Alive to the Need for Life Insurance

Among the necessities of life, a majority of Americans feel, is life insurance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve got some — though most do.

In an Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted for insurance company ING, 86 percent of Americans with income of $50,000-plus said they have life insurance, as did 71 percent of those in the $25,000-49,999 bracket and 51 percent of those making less than $25,000. Among people who are employed full time, 84 percent have life insurance, vs. 55 percent of part-time workers and 44 percent of adults who aren’t employed. Sixty-nine percent of retirees have some.

In all, 71 percent are insured (often through their employer), a number that nearly matches the 68 percent who strongly agreed that “a person in your situation should have life insurance.” Among the larger group who agreed at least “somewhat” with that statement, though, 22 percent don’t have life insurance — presumably making them a promising target for the category’s marketers.

Funeral expenses loom large in the thinking of people who believe they ought to have life insurance (whether or not they’ve got some).