Across all income levels, single parents are the group who are least likely to have life insurance, says a recent study by Genworth.
The 2011 Genworth Financial LifeJacket Study showed many single parents--69% of those with children living at home and 59% of those who don't have children living at home--have no life insurance. The study showed 45% of married couples with children in the household have no life insurance.
Approximately half of the U.S. population is without life insurance, according to the study. Single people, with or without children, are 36% below the national average of coverage.
"We were surprised to find that single parents--the group arguably the most in need of life insurance--are among the highest uninsured people in the U.S.," said Gregory Bucko, director of customer innovation at Genworth Financial companies.
The study further showed that income levels did not have a significant impact on single-parent insurance levels: 79% of single men with children living at home and had income below $50,000, as well as those with income between $50,000 and $250,000, were uninsured.
Sixty-six percent of single women with income below $50,000 had no insurance, but that percentage dropped to 56% for women in the $250,000 and above category.
"We find that many single parents are simply too busy--or even too scared--to properly evaluate their life insurance needs," said Gregory B. Fairchild, executive director of the Tayloe Murphy Center at the Darden School of Business. "This is an understandable fear because the first level of financial safety--the other parent--isn't there. The study revealed the severity of this situation, not just among single parents, but married ones, too. The insurance industry has an opportunity to better educate consumers and give them the tools and resources to help protect themselves and their families."