Survey Shows Parents Would Rather Discuss Drugs, Alcohol, Religion and Politics than Life Insurance and the “Birds & Bees”
State Farm® Suggests Creation of a “Family Bucket List” to Kick-Start the Conversation
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Bloomington, Ill., (September 3, 2013) /PRNewswire/ — A new online survey shows just how difficult life insurance conversations can be. Parents would rather talk to their children about drugs/alcohol, religion and politics before life insurance, which is a topic only slightly more comfortable than sex/puberty. The survey also shows parents are the primary source for initial conversations about life insurance. This topic avoidance might be one reason that 22 percent of Americans feel they are not at all knowledgeable about life insurance. The State Farm survey, conducted by Harris Interactive among over 2,000 U.S. adults also revealed a gap in Americans’ knowledge of life insurance and general misconceptions about the benefits life insurance provides to those who are insured.
“Parents know life insurance is an important element to protecting their family, yet there seems to be a disconnect between that importance and the importance of commodities such as cable TV or cell phones,” said Joe Monk, senior vice president and chief administrator officer – State Farm Life. “The challenging financial times experienced by families over the last several years only underscore the importance of planning for the long term and talking with those we love about family finances, including life insurance.”
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) and a great time to have conversations about this important aspect of a family’s overall financial plan. State Farm suggests creating a “Family Bucket List” as a fun way to kick-start this serious conversation. Make sure setting goals and envisioning your family’s sound financial future is part of the discussion. Life insurance can help you and your family realize the dreams and goals on your bucket list even when faced with challenging circumstances.
“While the primary benefit of a life insurance policy is a death benefit – or the payment made upon the passing of the insured individual – some policies, such as permanent policies, also offer living benefits. These policies build a cash value that can be used over time for other life goals, such as paying for college or providing a little extra cushion during retirement,” Monk said.
*Key Survey Findings:
- Life insurance conversation uncomfortable – When it comes to life’s most important topics, higher percentages of parents feel comfortable talking with their children about drugs and alcohol (55 percent), religion (53 percent) and politics (44 percent) than discussing life insurance (38 percent), family finances (36 percent) or sex/puberty (30 percent).
- Parents count – 45 percent of Americans first learned about life insurance from a family member. Daughters were most likely to name their moms (21 percent) as their top source for first learning about life insurance, while sons are most likely to list their dads (22 percent). Becoming a parent is the number one life event that prompts individuals to obtain life insurance coverage (37 percent), however just 51 percent of parents have individual life insurance policies outside of work.
- Most families budget for vacations/cell phones before life insurance – More than 7 in 10 parents consider life insurance to be important (71 percent) and over three-fourths say it plays a role in their overall financial plan (78 percent), yet only 59 percent of parents would be likely to adjust their budget to purchase life insurance. A greater percentage of parents would be willing to adjust their budget to afford cable TV (76 percent), a family vacation (69 percent), or a cell phone and service for each family member (62 percent), compared to life insurance.
- Knowledge Curve – Seventy-eight percent of Americans consider themselves at least somewhat knowledgeable about life insurance. However, one in five (22 percent) feel they are not at all knowledgeable about life insurance.
- More than death benefits – Forty-four percent of Americans believe that “life insurance benefits are only accessible when an insured family member passes away.” However, many policies offer benefits while a policyholder is still alive. These “living benefits” can be accessed for qualified college, retirement and emergency expenses (this may reduce the death benefit and cash value).
* More detailed survey results can be found here.
- Assessing Life Insurance Needs – A State Farm Agent can guide a professional conversation to help families assess their insurance needs and make confident and informed decisions. In addition, the State Farm Life Illustrated® Calculator, is an online interactive tool that calculates basic life insurance needs. By answering questions related to age, marital and family status, geographic location and income level, the calculator’s dashboard adjusts to display a recommended coverage amount. The assessment can be saved as a personal file or sent to a State Farm agent for further consultation and assistance.
- “Family Bucket List” – In an effort to put the “life” back into life insurance, State Farm will also launch the “Family Bucket List” social media campaign to encourage consumers to envision and share their most exciting and sought after dreams to experience with family members. They can share and track their family bucket list at bucketlist.org/statefarm.
- Real Life Stories – Throughout September/LIAM, State Farm will share key findings from the survey and real-life story videos (Nicolas, Summer and Michael) that demonstrate the importance of life insurance and how it helps protect families’ dreams.
About State Farm®:
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com/ or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca/.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of State Farm between June 4-10, 2013, among 2,019 U.S. adults age 18 or older. A subset of 1,056 respondents was parents (of any age child). Figures for age, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income and number of children in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Mia Jazo-Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients—stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
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