Life insurance 2020

Almost half of adults don’t have or know if they have life insurance

Woman outside

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Sept. 24, 2020) – The coronavirus pandemic gives millions of Americans—especially younger adults, those with children at home, and minorities—an opportunity to reconsider how they manage their finances.

According to a new Unum (NYSE:UNM) survey,* 41% of adults said the pandemic has changed how their family handles finances. And nearly one in four (22%) will consider increasing their life insurance coverage this year.

Most Americans don’t understand how much life insurance they need—and 45% don’t have or know if they have life insurance—according to the survey.

“The pandemic changed our lives, and it’s not a surprise more people are thinking about how they are protecting their families with life insurance,” said Chris Pyne, executive vice president of Group Benefits at Unum. “For most people, the ability to earn an income throughout their life is the biggest asset they have.”

In nearly half (48%) of households, the death of a family’s primary wage-earner would cause financial strain in less than three months.

While 22% said the pandemic caused them to consider adding additional life insurance coverage, the numbers are even higher among several groups, including: households with children (34%), Black adults (36%), Hispanic adults (38%), Generation Z’ers (38%) and Millennials (30%).

When asked how much life insurance they need, more than one in three (36%) of respondents said they just needed the equivalent or double their annual income. And another 28% believe they just need three or four times their income.

In fact, Life Happens recommends people have 10 to 15 times their salary in life insurance coverage for funeral expenses, household bills and future financial obligations, like education or retirement, should a wage earner die.

Talk to your company’s Human Resources department to learn about getting life insurance through your workplace or contact a local insurance broker in your area.

*Online research administered between Aug. 25 and Sept. 2, 2020 by Dynata on behalf of Unum among 1,002 U.S. adults.


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About Unum Group

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2022, Unum reported revenues of about $12 billion and paid $8 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®. 

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