As Hispanics, one of the most important traits that we share as a community is our love of family. We worry about them and want to make sure that we are doing everything we possibly can for them. This means spending time with our spouses and children; helping our parents with their monthly expenses if needed; hosting our cousins, brothers and sisters at our homes for dinner; and much more. All of these ways that we express our love have one thing in common: They rely on “us” to make them happen. But the reality is that we won’t always be here. While everyone hopes to live a long and healthy life, that isn’t guaranteed.
It isn’t sufficient just to focus on your family’s needs while you are alive; you need to ensure that your family is taken care of if something were to happen to you. As a community, we aren’t doing everything we can in this regard.
The LIFE Foundation in conjunction with LIMRA, a leading insurance industry researcher, recently released a report on the Hispanic community and our understanding of insurance. As a community we need to be aware of these studies’ findings and use the information to make better decisions for our families.
The 2012 Insurance Barometer Study indicates that we are more concerned about our family’s financial well-being compared with the general U.S. population. Fifty-five out of every 100 Hispanics are worried about the financial burden that a premature death would cause their families in the short-term (such as covering funeral expenses) and in the long-term (to maintain their standard of living). The majority of Hispanics are also worried about leaving an inheritance to their heirs when they die. Only one third of non-Hispanics share this same concern.
Many Hispanics who have these concerns understand that the best way to address them is through the purchase of life insurance. When you purchase sufficient life insurance coverage, you are ensuring that upon your death those you care about most will receive the money they need when they need it the most to avoid struggling with your death, debts and living expenses. But there are still millions of Hispanics that do not have any life insurance! According to LIFE’s study, 78 percent of Hispanics believe that most people need life insurance, with nearly 4 in 10 believing they need more insurance and wishing their spouse had more life insurance.
When looking at these statistics, it seems that something isn’t right. People that care about their families and know that life insurance is important either don’t have any life insurance or don’t have enough of it. When asked why, the answers varied; some said it’s because they don’t trust their insurance agents; others said it was because they are waiting for someone to offer them more insurance; others thought life insurance was too expensive.
All of the responses had one thing in common – they were just excuses! If you need life insurance or want to buy more, you don’t need to wait for someone to contact you; you can take the initiative to buy more either through an insurance agent or online. If you don’t feel comfortable with the agent you currently work with, then find a new one that is a better fit. If you feel insurance is too expensive, ask for several price quotes from differentcompanies and you’ll see that it is very affordable. The important thing is just to take the first steps to get educated and evaluate your needs. You can begin by going to the nonprofit LIFE Foundation’s website at www.lifehappens.org. It has an online Life Insurance Needs Calculator that helps you get started (www.lifehappens.org/lifecalculator). There are options to fit virtually every need and budget.
Your family is counting on you. Avoid making excuses for not purchasing life insurance. The people that will suffer the most because of this decision are those you love.