Most people are familiar with the saying "life is short," but it doesn't seem to be much of a motivator when it comes to life insurance purchases. People often procrastinate because they feel that time is on their side. But a new survey from the nonprofit LIFE Foundation indicates that if people knew that their days were numbered, many would rush to buy life insurance if given the chance. The survey found that just two percent (2%) of adult Americans say they plan to purchase life insurance in the next 30 days. However, if they were told with certainty that they only had 30 more days to live, the number of people who say they would buy in those next 30 days skyrockets to 62 percent.
"The reality that millions of Americans refuse to admit is that it's never a question of 'if' they will die, but 'when' that day will come," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. "If you have people who depend on you financially and would suffer when you die, there's no excuse for not buying life insurance right now, before it's too late."
To encourage more Americans to take swift action to protect their loved ones with life insurance, LIFE has enlisted the help of some unlikely advocates for its Insure Your Love national awareness campaign, which takes place in the weeks leading up to and following Valentine's Day. Fruit flies Frank and Fran are the life insurance industry's newest power couple. Because of their famously short life spans (they live an average of … you guessed it … 30 days), fruit flies know there's no time to waste. So when it comes to life insurance, they act right away to protect the ones they love. Frank and Fran deliver their life insurance messages in a series of web videos that can be found on LIFE's Facebook Fan Page and on its www.insureyourlove.org microsite.
"Pardon the pun, but no one understands how quickly time can fly better than actual fruit flies, which is why we felt they would make such great spokespeople for life insurance" said Mr. Feldman. "Our fruit fly characters deliver their messages in a funny way, but there's nothing funny about dying and leaving your family in a dire financial situation. That's the very serious message we're trying to communicate in our humorous videos."
LIFE conducts the Insure Your Love campaign annually in response to a growing crisis of underinsurance. According to the latest research from LIFE and LIMRA, 70 percent of adult Americans say they personally need more life insurance, but just 36 percent own a policy they purchased on their own. To help encourage people to get the coverage they need to protect their loved ones, LIFE's fruit-fly videos are presented in the form of "lessons" that challenge common excuses that people cite for not making a life insurance purchase:
Lesson 1: Life is short – Humans have much longer life spans than fruit flies, but do any of us really know how long we'll live? The truth is, none of us is promised a tomorrow. So if you have loved ones who would suffer financially if you were to die tomorrow, don't wait another day. Now is the time to purchase life insurance. To figure out how much you might need, check out the life insurance needs calculator on LIFE's website at www.lifehappens.org/howmuch.
Lesson 2: Don't procrastinate – Let's face it. We all procrastinate. It's human nature. But when it comes to something as important life insurance, fruit flies know better than we humans. They're born knowing that life is short, so they act fast to protect the ones they love with life insurance. Check out this and other important fruit-fly lessons at www.insureyourlove.org.
Lesson 3: Don't gamble with your family's future – Cost is the most frequently cited reason for not buying life insurance. People say it's too expensive, but that's a common misconception. The fact is, life insurance has never been more affordable. The cost for basic term life insurance has fallen by about 50 percent over the past 10 years. When people say it's too expensive, what they really mean is that they're prioritizing other purchases over life insurance. If you need life insurance and don't own any, each day you're gambling with your family's financial future. Make today the day you stop being a gambler. For help, contact your benefits manager at work or an insurance agent in your community. If you don't have an agent, visit LIFE's agent locator search engine at www.lifehappens.org/agentlocator to find a qualified professional in your area.
The Life and Health Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public's growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.lifehappens.org. For more on Frank and Fran and LIFE's fruit fly fables, visit www.insureyourlove.org.
 The LIFE Foundation survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, 2012, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.