3 Reasons to Give Life Insurance a Second Look
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of our world, from day-to-day activities to long-range plans. But one thing hasn’t changed: the need for life insurance. If you have put off getting it—or more of it—here are three reasons to take a closer look now.
1. Life insurance offers financial protection.
And it can be your family’s financial bedrock, providing protection against unforeseen events. Unfortunately, many Americans are uninsured or underinsured: Just 50% of Americans own a policy, according to the 2020 Lincoln Financial Group Life Insurance Awareness Month Survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has put the value of life insurance back into the spotlight. More than a third of those surveyed said they think life insurance is more important to own now due to the pandemic, while a third also said they have or are planning to purchase new or additional life insurance.
Of those surveyed, that intent to buy life insurance was even greater among younger Americans, particularly Millennials. That’s great news, as they are often reaching new milestones in life such as starting a family or buying their first home.
2. There’s more to life insurance than you may think, including living benefits.
The top reasons people cited in the survey for purchasing life insurance were to cover funeral related expenses and to replace lost income to their family.
That make’s perfect sense. In its purest form, as a source of income replacement when someone dies, the tax-free death benefits of life insurance ensures your loved ones are taken care of financially so they can payoff final expenses and debt.
But there are also policies that also provide “living benefits” that can address holistic financial needs such as:
- Providing supplemental retirement income
- Paying for long-term care expenses
- Protecting a business
And these living benefits really appeal to people: 45% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to purchase life insurance if it provided more than just death-benefit protection, and you could use it for future needs or emergencies while you’re alive. The good news is these types of policies already exist!
3. Applying for life insurance may be easier and less expensive than you think.
The top two obstacles people cited for not having life insurance were the cost and competing financial priorities, according to the survey. But in reality, life insurance can be pretty affordable. In fact, if you’re healthy, you may be able to get term life insurance coverage for less than your monthly utility bill or the amount you spend each week on your daily morning coffee. The wide range of options available mean there is a policy to fit different budgets.
Technology innovations are also transforming how we buy life insurance, from a long and cumbersome process to one that’s simpler, faster and friendlier. And 40% of Millennials surveyed said they would be more likely to purchase life insurance if they could do so completely electronically. This is actually already possible! You can receive a quote and apply for a policy online, and then have the policy signed and delivered electronically. Many insurance companies even offer the opportunity for healthy individuals to bypass underwriting labs. Today, policies can potentially be issued in as little as 24 hours.
While the global pandemic has increased awareness around the need for life insurance, life insurance should always be viewed as an important financial planning tool that can help families build, manage, protect and pass on their assets and legacy. I’d encourage you to speak with a financial or insurance professional or your workplace benefits specialist to help you determine where life insurance fits into your financial plan, ensure the coverage you have continues to meet your needs, or explore your options if you need coverage or more of it.
(Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates. Lincoln Financial Group survey conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS July 17-19, 2020. The views expressed are those of the authors as of the date specified. LCN: 3246616-091720)
Stafford Thompson, Jr. is SVP of Life Product Management for Lincoln Financial Group. He is responsible for the continued expansion, diversification and enhancement of Lincoln’s portfolio of Life Insurance products to meet the needs of customers. His key responsibilities include product development, pricing and management for Lincoln’s individual life insurance and executive benefit products.