New data reveals only 46% of middle-market consumers have individual life insurance, and that more than three quarters of consumers age 25-64 say they would benefit from more close guidance from financial services professionals in adding that important voluntary benefit.

Benefit managers should note that most life insurance purchasers still prefer face-to-face meetings with financial advisers when buying/extending life insurance, according to recent LIMRA data. However, employees under the age of 45 say they find it more comfortable to purchase online.

LIMRA says advisers will play an important role in ensuring employees have the right life insurance to fit their family’s needs. Half of middle-market consumers said they prefer to buy life insurance face-to-face with a financial professional. The study adds that consumers want an adviser who can educate, listen and develop trust. In addition, 6 in 10 consumers say it is very important that their adviser represent a respected brand.

Also See: 5 must-haves for life insurance enrollment meetings

While 60% of those surveyed say they own group life insurance, coverage often is less than individual policies and is only in place while the person is employed. A quarter of consumers studied say they have no life insurance at all.

Middle-market consumers also said they were not financially prepared for the death of a family member, with the majority indicating they would need to make a drastic or significant financial change if that occurred.

According to LIMRA, four in 10 life insurance shoppers are prompted to start shopping for life insurance due to life events — marriage/divorce, having or adopting a child, buying a home, or experiencing the death of a relative or close friend.

Despite not saving much, the research shows American adults are still ranking having a financially comfortable retirement as a high priority. Almost 70% of consumers say current cost-of-living expenses are preventions from purchasing some or more life insurance. Further, half of those surveyed say additional expenses — Internet, cable and cell phone costs — are reasons they are not purchasing life insurance.

“Life insurance is the one product that can help families keep a roof over their heads, provide for basic living expenses and allow time to recover and heal from the loss of a loved one,” says Robert Kerzner, president and CEO of LIMRA. “LIMRA's research shows that people do not fully understand the risks they take by not having adequate life insurance coverage.”


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