Who buys permanent insurance?

By Andrew Rickard | December 16 2015 11:23AM

A recent survey has found that middle market households own most of the individual permanent life insurance in force.

According to LIMRA's Facts of Life and Annuities study, middle class people in the United States tend to be the ones who buy permanent insurance coverage. "Once thought to be primarily bought by the affluent, households at all income levels own permanent life insurance with the middle market leading the way at 57%," reads the report.

LIMRA has found that 70% of all American households have some life insurance coverage: 50% own only permanent, 32% have only term, and 18% carry both permanent and term. Other research conducted by LIMRA found that about 7 out of 10 employees in the US have some kind of life insurance either offered or available to them through work, and 80% participate in these group plans.

"Whether they own permanent or term life insurance, consumers rate income replacement as a key reason for having coverage," concludes LIMRA. "When asked why they own life insurance, covering lost wages and income is second only to paying burial expenses.  Across all income groups, the average U.S. household that has life insurance owns enough to replace 3.5 years of income."