COVID-19 has made Americans more anxious about dying, becoming disabled or needing long-term care, according to the results of a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), a global trade association of life insurance and financial services professionals.
The survey provides insight from more than 1,050 U.S. residents about how the pandemic has impacted their attitudes toward life, health, long-term disability, and long-term care insurance. (It’s important to note that the poll was conducted in July, prior to the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about updated guidelines on mask-wearing by vaccinated individuals.)
Here are some of the findings, courtesy of the survey’s executive summary:
- 54% of Americans said that COVID-19 has made them more anxious about dying early, becoming disabled or needing long-term care, including 21% who said COVID-19 has made them much more anxious.
- 61% of Americans with at-home dependents said COVID-19 has made them more anxious about dying early, becoming disabled or needing long-term care, compared with 50% of Americans without at-home dependents.
- 38% of Americans said the pandemic has not changed their thoughts on dying early, becoming disabled or needing long-term care, and 8% of Americans said COVID-19 has made them less anxious.
Motivated to obtain policies
Additionally, the pandemic has motivated people to acquire or maintain insurance policies when they can afford them. For example:
- 31% of Americans said the COVID-19 pandemic has made them feel more driven to acquire or maintain life, disability, and long-term care insurance. This includes 41% of Americans with at-home dependents and 26% of Americans without them.
- 14% said the pandemic has made them feel less driven to acquire or maintain coverage, while 55% said the pandemic has not changed their outlook.
- 24% of Americans who formerly had financial advisors said the pandemic has made them feel less driven to acquire or maintain coverage vs. 10% of Americans with advisors and 12% of Americans without advisors.
What’s more, 36% of respondents who have health insurance said they acquired at least one new policy since March 2020, including 52% of Americans with dependents at home and 23% of Americans without dependents at home. MDRT officials suggest this “may be more of a reflection of the chaotic employment situation in 2020 than proactive financial planning.”
Still, they add, COVID-19 has been a huge driver of the health insurance market over the past 18 months — noting that among Americans who acquired new policies since March 2020, 42% said the pandemic was a factor in their decision, higher than all other options. Among those, more than half (51%) said COVID-19 was the primary factor in their decision.
Other reasons for acquiring new policies included wanting to provide for family members (36%), undergoing a major life event (29%), and experiencing new personal concerns about potential future disability or long-term care needs (27%).
Source: Benefits Pro