With the U.S. Hispanic population booming, and Hispanics representing an ever greater economic market, experts anticipate this diverse ethnic group will be purchasing a considerable amount of life insurance in the near term.
A study by LIMRA, the financial services research and consulting group, supports this outlook. LIMRA found that, as the U.S. Hispanic population increases and assimilates, many within the group have the means to satisfy a basic concern: how to manage their financial present and future more effectively.
A focus on the family has long been a known characteristic of many Hispanic families, LIMRA said, which translates into a desire for family financial security.
“Their strong emphasis on family makes them a natural market for life insurance,” said Nilufer Ahmed, senior research director, LIMRA Insurance Research.
Among the data gathered by the LIMRA “Financial Protection for Hispanics” survey:
- One third of all Hispanics are third generation or higher in the United States, and speak fluent English.
- Increased levels of acculturation means increased ownership of individual life insurance.
- The most acculturated Hispanics have similar levels of ownership as the general population.
- Hispanics express multiple financial concerns to a greater degree than the general population. Almost half of Hispanics are very or extremely concerned about dying unexpectedly, compared to less than a third of the general population.
- The less acculturated Hispanics report the highest degree of concern about such subjects as being disabled and unable to earn a living. 35 percent of these respondents were “extremely concerned” about this fate, while 25 percent of more acculturated Hispanics were extremely concerned and just 13 percent of the general U.S. population was extremely concerned.
- More than half of Hispanic households fall in the middle-income category.
Because LIMRA works to support financial services and insurance professionals, it offered advice on how to market insurance products to Hispanics. (LIMRA did note that the population is highly diverse in terms of country of origin, values and wealth, so that its sales guidelines would not apply across the Hispanic population.)
- Financial advisors should confront the bilingual challenge prior to entering the marketplace. Although many Hispanics are fluent in English, some households are not, and some members of fluent households may not understand English well.
- Referring to financial concerns in general represents an opportunity to turn a discussion life insurance.
- Many households are occupied by several generations of family members, which may influence the way information is delivered. Identifying the decisionmaker in a household is of primary importance.