November 22, 2017

Workers With Lower Incomes Lag In Insurance

The Hartford Survey: Workers with Lower Incomes Lag Behind in Life Insurance Knowledge, Participation

Sep 08, 2010 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) –Lower income and less educated workers lag behind in the understanding and purchasing of life insurance than employees with higher household income and education, according to a recent national survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group.

The Hartford’s national survey of full-time workers showed employees with a high school education had the lowest level of understanding of life insurance and were least likely to sign up for this benefit (65 percent) compared to workers with a college degree. Thirty percent of workers with only a high school education said they completely understand life insurance.

Survey respondents with a household income of less than $50,000 were least likely to completely understand life insurance (29 percent) and were least likely to sign up for this benefit (64 percent). The average earnings for a full-time U.S. worker is nearly $38,500, which translates to a considerable segment of the employee population that would fall into this category, noted Ron Gendreau, executive VP, The Hartford’s Group Benefits.

“We are concerned that many working Americans are putting their family’s financial security at risk. No matter what your income level, you can benefit from life insurance,” Gendreau said. “We’re encouraging all employees to get up-to-speed on the protection this month – Life Insurance Awareness Month.”

The overall number of workers signing up for life insurance benefits increased from 64 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010. Women showed the biggest jump in participation, going from 60 percent last year to 69 percent this year. Men increased their participation by two percentage points to 70 percent in 2010.

The Hartford’s survey found Generation Y (ages 18-29) had the lowest 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 said they completely or mostly understand life insurance compared with 77 percent Gen X and 79 percent of Boomers. Gen Y had a 64 percent participation rate compared to 70 percent for Gen X and 71 percent for Boomers.

The Hartford recently enhanced its group life coverage by offering expedited payment of death benefits. In this new payment process, beneficiaries who use funeral planning services provided by Everest Funeral Planning may receive death benefits in as little as 48 hours from the date of death. The death benefit may be expedited in instances where the insured died from natural causes and the cause of death is not being investigated.

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