Millennials self-report a 78 percent shortfall in life insurance coverage

The Millennial generation is most at risk that can result in financial hardship due to inadequate life insurance coverage, according to our new Life Insurance Gap Survey1

We asked Americans to compare a) how much insurance they would need following the untimely passing of a breadwinner, for expenses ranging from mortgages to retirement funds to paying for a child’s college education, and b) how much life insurance they have in place today. The results were eye opening. Only 10 percent of Millennials have 100 percent of the insurance they say they need.

"Too many members of this generation are starting a family or buying a home without access to replacement income if the worst were to happen." - Brian Madgett, Vice President, New York Life.

The stress is beginning to show

More than half of Millennials are not prepared to deal with the death of a breadwinner or the loss of their job. Nearly half of them feel stressed about their current level of savings and their planning for their future needs, and 40 percent are stressed about their current level of income and their children’s education.

"Millennials are missing an opportunity to take a ‘protection first’ approach to financial goals such as saving for retirement or owning a home," said Madgett. "Without life insurance, even the best laid plans can be ruined by the death of a breadwinner."

"Without life insurance, even the best laid plans can be ruined by the death of a breadwinner."
- Brian Madgett, VP, New York Life

So, what’s the good news?

Yes, there is good news. Millennials feel more financially secure than the overall population. Eighty-one percent say they feel financially secure versus 76 percent of all survey respondents. Says Madgett, “The good news is that more than two-thirds of Millennials, who have the time and opportunity to better prepare themselves, say that having enough life insurance to protect their family is an important goal for them.”

What about Gen X?

Generation X has a 48 percent gap between their coverage and their needs, a number vastly improved from the 63 percent gap reported in New York Life’s 2013 Life Insurance Gap survey.

Read full survey results here.

Check out the related infographic.

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Media contact
Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955

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1 New York Life’s Life Insurance Gap survey examines the financial planning attitudes and behaviors of 1,738 Americans ages 25-70 who are married and/or have financial dependents, including 1,176 adults who have life insurance. The survey focuses on how much life insurance coverage Americans currently have in place and what they want their life insurance policies to cover in the event of the death of the breadwinner, resulting in a self-reported gap. Both the 2013 and 2018 gap surveys were commissioned by New York Life, the nation’s largest mutual life insurer.