Life Insurance Ownership Lowest Among Hispanics

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessA new study has found that Hispanics have the lowest rates of life insurance ownership when compared to Whites and African Americans. In fact, while 70 percent of Hispanic consumers agree that they personally need life insurance, only 54 percent of Hispanics say they own it. The gap is much narrower among other demographic groups. In comparison, 80 percent of African Americans and 67 percent of Whites agree they need life insurance, while 76 percent of African Americans and 62 percent of Whites own it.

These findings were released by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation and LIMRA as part of the organization’s “The 2011 Insurance Barometer Study,” a new, annual survey designed to increase understanding about consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding a host of insurance and financial planning matters. Of the Hispanics, who have life insurance coverage, more than one in five (22 percent) feel that their coverage is inadequate. When asked why they do not own more, the top reasons Hispanics cite are having other financial priorities (92 percent), life insurance being too expensive (83 percent), not being sure of how much or what kind to buy (74 percent) and not having been approached by anyone (58 percent).

A majority (69 percent) of Hispanics strongly agree that the main reason to buy life insurance is because of love for their family. The top reasons Hispanics give for owning life insurance are to cover burial and other final expenses (87 percent), help replace lost wages/income of a wage earner (75 percent), transfer wealth/leave an inheritance (75 percent) and pay off a mortgage (63 percent). Additional findings from the research:

Hispanics Want to Understand What They are Buying. When asked about important factors related to the purchase of life insurance, understanding what they are buying ranks highest among Hispanics (27 percent), followed by getting the proper amount of coverage (22 percent), and getting coverage that is guaranteed for life (19 percent). Only 16 percent of Hispanics say that getting the best price is the most important factor.

Financial Concerns. When asked about common financial concerns, 41 percent of Hispanics say they are extremely or very concerned about having money for a comfortable retirement, followed next by paying for medical expenses (40 percent). Even though many Hispanics do not have any life insurance or are inadequately insured, only 31 percent say they are extremely or very concerned about dying prematurely and leaving family members in a difficult financial situation. For more information on Life Insurance Awareness Month, life insurance and how to assess your needs, please visit

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