Life Insurance by the Numbers

Do your employees know the ins and outs of life insurance and how it can assist them and their families?

When breaking down the facts and figures on employee life insurance policies, lower income and less educated workers lack understanding in acquiring life insurance, more so than employees with higher household income and education, according to a national survey in 2010 by The Hartford Financial Services Group.

According to the survey of full-time workers, employees with a high school education had the smallest level of understanding of life insurance and were least apt to sign up for this benefit (65 percent) compared to workers holding a college degree. Thirty percent of workers with only a high school education claim they fully understand life insurance.

Survey respondents with a household income smaller than $50,000 were least likely to completely understand life insurance (29 percent) and had the least chance of signing up for this benefit (64 percent). The average earnings for a full-time U.S. worker is approximately $38,500.

The overall number of workers signing up for life insurance benefits grew from 64 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010. Women demonstrated the largest jump in participation, going from 60 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010. Men expanded their participation by two percentage points to 70 percent in 2010.

The Hartford’s survey reported Generation Y (ages 18-29) had the smallest level of life insurance understanding and participation compared to Generation X (ages 30-44) and Baby Boomers (ages 45-65). 64 percent of Gen Y indicated they fully or mostly understand life insurance compared with 77 percent Gen X and 79 percent of Boomers. Gen Y sported a 64 percent participation rate compared to 70 percent for Gen X and 71 percent for Boomers.

It would behoove business owners to do their research, get numerous life insurance quotes, and then sit down with new employees to show them the benefits of having such coverage while employed.

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