4 facts you may not know this Life Insurance Awareness Month

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Think of a popular event, pastime, food or beloved creature, and there's probably a day or month set aside that celebrates it. For instance, did you know there's actually a National Donut Day? Or that National Dog Day is recognized officially on August 26? There's even a National Popcorn Popping Month, which snack food fans and movie mavens look forward to every October.

Here's another special holiday of sorts you may not know about: September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month. Of all the forms of insurance that are out there, life insurance just might be the most important. However, a surprisingly high percentage of Americans aren't covered - and if they are, aren't covered sufficiently.

More Americans own auto insurance than life insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council. Based on newly released data from LIMRA, over 40 percent of Americans don't have any life insurance whatsoever and among those with coverage, 20 percent need more than they currently possess.

"More Americans have auto insurance than life insurance."

Whether you know about Life Insurance Awareness Month or this comes as news to you, here are a few more facts that can help you understand how life insurance policies work and why they're so important regardless of your age, income or marital status:

1. One in three Americans would financially suffer if a family wage earner passed away
This is according to LIMRA's Insurance Barometer Study, and it's a sobering statistic. It means that if a parent or guardian were to die, families would struggle monetarily just to maintain their costs of living. Financial experts stress the importance of living below your means.

But with 40 percent of Americans unable to come up with $400 in the event of emergency, according to a recent survey from the Federal Reserve, it's clear that many people aren't taking this piece of advice seriously. Life insurance help make ends meet when unexpected circumstances, such as an untimely death, occur.

2. Nearly half of millennials overestimate the cost of insurance
Perhaps the most common mischaracterization about life insurance is what it costs to buy. Among 18- to 35-year-olds, four in 10 of them think obtaining coverage is five times more expensive than its actual price, LIMRA found. Talk to an insurer or agent, or utilize an online life insurance quote tool. You can get a ballpark estimate of what you'll spend after entering certain particulars about you when prompted, like your gender, age and health status.

3. Insurers paid out $208 million to beneficiaries in 2016
This figure from the American Council of Life Insurers is representative of the fulfilled promises insurers guarantee to policyholders and their family members. Frequently, people view life insurance as coverage that pays for final expenses, like funeral arrangements and burial. While this is true, it takes care of much more than this, such as immediate expenses related to everyday purchases and those that are ongoing, like children's education or tuition for college students. Plus, beneficiaries typically receive the funds within 30 days of filing their claims. 

4. Online life insurance buying activity has tripled since 2011
Just about anything is available for purchase through the internet, and life insurance is no exception. However, analysis from LIMRA also shows that when buyers go through a financial advisor or agent, they're more likely to obtain the right amount of coverage because it's customized with them in mind. This may explain why approximately 50 percent of Americans want a primary financial advisor.

Life Insurance Awareness Month may come only once a year, but the need for quality coverage never ceases. Whether you're a high net worth individual or business owner seeking life insurance premium financing, Global Financial Distributors has you covered. Contact us today to find out more.