In an effort to determine where the basic American understanding of life insurance principles resided, the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) employed KRC Research to conduct a survey in 2005 asking, “Out of the following fictional characters, which are most in need of life insurance: Batman, Spiderman, Fred Flinstone, Harry Potter, or Marge Simpson?”
The results—polled from 1,014 adult Americans—dictated that their understanding was minimal, at best. President of LIFE, David F. Woods, had this to say about the study:
“It’s clear that confusion exists about the basic reason people need a life insurance quote. If your loved ones stand to suffer financially upon your death, you need life insurance. Whether you’re a superhero, or a super-parent, really misses the point, because no matter how dangerous your job is, you never know what tomorrow might bring. If someone depends on you, it is imperative to make arrangements now that ensure they will be taken care of it you were no longer there.”
- 28% of Adults Polled Chose Spiderman
- Profile: He’s really just… Peter Parker. Young, unmarried, no children, freelance photographer (no one knows he’s Spiderman!), with an elderly aunt.
- Should Spiderman Have Insurance? Technically, yes. Despite the fact that he is unmarried, with no children, he does still have an aunt that he might want to take care of should something happen to him. It is for that reason that he should acquire life insurance, though, and not because he’s scaling skyscrapers!
- 18% of Adults Polled Chose Batman
- Profile: Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Reasonably young, unmarried, no children… and for the most part, unemployed (aside from being a masked bat).
- Should Batman Have Insurance? Mr. Wayne is a wealthy bachelor with no one depending upon him financially and anyone with $6.5 billion dollars usually has other investment opportunities more appropriate for them up their sleeve. Due to this, he isn’t an ideal candidate for a life insurance policy; however, he is an ideal candidate for some serious estate planning… estate taxes are no joke!
- 16% of Adults Polled Chose Fred Flinstone
- Profile: Married, quarry worker, with a young child.
- Should Fred Have Life Insurance? Absolutely! Fred has a wife and a child to support should he get crushed by a rock working in the quarry, so he’s an ideal candidate.
- 15% of Adults Polled Chose Harry Potter.
- Profile: Teenaged kid, still in school, with no living relatives.
- Should Harry Potter Have Life Insurance? Not at all; it would be a premature decision at this point-in-time for Mr. Potter to acquire life insurance. He’s young, with no one to support, and it would more than likely just be a financial drain for now.
- 11% of Adults Polled Chose Marge Simpson
- Profile: Housewife, stay-at-home mother, with fantastic hair.
- Should Marge Simpson Have Life Insurance? While Marge’s family is not depending upon her financially, they are depending on her to keep a household together. If something should happen to her, Homer would have to spend copious amounts of money on daycare for Maggie, babysitters for Bart & Lisa, a maid, possibly a nanny, etc. Due to this, income would be lost in the event of her death, so life insurance is necessary.