This study explores the connections between insurance, wealth building/wealth preservation and access to financial services (hereafter financial access) for low- and moderate-income consumers. It examines the needs, attitudes and practices that these consumers have regarding insurance, and considers whether and how information or more direct access to insurance might complement the strategies and goals of organizations that help low-wealth consumers to build and protect their assets. Many of the same population groups who are less likely to use mainstream financial institutions are also less likely to have various types of insurance, although these populations may be particularly vulnerable to financial setbacks that could (potentially) be mitigated by insurance.
There is perhaps no better or more tangible indicator of the strength of an economy than the measure of assets and protections – financial, business, home, education and health – built by families and society. Not only does an accounting of the amount, range and distribution of assets of an economy provide an incisive picture of the current health and resilience of an economy, but more importantly, it reflects the ability of an economy and the families within it to adapt, to find advantages and to shape the future.