The Uncomfortable Issue of Life Insurance

The idea of buying life insurance is unsettling to many people. It touches on the unpredictability of life, and how the “best laid plans” can go awry when tragedy strikes a family, and someone dies before their time.

Maybe this is why there are 20 million American households with dependent children either don’t have any life insurance or don’t have nearly enough, according to Bankrate.

According to a new study by the firm, a full 37% of Americans with children under age 18 do not have any life insurance.

Other findings from the study are that:

  • Overall, 42% of Americans lack life insurance and about half of those who have it are covered for $100,000 or less.
  • Even 1 in 4 insured people with annual household income of $75,000+ have $100,000 or less in coverage.
  • 11% of women and 5% of men say they have life insurance, but they don’t know how much.
  • About one-third of the parents who do have life insurance have no more than $100,000 of protection.

All of this data underscores the importance of having family discussions about the worst happening. Of course it’s uncomfortable to talk (or even think) about a parent dying, but the result of not talking about this possibility – and preparing for it – is an extra burden placed on surviving family members.


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