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Life Insurance Ownership in Focus (2016)

Life Insurance Ownership in Focus

Industry Issues

Our Ownership Study, an industry leader beginning in 1960 is now in its eighth edition. It provides a fascinating glimpse into American financial culture and illuminates major trends and key opportunities in the marketplace. Find out how to navigate today's life insurance industry with renewed confidence. Keep up with today's consumers — and at the same time, learn about ownership levels, buying patterns, and attitudes — so your company can continue to thrive even in these changed times. We will release in-depth reports from multiple perspectives now and throughout 2017.

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Life Insurance Ownership in Focus

Key Findings

The number of U.S. households owning life insurance (87.2 million) grew by 4.9 million over the last six years.

The overall ownership rate (market penetration) is 70 percent, unchanged from 2010.

The average amount of coverage owned and the average household income replacement ratio have decreased over the past 12 years leaving many households underinsured.

Almost half of all U.S. households have a life insurance need gap. The total market need is at least $12 trillion.  Market need will grow by approximately 2.8 percent annually. This means an additional $340 billion of new life insurance need enters the market each year.

Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity Knocks

Jim Scanlon - Ownership

Figure 2

Trends in the Life Insurance Ownership Rate Since 1960

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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