Generation Xers are emerging as the most severely underinsured generation, reporting an average gap between life insurance coverage and insurance needs of nearly $450,000. And the gap has gotten much wider in the last five years.

Such is the conclusion to be drawn from two surveys of more than 1,000 individuals each, both designed to measure how much insurance respondents had and how much they thought their needs would be.

The data overall supported the stark reality that most Americans face a growing gap between their coverage and needs — $320,000 on average. Although Gen Xers had the most yawning gap, millennials reported an average gap of $370,000 and baby boomers $267,000.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.