Americans Bought Up Life Insurance Throughout the Pandemic



2021’s Big Numbers

As COVID-19 case numbers rose and people lost their lives to the disease, Americans started buying up life insurance. The number of life insurance policies sold last year rose by 5% from 2020 — the largest single-year increase since the 1980s.

The final numbers for the year are still being calculated, but around 10 million policies were sold. That total was last exceeded in 2016. Researchers explain with around a million deaths attributed to the coronavirus, it’s not surprising people would begin to consider their own mortality and how their loss would affect loved ones.

Understand the Options

The life insurance industry made some adjustments in response to the pandemic. Some providers require blood or urine samples when forecasting the timing of a potential policyholder’s death, but many companies eased those requirements during lockdowns. Digital medical records are becoming increasingly important in this respect as well.

Some who bought life insurance in 2021 opted for a whole-life policy, which allows tax-deferred savings to build up and help offset premium costs over time. Others chose term life insurance, which only applies for a set number of years. This is often designed to cover a family’s primary expenses like mortgages and tuition bills in the event of someone’s death.

Three Keys to Follow

Like any investment or financial decision, deciding whether to buy life insurance and choosing the right policy is an involved process. Advisors say while the cost or premium you pay for the policy is important, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. Some consumer affairs groups have expressed concerns over certain types of policies, and insurance companies receive ratings as well.

You should be prepared to answer a few questions during the life insurance application process. At first you’ll get a quote from a life insurer, which is an estimate. It’s extremely important to answer honestly when you apply, or else you could be declined coverage.

Interested in the fast, easy, and reliable route to life insurance? Check out what’s offered by SoFi in partnership with Ladder.

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Ladder policies are issued in New York by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (Policy form # MN-26) and in all other states and DC by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (Policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to offer life insurance in the state of New York. Coverage and pricing is subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria. SoFi Agency and its affiliates do not guarantee the services of any insurance company. The California license number for SoFi Agency is 0L13077 and for Ladder is OK22568. Ladder, SoFi and SoFi Agency are separate, independent entities and are not responsible for the financial condition, business, or legal obligations of the other. Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) and Social Finance Life Insurance Agency, LLC (SoFi Agency) do not issue, underwrite insurance or pay claims under LadderLifeTM policies. SoFi is compensated by Ladder for each issued term life policy. SoFi offers customers the opportunity to reach Ladder Insurance Services, LLC to obtain information about estate planning documents such as wills. Social Finance, Inc. (“SoFi”) will be paid a marketing fee by Ladder when customers make a purchase through this link. All services from Ladder Insurance Services, LLC are their own. Once you reach Ladder, SoFi is not involved and has no control over the products or services involved. The Ladder service is limited to documents and does not provide legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique and using documents provided is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice.
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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.


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