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Why Black Families Own Less Life Insurance

Starr Roxanne Hiltz
The Journal of Risk and Insurance
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 225-235
DOI: 10.2307/251494
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/251494
Page Count: 11
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Why Black Families Own Less Life Insurance
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Abstract

This study explores inequality of life insurance ownership between black and white families and examines the possible causes of the differences found. Within income groups, black families own much smaller amounts of insurance on the average than whites. The lesser levels of personal life insurance coverage owned by blacks are not attributable to the substitution by blacks of other forms of accumulating money for emergencies in preference to life insurance. Neither does the difference in coverage seem to be attributable to a lesser opportunity among black families to purchase life insurance at present. Part of the difference in levels of life insurance coverage is probably due to the tendency for blacks to own more expensive types of coverage which give them less life insurance protection per dollar of premium expenditure. The differences are also partially due to the disproportionate concentration of blacks in manual occupations, since working class households own less life insurance than white collar households at the same income level, within both racial groups. A third factor is differences in values and family structure related to the need for life insurance to protect the wife and children.

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