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Millennials, others continue to come around on life insurance

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Stephanie Crownhart
Millennials, others continue to come around on life insurance
Millennials, others continue to come around on life insurance

For years after the end of the recession, perhaps the overall biggest concern in the life insurance industry was that young adults were not buying life coverage. Many reasons may have contributed to this, not just limited to the financial considerations. The good news is that more recently, millennials have started coming around to the idea of life insurance. Though, experts say more needs to be done to reach them.

One of the big reasons why millennials largely avoided life insurance in the immediate wake of the recession - and an issue that still persists to a lesser extent today - is that young people don't believe they have a need for this coverage, according to a report from CNBC. This is due to the fact that many still don't have a spouse or children of their own that they feel they need to protect financially. Further, many don't think of themselves as being particularly vulnerable to issues life insurance is meant to address.

"Most of Gen Y thinks that they're invincible," Chad Chubb, a certified financial planner, told the site. "The fact of the matter is that most 20- or 30-year-olds will require life insurance at some point."

Millennials may not always think of themselves as needing life insurance, but often, they do.Millennials may not always think of themselves as needing life insurance, but often, they do.

Why should they have coverage?
Often, young people may have a misconception that life insurance is just to replace lost income, but experts point out that those in the industry should probably also be highlighting some other benefits of coverage to millennials, according to the report. Not only can it replace lost income, but it can also help pay costs that come up in the event of an untimely death, such as final expenses. Further, it can assist family members who would have to deal with debt left behind, including student loan balances and credit card bills.

One option that may be particularly attractive to young people here - especially because they tend to dramatically overestimate the cost of life coverage - is term life insurance, the report said. This helps keep their costs down and will still protect them for a period of a few decades.

Sales picking up
The good news for the industry, though, is that life insurance sales more or less across the board are now picking up nationwide, according to Insurance News Net. In the second quarter of the year, indexed life insurance sales ticked up 2 percent on a quarterly basis, rising to $441 million. Yet, that number was also down 3.7 percent on an annual basis.

The more life insurers can do to connect with young people going forward, by highlighting the benefits of coverage and showing them what it actually costs, the better off both sides of the equation are likely to be. At some point, older generations including baby boomers will start to lag in sales, and it will be up to insurers to help millennials get the coverage they need.

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