Insurance professional and Filipino American Jordan Mangaliman works hard to educate the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community about life insurance.
While Asian Americans represent the race and ethnic group with the smallest life insurance need-gap—35% say they need life insurance or more of it—that still represents 5 million people in the AAPI community who need more coverage, according to recent data from the 2023 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA.
The founder and CEO of Gold Line Insurance and Financial Services in Fullerton, Calif., Jordan regularly helps members of his local community get life insurance coverage. Here are the biggest misconceptions he encounters from his AAPI clients.
1. Life insurance is unaffordable.
Jordan says this is one of the most frequent myths he hears in the AAPI community. According to the 2023 Insurance Barometer Study, Asian Americans cite perceived expense as the top reason for not owning life insurance (37 percent), followed by other financial priorities (26 percent).
The good news is life insurance probably costs less than you think. In fact, most people overestimate its cost by three times or more. As Jordan shares, “By working with an insurance professional, you can shop different carriers and rates. Affordable coverage with abundant benefits is more budget-friendly than you think!”
2. I have enough life insurance at work.
According to the same study, Asian Americans are more likely (29 percent) than other race and ethnic groups to say, “I have life insurance through my job, and I feel it is enough for me.” While life insurance through your job is a great benefit, it’s usually not enough coverage.
Many people with life insurance through work have a group term policy that provides one or two times their salary. Jordan lets his clients know that depending on how much financial support your family may need, this is often not enough.
Think about all the expenses your family would have to continue to cover after you die—bills, mortgage payments, childcare, debt, retirement. It adds up. How far would your coverage from work really go once you calculate those costs?
“Another important factor to ask,” says Jordan, “is, ‘What happens to your life insurance policy at work if you no longer work there anymore?’” An individual life insurance policy ensures you keep your coverage regardless of where you work.
3. I have to die to use a life insurance policy.
Jordan says many of his clients aren’t aware of how life insurance could benefit them while they’re still alive. The data supports this: Asian Americans are more likely (34 percent) to say that they can’t personally benefit from life insurance compared to other groups.
Jordan is quick to educate them on how life insurance policies have gone through several evolutions, with one of the most important being living benefits. This means you can potentially access your life insurance policy if you get sick or injured while you’re still alive. Furthermore, permanent life insurance can be designed so that the policy’s cash value can fund supplemental retirement income, pay for college, buy a house and more.
4. I have savings, so I don’t need life insurance.
Interestingly, Asian Americans are the least likely of all groups to say that saving money for an emergency fund (29 percent) or paying monthly bills (24 percent) are their top financial concerns. It’s clear the AAPI community values saving. And yet, what happens to your plans for those savings (retirement, passing on generational wealth, etc.) if your family has to use it all to cover expenses when you die?
As Jordan puts it, “The purpose of life insurance is to pay a benefit in the event of an unexpected life event. Just like car insurance, you are paying a premium so that the insurance company will pay a benefit if an unexpected qualifying event occurs, so you don’t have to use your hard-earned savings.”
5. I’m too young for life insurance.
Since life insurance premiums are calculated based on your risk of dying, it’s generally more affordable the younger and healthier you are. That means premiums can go up the longer you wait! Lock in your rate now before any health conditions surprise you later on.
Working with an insurance professional like Jordan is a great way to learn more and get coverage. Check out our helpful information on how to choose a qualified insurance professional. Then use our Agent Locator to find one in your area.