A study released Thursday by Genworth Financial found that almost half of Americans with household incomes between $50,000 and $250,000 do not have life insurance. Those who do own life insurance only have enough to cover 3.6 years of income for their family members.

The 2011 LifeJacket study was completed with the help of Dr. Gregory Fairchild, associate professor at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business.

 "The financial well-being of the average American household has been challenged in recent years," Fairchild wrote in the report. "With a seemingly constant tide of negative, perplexing or unpredictable economic news, clearly some families are retreating, deciding to wait things out and let the spell of 'bad weather' pass."

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