Younger people buying critical illness insurance

Roughly half of both men and women who purchased individual critical illness insurance were younger than age 45, according to research from the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance and General Re Life Corp.

“While the majority of critical illness insurance sales continue to be made in the worksite setting, sales to individuals are increasing as awareness grows,” says Jesse Slome, AACII executive director.

Researchers analyzed data from 10 leading critical illness insurers, which accounted for more than 57,200 purchasers of individual critical illness insurance policies made between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Some 18 percent of male buyers and 17 percent of female buyers were between the ages of 25 and 34. Fewer than one in 10 buyers were age 25 or younger and just over one in five buyers were age 55 or older. This year’s study found that buying ages for men and women were more closely aligned compared to last year, notes Stephen Rowley, vice president for Gen Re.

Critical illness insurance pays a tax-free, lump-sum cash benefit generally upon diagnosis of a covered critical illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Sold in 54 countries worldwide, the first policies became available in the United States around 1996.

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