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Life insurance gap widening for Gen Xers
By Insure.com staff

Surveys before and after the Great Recession show a widening gap in life insurance protection among members of Generation X, born from the early 1960s to the early 1980s.

In a survey conducted in 2008 before the recession took hold, Gen Xers reported a median shortfall in life insurance coverage of $362,688. In a survey conducted this year, Gen Xers reported a shortfall of $448,996, an increased gap of 24 percent.

Both surveys, commissioned by New York Life, asked 1,000 Americans ages 25 and older about the amount of life insurance they had and what they wanted it to cover if a breadwinner died.

Among the key findings:

  • In 2013, the median amount of life insurance Gen Xers had was $$260,000, down 35 percent.
  • This year, only 19 percent of Gen Xers say they have enough life insurance to cover everything they expect their insurance to pay for.
  • In 2013 the life insurance coverage gap for Gen Xers -- the difference between how much life insurance they have and how much they need -- is $448,996. In 2008, the coverage gap was $362,688.

"Gen Xers, who may be focused on financial obligations that have to do with their children, their home, planning for retirement, and maybe even taking care of their elderly parents, are lacking a foundation of financial protection that life insurance provides," Chris Blunt, president of New York Life's Insurance Group, said in a press statement.

The life insurance gap for Gen Xers is 40 percent greater than the median gap for all Americans and significantly higher than other age groups. The median gap for baby boomers is $267,016, and the median gap for Millennials is $370,744

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