverage you need, considering factors such as: income replacement needs in the event of loss of a spouse; current and anticipated debt/bills that a policy’s death benefit would need to cover; and lifestyle preferences. Calculator tools are available online to help you get started.
- Make sure your coverage continues to meet your current and future financial goals by reviewing your policy every one or two years, or if you’ve experienced or expect any changes in your family life, employment or finances.
“Life insurance has the potential to help people protect, build and access wealth for themselves, for their loved ones and for the important things in their lives,” said Andrew Bucklee, senior vice president and head of Insurance Solutions Distribution for Lincoln Financial Distributors. “However, there are many considerations to take into account when purchasing and managing a policy. As an industry, it’s important that we continue to educate people on life insurance. Financial advisors can play a critical role in helping individuals determine where life insurance fits into their portfolio today and in the future.”
Lincoln Financial’s research finds that people most-often identify as being self-taught (31 percent) when it comes to life insurance, and family members are cited as the second most-prevalent source of information (22 percent). However, only 13 percent of people say they’ve learned about life insurance through an employer, and just 9 percent say they’ve learned from a financial planner. This presents a great opportunity for employers and financial professionals to have a larger impact in consumers’ education on the benefits of life insurance.
To learn more about the different ways life insurance can help individuals achieve their financial goals, visit Lincoln Financial's website.
For an infographic snapshot of the research highlighted in this press release, please visit this link.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $241 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2017. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
The Lincoln Financial Group 2017 Life Insurance Awareness Month Omnibus Study
Results of the 2017 Life Insurance Awareness Month Omnibus Study are based on an online survey of 1,012 adults 18 years of age or older across the United States, conducted in July 2017 by Lincoln Financial Group and ORC International. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level.
The Lincoln Financial Group 2017 Employee Benefits Study
Results of the Employee Benefits Study are based on a national survey of employees conducted by PSB on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group. The research was conducted between April 13 and May 2, 2017 among 2,500 employed adults above the age of 18. Data shown in this report is weighted to reflect the proportion of U.S. employees by gender, age, region, race and ethnicity based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The margin of error is ± 2% at the 95% confidence interval for the entire sample.
For additional background information on these studies, please click here.