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Study Finds Hispanics Need More Information About the Costs, Needs, and Benefits of Life Insurance

U.S. Treasurer Helps Open Dialogue Among Leading Organizations to Change Attitudes and Help Protect the Financial Future of U.S. Hispanics

RICHMOND, Va., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study unveils unique insights on the Hispanic community's needs, attitudes and perceptions about financial planning and term life insurance. Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) recently presented the results of the comprehensive "Hispanic Term Life Insurance Market Study," conducted by LIMRA International, at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

Following are the research study's most compelling findings:

- English-speaking Hispanics are more likely to own individual life insurance than Spanish speakers (67% versus 25%) and are more open to alternative channels for learning about life insurance.

- According to 42% of the respondents, understanding the price of life insurance is the most important piece of information Hispanic consumers need to help them decide on what to purchase.

- Many Hispanic consumers think life insurance is an unaffordable luxury reserved for the rich and would be surprised to learn just how affordable term life insurance can be. Of those surveyed, many believed term life insurance, depending on a person's age and health, costs two, three or four times more than it really did.

- Face-to-face interaction is the preferred method for learning about life insurance. About half of the respondents indicated interest in learning through seminars. English speakers are open to a variety of locales including their workplace and hotels, while Spanish speakers show a preference for their local churches. However, very few Hispanics report ever being approached by a life insurance agent.

In order to bridge the gap in financial education and protection among the community, Genworth Financial invited leading government, business, media and insurance organizations to participate in a panel discussion and open the dialogue about their roles in protecting the financial future and dreams of Hispanics in the U.S.

Members of the panel included Thomas Oliver, executive director & CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP); Michael L. Barrera, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC); Joseph M. Normandy, executive director of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA); and Javier Ismodes, vice president of emerging markets for Genworth Financial. U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral delivered the keynote speech about the importance of financial literacy within minority communities. (To view a transcript of Treasurer Cabral's keynote speech please visit .)

"Our study reaffirms the need for institutions and organizations to take an active role in providing financial education for the Hispanic community to change the attitudes and perceptions of Hispanics towards the benefits of financial protection," said Javier Ismodes, vice president of emerging markets for Genworth Financial. "At Genworth we are committed to serving the needs of the Hispanic community and financial education is at the forefront in our mission of empowering Hispanics in the U.S."

To gain the support of the media in empowering and educating the Hispanic community about the needs and benefits of financial protection, Mr. Ismodes addressed the nation's top Hispanic print media at the 21st annual Convention & Exposition of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) on March 31st in Las Vegas.

"It is important to communicate financial literacy issues to the Hispanic community in a way that is sensitive to their linguistic and cultural nuances," said Thomas Oliver, executive director & CEO of the NAHP. "The media must come together and put our best work forward to educate the community about financial protection through objective and reliable information."

According to LIMRA, the intention to buy life insurance is guided by a consumer's awareness and perception of the product. Among the key barriers cited in the study by Spanish speakers for not having life insurance are strong cultural perceptions associated with financial products and institutions from their countries of origin, the lack of information about these products and an overall lack of understanding the options available for protecting their financial security.

"The study reveals a gap between the amount of insurance U.S. Hispanic households own and the amount they feel they need for adequate financial protection," said Pete Jacques, Ph.D., director of custom research for LIMRA International. "Corporations, organizations and the life insurance industry have a clear obligation and opportunity to fill this unmet need, and with this study they will have a proper understanding of the cultural values and perceptions to successfully provide solutions to the Hispanic market."

Additional key research findings from the "Hispanic Term Life Insurance Market Study" include:

- Men are slightly more likely than women to believe that nothing tragic will happen to their family; 61% of men and 48% of women agree with that statement.

- 64% of younger respondents (ages 25-34) carry a stronger recognition of the need for life insurance than older respondents.

- Spanish-speaking respondents show a stronger sense of family care and protection. 86% of the Spanish-speakers expect to take care of their parents financially when they are older compared to 60% of English speakers.

To download a complete copy of the "Hispanic Term Life Insurance Market Study," please visit .

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading insurance holding company, serving the lifestyle protection, retirement income, investment and mortgage insurance needs of more than 15 million customers, and has operations in 24 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and more than a dozen other European countries. For more information, visit .

About LIMRA International

LIMRA International is a worldwide research, consulting, and performance improvement organization that helps more than 800 insurance and financial services companies in 60 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. For more information, visit .

SOURCE Genworth Financial, Inc.

CONTACT: Bertha Diaz, Conexion Public Relations,
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Thomas R. Topinka, Genworth Financial,
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