Nationwide Financial survey finds most life insurance policyholders are confident beneficiaries would know how to file a claim
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2011
Chad Green (614) 677-1679
Jeff Whetzel (614) 249-6354
Columbus, OH — A new survey by Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. released for Life Insurance Awareness Month shows the majority of life insurance policy owners (70 percent) are confident their beneficiaries would know how to file a claim, and most have taken proactive steps to help them prepare.
“Life insurance can provide families with stability and financial security during a very difficult time in their lives,” said Peter Golato, senior vice president of Individual Protection for Nationwide Financial. “It’s encouraging that so many policy holders have taken steps to ensure that their loved ones will be able to quickly and easily access their benefits in the unfortunate event that they need to file a claim.”
According to the Harris Interactive online survey of 805 life insurance policy owners across the United States, 84 percent of policy owners say they’ve talked with their beneficiaries about the policy. Most talked about the face value of the policy (53 percent), who the beneficiaries are (47 percent), and who the life insurance agent is (20 percent).
The survey also found that 91 percent of policy owners say their beneficiaries are aware of being designated on the policy.
Changes in life should mean changes to policy
“Though most policy holders have done a good job of preparing their beneficiaries, there are some who need to take additional action to ensure their policies are kept updated so that, when the time comes, benefits due are paid in a timely manner,” said Golato.
The survey found that 1 in 5 policy owners have not provided their insurer with up to date contact information for their beneficiaries. More than half (55 percent) of policy owners did not change their beneficiary after divorce. And most policy owners (57 percent) who have talked with their beneficiaries about the policy have not told beneficiaries where the policy is located.
“According to the survey, 75 percent of policy owners have not changed the beneficiaries designated on their policy and among those who did make changes, 77 percent did so five or more years ago,” said Golato. “Policy holders should use Life Insurance Awareness Month as an opportunity to review their policy with their agent or advisor to ensure that their coverage and beneficiaries are up to date.”
Golato offers these tips for life insurance and annuity policy owners to ensure that their beneficiaries are able to easily access their benefits:
1. Talk with the person that you plan to name as a beneficiary before
you purchase a policy.
2. Show beneficiaries where policy information is located.
3. If you purchased your policy through an agent or advisor, make sure that your beneficiary knows who the agent is and has their contact information.
4. Ensure that your insurance company has up to date contact information for your beneficiaries.
5. Review your policy annually with your family and agent/advisor to see if you need to change beneficiaries or update contact information.
Additional survey data
The top five reasons that policy holders purchased life insurance were: no particular reason (30 percent), started a new job (29 percent), got married (16 percent), had a baby (12 percent) and bought a house (10 percent).
The major catalysts for a change of beneficiary were getting married (30 percent), having a baby (21 percent), getting divorced (19 percent), and the death of a beneficiary (18 percent).
LIAM online resource
Consumers interested in learning more about how to take advantage of Life Insurance Awareness Month should visit nationwide.com/reason to watch videos that illustrate how life insurance can change people’s lives, evaluate their own life insurance needs and contact an agent.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Life insurance is issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company or Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio.
Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, the Nationwide framemark, Nationwide YourLife and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.