Kwame Jackson, star of last season’s hit reality show The Apprentice, is giving Americans a dose of reality about the pivotal role life insurance can play in safeguarding a family’s finances and future plans. Jackson will serve as a spokesperson for September’s Life Insurance Awareness Month, which is being coordinated by the non-profit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).
The importance of life insurance is something Jackson understands
firsthand. Born in Washington, DC, he lost his mother at age 15 and was raised by his stepfather and godparents in Charlotte, N.C. Proceeds from his mother’s life insurance policy enabled him to fund his higher education. Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University, setting the stage for a inancial services career. Prior to joining The Apprentice, Jackson was an investment manager at Goldman Sachs where he counseled high net-worth individuals on personal financial matters.
“I’ve taken risks in life, but I’ve always known that one thing you just
can’t leave to chance is your family’s financial security,” said Jackson.
“When it comes to your financial plan, preparing for the unexpected is so important. Too many Americans don’t realize the difference that having life insurance can make for their families. It helped keep my plans for the future on track. Without life insurance, I’m not sure how things might have turned out for me.”
Life insurance ownership has dropped sharply over the past two decades. Today, 40 percent of adult Americans have no life insurance coverage whatsoever. And of those with coverage, most have far less than experts say they need.
A study last year of widows and widowers whose spouses died
prematurely found that nearly two-thirds experienced a “devastating” or
“major” impact on their families’ finances following the death of their loved one.
Jackson is joining LIFE in the month-long public awareness campaign to encourage Americans to take stock of their life insurance needs. In addition to enlisting Jackson’s assistance to spread the word about life insurance, LIFE’s September plans include a $2.5 million print and radio
advertising campaign, a month-long series of radio public service
announcements (PSAs), special Web promotions on ttp://www.life-line.org, and community-based educational seminars geared towards parents and small business owners.
“By failing to have adequate life insurance coverage, tens of millions of Americans are gambling with their families’ financial futures every day,” said David F. Woods, president of LIFE and CEO of the National
Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). ” Kwame’s story is a perfect illustration of the necessity of life insurance and we are very excited that he’ll be joining us in our public education efforts in September.”
More than 70 insurance companies and industry trade groups have also
pledged their support and involvement in the public awareness campaign. They include iNew York Life, MetLife, State Farm, Mass Mutual, Prudential, AEGON, AXA, Principal and Penn Mutual.