Nearly half of individuals purchasing critical illness insurance protection were under age 45, according to the first national study of buyers conducted by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance, the industry trade group. One third (34 percent) of purchasers were between ages 45 and 54 and the majority (87 percent) purchased $50,000 or less in benefits.
Research conducted by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII) examined sales data for over 130,000 individual and voluntary worksite policies and certificates issued. Critical illness insurance is growing in acceptance as consumers understand the risk and financial exposure that is the result of cancer, heart attack or stroke. Critical illness coverage was introduced in the United States in 1996, and to date, some 600,000 individuals have purchased it.
Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of individual buyers opted for coverage of less than $20,000 according to the study's findings. For those purchasing in the worksite setting, some 65 percent chose benefits of $20,000 or less.
The vast majority of purchasers do so prior to turning age 55. Among those purchasing individual critical illness insurance policies, 20 percent were under age 35; 27 percent were between ages 35 and 44 and 34 percent were between 45 and 54. Buyers purchasing coverage in the workplace were about the same age according to the Association report.
Individual buyers tended to be male (52 percent versus 48 percent female) while those purchasing in the workplace were more likely to be female (59 percent versus 41 percent male).
We anticipate the market for critical illness insurance products will increase in the years ahead. The Association will undertake an aggressive consumer awareness campaign in 2010 to build an understanding of the benefits of the protection that is popular outside of the United States.
The American Association for Critical Illness Insurance is the national organization serving insurance and financial professionals who provide critical illness insurance solutions. For additional information visit the organization's online Information Center at www.aacii.org.
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