Pandemic Causes Surge in Life Insurance Sales

The sale of life insurance policies, which had been in steady decline for the past decade, has registered a significant upswing since Americans started getting sick and dying from coronavirus in the spring, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

The public, especially younger adults, started buying insurance in increased numbers in the spring, when thousands of Americans began getting ill and dying from COVID-19.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, the CEO of Policygenius, an online marketplace for life insurance, explained that the pandemic “forced the idea of financial protection and mortality to the top of mind for consumers in a way very few events have.”

She noted that Google Search traffic for “life insurance,” a good indicator of actual sales, spiked 50% between March and May this year compared to the same period last year.

This comes after sales had been on a downward trend for a decade, with just over half of American adults reporting having a life insurance policy this year compared with 63% a decade earlier, according to CNBC.

Byron Udell, president and CEO of AccuQuote, an online insurance marketplace that has registered a 30% increase in sales since the pandemic, said the jump in purchases reminds him of  “panic buying” after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I better get it now, because I might get COVID and die,” he said of people’s mindsets.

An increase in sales has especially been registered in term life insurance, which experts say is the industry’s simplest and most affordable product.

This option has been even more viable due to increased economic uncertainty during the recession caused by the coronavirus, experts pointed out.

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