By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thirty-seven-percent of Americans with children under age 18 do not have any life insurance, according to a new survey. And about one-third of the parents who do have life insurance have no more than $100,000 of protection.

“These numbers mean that over 20 million households with dependent children either don’t have any life insurance or don’t have nearly enough,” explains Doug Whiteman,’s insurance analyst.

Some findings from the survey:

– Overall, 42% of Americans lack life insurance and about half of those who have it are covered for $100,000 or less.

– One in 4 insured people with annual household income of $75,000+ have $100,000 or less in coverage.

– 11% of women and 5% of men say they have life insurance, but they don’t know how much.

“There are many rules of thumb regarding how much life insurance is enough,” Whiteman said. “Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that’s based on a range of factors including your debts, mortgage, potential college costs for your children (that’s if you have any), and likely burial expenses.”

To check out Bankrate’s life insurance calculator, which can help you come up with the right amount of life insurance that you might need, visit:

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:

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