Black Americans More Likely to Buy Life Insurance Than the General Population

Six in 10 Black American households (approximately 9.9 million) indicate they are fairly, or very likely to buy life insurance for themselves or another member of their household in the next 12 months, compared to just 45 percent of the general population.

In a similar LIMRA study conducted in 2010, Black Americans proved to be more receptive to buying life insurance at that time than in the past. Recent study shows that Black Americans are purchasing life insurance in record numbers (75 percent in 2016).

Segments of the Black American population who are the most likely to buy include those under age 54 in all income brackets, and particularly couples with children (72 percent).

LIMRA’s research finds nearly half (47 percent) of Black Americans feel that their household members should have more life insurance coverage, including one-third of insured Black Americans who say they will face financial problems almost immediately should the primary wage earner die. The average amount of years of replacement coverage for Black American households is 2.7 years, compared to an average of 3 years for the general population.

Black Americans say some of reasons preventing them from buying life insurance include: having other financial priorities and having a difficult time deciding what to buy.  Two-thirds say they find it difficult to decide what type and how much coverage to purchase.

In 2010, the study’s author, Nilufer Ahmed said: “There is a great need for retirement-related education” in order to help Black Americans make decisions and set financial priorities in the income replacement years. Six years later, after conducting the Black American Study, she echoes the same sentiment.

The study was conducted in early 2016 and is based on a sub-sample of 456 Black American households from the original sample of 4,197 households. The study, to be released March 2017, examines data on U.S. life insurance ownership levels, buying patterns, and attitudes of the Black American market.