There’s nothing like a global pandemic to suggest a shift in priorities or a change in perspective. With rising confirmed case counts, have Americans begun to think about mortality differently? To find out, CivicScience asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults about their experience with life insurance and the plans they might have for obtaining life insurance in the future. 

As the data show, intent to purchase life insurance has seen a slight decline since the beginning of the year.

Despite decreasing interest, 54% of U.S. adults have some sort of life insurance coverage and 4% have enrolled in the past six months–a choice that may have been influenced by the current pandemic. However, another 5% say they plan to purchase it soon.

Although overall plans to purchase life insurance have gone down, interest in purchasing is highest from younger age groups, 54 and under.

A personal connection to the pandemic may have prompted some to think more closely about life insurance options. Those who have had the virus or know someone who has are the most likely life insurance intenders. This suggests that a closer connection to COVID-19 could create a greater sense of urgency when it comes to planning for the future.

Job changes as a result of the pandemic also play a role in determining life insurance intention. As the data show below, those who are working as usual–whether in person or remotely–are the most likely to have purchased life insurance in the last six months. By contrast, those who are not working and not getting paid have the least interest. It could very well be the abundance of job loss is leading to overall less plans to purchase life insurance among Americans.

Individual access to health insurance could also correlate with interest in life insurance. While those who receive health insurance through their employer are the most likely to already have a life insurance policy, those who receive government health insurance are the most likely to be uninterested.

Clearly, the current state of life insurance is nuanced. While overall interest has declined, interest has risen amongst certain demographics, namely younger adults and those with the closest connection to COVID-19. So while life insurance is still a reality for the slight majority of Americans, intent to purchase seems closely pinned to the course of the pandemic.