Most single working mothers have life insurance, struggle with adequate coverage

By Maryalene LaPonsie on September 2nd, 2011

single mothers While single working mothers are aware of the need for life insurance, many struggle to buy the appropriate level of coverage. That is one finding from a recent study conducted by LIMRA, a global research and consulting firm for the insurance and financial industries.

According to the firm's research, nearly 67 percent of single working mothers have purchased life insurance. What's more, 90 percent of single mothers earning more than $50,000 annually are covered by life insurance. Meanwhile, only 57 percent of all women maintain life insurance coverage for themselves.

"We were surprised by the level of life insurance ownership among single mothers," said Nilufer Ahmed, senior research director for LIMRA Markets Research, in a statement.

Although most single working mothers have coverage, only a third of those felt their life insurance benefits would be enough to support their children well into the future should they die. Most single mothers indicate they are underinsured because they have been unable to find affordable life insurance that fits their budgets.

Helping single mothers find life insurance

As part of its report, LIMRA suggests life insurance companies take steps to help single mothers determine the appropriate level of coverage and identify sources of affordable life insurance. With 7 in 10 single mothers assuming the fees to work with a financial planner make their services out-of-reach, LIMRA suggests that many may be making decisions without professional guidance.

"Companies and financial professionals should provide some guidelines about the fees involved in meeting prospects face to face," commented Ahmed. "It is highly probable that single mothers are overestimating these costs, and therefore are not even approaching financial advisors."

Among the suggestions made by LIMRA:

  1. Financial professionals should offer to review policy coverage levels with clients and prospects.
  2. Single mothers should proactively be offered financial planning services.
  3. Meetings should be scheduled in a manner that is most convenient for single mothers. For example, mothers should be welcome to bring their children to the office if needed.

"With about 10 million U.S. single mothers with children under the age of 18 living with them; there is a significant opportunity for companies to help these families obtain adequate levels of life insurance," said Ahmed.

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