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By Mike Heuer

If a tragedy suddenly struck, most U.S. households would suffer steep financial consequences, according to a new study.

A 50-year-low 44 percent of U.S. households have some form of life insurance coverage, much of it inadequate for real needs, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Life Insurance and Market Association (LIMRA). The recent economic collapse largely is to blame for the lack of coverage, as might be expected.

Life insurance companies had about 9.4 million life insurance and term life insurance policies in force in 2009, which is about a million less than were in force five years earlier in 2004, according to the LIMRA study. Study results indicate about 35 million U.S. households have no life insurance coverage, equal to about 30 percent of all households. And of households with life insurance, about 25 percent have only employer-provided group life insurance, which usually has a small death benefit.

Fortunately for those looking to close the gap in life insurance coverage, term life insurance offers highly affordable options. With the national economy leveling off in recent years as well as the global markets improving, many term life insurance companies have begun reducing rates once again in an increasingly competitive market. That means getting a great deal on term life insurance is easier than ever, especially with our free, secure term life insurance quote tool. Just a few moments providing only the information needed to get accurate term life insurance quotes is all it takes to get a great deal on term life insurance.

Swiss Re researchers anticipate term life insurance premiums will remain level and possibly decline slightly as a sustained high unemployment rate depresses the sales of traditional investment vehicles on which whole life insurance companies often depend to generate profit. In general, a 40-year-old male can buy a $500,000 term life insurance policy for less than $50 per month. And free, secure online quote tools, such as provided by Term Life Insurance.com, are the most efficient way to shop and compare term life insurance rates to ensure the best deal is found.