The Coronavirus pandemic has introduced us to many surprises. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that the perceived need for a life insurance policy has gone up. As CNBC recently reported, the pandemic has made for a surge in “panic buying” of policies, even though sales had been on the decline for many years.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at this recent trend, and trying to get to the bottom of what’s driving these latest consumer actions and what the current numbers are signalling for the future of life insurance policies across the country.
A Life Insurance Rebound
Despite life insurance ownership being down to fifty percent of the eligible population in 2020, data from insurance companies shows that search traffic for their services is up by half compared to just a year prior. This is during the midst of Coronavirus lockdowns, with cases growing and a good deal of uncertainty about what the future might hold for families in the United States.
What fueled these searches? Coronavirus forced many to consider their own mortality. Faced with the very real possibility of the unthinkable, a greater number of people concerned themselves with how they would protect their families in the event of their passing. The loss of a family member could have severe impacts on household income, after all, and there’s the added expense of funeral costs — two major reasons that people look at life insurance in the first place.
Those searches weren’t just for research purposes either. CNBC also reports that many firms have seen “double digit increases” in the amount of life insurance policies they’ve sold during the Coronavirus pandemic when compared to previous years, even with a slow start at the beginning of the year.
Older individuals aren’t the only ones buying either. While there was indeed a 9 percent jump in applications among 45 to 59 year olds, there was an even greater increase — 13 percent — among applications for individuals under the age of 44.
And this makes sense, and insurers can’t deny people’s insurance claims just because of COVID. While many have put in some restrictions for groups that are a greater risk of death if they contract the virus, for those in good health, getting a new policy is still feasible and widely encouraged. Across the board, people are more interested in life insurance than ever, and it’s likely that the importance of insurance will remain a focal point for the foreseeable future.