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Affinion Group Survey Reveals That Underinsured Consumers Need Alternate Solutions in Light of Current Economic Climate
Date:5/7/2009

Nearly half say unreimbursed loss of as little as $500 would have "severe" impact on financial stability

NORWALK, Conn., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As unemployment rates continue to climb, one often overlooked aspect of people being laid-off is their access to affordable insurance. In a national recent survey conducted by Affinion Group, a leading marketer of insurance services, nearly two-thirds of respondents admitted to living paycheck-to-paycheck "often" or "always." The survey questioned more than 1,000 adults to determine the threat to consumers from limited access to affordable insurance in light of the current economic conditions. Overall, the findings revealed that a majority of consumers believe they could be at risk for losing their health benefits and life insurance should they ultimately lose their job, placing an even greater importance on alternate insurance programs.

At Risk of Being Uninsured

When asked how long they believed they would have access to affordable insurance, nearly two out of three respondents either believed that they would have access for less than one month or didn't know how long they would have access to affordable insurance. Distressingly, only 19 percent of respondents believed they would be able to afford their insurance for more than 6 months following the loss of their job, and this number dropped to 14 percent when looking at respondents under the age of 45.

Accidents are Costly

Nearly half of respondents, 45 percent, believed that an out-of-pocket cost of as little as $500 would have a "severe" impact on their financial stability. This is problematic given that the average cost of hospitalization is $560, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This also comes in an environment where 62 percent of those people surveyed stated that they live paycheck-to-paycheck either "often" or "always."

"The results of this survey confirm some of our worst suspicions: this economic climate has exposed consumers to a toxic combination of underemployment and underinsurance," said Ron Clarke, Senior Vice President of Insurance Services at Affinion. "The high cost of insurance and the out-of-pocket expense associated with a hospital stay of as little as a day or two are leaving a substantial portion of the country at risk of being unable to afford the security and peace-of-mind that they need."

Considering Loved Ones and Alternatives to Going Without

Of the adults surveyed, more than half expressed that they were either "concerned" or "extremely concerned" that their loved ones would be financially vulnerable in the event of an accident or the death of the respondent. At the same time, many participants did not understand the cost savings that can be offered by having a less costly alternative Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) plan, with only 25 percent of respondents correctly identifying the savings of a $100,000 AD&D plan is more than $75 over that of a typical $100,000 annual term life insurance policy. Affinion Group encourages consumers to work with a trusted financial institution, credit union or association to gain access to AD&D Protection, which is typically offered on a group rate basis, and underwritten by leading, highly rated insurers, and presents a viable alternative for coverage to protect against unforeseen events.

"Many of the participants of the study did not understand the cost savings and security that an AD&D plan can offer to them and their families," continued Clarke. "Managed appropriately, AD&D is the type of supplemental insurance alternative that families can turn to in order to secure their financial well being in the event of an emergency."

The full results of the survey can be found at http://www.affinion.com/docs/InsuranceSurvey.pdf.

About Affinion Group

As a global leader with nearly 35 years of experience, Affinion Group (www.affinion.com) enhances the value of its partners' customer relationships by developing and marketing valuable loyalty, membership, checking account, insurance and other compelling products and services. Leveraging its expertise in product development and targeted marketing, Affinion helps generate significant incremental revenue for more than 5,500 affinity partners worldwide, including many of the largest and most respected companies in financial services, retail, travel, and Internet commerce. Based in Norwalk, Conn., the company has approximately 3,300 employees throughout the United States and in 10 countries across Europe, and markets in 14 countries globally. Affinion holds the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for the highest information security practices, is PCI compliant and Cybertrust certified. For more company and investor information visit www.affinion.com.


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SOURCE Affinion Group
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