Americans don't carry enough life insurance, and many people who have a high school diploma or less education don't have any coverage at all. Those are some of the preliminary findings of the latest version of the annual LifeJacket Study conducted by Genworth Financial.

A preview of the study was recently released, with the full report expected to be published in July. However, the early data indicates most individuals do not have the life insurance protection they need.

Education plays role in coverage level

The survey found that college-educated individuals tend to have more coverage than those with fewer years of formal education. While 60 percent of those with a high school diploma or less education have no life insurance protection, only 44 percent of college-educated individuals have gone without coverage.

In addition, college-educated respondents had 2.5 times the level of coverage compared to those with a high school diploma or less education. Young singles appear particularly disposed not to seek out life insurance for themselves.

Industry called to promote importance of life insurance

In announcing the preliminary results of the LifeJacket Survey, a representative from Genworth Financial said the industry must do more to educate the public on the importance of life insurance.

"As an industry, our challenge is to persuade people from all parts of American society to view life insurance as a strategic financial asset - a tool to help families achieve their financial goals and protect what is most important to them," said Janet Deskins, Genworth senior vice president for life insurance products, in a statement.

Deskins notes that life insurance rates are extremely affordable. According to Deskins, for the cost of three cups of coffee a month, most individuals would be able to buy the extra coverage they need.

However, she also notes that consumers may not find the same low prices if they wait until later in life to buy a policy.

To determine the right level of coverage needed, consumers should consider their own circumstances and goals. While life insurance policyholders have traditionally been encouraged to carry at least 10 times their annual income, Genworth Financial and other industry sites offer online life insurance calculators to help individuals pinpoint their needs more precisely.