One of the big issues that many consumers bring up when they talk about why they don't have life insurance, or perhaps don't have as much as they need, is the cost. Of course, polls show that consumers tend to dramatically overestimate how much they would pay for this coverage - often because they don't fully understand all the life products that may be available to them - but good news may come soon for cost-conscious consumers.
Earlier this year, life insurers in the vast majority of states across the U.S. adopted a new method of reserving their funds and, over the next three years, will transition to this method, according to U.S. News & World Report. This is being done because of the large and seemingly ever-growing variety of life insurance products on the market, which have significantly outpaced the rate at which insurers were updating their reserving efforts for more modern needs. But with the new processes in place, it's possible - and perhaps even likely - that some life insurance premiums could decline.
Why is that the case?
New reserving efforts could lead to lower premiums on new policies (though not existing ones), and therefore it will be term life insurance, in particular, that sees the most benefit from the new environment in the near future, the report said. In a 2012 projection the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that such a switch would reduce reserves by as much as 64 percent, and it now seems as though life insurers would pass the savings on to policyholders. One company recently said some types of coverage could see premiums drop as much as 15 percent, and the average discount would likely come to about 2.6 percent.
"The big picture from our end is this rule is going to make life insurance premiums cheaper," Justin Halverson, founding partner at a financial advisor firm in Minneapolis, told the publication.
What does this mean for consumers?
To that end, it's vital for people who are considering life insurance changes or purchases these days to carefully consider their needs going forward, according to the New Hampshire Business Review. Having the ability to assess how needs may have changed since they first obtained their coverage - including major life events such as having children - can go a long way toward informing smart decisions about future financial security.
The major concern many people have as it relates to life insurance is cost, and it is therefore important for them to look at all options before making a purchase, or choosing not to make one, according to the consumer finance site Dough Roller. Being able to simply get quotes from a number of life insurance providers can itself give consumers an idea of the price range in which they should be shopping.
To that end, it's also important for life insurers to reach out and help consumers understand the true cost of coverage and the ways in which they can find policies that align as closely as possible with their unique needs.