The Insurance Information Institute Expands Its Spanish Language Offerings


Contact: Press Offices
New York: 212-346-5500;
Wash. D.C.: 202-833-1580

NEW YORK, September 18, 2006 - With the growing Hispanic population in the United States, providing accurate, up-to-date insurance-related information for Spanish-speaking consumers is more important than ever, said the Insurance Information Institute.

According to the U.S. Census, currently about 11.6 million households-one in every 10-are Hispanic; it is estimated that by 2020, the Hispanic population will reach 60 million, approximately 18 percent, of the total U.S. population. This translates into a huge potential market for insurance sales and it is important that those whose primary language is Spanish receive information that will enable them to make informed decisions when purchasing insurance.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2004) reports that of an average annual expenditure of $37,578 (and average income of $43,693), the Hispanic consumer spends $865 a year on auto insurance, and $155 a year on life and other forms of personal insurance. This is considerably less than the overall consumer spending in these areas-$964 and $390 respectively-which suggests that the Hispanic market has great growth potential.

"With the emergent Hispanic market for insurance, it is important that those whose primary language is Spanish receive information that will enable them to make informed decisions when purchasing insurance," said Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. "As part of our ongoing effort to address that need, we are significantly expanding the En Español section of our Web site."

Of the population that speaks a language other than English, and whose other language is Spanish, $14.3 million (of a total of 28.1 million) described themselves as speaking English "less than Very well," according to the U.S. Census. Even those who do speak English very well, may feel more comfortable making financial decisions in their first language.

The I.I.I.'s En Español section provides basic insurance-related consumer information in Spanish, and focuses on topics of particular relevance to a Hispanic audience. Thus, the content goes beyond a mere translation of the English language content on the site; there are various pieces written specifically with the needs and interests of the Hispanic user in mind, for example the compelling example of a real Hispanic family used to illustrate the timely use of life insurance in ¿Quién, cuándo y porqué debiera tener un seguro de vida?.

"I am of Venezuelan origin myself, and I was not brought up to think of insurance as a necessity or as a key financial tool, recalled Elianne Gonzalez, Hispanic press officer for the I.I.I. "I only learned that I needed auto insurance once I was in the dealership buying a car. It is important to provide insurance information in Spanish, so we all can learn how to take advantage of the products and services that can help protect our family and our future."

The En Español section now contains articles on Homeowners, Auto and Life insurance, but will continue to expand over the next several months to include Disaster Preparedness and the Life Stages tool. In 2007, more sections will be added, including Business insurance, Long-term Care insurance and Annuities.

Here are some examples of some of the new En Español content:

For more, visit the En Español section of the I.I.I. Web site: /individuals/espanol/.

The I.I.I. is a nonprofit, communications organization supported by the insurance industry.

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