According to a survey by Nationwide Financial, almost no consumers who are married, partnered or have dependents had enough life insurance to replace their income. The survey showed that 98% of the consumers questioned did not have enough insurance to replace their lifetime income.
The average consumer surveyed will earn $1.5 million in a lifetime and has $300,000 in life insurance coverage. This would replace 16% of they will earn before retirement, even though 33% of those surveyed said their most important consideration when purchasing life insurance was replacing their income.
The survey found that consumers are willing to pay $99 a month on average to insure their family. For this amount, a healthy 35-year-old man can purchase a 20-year term life policy worth more than $2.3 million, and a healthy 35-year-old woman can purchase more than $2.6 million in life insurance, but only 29% of those surveyed believed they could afford enough life insurance to replace their income.
Two-thirds of those who have life insurance are “somewhat” or “very certain” they have enough insurance to replace the income they or their spouse or partner would make during the remainder of their working careers. However, when asked how long their family could maintain its standard of living if a breadwinner died, 62% say they either don’t know, or think they could do so for just four years or less.
And while 35% of those surveyed worked with an insurance agent or financial advisor to figure out how much life insurance coverage they need, 20% say they simply guessed how much coverage they needed.
If you are unsure as to the proper amount of life insurance for you, use either the Life Insurance Needs Calculator or the Human Life Value Calculator to determine what is appropriate for you. It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month—a great time to make sure you have enough coverage.