The number of policies is dwindling most among lower earners.
Life insurance is losing its appeal in the U.S. In 1965, Americans purchased 27 million policies, individually or through employers. In 2016, a population that was more than 50 percent larger still bought only 27 million policies. The share of Americans with life insurance has fallen to less than 60 percent, from 77 percent in 1989. Why this is happening remains a puzzle.
People buy life insurance for various reasons: to pass wealth along to future generations, to provide liquidity for mortgage payments, or to cover funeral expenses, to name a few. These motivations may become more or less important as the population shifts demographically. (Read more)