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Florida's Life Insurance Rate Below Average, Survey Finds

A new AAA survey found that half of Floridians don't have life insurance.

About a fifth of Floridians are over the age of 65.

But instead of planning for final expenses, a recent AAA survey found half of Sunshine State residents don’t have life insurance.

Myths about coverage could be driving the low enrollment.

AAA spokesman, Josh Carrasco, said Florida has a below-average rate of people with life insurance.

“I think a lot of people just get caught up with, I mean I know in my situation, you get caught up with the month to month or week to week paycheck situation,” Carrasco said. “Just trying to keep the bills paid and not really thinking ahead.”

He said many seniors don't think there’s a point to purchasing life insurance at an advanced age.

But President of Orange Park-based First Florida Underwriters, Mark Hart, says life insurance can leave surviving family members in a better position, no matter when it’s purchased.

“It means you don’t have to make the tough decisions right now because you need the money right now or you can’t pay the mortgage on the house and it will go into foreclosure,” Hart said. “Having the cash settlement from the life insurance buys you time.”

Hart said the extra time can help family members grieve properly.

AAA surveyed people in 11 states, most with life insurance rates above 60 percent.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.