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June 14, 1958


JAMA. 1958;167(7):866. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990240066014

A recent survey of members of 3,000 spending units sampled in a continuing study by the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan in cooperation with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System indicates that life insurance is purchased for many reasons.1 Whereas only 12% mentioned insurance as a good method of saving, 35% gave as one reason for paying premiums the establishment of a "clean-up" fund to pay outstanding bills, debts, and funeral expenses. Provision for paying the costs of the last illness is given by life insurance salesmen as one of the major reasons for buying life insurance, and this survey of persons who had purchased life insurance and continued to pay premiums thereon verifies the appeal of this familiar sales argument.

The rapid growth of voluntary health insurance has tended to obscure this time-honored role of life insurance in defraying the costs of