Life insurance is an important part of British lives, so much so, that only a third of UK households do not have life insurance cover. Additionally, a second third did not update their cover, which may result in them being under-insured. Nevertheless, a full third of all UK households keep their life insurance up to date. The statistics show half a million recorded deaths in the UK annually, with a fifth of those being premature. As such the importance of life assurance becomes evident.
It is also very interesting to note that men are more likely to take out a life insurance policy than women. This is explained by the fact that men are still the main breadwinners in most UK households. However, interestingly, 46% of women say they are today the main earner. Despite this, women proportionally speaking, are still less likely to have life insurance.
Additionally it is staggering to note that only fifteen percent of all claims were based on actual death cases. This indicates that the original intention of death cover assurance is not viable as the main selling point, with accidents and critical illness covers being the market leaders.
In the US, more than half of all Americans have some kind of life insurance cover. The potential of all life insurance benefits reaches the mark of twenty trillion US Dollars. In 2007 alone $58 billion got paid out to beneficiaries.
Life insurance fraud has become a common occurrence in UK courts, with memorable cases where people faked their own death in order to start a new life somewhere else. While it is not that hard to go on a canoeing outing and go “missing”, it is a completely another case to get the “accident” approved by authorities and a person ruled dead, without the actual body. Therefore in current history insurance fraudsters remained within the easier “terminal illness” and “disability cover” brackets.
It is also strange to note that the mortality definitions have significantly changed over the last century. For instance, the average life expectancy at the turn of the 19th to 20th Century was barely crossing over fifty. People who were born in the 21st Century have a longevity projection of an average 85 years life expectancy. These statistically based number crunching facts have a heavy impact on insurances and assurances in general, which resulted in the currently very popular over 50s insurance plans. Something which would have been unimaginable 100 years ago!