The United States of America has a dynamic, diverse population. In fact, our diversity is part of what makes us a strong, vibrant nation. Included in our country’s unique culture are the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Here is a brief AAPI community introduction:
- According to the White House, the AAPI designation represents over 30 different countries and over 100 different languages.
- Approximately 5.4% of the population of the USA identifies as part of the AAPI community, and by 2050, that percentage will grow to about 9.7%.
- In addition to representing somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, the AAPI community includes large countries, including (but not limited to) China, India, Japan, the Philippines, North and South Korea and Vietnam.
With hundreds of cultures and ethnicities included in this one designation, you can safely assume that while there may be intercultural similarities, there are also many differences. These differences complicate introducing AAPI concerns, goals and issues as singular or comprehensive—and insurance concerns and considerations are no different.
Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans Buy Insurance
Just like all our unique citizens, our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors are striving to build their own American dream, and then to protect it. That is where insurance comes into play. Let’s look at some shared, and some unique insurance considerations for the AAPI community.
Retirement and Financial Strategy
According to the 2022 Insurance Barometer Study, 45% of Asian Americans say that they need life insurance. Among their reasons for having insurance was a need to replace lost wages in the event that a family earner passes.
Relatedly, 39% of Asian American respondents reported job security and maintaining a steady income as one of their top five financial concerns. Interestingly, no other study segment included this concern in their top five. However, according to the study, “The top financial concern of all race and ethnic segments is to have enough money to retire comfortably.”
Jordan Mangaliman, founder and CEO of Gold Line Insurance and Financial Services, says his Southern California, AAPI clientele are very interested in retirement planning and passing down generational wealth. Jordan educates his clientele on how they can create generational wealth with not just savings and real estate, but also with life insurance.
The Importance of Representation and Education in the AAPI Community
When using life insurance products for creating retirement and generational wealth, Jordan says both education and representation are important for the AAPI community. Whole life, universal life and other permanent products are more complicated than term life insurance. For this reason, it is even more important to have someone who can explain life insurance options in your own language and by people who represent and understand your heritage and community.
Jordan’s parents migrated from the Philippines in the 1980s. He is able to educate his Filipino community in their own language, and he is able to bring concerns and considerations of his and other AAPI communities to the insurance carriers that he works with. He says the AAPI community is still underserved, but insurance carriers are now offering more literature in more languages, and this is very helpful.
Handling Uncertainties with Insurance
Insurance Agent Jin Namkung, says his AAPI customers in New York City often buy life insurance as a way to handle the uncertainty of life. Jin mentions that recent world events (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) have prompted his AAPI customers to buy life and disability insurance or supplement their already-held policies as a way of addressing life’s “uncontrollable circumstances and fears.”
In addition, Jin says that these risks have helped individuals to start thinking about and purchasing life insurance earlier than they otherwise would have. Part of Jin’s job, and the job of all other life insurance agents, is to educate the community on life insurance products, including the benefits of purchasing a policy when you are younger and/or healthier.
Adding to how the pandemic has changed outlooks, Jordan Mangaliman says his Southern California, AAPI clientele is also more aware of how fragile life is. A big part of his job is educating his community about the importance of life insurance for taking care of your family in the event of illness and death. Jordan tells his AAPI clients, and all his clients, “You cannot put life insurance off, and your coverage at work is not adequate to meet all your needs. You can’t buy it when you need it the most… your life insurance is love insurance. It’s how you show your family you love them.”
Small Business Considerations
According to the USA Small Business Association (SBA), as of 2021, almost 10% of all businesses in the United States are Asian American owned. That is over 555,200 AAPI-owned businesses, or one out of every ten US businesses.
This statistic tracks for Jin and his clientele. As an insurance rep in New York City, Jin works with many different entrepreneurs and small business owners in the AAPI community and especially in the Korean community. Small business owners have a unique set of insurance needs that include risk and financial strategies for themselves and their employees.
According to a White House Study, nearly two-thirds of AAPI citizens are foreign-born, making immigration concerns very important. In fact, the AAPI group is one of the fastest growing racial groups in the U.S.
Jin mentions his immigrant clientele came to the United States to live a better life, and they are busy doing so. They might not have time to focus on themselves and prepare for their future. Instead, they’re busy focusing on their families and making the lives of their children better. As a result, it is even more important for them to have access to insurance professionals that speak their languages and know their community and can educate them on financial strategies.
Celebrating and Supporting our AAPI Communities
As a country, we celebrate our diversity and want to make sure all of our citizens are supported and protected. That includes making sure every citizen has the right insurance and financial products. AAPI Heritage Month is a great opportunity to make sure that all the unique concerns and situations of our AAPI neighbors, family and friends are given the attention they deserve. Additionally, if you identify with the AAPI community, then this is also a great time to make sure your story is heard and your financial questions are answered.
If you need assistance in assessing your financial security, then please reach out to a licensed insurance professional today.
Our Industry Professionals
Jin Namkung is a Registered Representative for NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), a Licensed Insurance Agency Registered Branch Office: 120 Broadway 29th FL, New York, NY 10271. Phone number: 212.261.0200.
Jordan Mangaliman is the founder and CEO of Gold Line Insurance and Financial Services at 14251 Firestone Blvd, STE 130, La Mirada, CA 90638. Phone number: 213.446.3903.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
According to the US Census Bureau, every year, May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as established by Congress in 1992. Previously, in 1978, Congress had established the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage week. Congress had originally chosen these days to coincide with the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and to celebrate participation of Chinese workers in the completion of the transcontinental railroad.