What to know about life insurance options

BY STATEPOINT MEDIA
09/19/2020 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
While more than one-third of consumers think life insurance is more important to own now due to the pandemic, just 50% of Americans actually own policies currently. COURTESY
STATEPOINT – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are looking into new life insurance coverage or taking a closer look at their existing coverage to make potential updates, according to a new survey.

While more than one-third of consumers think life insurance is more important to own now due to the pandemic, just 50% of Americans actually own policies currently. The results of the survey, conducted by Lincoln Financial Group, suggest that consumers could use more information about life insurance in order to make good coverage decisions.

“While COVID-19 has recently put the spotlight on the need for life insurance, it should always be regarded as a significant financial planning tool for families,” said Mike Burns, senior vice president of Life Solutions for Lincoln Financial Group.

Burns said the survey highlights specific knowledge gaps around life insurance. To that end, he said consumers should think about the following things as they weigh their options:

1. Life insurance can offer broad benefits. According to the survey, the primary reasons people buy life insurance are to cover final expenses and replace lost income for the family if they die.

However, today’s life insurance can extend well beyond standard death benefit protection. Many types of policies also provide “living benefits,” that can be used to provide supplemental retirement income, cover long-term care expenses or protect a business, among other financial planning needs. The survey found that these types of benefits are appealing to consumers, with 45% of respondents saying that would be more likely to purchase life insurance if it could be used it for future needs or emergencies while they are alive.

2. Costs vary: Those who don’t own life insurance policies often cite affordability as the barrier to purchasing coverage. However, the price of policy options ranges considerably and it’s worth looking into what’s available before assuming it’s out of reach. For example, it may be possible for a healthy individual to get a term life insurance policy for less than $15 per month. Individuals may also be able to get life insurance through their employer at no or little cost.

3. You can get covered online: The end-to-end digital purchasing process of life insurance today will likely appeal to many younger consumers – 40% of millennials surveyed said they would be more likely to purchase life insurance if they could do so electronically. Such options do exist, with some policies issued electronically within 24 hours. Many people also have the option to select additional life insurance as part of their employer-sponsored benefits during their annual open enrollment.

More information about life insurance options can be found by visiting lfg.com.

At a time when many Americans are facing uncertainty, it’s no surprise that a financial tool which helps families protect and pass on their assets is in the spotlight. However, experts stress that life insurance is always an important part of any financial plan, especially given the broad benefits of today’s diverse life insurance options. A financial professional or workplace benefits specialist can help individuals determine what policy option best addresses their needs and circumstances.

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