Life Insurance Awareness Month – how Americans navigate their coverage choices
September 22nd, 2023, Kineree Shah

Life Insurance Awareness Month – how Americans navigate their coverage choices

In honor of Life Insurance Awareness Month, let's dive into the latest data from YouGov Profiles that sheds light on American life insurance ownership trends.

Starting with a broad overview, almost three in ten Americans own a life insurance policy (29%). As expected, the prevalence of insurance ownership ascends with age. A modest 8% of young adults aged 18-24 have ventured into life insurance coverage, a figure that amplifies to nearly one-fifth (18%) for those in the 25-34 age bracket, and further still to a quarter of the adults aged 35-44. The trend continues upward as we move to the 45-54 age group, where more than one-third (35%) have secured a life insurance policy. Two in five Americans (42%) aged 55 and above have life insurance coverage.

This data also reveals a significant market opportunity. A large proportion of individuals across all age groups remain uninsured, presenting a vast potential audience for insurance companies. Whether they're younger adults just starting their life journey or those in middle age considering future security, there's a considerable untapped market awaiting insurers.

Equally crucial to life insurance businesses is the need to retain existing customers and offering good deals might help keep the consumer base glued. Our data shows that roughly one in eight life insurance holders consistently shop around, ensuring they're getting the best deal available (13%). This behavior is slightly more prevalent among men (14%) than women (11%). When widened to include those who try to shop around but not religiously, the numbers rise to about one in five (22%), with 25% of men and 20% of women falling into this category. Yet, a quarter of insured consumers prefer to stick with their current insurer and simply accept the renewal quote, with this tendency being especially pronounced among women (29%).

For those in the 'very active' or 'active' categories, the sources they use for research are diverse. More than half of these proactive insurance holders opt for price comparison websites (52%). Close behind, nearly half rely on the websites of insurers or brokers they're already familiar with (49%). Friends and family also serve as a significant source of information, with two-fifths of individuals turning to their close ones for advice (43%). One in three prefer the more traditional route, calling or visiting known insurers for a direct quote (37%).

However, less conventional methods also find their way into the mix. Roughly one in eight actively research consumers consult mail-based advertisements or newsletters (12%), or the websites of banks and other financial advisers (12%). One in ten look to email-based advertisements or newsletters, and a smaller fraction (7%) reach out to their local bank for potential offerings.

These insights shed light on the intricacies of consumer behavior surrounding life insurance, highlighting the importance for businesses to understand their audience and adapt accordingly.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US market is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio