Conventional wisdom holds that married couples and families are among those with a compelling need for life insurance. This is a main theme of the LIFE Foundation’s current “Insure Your Love” campaign.
So obviously, states with the highest percentages of married people are also the ones with the highest numbers of life insurance policies per capita, right?
Well, not so fast. A surprising study by Bankrate.com found that several states with the highest marriage rates are among the least insured populations in the country.
Utah, for example, leads the nation in marriage, with 57 percent its residents over age 15 being currently married and not separated. However, for every 100 people in the state there are fewer than 39 individual life policies in force, the lowest ratio in the country.
Idaho, the number two marriage state, and Wyoming, at number three, come in at 43 and 36, respectively, on the list of policies per capita.
Maybe even more surprisingly, some states at the bottom of the marriage list have the most life insurance policies, based on population.
Alabama leads the United States with nearly 139 life insurance policies in force for every 100 residents. Many people in the state carry more than one policy. Yet, less than 50 percent of the state’s population is married. Louisiana ranks 48th in marriage, with only 45.2 percent of its residents in a state of matrimony. Yet the Pelican State boasts 110 life policies for every 100 people.
A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals that some high policies-to-population ratio states have a smaller average face value. The average policy in Alabama, for example, is for about $46,000, while the U.S. average is $121,000, according to figures from the ACLI. The average face value in Louisiana is just over $59,000.
Those in Utah who do have policies tend to have more coverage - an average of nearly $225,000 per policy.
The upshot is that there are many married couples in states like Utah, Idaho and Wyoming who lack life insurance. And while insurance is more common in some states where smaller portions of the population are married, many of these people may not have enough coverage to adequately protect the financial futures of their loved ones.