September is just around the corner, and the industry-wide campaign of Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) is back. This yearly push for additional awareness is organized by Life Happens, an independent, non-profit organization that promotes personal financial responsibility through ownership of life insurance.
Life Happens partners with the Life Insurance Market Research Association (LIMRA) each year to release the Insurance Barometer Study. This study looks at consumer trends and perceptions on life insurance, retirement, and overall financial well-being.
A few key statistics from their findings:
- 66% of consumers indicate they are at least somewhat likely to recommend life insurance to others (+11% over 2015)
- 86% of consumers surveyed agree that most people need life insurance
- 51% of Millennials are very or extremely likely to consider wearing activity tracking devices in return for result -based financial rewards
- 66% of Americans surveyed are concerned about having enough money for retirement.
- 51% prefer to purchase life insurance in person
- 3 out of 4 would then prefer to meet face-to-face with an adviser to ask questions and get immediate answers.
The purpose of Life Insurance Awareness Month isn’t focused on a demographic in particular but rather consumers' needs as a whole. However, Millennials have been a hot topic lately as our population gets older and the family dynamic rapidly changes. When compared to Generation Xers, they are prioritizing spending over financially responsible planning. Millennials put a majority of their funds towards things like cell phone bills, eating out, and shopping but have growing debt obligations and an increasing sense of financial uncertainty. Because of this, Millennials represent a very appealing demographic to educate about financial responsibility, one piece of which is life insurance.
Nearly one-third of people polled say that if the primary
breadwinner died, they would be in some
sort of financial trouble within one month.
Stats like these are why life insurance should be a larger part of the conversation and the LIFE Foundation’s Life Insurance Awareness Month is a great start.
True Costs of Life Insurance vs. Perceived Value
“If you can afford pizza once a month, you can afford life insurance.”
That’s the life insurance pitch many people hear as they go through college before reaching the life insurance age sweet spot. It’s a great angle but it often falls on deaf ears since there is no material return on the investment.
A healthy 30-year-old can get $250,000 coverage for about $13 a month! Compared to other services that people pay for, that's only a fraction! The take home message here is that the cost of life insurance should not keep the younger generations from getting coverage.
Sticker shock is often an immediate barrier to entry. At first glance, people are overwhelmed by a large figure with no real or immediate and material benefit. Breaking this down into more digestible numbers though can make life insurance more acceptable and open otherwise stubborn consumers, to a new angle on financial responsibility. Agents can use any number of relatable costs to drive home the affordability of life insurance. Here are a few comparisons that might encourage younger consumers to reconsider.
Comparison = $250,000 policy to cover a healthy, 30 year-old, non-smoking, male (no other conditions) = $15 p/m
- Netflix monthly subscription (standard) = $10
- Starbucks monthly ($4.00 x2 weekly) = $48
- Pizza/Take-Out = $50
- monthly phone bill = $73
Helping Promote Life Insurance Awareness
As an insurance adviser, you’re in a perfect position to help educate consumers on the benefits of life insurance and help yourself a little too. The LIFE Foundation has a great deal of life insurance marketing material they produce each year to help get the word out and more people talking. From celebrity spokespeople to witty public service announcements, the cause is growing in a big way.
Leverage these materials and offer your current clients additional options where appropriate (Is it time to start converting that Term policy?). You can also provide an informational email to your insurance contacts who could use more information on life insurance. With these materials, you’ll be better positioned as an authority on life insurance and in the process may earn new business. Public service campaigns like Life Insurance Awareness Month are very beneficial but while LIAM is well-known in the industry, it’s an uphill battle to connect with so many American consumers who are at risk of being uninsured or under-insured.
If you ask someone off the street, chances are they have no idea about any of these national months. It’s our job, as the industry, to inform them. Life Happens provides all these great resources, but they can’t reach 320 million people alone. They need our help.