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Are life insurance (mis)perceptions becoming reality?

Here we are in the tail end of September, and yet another Life Insurance Awareness Month is starting to wind down. All month, we’ve been receiving the emails – the heartwarming stories, the tear-jerking videos, and the celebrity testimonials reminding us how important life insurance really is. However, even with all of this, there are still millions of uninsured Americans out there, and millions more that are underinsured. How can this still be?

It’s simple – despite life insurance being more accessible (and affordable) than ever before, the perception of life insurance doesn’t reflect the reality of life insurance. And we’re not even talking about the run-of-the-mill misperceptions we run into every day (see our recent blog post and this article on Investopedia for examples). According to LIMRA studies, consumers believe that life insurance costs nearly three times the actual price! How many potential sales do you think walked out your door with vastly inflated numbers in their heads before you had a chance to show them an illustration? This raises a question – have we really been doing enough to educate our clients and correct these misperceptions?

Here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Life insurance is not the most pleasant topic to discuss… this isn’t a huge secret. However, according to another LIMRA study, nearly a third of adults would feel the financial impact from the loss of a primary wage earner less than one month after their passing. Ask your clients this question and see how their responses match up; although it still may be unpleasant, they’ll see how necessary the discussion actually is.
  • Many times consumers contemplate purchasing life insurance around important life events, such as births, marriages, new jobs, divorces, and even deaths of close friends and family members. Since these types of things happen all around us every day, there is always a compelling reason to be discussing life insurance.
  • Despite the rise in third party insurance wholesalers (such as those we see advertised on the internet and daytime TV), many clients still draw comfort from the face-to-face interactions and enjoy the reassurance a professional can bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to be that resource to your clients – in times of uncertainty they’ll know who they can turn to, and there’s no better endorsement than that.

But don’t take my word on it. Take this life insurance quiz from LIMRA, and see how your scores stack up against the average American consumer. Were you surprised at your score? For an even bigger wake up call, ask your clients to take it!

Don’t let public (mis)perceptions of life insurance become your reality – it’s never too late to start educating! It’s not enough that we are constantly bombarded with these facts and figures; your clients need to hear them too. Send a newsletter, host a seminar, or increase (or start!) your presence on social media – every little bit helps! I’ve included some links below to get you started.

Mutual of Omaha Kit

Legal & General Kit

Principal Financial Kit

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