About 60% of Hispanics in the U.S. do not have life insurance despitea strong need, according to a new LIMRA study.

The study, which was conducted earlier this year, surveyed almost 1,500 Hispanics who considered themselves to be the primary decision makers of their household. It found that only 42% of Hispanics own life insurance, which is down from 54% in 2011. The national average is 50%, according to LIMRA.

Forty percent of those surveyed have no coverage at all, while 11% have coverage that is insufficient for their family’s needs, the report said.

About 22 million Hispanic Americans have a gap in t heir insurance needs, according to Alison Salka, senior vice president and head of LIMRA Research.

LIMRA was motivated to look into the Hispanic group in particular because this group got hit particularly hard by the Covid pandemic and has been struggling to recover. LIMRA wants to learn how to better serve this population.

“Let’s understand the underserved market so that we can get the coverage that they need,” Salka said. 

She noted that when asked why they didn't have life insurance, survey respondents often cited cost.

“Many people overestimate the cost of insurance,” she said. “However, we also found that Hispanic Americans also say they don’t know as much about what type of life insurance to buy.”

Household finances was a primary concern of survey respondents, she said.

“Almost half or 48% of Hispanic Americans said they would feel the financial impact of the death of the primary wage earner within six month and almost three in 10 said they would feel the impact within a month,” Salka said. “So, there isn’t a lot of financial security should the primary wage earner pass away.”

She added that agents should make an effort to understand the financial concerns of the Hispanic population. One way to do that is by providing Spanish-language websites, marketing materials, and apps.

“If you want to work with a professional … you’re going to want to talk to someone that you trust, that you know can speak your language, and can help you feel more comfortable about these things,” Salka said. “That’s when dispelling myths about the cost of life insurance comes in.”