Middle-class consumers show growing interest in permanent lifeinsurance products, according to an August survey from FirstCommand Financial Services.

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Forty percent of middle-class Americans own some form ofpermanent life insurance coverage, and among those who don't own apermanent life policy, one in four say they're likely to purchase this type of coverage in the future.

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In a statement, First Command's CEO Scott Spiker says consumersare now seeing "how a market downturn can threaten a seemingly sound financial strategy. These numberssupport findings by others in the industry who note that Americansare turning to permanent life coverage as a time-tested tool formanaging long-term risk."

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The most popular permanent insurance product is whole life,which is owned by 26 percent of middle-class families. Otherpermanent life products held by survey respondents includeuniversal life and variable life, which are owned by 10 percent and4 percent, respectively.

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Term life insurance remains the "go-to" product for manyconsumers, according to First Command. Term policies are owned by45 percent of middle-class families.

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Survey findings show people who own term life policies feel lesscomfortable with their coverage than those who own whole life andother permanent products. The survey reveals a five-point gapbetween those who feel "extremely" or "very" comfortable with theirpermanent life insurance coverage (49 percent) and those who feelthe same way about their term life insurance coverage (44percent).

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Also, consumer satisfaction levels are highest for whole life(60 percent), followed by term (55 percent), universal life (53percent) and variable life (50 percent).

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While only 4 percent of Americans report making changes to theirlife insurance coverage as a result of the economy, Spiker saysit's concerning that roughly a third of Americans have no coverageat all.

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