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High number of Americans unaware of living benefits provided by life insurance

Posted On Thu, May 5, 2011

Many Americans know that a life insurance policy protects one's loved ones from incurring financial hardship in the event they die. But a new poll indicates that a high number of people are unaware of the benefits it holds while they're living.

Conducted by the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a survey of 600 women found that a significant percentage of them were not familiar with several "living" benefits of a life insurance policy. For instance, 72 percent were unaware that a life insurance policy provides an income stream during retirement, 75 percent didn't know that a policy ensures one's beneficiaries pay a small inheritance tax and 57 percent were unfamiliar with the fact that it can contribute to their grandkids' college education fund.

"These latest results are very telling as they confirm our assertion that women want and need to plan for their financial futures but first must understand all their options," said Eileen McDonnell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Penn Mutual.

A 2010 poll conducted by LIMRA found that only 44 percent of U.S. households held a life insurance policy. Becoming better informed about life insurance and its array of benefits may lead to more purchases.

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