Scott Hamilton brings Gold to Life Insurance Awareness Month

June 21, 2006 – A story of determination in the face of hardship is what Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton will share with Americans to get them thinking more about their life insurance needs during the third annual Life Insurance Awareness Month. Scott will serve as the national spokesperson for this September’s industry-wide initiative aimed at educating the public about the importance of financially protecting their loved ones.

Scott lost his mother to cancer when he was only 19. A breadwinner in a moderate-income family where both parents were teachers, her death made financing Scott’s budding figure skating career even more difficult. On a personal level, Scott took the loss very hard. Professionally, however, the experience strengthened his resolve to achieve skating greatness. Through perseverance and hard work, Scott overcame the financial obstacles and went on to become one of the most successful skaters in the history of the sport, eventually winning gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Thirteen years later, Scott achieved another important victory when he successfully completed treatments for testicular cancer.

"Losing my mother and fighting my own battle with cancer have taught me that unexpected events can rock your family at any time, and you need to recognize that and take necessary precautions in life," said Scott Hamilton. "When my mom died, the emotional challenges that my family and I faced were compounded by financial struggles because she didn’t have any life insurance. Because of that experience, I’ve owned life insurance since I was a young adult and now that I’m married and have a two-year old son, I value the financial security it provides more than ever."

Scott’s participation in Life Insurance Awareness Month was secured by the LIFE Foundation. In addition to coordinating the industry-wide campaign, LIFE plans to spend millions of dollars in September educating consumers about the benefits of life insurance and the importance of seeking financial advice from qualified insurance professionals. LIFE’s publicity plans include print, radio and television advertising, the annual realLIFEstories special section that will appear in the September 4, 2006 issue of Newsweek and multi-page special sections in TIME, Parents, Child and Ser Padres magazines. To help spread the word about the importance of life insurance, LIFE will conduct aggressive outreach to the news media, sponsor a series of radio public service announcements and run special life-insurance features on its website. LIFE will also announce the winners of its “LIFE Lessons” Essay Contest, a college scholarship program in which students write essays recounting the financial and emotional impact of losing a parent at a young age.

“Scott’s a big believer in life insurance because he understands as well as anyone that there are no guarantees in life,” said David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, LIFE’s president. “We’re so thrilled to have someone as inspirational and passionate as Scott helping to deliver our life insurance messages to the public.”

During September, Scott will share his story with consumers through interviews with radio and television stations throughout the country. Scott will also help rally industry support for Life Insurance Awareness Month with a video message that will be transmitted throughout the industry and in a speech he will deliver on August 28, 2006 in San Francisco at the annual convention of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

More than 100 leading insurance companies and industry trade groups participated in last year’s Life Insurance Awareness Month. Companies supported the 2005 campaign with a wide range of marketing communications efforts including consumer advertising, direct marketing campaigns, Web promotions, producer incentive programs, campaign signage in field offices, and new sales and marketing resources. Many companies also used September as an opportunity to remind their own employees about the importance of having adequate life insurance coverage. For the third annual Life Insurance Awareness Month, LIFE expects company participation to be even greater.

“Life Insurance Awareness Month is now firmly established within our industry,” said Mr. Woods. “In our endeavor to educate the public and help Americans get the life insurance coverage their families need, I urge all companies and agents to join in this important industry-wide effort. We can’t do it without them.”

Organizations or individuals wishing to learn more about the campaign should click on the LIAM tab on LIFE’s website (www.life-line.org) or contact Jon Dressner at jdressner@lifefdn.org or 202-464-5000 ext 117.

About Life Insurance Awareness Month

Life Insurance Awareness Month was created in response to growing concern about the large number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. According to LIMRA, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance. Those who own life insurance have an average of four times their annual income in coverage, which is considerably less than most experts recommend. Held each September, Life Insurance Awareness Month is an industry-wide effort that is coordinated by the LIFE Foundation.

About LIFE

The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.life-line.org.

Contacts:  
Jason Adler
Jadler@webershandwick.com
212.445.8246
Brooke Parker
212.445.8142
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