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4 in 10 Americans would rather buy something 'fun' than purchase life insurance

By Maryalene LaPonsie on September 27th, 2011

crossroadsLife insurance certainly isn't glamorous and for 40 percent of Americans, it is also viewed as unnecessary. That's the surprising news from an online survey of 2,500 adults. Conducted by WellPoint, an insurance provider, the survey revealed most Americans feel unprepared to deal with a premature death, but many are doing nothing about it.

Overall, 69 percent of respondents indicate they think about the consequences of a premature death, and 50 percent say they do not have the financial resources to ensure adequate care of their beneficiaries after their death. However, that worry doesn't necessarily translate into a desire for life insurance on the part of many Americans.

Approximately 40 percent of respondents do not see a need for life insurance, and the same percentage say they would rather buy something "fun" than spend their dollars on premiums for term life, whole life or other life insurance coverage. One in three parents with minor children feel the same way.

Other findings from the report indicate 66 percent of women believe having life insurance coverage means they are prepared for the future. Meanwhile, only 57 percent of men agree with this statement. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to say they would rather buy fun things than pay for life insurance. Of survey respondents, 43 percent of men would rather not spend money on life insurance compared to 33 percent of women.

Affordable life insurance options on the rise

For those who want to purchase life insurance, there is good news from LIMRA. According to the industry group, 30 percent of U.S. employers with 10 or more workers plan to add new voluntary benefit options such as life and disability insurance in the coming two years. Currently, more than 300,000 businesses offer their employees the option to purchase life insurance through work.

Policies offered by employers are an opportunity for those without coverage to buy affordable life insurance. Workplace plans often provide group coverage which spreads the insurance company's risk of a claim among many participants and can result in lower premiums for everyone.

Those who do not have access to life insurance through an employer may want to consider a term life policy. Term policies are generally considered a more affordable life insurance option than whole life or other permanent insurance plans.

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