36 Life Insurance Statistics to Know

Life insurance, often considered a complex and distant financial domain, is intimately woven into the fabric of American households. In a world fraught with uncertainties, it offers a safety net, a shield against unforeseen challenges.

As we navigate the uncharted territory of 2023, understanding the latest life insurance statistics becomes paramount. These figures not only shed light on the evolving landscape of life insurance but also underscore its pivotal role in our lives.

This article’ll delve into 36 life insurance statistics that offer insight into the trends, challenges, and opportunities in this ever-evolving sector.

General Statistics on Life Insurance

In this section, we’ll explore the broad landscape of life insurance, unveiling insights into why it matters to Americans of all backgrounds.

From the factors that influence policy purchases to the prevailing misconceptions, these general life insurance statistics provide a foundational understanding of this critical financial tool.

Ensuring Your Loved Ones Are Covered

Life insurance is something that’s relevant to all walks of life in the United States. However, many folks find themselves hesitating when it comes to buying a policy.

A common roadblock is the complexity of insurance terms and the art of policy underwriting, which often leaves people feeling uncertain. Even worse, some folks put off getting life insurance entirely due to procrastination.

Age and Coverage

When we look at age groups, it’s interesting to note that Americans between 58 and 76 are the ones least likely to have life insurance, with 39% of them going without coverage.

Top Priority: Burial and Final Expenses

For most Americans, the number one reason to invest in life insurance is to cover burial and final expenses. In fact, a whopping 83% of people say it’s crucial to them.

Gender Differences

Gender also plays a role in why people choose life insurance. 53% of women say that paying for burial expenses is the primary motivator, compared to 44% of men.


Interestingly, around 30% of Americans believe that life insurance only takes care of burial and final expenses, which is just a part of the bigger picture.

Knowledge Gap

A significant 69% of Americans don’t think they’re well-versed in life insurance, making them less likely to have the coverage they might actually need.

Retirement Supplement

One in three men (33%) and one in four women (24%) view life insurance as a means to supplement their retirement income.

Gender and Expertise

There’s also a gap in self-perceived knowledge between men and women regarding life insurance. 39% of men feel pretty confident about their understanding of life insurance, while only 22% of women share the same confidence.

Affordability Concerns

When asked why they don’t buy life insurance, 60% of consumers pointed to the cost as the primary reason. It’s seen as too expensive for many.

Financial Vulnerability

Here’s a sobering statistic: one in four Americans would face a financial crisis within a month if the main wage earner passed away unexpectedly. For 40%, the financial runway extends to just six months.

Digital Shift

The digital age is impacting how we interact with our insurers. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of policyholders who prefer digital channels over in-person meetings with their insurers rose from 38% to 54%. The digital shift is changing the way we approach insurance.

Life Insurance Ownership Statistics

Delving deeper into the heart of life insurance, these statistics offer a glimpse into who owns coverage and why.

From age and marital status to income levels and gender disparities, this section paints a vivid picture of how and why Americans choose to safeguard their loved ones through life insurance.

Age Matters

Younger and middle-aged Americans are more inclined to own life insurance. This trend is likely because they’re thinking about starting families and hitting their prime earning years.

Income Levels

Higher-income individuals and those with substantial net worth are more likely to purchase life insurance. They often view it as a way to protect assets and plan for their estates.

Employment Connection

Many Americans acquire insurance through their jobs, but this tends to drop as they grow older and approach retirement.

Gender Influence

Women often have more concerns about the well-being of their families but are less likely actually to buy life insurance compared to men.

Marital Status

Married folks are more prone to getting life insurance, possibly due to the added responsibilities that come with marriage, such as joint mortgages, shared finances, and children.

The Uninsured Dilemma

A staggering 102 million Americans remain uninsured or underinsured when it comes to life coverage. Surprisingly, 59% of them do understand the need for such coverage.

Marital Influence

Less than 2 in 5 single Americans have life insurance, while more than half of married individuals have taken this step. Marriage often brings added responsibilities, which could explain this difference.

Gender Gap

In the U.S., men tend to be better insured than women, with 58% of men having coverage compared to 47% of women.

Age and Insurance

1 in 4 adults aged 77 or older do not have life insurance, contrasting with just 9% of adults between 18 and 25.

Multiple Policies

18% of Americans have more than one life insurance policy, which can offer added layers of protection.

Gender Disparity in Employment-Based Coverage

When it comes to insurance solely through their employers, 1 in 3 men relies on this, while 19% of women do the same.

Pandemic Influence

COVID-19 has had an impact on life insurance decisions, with 45% of millennials more inclined to buy coverage due to the pandemic.

Confusion over Coverage

A significant 53% of Americans either haven’t purchased insurance or expanded their coverage because they’re unsure about the type or amount they need.

US Life Insurance Industry Statistics

The life insurance industry, often an intricate tapestry of companies and financial movements, is demystified in this section. Here, we’ll dissect market shares, financial assets, and trends that shape the industry.

These statistics offer a comprehensive view of the broader economic and financial landscape that underpins life insurance in the United States.

Benefits on the Rise

In 2021, Life & Health (L&H) benefits payments reached an impressive $790.8 billion. That’s a 6% year-over-year increase, and a substantial 14% boost from 2017. It’s noteworthy that this sector saw declines in 2019 and 2020.

Broker Accreditation Awareness

Surprisingly, only one-third of consumers are aware that insurance brokers need accreditation. This might explain some of the gaps in understanding within the insurance industry.

A Significant Slice of Premiums

The L&H sector holds a substantial piece of the insurance premium pie, accounting for approximately 32% of all direct insurance premiums. This includes property, casualty, and health coverage.

Dominance of the Top 10

The top 10 L&H companies collectively make up a whopping 55% of the market. They wield significant influence in the sector.

Market Dynamics

Although the market share of the top 25 L&H insurers dipped in 2021, the top 100 companies managed to maintain a steady market share.

Premium Growth

In 2022, the value of all reported direct life insurance premiums hit $193.6 billion. That marks a considerable 21% increase from the previous year.

Expansive Coverage

When you consider accident and health, as well as annuity considerations and deposit-type contract funds, total reported premiums swelled to a whopping $1.1 trillion in 2022. That’s quite the leap from the $818 million reported in 2021.

MetLife’s Market Lead

MetLife takes the crown in terms of direct premiums written, boasting a staggering $103.3 billion in 2020. This translates to an 11.3% market share, trailing other companies by about $40 billion.

Substantial Assets

In 2021, the L&H insurance sector held an impressive $8.5 trillion in assets, underlining the financial strength and stability of the industry.

Rising Expenses

Expenses in the L&H sector saw a 6% increase overall from 2020 to 2021, reflecting the industry’s evolving dynamics.

Raising Capital

As a means to raise capital, insurance companies collectively offered $4.4 billion in public equity in 2021, showcasing the financial strategies at play.

Positive Turn in Investment Income

For the first time, L&H’s net investment income crossed the $200 billion mark in 2021, marking a turnaround after two consecutive years of decline. This bodes well for the sector’s financial health.


The world of life insurance is ever-changing, and the numbers tell a compelling story. From the dynamics of who’s buying policies and why to the financial clout of the industry giants, these statistics reveal the pulse of life insurance in 2023.

They remind us that life insurance isn’t just about numbers; it’s about securing futures, protecting legacies, and offering peace of mind.

As we continue down the path of the unknown, these statistics serve as guideposts, helping us navigate the world of life insurance with clarity and confidence.

After all, in the unpredictable journey of life, a robust life insurance policy can be your steadfast companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do younger people tend to buy more life insurance?

Younger individuals often purchase more life insurance because they’re in the family-building and prime earning phase, making them more aware of the need to protect their loved ones and future financial stability.

2. What’s the main reason for Americans to buy life insurance?

The primary motivation for purchasing life insurance in the U.S. is to cover burial and final expenses, with a significant 83% of people considering it crucial.

3. Who dominates the Life and health insurance market?

The top 10 Life and health insurance companies collectively control a substantial 55% of the market, indicating their significant influence in the industry.

4. Why is there a gender gap in life insurance ownership?

Women tend to be more concerned about familial well-being but are less likely to buy life insurance compared to men. This could be attributed to various factors including income disparities and different financial priorities.

5. How much did the Life & Health sector contribute to total insurance premiums in 2022?

In 2022, the Life and health sector accounted for approximately 32% of all direct insurance premiums, which encompasses property, casualty, and health coverage, indicating its substantial role in the insurance market.