Despite the fact that most American families have less to fall back on financially than when the economic downturn began, ownership of individual life insurance has hit a 50-year low, according to a new LIMRA study. As a result, many individuals own too little to no life insurance.
LIMRA, an insurance industry research organization, found that only 59 percent of U.S. adults own either individual and/or group life insurance — this means that four in 10 U.S. adults have no life insurance coverage at all. Moreover, only 36 percent of U.S. adults own individual life insurance, down from 59 percent in 1960. The life insurance coverage gap is exposing many families to the risk of significant hardship in the case of the death of a family member. Of the 35 million U.S. households without life insurance coverage, 11 million have children under the age of 18.
At what age should you buy life insurance? For most Americans, having children is the key reason they start shopping for life insurance quotes. Not only does having or adopting a child trigger households to shop for life insurance, but it also motivates them to buy: According to LIMRA, 73 percent of households that shopped for life insurance because of births or adoptions actually bought policies.
You should also consider getting life insurance quotes and buying life insurance if you are a young breadwinner with a mortgage, college tuition or other bills that will require a back-up plan if you are no longer around to pay your bills. If you’re fortunate enough to have substantial assets, life insurance can mean tax-free death benefits for your heirs.
Whether you are single or married, a part of a large or small family, purchasing life insurance is a responsible step that everyone should take so that loved ones will be provided for. Life insurance premiums are determined by age, gender lifestyle and overall physical health. The younger and healthier you are when you purchase a policy, the less expensive the premium. Once a premium price is determined, it is guaranteed for the duration of the term. This can save someone in their twenties or thirties thousands of dollars over the course of the policy term.
Financial experts say buying life insurance in your twenties and thirties can result in low rates and easy underwriting. During this life stage you may be in college with debt to cover tuition, or have a growing family and therefore people and assets that need to be protected. The higher your income, the larger the policy you need to cover financial needs.
By your forties, you likely have significant assets to protect. This is a good time to sit down to re-evaluate your insurance needs. You may find that you need to replace an old policy to take care of new responsibilities that weren’t present in your twenties or thirties. If you have not bought a life insurance policy yet, insurance experts says it’s important to do so before you reach 50, when rates generally rise or future health conditions make it more difficult to get the lowest life insurance rates.
It’s easy to get life insurance quotes online. With online shopping services such as LifeQuote you can get instant quotes and purchase a policy that fits your needs. The key to getting life insurance quotes online is to shop by price and by a company’s rating. LifeQoute’s Smart System™ lets you choose free, real-time life insurance quotes from trusted top-rated insurance companies in minutes with an easy-to-use format. These online life insurance quotes are based on premium and other criteria. The Smart System™ displays the prices and different risk classifications of the insurance policies for which the system searches among top-rated life insurance companies. Instead of giving you only the lowest priced policies in the “Super Preferred” risk class, the site’s technology also lists the higher-priced categories for the majority of consumers who will not qualify for the lower risk classes. The LifeQuote team calls it a more accurate and realistic approach since insurance carriers reward only the healthiest people — those with the lowest risk of dying — with the coveted “Preferred” classes.
If you have any questions during your online search, you can talk live with a licensed life insurance agent. Surveys show that online shoppers want instant responses to their questions during the shopping process and would rather not receive a phone call, wait on hold or wait indefinitely for an email.