Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: July 1st, 2020
Guest Post by Jan Dubauskas
For most people, our financial priorities are clear – rent or a mortgage, car payment, groceries, savings, utilities, and retirement. And with what's left over, it's time to have some fun — eat in a restaurant, relax in a movie theater, plan a relaxing vacation, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
In the long list of all the things we'd like to spend our money on, life insurance is growing in its importance. Life insurance has become an important component of financial planning and consumers are becoming more and more aware of it.
In fact, a recent Agile Life Insurance survey found that more than 75 percent of Americans believe that life insurance is important. And to prove just how important it is, 64 percent of the survey respondents have a life insurance policy, a stark increase from previous years where Americans said they valued the idea of life insurance, but simply weren't making it a priority. For years, the cost of living has increased exponentially and cash-strapped middle-class Americans with children have been trying to make ends meet.
Clearly, that sentiment is changing. According to the HealthPocket survey, when asked to rank a list of their monthly budget priorities, 55 percent of respondents put life insurance at the top; it even outranked going out to dinner, seeing a movie, or going shopping.
What’s changing our attitude?
First, the U.S. economy is the strongest it has been in decades. More people than ever are working. If someone wants a job, they are more than likely able to get it. More people working means more there are more people with money to spend, allowing their budgets to accomodate things they value, like life insurance.
Further, incomes are generally higher across the board. Americans are making more, and they are more confident they have the spending power to ensure they can afford personal luxuries while also owning a life insurance policy.
As opinions of corporate America change, particularly regarding their societal duties to their employees, many employers are offering broad benefit packages that often include a life insurance option.
Life insurance is also becoming easier to find, research, and buy. There are several companies that offer life insurance online and at an affordable monthly price. With more information and an easy means to purchase, life insurance becomes even more accessible.
Why is life insurance so important?
The Agile Life Insurance survey also shows that for those with a life insurance policy almost half of the respondents believe they have enough to cover them in an emergency, and a majority are satisfied with the polices they have. Of those individuals, 65 percent say their policies are under $150,000.
While people often underestimate the costs associated with an emergency, the silver lining is that they are doing a better job of being prepared for when an emergency does arrive.
Are we reaching the uninsured?
For those who do not have life insurance, the number one reason is just what you'd expect it to be — cost. A clear one-third of those who do not own life insurance policies said they hadn’t even thought about life insurance. This means that there is still room to improve the information made available to consumers about their life insurance needs and how much they should expect to pay for it.
With better online tools and calculators, consumers are becoming more educated about how much life insurance they need. According to the HealthPocket survey, more people are taking action to ensure they are covered, which is critical to those we love and care for the most.
Jan Dubauskas is a health care expert, insurance enthusiastic and mom serving as Vice President and Senior Counsel at Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (HIIQ), a market leading cloud-based technology platform and distributor of innovative health insurance products that are affordable and meet the needs of health insurance plan consumers.