ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life is unpredictable, but every day people try to improve the odds that good things will happen by guarding against the bad. They wear a seatbelt, they lock their doors and they make sure they have a spare tire in the trunk. Ensuring financial plans are protected should not be an exception. Life insurance guarantees that financial plans will continue should the unexpected happen and a loved one loses their life. Yet today, 95 million adults are leaving their families at risk by not having any coverage to fall back on.
To educate Americans about the importance of life insurance, the industry will once again come together this September to support Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). In its ninth year, the campaign is coordinated by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation to encourage the millions of Americans who are currently underinsured to take action and get the coverage they need.
According to the 2012 Insurance Barometer Study by LIFE and LIMRA, a vast majority (83 percent) of Americans believe "most people" need life insurance and nearly two-thirds (65 percent) admit they "personally" need the coverage. The top two reasons people cite for not purchasing more are that they have "other financial priorities" (85 percent) or they believe the product is "too expensive" (83 percent), despite the fact that life insurance premiums are the lowest they have been in decades.
"Sometimes life happens and while we can't control it, we can do our best to prepare for it. That's why purchasing life insurance needs to be a priority. It helps guarantee your loved ones will be taken care of should something happen to you," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, President and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. "Yet, the unfortunate reality is that life insurance has fallen off the priority list for millions of Americans. This September, we want to remind people about the uncertainties of life and encourage them to take steps to get the protection they need."
Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro Joins the Effort as Spokesperson for LIAM
This year's LIAM campaign focuses on the fact that "life happens" and people need to plan ahead for unpredictable, sometimes unthinkable, moments.
To help bring the message to life, LIFE has partnered with Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bake Shop, to serve as national spokesperson for the campaign. When Buddy was just 17 years old, his life dramatically changed when his father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died just three weeks later at the age of 54. To keep his family business afloat, Buddy dropped out of high school and worked 12- to 18-hour days, six days a week.
"If there had been life insurance, I know things would have been a lot easier. I could have hired more people, worried less and had time to grieve," said Buddy.
Buddy bought life insurance when his first child was born and has increased his coverage as his family and business have grown. Throughout September, he will be sharing his story through national public service announcements and through videos on LIFE's Facebook fan page. Learn more at www.lifehappens.org/cakeboss.
For its part in the campaign, LIFE also will sponsor new advertising and consumer public awareness efforts through social and traditional media, and will offer new educational materials through its website to help get people thinking about their need for life insurance.
"Our hope is that information about life insurance will be hard to ignore this September. Life insurance is a critical part of any sound financial plan and it is time people put aside their excuses to find out if they are adequately covered," said Feldman.
Dispelling Common Life Insurance Misconceptions
To encourage people to assess their life insurance needs this LIAM, LIFE dispels some of the most common misconceptions with facts about life insurance:
- Misconception 1: Life insurance is too expensive – In reality, life insurance has never been more affordable and there are options to fit all types of budgets. Cost shouldn't be an excuse to put off purchasing this important coverage for your family. People need to realize that life insurance is a necessity, not a luxury and should be made a priority in their financial planning.
- Misconception 2: I only need life insurance if I work and earn an income – Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, the services you provide for your family would be costly to replace. Think about it. If you were no longer there, could your spouse afford to pay someone to provide the childcare, transportation, cleaning, cooking and other household responsibilities that you handle every day?
- Misconception 3: I don't need life insurance because I'm approaching retirement and all my kids have left the nest – As you get older and your life situation changes, so do your life insurance needs. Proceeds from a policy can play an important role in protecting your spouse's retirement security. If your spouse outlives you by 10, or even 30 years, which is certainly possible today, having life insurance can help enable your spouse to maintain the lifestyle that the two of you worked so hard to achieve.
- Misconception 4: The coverage I have through my employer is enough – Employers typically provide a modest amount of coverage; however, this may not be enough to cover the life insurance needs of your family. And, you cannot take the coverage with you should you decide to change employers.
For help getting started in assessing your needs, check out LIFE's insurance needs calculator at www.lifehappens.org/howmuch.
About Life Insurance Awareness Month
Life Insurance Awareness Month was created by the LIFE Foundation in 2004 in response to growing concern about the large number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. Held each September, it is an industry-wide effort involving hundreds of leading companies and thousands of insurance advisors. For more information about Life Insurance Awareness Month and LIFE's plans for the September campaign, contact Matt Derrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public's growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance solutions that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.lifehappens.org.
SOURCE The Life and Health Foundation for Education (LIFE)