More Workers Choosing Life Insurance Benefit, and More Paying for It

 A recent national survey of full-time workers by The Hartford Financial Services Group found the overall number signing up for life insurance benefits increased from 64% in 2009 to 69% in 2010.

Women showed the biggest jump in participation, going from 60% last year to 69% this year. Men increased their participation by two percentage points to 70% in 2010.   

In addition, the survey found more employers are asking their employees to pick up more of the cost of life insurance compared to last year, according to a press release. The number of workers who said their employer pays 100% of life insurance dropped from 37% last year to 33% in 2010. The percentage of employers that pay for some of the insurance costs dropped by three points in 2010.   

The survey showed employees with a high school education had the lowest level of understanding of life insurance and were least likely to sign up for this benefit (65%) compared to workers with a college degree. Thirty percent of workers with only a high school education said they completely understand life insurance, the press release said.   

Survey respondents with a household income of less than $50,000 were least likely to completely understand life insurance (29%) and were least likely to sign up for this benefit (64%). Sixty-four percent of Gen Y (ages 18-29) said they completely or mostly understand life insurance compared with 77% of Gen X (ages 30-44) and 79% of Baby Boomers (ages 45-65). Gen Y had a 64% participation rate compared to 70% for Gen X and 71% for Boomers.   

A recent LIMRA study found individuals want advice on life insurance needs (see Individuals Want Advice on Life Insurance Needs).