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2018 Insurance Barometer

2018 Insurance Barometer

Industry Issues

  • Consumer financial attitudes and behaviors
  • Ownership rates for life, disability, and long-term care insurance
  • The appeal of simplified underwriting
  • The importance of social media for financial advisors

The Financial Mindscape


Key Findings

  • Protection against loss: More than one third (35 percent) of all households would feel adverse financial impacts within one month if a primary wage earner died.
  • Feelings about coverage: Among those with life insurance, about 1 in 5 say that they do not have enough.
  • Shopping for coverage: Half of all adults visited a life company website and/or sought life insurance information online in 2017. Almost 1 in 3 purchased or attempted to purchase life insurance online — about the same as in 2016
  • Purchase barriers: Consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance, especially younger generations; 44 percent of Millennials overestimate the cost at five times the actual amount.
  • Simplified underwriting: Half of all consumers say they are more likely to purchase life insurance if priced without a physical examination.
  • Social media: The importance of social media platforms is growing, especially among younger generations. Fifty-four percent of Millennials are likely to ask social media connections for recommendations on financial professional.
  • Financial advisors: Half of all consumers want a primary financial advisor; 37 percent have one; 14 percent are looking for one.

Barometer 2018 Figure 1 (small)

Barometer 2018 Figure 2 (small)

Barometer 2018 Inforgraphic (small)

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Life Compass

Meet the Project Director

James T. Scanlon, M.S., HIA
Senior Research Director, Insurance Research - Markets

Scanlon directs a team of LIMRA researchers focused on insurance product and service marketing. His program includes one-time topical studies, as well as recurring surveys that track consumer behaviors and ownership levels over time. Scanlon conducts projects with a focus on key consumer segments, including the middle market, affluent markets, and small-business owners. He holds an M.S. in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts, where he also earned a B. A. in economics.

For more information, Email

James T. Scanlon, M.S., HIA; Karen R. Terry, FLMI; Maggie Leyes