September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and is the perfect time to examine your life insurance needs and beneficiary designations. The following list, from the Social Media section of the website LIMRA.com, contains some very interesting statistics:
- 1 in 5 people with life insurance say they do not have enough coverage.
- 1 in 3 people purchased or attempted to purchase life insurance online.
- Approximately 50 million households recognize they need more life insurance.
- The top three reasons Americans give for ‘owning life insurance’ in 2018 are:
- 91% – cover burial and final expenses
- 66% – help replace lost wages/income of a wage earner
- 63% – transfer wealth or leave an inheritance.
As a former financial advisor, I’m always interested in life insurance awareness and the …
stories shared by attendees at my speaking engagements. Recently, I was asked by a sweet 90-year-old woman to peruse a letter she received regarding life insurance proceeds on her deceased husband’s insurance policy. She was totally unaware that such a policy existed!
Upon her request, I did some research and then recommended she meet with the executor of her husband’s estate. The documents required to claim these funds included death certificate, tax returns, and trust documents, to which the executor has access. She was excited to learn she would be receiving money, yet somewhat disconcerted at her lack of knowledge of the policy’s existence and at the length of time for benefit notification. Her husband passed nearly 10 years ago! Questions that came to my mind were: What would have happened to these funds if she was deceased and this letter was mailed to her estate? Since she was the beneficiary on this policy, how difficult would it be for the heirs of her estate to claim these funds?
Do you have life insurance? Have you recently reviewed your policy and updated your beneficiaries? Would your family or friends know about your policy and where it is located? What is your level of life insurance awareness for yourself or your loved ones? You can read the story published in our Lifetime Legacy Planner about the $500,000 cancelled policy under the insurance heading on our Ten Stories page.