People are prompted to buy life insurance by major life events, according to a new poll.

A new poll by Northwestern Mutual (an insurance company) found "that more than two out of three people say that owning auto, health, homeowners/renters and/or life insurance makes them feel 'secure.’ ”

The poll found people are prompted to buy life insurance by major life events: "People who purchased life insurance (on their own) are most often prompted to buy life insurance as a result of marriage (32 percent), retirement planning (25 percent) or the birth of a child (22 percent)."

Northwestern Mutual conducted the poll as part of "Life Insurance Awareness Month."

Which is similar in intent to other industries' ideas such as Air Conditioning Appreciation Days.

Other causes are also hooked on this month as well.

September is "Hispanic Heritage Month," "National Honey Month," "National Yoga Month," "National Preparedness Month," "National Blood Cancer Awareness Month" and "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month."

Life, a nonprofit organization of various insurance associations, wants Life Insurance Awareness Month to prompt people to ask questions such as, "What if you were suddenly gone and your family had to manage on their own?" or "Have you checked with your employer to find out what kind of life insurance benefit you have through work and whether you have the option to increase your coverage?"

According to the Osprey Observer, the spokesman for Life Insurance Awareness Month is Buddy Valastro, who runs a family bakery in Hoboken, N.J., and a reality TV show on TLC called "Cake Boss" (now in its fifth season).

The Observer explained why a baker was chosen: "Valastro's dreams of working alongside his father were dashed when, at 54, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died a short three weeks later. Unprepared for this tragic event, Buddy had to drop out of high school to work full-time in the family bakery. His father had no life insurance, putting the support of the family on his young shoulders."

The poll also found out that when Americans are thinking about life insurance, they don't think about what it needs to cover: "When asked about the expenses they would consider in determining the amount of life insurance needed, few people who do not have life insurance factored in education (15 percent) or child care (11 percent) expenses, and a third of people weren't certain what expenses they would need to cover at all."

The reason why people bought life insurance, according to the poll, is to provide for loved ones (52 percent). Only 6 percent said they purchased it to "fund an inheritance for heirs or charities/nonprofit organizations."

LIMA, the Life Insurance Management Research Association, wants people to be aware that "three in ten American households (35 million) are uninsured and half say they need more life insurance."


Twitter: @degroote