Life Insurance Survey Says We Don’t Talk About Death

Oct 22, 2010 | 0 comments

The economic downturn of the past two years has impacted family budgets in some unexpected ways – such as couples not talking about death and life insurance. Maybe if we pretend to ignore death, it will leave us alone.

Not that it’s a topic couples usually discuss with any regularity, but according to a new survey by State Farm® Life Insurance Company, couples are avoiding the awkward conversation even more with the stresses of recent economic pressures.

The survey shows that since the economic downturn in 2008 and the uncertainty it has created for people’s finances, a majority of people say life insurance is more important than it was two years ago. However, 74 percent of couples say they rarely or never discuss the topic. (surprise!)

The survey found that talking about life insurance is particularly difficult for men and women who are primary earners for the family. These respondents say key reasons for avoiding the topic include stress over daily economic pressures and concern that a partner might react negatively – especially in the event of a job loss.

The topic is especially concerning for women when faced with the prospect of becoming the primary earner for the family. When asked about why they would not initiate a conversation about life insurance, respondents cited financial stress as very or somewhat important.

Women were significantly more likely to remain silent with 64 percent saying they would be too stressed to initiate a conversation with their spouse. This compares with 47 percent of men faced with the prospect of being the sole breadwinner.

“This survey shows that, at a time when couples should be sitting down to discuss how to prepare for the unexpected, far too many remain silent,” said Joe Monk, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, State Farm Life Insurance. ’As awkward as it can be to discuss the potential death of a family member, an uncomfortable discussion today can prevent a devastating financial impact tomorrow.”

Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about life insurance (and funeral planning) won’t make you dead – and your family will benefit from the conversation. Have a conversation today.

A Good Goodbye