Global Atlantic Study Highlights Shifting Financial Priorities and the Need for Planning Amid Pandemic

New research from Global Atlantic Financial Group found that more than eight out of ten Americans (83%) say making sure their loved ones are financially protected is important to them right now, yet two in five (43%) have no life insurance and only one third (33%) believe they have enough life insurance or other assets to protect their family in the event of their own death.

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(Photo: Business Wire)

The “Perceptions of Life Insurance During a Pandemic” study was conducted in August by Artemis Strategy Group on behalf of Global Atlantic, among 1,065 American adults to examine their views on life insurance, estate planning and shifting financial priorities.

Aside from contracting Covid-19 personally or having a family member or close friend contract the virus, the top concern among those surveyed was to ensure their family’s financial wellbeing.

A full two thirds (67%) of Americans say the Covid-19 pandemic has made them think about their own mortality, while seven in ten (69%) have reassessed at least one financial aspect of their life during the pandemic. These areas include their emergency savings situation (54% have reassessed), long-term savings and investments (49%), employment situation (39%), and life insurance (28%).

When asked how many years of income they would replace with life insurance in the event of an early death, nearly six out of ten (57%) said at least two years. More than half of those with $150K or more in household income would replace five or more years of income (54%).

Only one third of Americans had a will in place before the pandemic, but nearly three out of ten either made changes to it during the pandemic,

  • Many firms have noted double-digit increases in the number of life insurance policies they’ve sold during the Covid-19 pandemic relative to last year. 
  • The increase is largely due to a fear of death and greater awareness of financial risks associated with mortality, experts said.
  • Insurance sales have been dwindling for years. In 2020, just over half of American adults reported having a life insurance policy, down from 63% a decade earlier.





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Life insurance is enjoying something of a renaissance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consumers, especially younger adults, have been buying insurance in elevated numbers since the spring, when thousands of Americans began getting ill and dying from Covid-19.

That result is logical, experts said, given the core use of life insurance: as a financial backstop in the event of death.

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For example, what if the breadwinner of a family dies unexpectedly from Covid-19? Insurance is meant to plug that immediate gap in household income.

“It’s forced the idea of financial protection and mortality to the top of mind for consumers in a way very few events have,” said Jennifer Fitzgerald, the CEO and co-founder of Policygenius, an online marketplace for life insurance.

‘Panic buying’

Insurance sales have been dwindling for years. In 2020, just over half of American adults reported having a life insurance policy, down from 63% a decade earlier.

But Google Search traffic for “life insurance” jumped 50% between March and May this year compared with the same period in 2019, said Fitzgerald, whose firm gets a large share of business from such internet

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced that Gartner, Inc. has given the Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) the highest score in its Individual/New Business Onboarding/Straight-through Processing Use Case in a new report, titled “Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America.” ALIP also received high scores in the Digital User Support Use Case.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it clear that the insurance industry must adopt digital strategies and flexible technologies to quickly respond to changing conditions, particularly as demand for digital services soars,” said Shay Alon, who leads Accenture’s Life and Annuity Products and Platforms business. “New health risks and long-term changes in customer behavior will make automated underwriting, cloud platforms and technologies that bring life, health and wellness together even more pertinent. We believe our score from Gartner reflects our forward-thinking digital strategy for insurers, as they help customers with straight-forward processes for claims and policies.”

The report states, “Straight-through processing is a foundational digital business capability for a policy administration system (PAS).” The report also notes that as the industry moves forward, “CIOs must reevaluate their PASs for fitness for an expected acceleration in digital sales and services in a virtual work-from-home world.”

Used by leading insurers worldwide, ALIP is a robust, configurable and scalable solution that provides life insurance carriers and annuity providers with advanced capabilities for product development, new-business development, underwriting, policy administration, claims and payout. It is available as an on-premise solution and over the cloud as an integrated suite of software with modules that can be implemented individually or as part of a broader migration strategy.

Accenture’s life and annuity software is part of Accenture Life Insurance Services.

1 Gartner “Critical Capabilities for Life Insurance Policy Administration Systems, North America” by Richard Natale, Rajesh Narayan, Aug. 11,

Dolly Alderton
Alderton’s memoir Everything I Know About Love sold more than 300,000 copies in the UK

Appropriately for an author, Dolly Alderton used to be an open book.

For several years, she wrote a dating column in The Sunday Times, in which she would share all sorts of stories about being a single woman in her 20s – the successes, disasters, mishaps, and everything in between.

Her 2018 memoir – Everything I Know About Love – lived up to its title, offering readers a frank and deeply personal account of friendships, relationships and growing up as a millennial.

It became a best-seller and struck a chord with women everywhere (and quite a few men). Critics praised her for so beautifully capturing what it was like growing up in the noughties – there’s even a section dedicated to the politics of MSN Messenger.

However, Alderton’s latest book, Ghosts, sees her switching to fiction; a decision partly driven by her desire to no longer make so much of her personal life public after the huge success of her memoir.

“Put simply, my first book was all my good stories,” Alderton tells BBC News. “I had a particular story to tell. And that was also a thematic story that fit neatly into a memoir, which was a story about growing up.

“But also, I just don’t want to write about my personal life anymore, I have neither the inclination nor the strength to do that,” she explains. “Not to say that I regret doing that. I’m really glad I did that for that period of my life. But any desire to do that has completely left me now.”

Alderton still writes for The Sunday Times, but now works as an agony aunt, which means the focus is on the many readers who write in

State Farm Ranks Highest in Individual Life Insurance; Nationwide, New York Life Tie for Highest in Annuity

Even as deaths associated with COVID-19 eclipse 200,000 in the United States, consumers don’t seem motivated to buy life insurance and life insurance customers are largely apathetic toward their insurer despite some standout performances. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study,SM released today, a combination of infrequent client communications and a pervasive perception of high cost and transaction complexity have suppressed consumer interest and customer satisfaction with life insurance providers.

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J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The life insurance industry has a significant perception problem because, in the throes of a pandemic, consumers naturally should be more engaged with their insurer—but they aren’t,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, senior consultant of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “We’ve been observing a trend for several years that customer satisfaction with life insurance companies starts declining the moment a policy is purchased and continues to decline throughout the relationship due to a lack of policyholder contact from most insurers. The fact that insurers and agents have not been able to reverse this trend during a historic global pandemic speaks to the depth of the challenge the industry faces. Life insurance providers need to dramatically ratchet up their client communications efforts and demonstrate their value to their end customers—not just to advisors and sales representatives.”

Following are some key findings of the 2020 study:

  • Life insurance customer satisfaction flat year over year: The overall customer satisfaction score for life insurance providers is 763 (on a 1,000-point scale), up just two points from 2019. Annuity customer satisfaction increases to 778, also just two points higher than in 2019.

  • Customer