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Study probes insurance as wealth protection tool


CHICAGO--The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is conducting a study looking at how moderate-income consumers use insurance to build and protect wealth.

According to the Chicago-based Urban Insurance Partners Institute, information from the study will help insurers improve their marketing and underwriting efforts.

The bank will look at consumers who already own homes, autos or life insurance, as well as those in similar family income brackets who don't have insurance, seeking to learn more about their level of insurance knowledge, the points at which they consider learning more about insurance or purchasing insurance, and the ways they use the insurance distribution system.

In addition, the UIPI is sponsoring a separate study on how insurers can more accurately underwrite consumers--in particular the growing multicultural, immigrant and urban consumer market--with new data.

According to the UIPI, such data allows insurers to offer more competitive pricing, particularly for consumers who have thin or non-mainstream credit files.