How Many Americans Have Life Insurance? Plus Over 35 Life Insurance Statistics (2021)!

Over half of all Americans (54%) have a life insurance policy. However, 30 million of them are underinsured, and some 41 million individuals have no coverage at all. And suppose you consider that around 63% of individuals feel they can't afford coverage. In that case, it's easy to see why 75% of Americans will struggle to pay final expense-related bills if a loved one dies suddenly. This article will look at some key life insurance stats to figure out how to get more people insured.

Top Life Insurance Statistics:

  • 54% of Americans have some type of life insurance.
  • Over 30 million people in the United States are underinsured.
  • 41 million consumers say they need life insurance but do not have it.
  • The average cost of life insurance is $631 per year or about $53 per month.
  • Premiums for men are on average 12% higher than those for women.
  • 63% of individuals think they can't afford life insurance
  • 50% of people overestimate the cost of term life insurance. Millennials, in particular, overestimate the cost by 213%.
  • The average life insurance payout for 2021 was around $618,000.
  • The overall asset base of the life insurance industry is $9 trillion.
  • In the United States, customers who like to buy insurance online has grown from 17% in 2011 to 29% in 2020

Life Insurance Ownership Statistics

How Many Americans Have Life Insurance?

As of 2021, 54% of Americans have life insurance. Over half of life insurance owners also had some other kind of life insurance policy besides their primary life policy. COVID-19 was a leading factor in the 2% overall industry growth due to people applying for life insurance protection against the pandemic.

How Many Americans Have Term Life Insurance?

In 2019, 71% of consumers who owned life insurance had a term life policy, up from 63% in 2017. Whether customers preferred simplified issue life insurance or a no medical exam life insurance policy, term life insurance Was far more popular than permanent life insurance among consumers.

How Many Americans Have Whole Life Insurance?

Only 30% of permanent insurance policies purchased in 2019 were whole life, as opposed to 57 percent in 2017. Variable life policies have grown in popularity, accounting for 32% of all permanent insurance purchased in 2019.

How Many Americans Are Underinsured For Life Insurance?

As of 2021, some 30 million households in America are underinsured. Even though 54% of Americans have life insurance, only half (90 Million) of them have enough coverage. That means about 75% of American families will struggle to pay bills associated with funeral costs, final expenses, and other expenditures if the insured passes away without enough coverage for everything.

How Many Americans Don't Have Life Insurance?

Approximately 41 million people claim to need life coverage but do not have it. This is because most individuals are not looking to acquire life insurance as a priority purchase. Furthermore, the typical consumer thinks they cannot afford it.

How Do People In The U.S. Prefer To Buy Life Insurance?

Most Americans have chosen to obtain life insurance from a professional or adviser in person in the past. In 2011, 64% of customers stated they wanted to buy in person; by 2020, only 41% would choose this method. It is not surprising that the desire for online purchasing rose from 17% in 2011 to 29% in 2020. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, we should anticipate an even higher proportion of consumers wanting to buy online in the future.

2021 Life Insurance Costs Statistics

What Is The Average Cost Of Life Insurance?  

The average annual cost of life insurance is $631, which works out to about $53 per month. This amount is determined by a variety of criteria, including coverage selected and term length. However, your premiums can be considerably higher or lower depending on your age, gender, smoking habits, and general health.

What Percent Of People Think They Can't Afford Life Insurance?

63% of people think they can't afford life insurance, and 50% overestimate its cost. Millennials, in particular, overestimate the cost by 213%, and they tend to be uninsured at a rate of about 40%.

What Is The Average Cost Of Life Insurance By State?


















New York







































Life Insurance Claims Statistics In America

How Much Do Life Insurance Companies Payout For Claims?

Life insurance benefits and claims totaled $747.4 billion in 2020. This amount includes life insurance death benefits, annuity benefits, disability benefits, and other payouts and compares with $762.0 billion in 2019. The largest payout in 2020 was $323.4 billion for surrender benefits and withdrawals from life insurance contracts made to policyholders who terminated their policies early or withdrew cash from their policies.

How Much Is The Average Life Insurance Payout?

According to Matt Myers, head of customer acquisition at Haven Life, the average payout for 2021 is expected to be around $618,000. That number reflects the typical purchased face amount of a Haven Life term life insurance policy, which implies that we will pay the average pay out when claims are submitted.

How Long Do Life Insurance Claims Take?

On average, it can take as little as two weeks or as long as two months to receive the death benefit. The timeline depends on several factors, such as the life insurance company's processing time and submitting your claim. Applying for life insurance during a pandemic will take longer to process your life insurance claim.

U.S. Life Insurance Industry Statistics

How Much Revenue Does The Life Insurance Industry Make?

The life and annuity insurance business in the United States generated $881.2 billion in revenues in 2020, up slightly from $725.0 billion U.S. dollars paid out by insurance firms for claims and benefits to customers in 2019.

How Many Life Insurance Companies Are There In The U.S.?

The number of life insurance firms in the United States has decreased from well over 2,000 to just 830 firms.

What Is The Asset Base Of The Life Insurance Industry?

The entire life insurance industry, which includes all types of coverage, had a total asset value of $4.7 trillion in 2020. Life insurance reserves worth $2.7 trillion were included in this calculation, along with life insurance-related securities valued at $464 billion.

What is the Number of People Holding Life Insurance Policies?

There are roughly 267 million life insurance policies in force in the United States. 80 percent of consumers consider purchasing life insurance to be a relevant financial planning issue for their family.

Top 10 Writers Of Individual Life Insurance In America By Premiums Written

  • Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co - $11.2 Billion
  • New York Life Insurance Group - $8.04 Billion
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. - $7.8 Billion
  • Lincoln National Corp. - $6.8 Billion
  • Prudential Financial Inc. - $6.6 Billion
  • State Farm - $4.9 Billion
  • John Hancock Life Insurance Co. - $4.7 Billion
  • Transamerica - $4.5 Billion
  • Pacific Life - $3.9 Billion
  • Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America - $3.6 Billion

Concluding Thoughts

Taking Action

The life insurance business is a trillion-dollar behemoth. 54 percent of Americans have some form of life insurance, but 41 million people claim they need coverage and don't presently have it. If we don't act now, this lack of life insurance coverage will eventually catch up to us and put 75% of us at serious risk. If you're one of those who don't currently have coverage, click here for instant life insurance quotes and to compare rates.


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.