Single parents need life insurance most, are least likely to have it


Unmarried parents, especially men, with children living at home represent the largest group of people without life insurance, according to a new study.

Exactly 69% of single parents with children living at home are uninsured, according to a study by Genworth Financial.

About 59% of single parents with children in or out of the house are without life insurance, as are 45% of married parents with children in the household, the study showed.

About 49% of the U.S. adult population has some type of life insurance coverage. Single people, regardless of whether or not they have children, are 36% below the national level for life insurance coverage, according to the study.

The study indicated that there are more uninsured single male parents than single female parents, an inequality that exists across all income levels.

Exactly 79% of unmarried men who are not homeowners, have children in the household and earn less than $50,000 per year are without a life insurance policy, compared to 66% of women in the same category, the study showed.

The study also found that 79% of unmarried men who are not homeowners and have children in the household making between $50,000 and $250,000 per year are lack life insurance.

The level of uninsured households tends to increase as the number of children increases, particularly at the lower income levels, according to the study. The number “drastically” increases in instances of five or more children, the study found.

“We find that many single parents are simply too busy – or even too scared – to properly evaluate their life insurance needs,” Gregory B. Fairchild, research collaborator and associate professor at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, said in a statement. “This is an understandable fear because the first level of financial safety – the other parent – isn’t there. The study revealed the severity of this situation, not just among single parents, but married ones, too. The insurance industry has an opportunity to better educate consumers and give them the tools and resources to help protect themselves and their families.”

The Genworth Financial survey, conducted in collaboration with Ruf Strategic Solutions, of more than 23,000 adults age 18 and older was collected over the course of 15 months by telephone, online and mail.

2 Responses

  1. Cheryl Retzloff Says:

    I have a few questions about your study. I was wondering if your parent category include parents of just children under 18 or does it also include adult children? Do you have additional information regarding your methodology? Wondering why you collected the information over 15 months and also the source of the telephone, online and mail samples. Did you weight the data to US household numbers and if so what demographics did you weight your information to? Thank you.

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