The Truth is: Most Deaths are Unintentional and Unplanned; your Life Insurance Needs Shouldn’t Be : Catherine Giles, An Independent Insurance Agent, Blog
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Catherine Giles, Independent Insurance Agent

The Truth is: Most Deaths are Unintentional and Unplanned; your Life Insurance Needs Shouldn’t Be

by Catherine Giles on 10/19/15

 

     Often adults may think that having life insurance is optional, and only if and when they can afford it.  Often adults may think that having life insurance is not important to safeguarding their and their family’s financial needs and futures as a direct result of an unplanned-for or an under-planned-for death. 

 

     But the truth is many of us have seen first-hand, and many of us have seen over and over, the life lessons of loved ones and our family or of people we may know and their families who, as direct consequences of an unplanned-for or an under-planned-for death, have not had their final medical and final burial expenses needs met and/or their surviving loved ones’ ongoing mortgage or rent with on-going living expenses such as car payments, electricity, and food, and their loss of income needs met.

 

     In a 2015 Insurance Barometer study from LIMRA, an association that provides research, consulting, and other services about insurance and financial services, the study found that more than 43% of Americans say they would feel a financial impact within six months if a primary wage-earner died.  However, 43% of Americans have no life insurance at all.  Of the 57% of Americans who have at least one life insurance policy: 

 

  • 1/3 of the 57% have group life insurance through their employer, which means that the employer owns the policy and the employees while working there hold a certificate to coverage, never owning their own policy and in most cases never being able to take their life insurance with them when they terminate employment or retire. 

 

  • 1/3 of the 57% believe they need more life insurance.

 

  • 1/4 of the 57% actually own their own individual life insurance policy.

 

  • 1/10 of the 57% have both group life through their employer and have individual life, which they actually own.

 

     Also the study found that procrastination is a common reason Americans give for either not taking life insurance at all or, if they do, for being underinsured.  Another common reason most Americans give for not having life insurance is its perceived cost.  Yet 80% percent of American consumers misjudge the actual price for term life insurance, with Millennials, those born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s, overestimating the actual cost of life insurance by 213%.  29% of Millennials cited saving for vacation as a priority over purchasing some or more life insurance.  60% of Millennials cited paying for expenses such as Internet, cable, and cell phones as a priority over purchasing some or more life insurance.  Yet as a permanent consequence to and a direct result of not having any or adequate life insurance, the decision means not having one’s own medical and final expense needs met as well as not having ongoing auto payments, mortgage or rent, and living expenses needs met for our loved ones.  From the study results, it may appear that temporary consequences of going on a vacation, or not, and having a certain level of Internet, cable, and cell phones, or not, may appear to outweigh the permanent consequences to ourselves and to our loved ones of not having any or of not having adequate life insurance coverage.

 

    The LIMRA study found that Gen Xers, those born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s, overestimated the actual cost of life insurance by 119%.  23% of Gen Xers said paying for recreational activities, such as going out to eat, to the movies, or shopping was a priority over purchasing some or more life insurance.  Again as a permanent consequence to and a direct result of not having any or adequate life insurance, the decision means not having one’s own medical and final expense needs met as well as not having ongoing auto payments, mortgage or rent, and living expenses needs met for our loved ones.  From the study results, it may appear that temporary consequences of going out to eat, or not, and to the movies or shopping, or not, may appear to outweigh the permanent consequences to ourselves and to our loved ones of not having any or of not having adequate life insurance coverage.

 

    The study found that 49% of those 65 and older cited paying for expenses such as Internet, cable, and cell phones as a priority over purchasing some or more life insurance.  Again as a permanent consequence to and a direct result of not having any or adequate life insurance, the decision means not having one’s own medical and final expense needs met as well as not having ongoing auto payments, mortgage or rent, and living expenses needs met for our loved ones.  From the study, with older Americans it may appear that temporary consequences of having a certain level of Internet, cable, and cell phones, or not, may appear to outweigh the permanent consequences to ourselves and to our loved ones of not having any or of not having adequate life insurance coverage.

  

     The LIMRA study found that many Americans have an inaccurate perception that life insurance policies are expensive and are a hardship to one’s budget.  (Depending on insurance carrier and on age, term life insurance policies can be as inexpensive as $1.54 per week and up, less than a cup of coffee, and can help one’s family pay for final medical and final burial expenses, the mortgage or rent and ongoing living expenses, and for the family’s loss of earning power, all directly caused by an unplanned-for or under-planned for death.  Also insurance policy options can be whole life, universal life, or variable life.  Please see your insurance agent for more details on the types of insurance coverage and for recommendations on what would best fit your needs and of any surviving family members’ needs.) 

 

     Many Americans simply have an inaccurate perception that having at least one life insurance policy that you own can wait until later, even though we know that death happens to us at any age and in any circumstance.  The leading causes of death across age groups in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, are unintentional injury and sickness/condition; being an unintended victim of homicide; and suicide; only suicide is intentional.  The LIMRA study found that of the 57% of Americans who have at least one life insurance policy:

 

  • 1 in 4 of the 57% only initiated taking life coverage directly because an insurance agent asked them about their life insurance needs. 

 

  • 2 in 3 of the 57% say they trust their insurance agent and their insurance company.
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     From the LIMRA study, we find that having life insurance is critical.  It is important to have at least one or more life insurance policies that you own and that will fit both your current needs and your future needs.  From the study we find that there are many options for types of life insurance and for affordable premium options.  As life insurance is designed to safeguard our and our family’s financial needs and our surviving family members’ futures, life insurance can only provide these protections and security if actually taken and remaining in force, whether or not one terminates employment or retires.  From the CDC study, we find that 2 of 3 deaths are unintentional, happen at any age, and in any circumstance. 

 

     The truth is many of us have seen first-hand, and many of us have seen over and over, the life lessons of loved ones and our family or of people we may know and their families who, as direct consequences of an unplanned-for or an under-planned-for death, have not had their final medical and final burial expenses needs met and/or their surviving loved ones’ ongoing mortgage or rent with on-going living expenses, such as car payments, electricity, and food, and their loss of income needs met.  The truth also is, most deaths are unintentional and unplanned, but your life insurance needs shouldn't be.

 

     For a free life insurance needs consultation and for free quotes, please feel contact your agent, Catherine Giles, by phone at:  940.597.457, by email at:  [email protected], or by auto-schedule appointment on her website:  www.giles4insurance.com or her mobile site:  m.giles4insurance.com.

 


The 2015 Insurance Barometer Study was fielded in January 2015 using an online panel, which surveyed 2,032 U.S. adults age 18-75. The data were weighted by age, gender, education, race, region, and income to be representative of the general population. A propensity score adjustment was added to correct for biases inherent in Internet panels. The margin of error in this study is 3 percentage points.

 

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