most of us, insurance is like a dental checkup: It's a pain, but necessary to
have. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Americans polled in our recent national survey
called insurance either "essential," or a "necessary evil." Less than 10 percent
considered insurance a waste of money.
|How important is insurance? |
In a Bankrate survey commissioned by
GfK Roper, Americans shared their attitudes toward
insurance. The findings reveal that consumers need
to prioritize their insurance
needs and not waste money on frivolous
types of insurance.
Happily, few see insurance as merely
a money drain. "Although only about 8 percent
consider insurance a waste of money, a real exception
is the age category 25 to 34. This is probably drivers
who were claim-free for ages 18 to 24 and resent the
high premium they paid during those ages," says
Edward E. Graves, MA, CLU, ChFC, an associate professor
of insurance at the American College.
The youngsters' disregard
for insurance surprised Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at Bankrate.
"Young people and young families have the greatest financial risk of inadequate
coverage," he says.
If you had to
Asked which type of insurance they would drop first if money
became tight, a near-equal amount of respondents said they would do without disability
(44 percent) or life insurance (41 percent), but only 8 percent would dump health
"It's encouraging to see that most of
the respondents understand the value of health insurance," says Kirk Okumura,
author and editor of the Life Underwriter Training Council Program at the American
College, for which he writes study material and textbooks for insurance courses.
"In terms of life versus disability insurance, it really depends on the person's
situation. For those with no dependents, disability is clearly more important
than life insurance. But for those with dependents, it is not as clear cut; if
one had to choose between disability and life insurance, it would be a difficult