First Command Financial Behaviors Index® Reveals That One in Four Consumers without Permanent Life Protection Are Likely to Purchase Coverage in the Future
FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– As the economic downturn rolls into its third year, middle-class consumers are showing a growing interest in managing financial risk through the use of permanent life insurance products.
The August survey of the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 39 percent of middle-class Americans own some form of permanent life insurance coverage. And among those who don’t own a permanent life policy, one in four say they are likely to purchase this type of coverage in the future.
“After years of following the popular pitch to ‘buy term and invest the difference,’ consumers are now seeing how a market downturn can threaten a seemingly sound financial strategy,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “These numbers support findings by others in the industry who note that Americans are turning to permanent life coverage as a time-tested tool for managing long-term risk.”
The most popular permanent insurance product is whole life, which is owned by 26 percent of middle-class families. Other permanent life products held by survey respondents include universal life and variable life, which are owned by 10 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Term life insurance remains the go-to product for many consumers. Term policies are owned by 45 percent of middle-class families. Interestingly people who own term life policies feel less comfortable with their coverage than those who own whole life and other permanent products. The survey reveals a 5-point gap between those who feel “extremely” or “very” comfortable with their permanent life insurance coverage (49 percent) and those who feel the same way about their term life insurance coverage (44 percent). Also, consumer satisfaction levels are highest for whole life (60 percent), followed by term (55 percent), universal life (53 percent) and variable life (50 percent).
“We are not surprised to see that whole life is associated with high consumer satisfaction,” Spiker said. “This seemingly old-fashioned product remains popular because of its long-term value, flexibility and stability. The guarantees offered by these policies make it an especially appealing choice during the uncertainties of the current economic crisis.”
Regardless of product type, Americans clearly recognize the value of maintaining life insurance in this recessionary environment. Just four percent of Americans report making changes to their personal life insurance coverage as a result of the economy.
First Command surveyed consumers on their life insurance coverage as part of its September observance of Life Insurance Awareness Month, which was created by the LIFE Foundation in response to growing concern about the large number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 31 percent of middle-class Americans have no life insurance coverage.
“We remain concerned that such a large segment of the middle class has no life insurance protection,” Spiker said. “Maintaining the right amount of coverage provides a significant lift in feelings of financial security and confidence in the future.”
About the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®
Compiled by Sentient Decision Science, LLC, the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® assesses trends among the American public’s financial behaviors, attitudes and intentions through a monthly survey of approximately 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000. Results are reported quarterly. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. www.firstcommand.com/research
About Sentient Decision Science, LLC
Sentient Decision Science was commissioned by First Command to compile the Financial Behaviors Index®. Sentient is a full-service market research firm with special vertical expertise within the financial services industry. Sentient specializes in advanced research design and statistical analysis of behavioral and attitudinal data.
About First Command
First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the first and most powerful determinant of results. Through personalized financial plans that emphasize accumulating wealth while reducing risk, First Command Financial Advisors have established lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.
First Command Financial Services, Inc. is the parent company of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA) and First Command Bank (Member FDIC). Financial planning services and investment products, including securities products are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc.Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank. Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value.In certain states, First Command Financial Services, Inc. is a separately registered domestic corporation and does business in California as “First Command Insurance Services.” A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met.
First Command Financial Services, Inc.
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419
Source: First Command Financial Services, Inc.