Why is Life Insurance Taboo
Every September, the insurance industry recognizes Life Insurance Awareness Month. This year, the campaign has been energized by the COVID-19 outbreak, a pandemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans to date. According to a Lincoln Financial Group survey in July, more than one third of consumers think life insurance is more important in the wake of COVID-19, and 12% of those surveyed said they had increased their life insurance coverage in response to the pandemic.
Even with the heightened interest in life insurance brought on by COVID-19, there is still a large segment of our population that does not like to discuss the fact that they will die someday, and life insurance remains a very touchy subject for many.
Why is Life Insurance Such a Taboo Subject: The idea of even shopping for life insurance is something that many people just do not want to touch. This is largely because life insurance deals with two of the most sensitive subjects for consumers in our society; money and mortality.
Money – or more specifically how much you have and how much you earn – is not a subject that usually comes up during parties and family gatherings. It is generally considered taboo to tell somebody how much money you make, and this is why so many individuals put off seeing a financial planner. A lot of times, spouses are not even on the same page about their household finances, so talking about it with an outside party is often considered a bridge too far.
As we discussed earlier, death is another subject that most people do not want to talk about. Benjamin Franklin once said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For millennia, humans have known that death is a certainty that everyone will have to confront someday. So why do we not plan for it?
The main reason is that, although death is certain, there is a lot of uncertainty about what comes after that. For many, contemplating our unknown eternal future is too stressful. So, they do what they can to stay busy and distract themselves, so they do not have to think about it. Life insurance forces them to focus attention on their own mortality, and to confront the idea that there could be a time when they are no longer around to provide for their loved ones.
Overcoming the Stigma Associated with Life Insurance: COVID-19 has helped drive increased interest in life insurance. However, the concern is that once all of this is over, people will go back to their old habits. But it does not have to be this way.
Life insurance does not have to be a taboo subject, and in fact, it can be one of the most important financial planning strategies you have. Think about it. If you are saving money for retirement, for your child’s college education, and at the same time working toward paying off your mortgage and other debts, what is one thing that would instantly derail all of these plans? The answer of course is an untimely death.
It is not that you plan for this to happen or that you expect it to happen, but it would be unwise not to acknowledge the possibility of it happening. You do not have to spend a lot of time thinking about it either. Once you have a life insurance policy in place that takes care of your family’s finances in the event of a worst-case scenario, you can go back to living your life with the assurance that all your bases are covered.
Many people are concerned about the cost of life insurance, and this is another hang up that keeps them from shopping for a policy. There is a common misconception that life insurance is expensive, but the reality is that you can often purchase adequate coverage for only around $1 a day.
Speak with an Experienced Life Insurance Expert: There are a lot of different types of life insurance policies out there, and there are numerous carriers that offer this coverage. For some consumers, it is difficult to know where that to start. A good first step is to speak with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents work with several of the top insurers in your state, and because they are not captive to any particular carrier, they can shop freely to help you find the coverage that best fits your needs and budget.